by Audrey Hollingshead | Last Updated: May 4, 2023
Product catalogs are making a comeback. Especially since there’s more than one way to make them. Companies don’t have to rely on paper catalogs if they know their customers aren’t interested in them. It’s also nice to know that digital catalogs are cheaper to make and can have more than just pictures and text. But where can you make a product catalogue? And how, exactly, do you do it? Below we’ll go over how to make a catalog and where you can make one.
How Do I Create a Product Catalog?
Here’s how you can create a product catalog.
Determine the structure of your catalog. What products do you want to showcase? Do you want to split your catalog into several different ones? For instance, if you make a plethora of products for the kitchen and another set of products for the bathroom, do you want to split the kitchen and bath products into separate catalogs? Or would you like to keep them in one catalog?
Gather all product information. This includes pictures, measurements, videos, and any other related information. If you don’t have product descriptions, now is the time to write and proofread them. The same goes for any related videos. If you don’t have how-to videos and you think they’ll help, shoot them now.
Gather all your information into a Product Information Management (PIM) system. Here’s some examples of PIM applications to get you started. If you’re not opting for a PIM you can put all your info into spreadsheets. Though a spreadsheet might not be as easy to update as a PIM.
Determine your delivery method. Do you want to go old-school and use the more expensive method of paper? Or do you prefer something online?
Choose your digital catalog provider. We’ll be going over some options below.
Look at your provider’s available templates and choose one that best fits your products. If you’re going with the paper method you’ll have to use Adobe InDesign or something like it to manually design how your catalog will look.
Input the product information. For digital catalogs, it’s as simple as taking the information from your PIM or spreadsheet and plugging it into the template you chose. Doing this for paper catalogs are a little more time-consuming. You may end up fighting with your chosen design program, especially if you move pictures around. No one in this business world has time for that.
Proofread everything. While editing a digital catalog is a lot simpler than editing and reprinting a paper one, it’s still best to proofread them.
After giving your catalog a final once over you distribute it. You can do this via a link on your webpage, an email, or through text messaging.
Where Can I Make a Product Catalog?
There are many different apps you can use to make a product catalog. We’ll talk about the best catalog software to use below. But first, some honorable mentions.
Canva is a simple-to-use catalog design software. It has plenty of visuals and templates. Some like it since it's a free option.Pros of Canva:
It has templates so you can get started right away.
Your catalog will look professional.
It has a free tier.
Cons of Canva:
The free version has limited features. You'll have to get the paid version to reach its full creative potential.
Does not integrate with any PIM solutions.
Akeneo is one of the most popular options companies use to create an online catalog. One of the reasons is because Akeneo also offers product information management which can make updating catalogs easy. Pros of Akeneo:
You can connect it to their PIM for faster catalog updates.
Akeneo offers more than just product catalogs.
There is a free version.
Cons of Akeneo:
Some find catalog features to be limiting.
The free version lacks access to the latest updates and PIM features.
Lumavate can do more than create a product catalog. It also offers a PIM. Lumavate is a one-stop-shop for customer experiences that really show what your products can do.With Lumavate you can:
have unlimited users contributing information and design ideas;
connect to a PIM for an easy way to update your catalog as needed;
suggest related accessories to products to increase upselling opportunities;
connect to Lumavate’s content management system (CMS);
track who made changes and when;
allow customers to compare products to find exactly what they’re looking for;
include customer reviews from product buyers;
add unlimited custom attributes to your products;
use real product data to create informational experiences;
write your catalog in multiple languages to reach customers around the world; and
integrate with Google Analytics to track what is and is not working well with the catalog.
What Is the Best Way to Make a Product Catalog?
There are many ways to make a product catalog.
Yes, going old-school is still an option. But there are a few reasons why we don’t recommend it.
It costs a lot to produce. You have to find a printer, hire a designer to create the catalog, and then spend money to ship it.
It costs a lot to edit. Suppose you’ve just received the printed catalog. It looks great. Then you find there’s a shortage of parts needed for certain products. This supply chain hiccup causes manufacturing of these products to grind to a halt. Now you need to strike the products from the printed catalog. That means editing the catalog design and spending more to have the catalog reprinted.
Edits can take days or weeks to be fixed. Meanwhile, customers, dealers, and partners are referencing an outdated printed catalog.
Product Catalog Website
A product catalog website could be fine, if you don’t mind a little coding here and there. If you really have your heart set on a website be sure to choose a provider that can create one with little or no code. You also need to ensure that your webpage can be viewed on desktop computers, phones, and tablets. Customers love being able to shop across various device types. Some might like to laze on the couch while browsing, others might want to sit at their computer. Another thing to consider is product information management. By connecting your website to a PIM system, you’ll be able to make edits easier.
Product Catalog PDF
A product catalogin PDF format does seem appealing. PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is widely used because of its versatile file format. Created by Adobe, PDFs allow people to share a document across any operating system and ensure the file retains its’ original design and formatting.While desirable for these reasons, a product catalog PDF still presents issues for brands. Namely, when a product catalog PDF needs to be updated it requires a designer and manual changes. The updated version then needs to be distributed to customers, partners, and dealers. Even if you use a digital catalog maker, updating your PDF catalog will take some time.
How Long Does It Take to Make a Catalog?
How long it takes depends on the method you use. PDF: Digital catalogs take less time if you have your assets in order. Designing the layout to ensure and making the content and assets fit could take two to six weeks.Print: Typically, brands will design a PDF and send that to a printer. This means brands must factor in the two to six weeks it takes to design a PDF. Finding a printer and getting your job scheduled could take four to six weeks. Then it will likely take another one to two weeks for the printer to print your ordered copies. You’ll need to factor in shipping time if you mail your catalog out. Reprinting could take seven to 10 days too. Lumavate: The beauty of Lumavate is that it involves no code whatsoever. If you already have the product data and assets in our PIM solution it could take 30 minutes to design and publish a digital catalog. Yes, you read that right. With all your product information in our PIM the only thing you’ll need to do is pick a template and plug info in. It’s that easy.
Book a Demo Today
Lumavate knows that the real star of any show is your products. So why not use a digital experience platform that puts your products front and center. Book a demo today to see how Lumavate can elevate your products and brand.