What Is the Best Software to Make a Catalog?

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by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Apr 9, 2023

The time has finally come to replace your house’s kitchen faucet. But you haven't purchased a faucet in years, and you don’t know where to begin. If only there were a resource you could read that had a list of all of a brand’s faucets with images, product descriptions, etc.

Enter product catalogs. 

Brands can win over customers in the decision phase in the customer journey with product catalogs. Let’s answer the top questions surrounding product catalogs and discover how to make your own. 

How Do I Make My Own Catalog?

Product catalogs have been around for decades, yet there is always room to improve the processes of making product catalogs, especially as digital and no code solutions have popped up in the last several years to make this process easier for marketers. 

Below are the steps for creating  a product catalog:

    1. Outline the Structure - This is the outlining stage of the process. You and your team will need to decide what product information you’ll be including in the resource. Will it be minimal information with just product descriptions and images? Or will it be more detailed with product numbers, SKU numbers, features, and benefits, etc? 
    2. Gather Your Brand’s Product Information and Related  Assets - Next, you’ll need to collect the product information and related assets from the products you plan on including in the product catalog.
    3. Add the Product Information to a PIM - The third step to creating a product catalog is adding the data you collected in the previous step into a centralized location like a Product Information Management (PIM) Solution or an Excel spreadsheet if your business does not have a PIM in its tech stack. 
    4. Determine the  Delivery Method - Before you’re ready to bring your product catalog to life, you’ll need to decide if your product catalog will be a PDF or a digital version.  

Even though the process of creating a product catalog is relatively simple, brands that are new to creating a digital product guide can begin to create a simple catalog and add to it down the road.

It’s important to note that these steps will vary greatly depending on what delivery method you choose (for example, a PDF or digital product catalogue). If your team decides to keep with the status quo and create a PDF version of a product catalog, there will be significantly more steps involved. 

What Is an Example of a Product Catalog?

There are two primary delivery mechanisms for delivering product catalogs: PDF catalogs and digital catalogs. Each of these methods comes with its own list of considerations. 

Product Catalog PDF 

PDF catalogs are probably what you’re most used to if you work in the manufacturing industry. A PDF catalog is essentially a single, long document that contains product information for a brand's products. 

Many manufacturers believe a product catalog PDF is a more interactive experience for customers - however, this misconception is holding manufacturers back from seeing the full potential of their product catalogs. PDFs remain static, meaning these documents do not connect to product data. For teams, this could mean countless hours of manually updating PDFs when updates to product data are inevitably made.  

Digital Product Catalogs

A digital product catalog is similar to a PDF catalog in that it contains a list of a brand’s products with relevant information for customers. Aside from the content that is within a digital catalog, that’s where the similarities between these two mechanisms end. 

Digital catalogs can be accessed via a customer’s smartphone, tablet, or computer and can contain truly interactive design elements, images, videos, and more that add to the catalog’s story and increase revenue and brand loyalty for businesses. 

Digital product catalogs are typically built using a digital experience platform and use the product data pulled from a Product Information Management (PIM) solution to populate the product information within the catalog. 

If we go back to our original example with the customer who is needing to replace their faucet,  this would be an excellent use case for a manufacturer to create a digital catalog. This digital catalog example would be an interactive guide of a company’s faucets that includes detailed product information such as images, product descriptions, related accessories, and more.

What Is the Best Software to Make a Catalog?

The best way to make a product catalog is through a solution called a product catalog maker. Catalog management software can be used by marketing teams to quickly create and launch digital product catalogs. 

The best catalog design software begins with teams taking advantage of the software’s Product Information Management (PIM) system to store the product data and related assets that are used in the catalog. 

Using a PIM to store your company’s product data comes with many benefits, including: 

When catalog design software is connected to a digital experience platform (DXP), it’s easy to pull in the product data stored in the PIM, and display it in an engaging way for customers to access the information to make an informed purchase decision. 

Lumavate is an example of a PIM solution that can help your brand manage your digital assets as well as empower marketers at manufacturing companies to easily create product catalogs, product guides, warranty registration forms, and so much more. 

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Catalog?

Like anything in life, the cost of making a product catalog varies greatly depending on how it’s created and what product catalog maker a team chooses to invest in. 

If done through traditional methods like managing product data with Excel, teams can expect to spend more than 30 hours annually updating a product guide with additional hours being spent to create a PDF product catalog from scratch.

A catalog is a powerful marketing tactic brands rely on to increase revenue and brand awareness - making it more important for brands to invest in the best product catalog maker in order to yield extraordinary results. 

Create a Product Catalog with Lumavate 

Lumavate can drastically reduce the time and costs it takes to manage your product data and enables you to create a product catalog in less than 30 minutes. 

Take a look at the Lumavate Professional and Enterprise plan structures as an example of a more cost-effective way to make a product catalog.

On these plans, business teams can store all of their product data and digital assets using Lumavate’s product information management (PIM) solution and create digital product catalog experiences that pulls in the data from the PIM at an affordable price. 

Want to learn more about Lumavate’s PIM solution? Take an on-demand tour or schedule a demo to see it in action. 

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.