Digital Catalog Maker
Are you still printing catalogs, when there are better digital options available? A digital product catalog is more engaging and can be updated instantaneously.
But what exactly is a digital product catalog? And how can you make one?
What is a Digital Product Catalog?
A product catalog is a book that lists a company’s products and product information. You’ll usually see information like:
- Product dimensions
- Color Options
- Size Options
- Related Products
A product catalog may also be called a product guide. Typically product catalogs come in two versions. A printed version and a digital version. If you’ve ever ordered something from Lands End, IKEA, or L.L. Bean you’ve likely looked through their product catalogs.
A digital product catalog is an online version of a product catalog. Catalogs that are not printed can be in PDF formats or in more dynamic digital experience formats.
What are the Benefits of Product Catalogs?
- Product guides offer significant advantages for brands. Here are some benefits brands can experience when they create a digital product guide:
- Drive Revenue: Digital product guides facilitate direct connections between consumers and dealers, enabling quick purchase decisions. By including related products in the guide, brands can encourage additional purchases, thereby increasing the cart value.
- Decrease Costs: Creating a digital product guide allows brands to significantly reduce or eliminate the expenses associated with shipping and printing.
- Increase Brand Loyalty: When customers trust that your company consistently delivers relevant and engaging content, they are more likely to become brand advocates.
- Bridge Offline and Online: By adopting an omnichannel strategy, brands can bridge the gap between customers and physical products, informing them about the brand's offerings through multiple channels.
- Delight Partners: Offering dealers and partners access to an always-updated digital product guide provides them with the latest product information, enhancing their satisfaction and collaboration with the brand.
Additional Advantages of Digital Product Catalogs
While printed catalogs are still used today, they are static and costly to edit. Here’s what we mean. Suppose you make hair tools like hair dryers, curling irons, or straighteners. You notice that there’s a mistake in your straightener product description. It says the heating plates are ceramic when in fact they’re a more sturdy tourmaline.
With a printed catalog you’ll have to edit the document it was created in, reprint it, and then mail it again. That’s more money and time you have to spend.
Digital catalogs are easier to edit. Once you’ve made the necessary changes you can move on to redistribution. You don’t need to spend extra money on paper and shipping.
What makes a catalog so simple to edit is something called a Product Information Management (PIM) system.
How PIM Systems Help
A PIM solution is where brands can store and manage their product information. This information can be:
- Product Name
- Warranty Documentation
- Related Parts and Accessories
Lumavate knows how difficult managing product information and related assets can be for marketers. That’s why we have PIM functionality included in our platform.
With Lumavate’s PIM, you could have access to:
- Multiple Product Types
- Unlimited Products
- Unlimited Custom Attributes
- Product Relationships
- Change Log
- Integrate to Existing Systems
- Unlimited Users
- Drive Dynamic Digital Experiences
PIM Solutions and Digital Experience Platforms
Connecting your digital catalog maker to a PIM system speeds up the creation process. It works like this:
Let’s go back to the hair tool example. Without a PIM solution, you’d need to manually input and gather the product information to include in your product catalog since it’s not likely stored in one centralized location. That means writing descriptions, imputing pictures, and anything else you want the catalog to have. You’d need to do this for every catalog entry. That takes a lot of time and effort.
Now let’s say you have a PIM system and it’s connected to your catalog maker software, commonly known as a digital experience platform. Instead of spending hours or even weeks manually inputting information, the PIM system dynamically pulls in all of the product information for you depending on which products you’ve selected to be featured in the catalog.
Having a PIM solution also speeds up the editing process. Suppose you’re creating a catalog of curling irons. You have several different types and barrel sizes. You’re looking over the descriptions and pictures when you realize the entry for the one inch barrel has pictures of the ½ inch barrel. Because you’ve used a PIM system you know that the picture error started there. So, you look at the PIM system and update the pictures to the correct ones. Once the PIM system is updated the catalog will automatically be updated too. No need to edit several different documents. You only need to edit the PIM system.
This is why we consider product catalog PDFs and catalogs hosted on websites to be static. Most PDFs don’t or can’t connect to a PIM system. That means you can’t update catalog entries on the fly. You’d have to take the PDF down, make your changes, and then re-upload it or email it to customers again.
You can only update digital catalogs quickly if they’ve been made with software that is connected to a PIM system.
How to Make a Catalog for Products?
After learning more about product catalogs, you might be asking, “How do I create a product catalog?” Here are the steps to follow for creating a printed catalog.
Five Steps to Creating a Product Catalog
- Determine the format of your product catalog and the information you want to include. If you have a lot of products to showcase, would it be better to break up the catalogs into separate parts or have one large catalog?
- Gather all of the product information and related assets, like pictures, descriptions, videos, and anything else you want customers to see.
- Add all of your product information and assets to a PIM solution. This will make it easier to build out your catalog later on.
- Create a digital experience that is tied to your PIM solution and provides up-to-date product information when the product guide/catalog is accessed.
- Distribute your digital product catalog. You can email it or even text it to customers and salespeople.
What are Examples of Catalogs?
A good example of digital catalogs are from IKEA. They break them up by room so shoppers can see the exact items they’re looking for. But you don’t have to be a furniture maker to use catalogs.
Let’s say you are a heating and cooling company. You make, sell, and service HVAC units. A customer needs a new heating and cooling system. You can use a digital catalog to show your customers the models you recommend buying. They’ll get to see all the details, like its size, how many tons it is, and anything else you want customers to know.
How to Promote Your Digital Product Catalog
Now that we’ve taken a look at some digital product catalog examples, let’s take a look at some examples of ways you can promote your digital catalog.
Display your brand's product catalog prominently on your website. Whether you integrate it into the main navigation, such as the Products page, or include it in your site's sitemap, this option is valuable for improving your product catalog's SEO.
Create visually appealing graphics and promote your product catalog across different social media platforms. You can leverage TikTok by making engaging videos showcasing your products, or focus on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram to share a link for customers to access your digital product catalog.
Invest in your digital product catalog by utilizing paid search to boost its visibility.
Incorporate your digital product catalog into sales outreach efforts. When reaching out to potential prospects via email, sales team members can provide a direct link to the product catalog. Alternatively, they can personalize the outreach by creating individualized digital experiences that include a brief video introduction and an overview of the content, featuring the digital product catalog.
What Program Can I Use to Make a Catalog?
For digital catalogs, it’s better to use a digital experience catalog like Lumavate. Here’s why:
- Lumavate has PIM Functionality. a PIM system. Connecting the PIM system you have with us to the digital product catalog you make with Lumavate simplifies the process. All you need to do is select the products from the PIM system and they’ll be added to your catalog.
- Editing content is super easy. Suppose you’re running a sale on certain products. Instead of having to edit the product price in the catalog AND other areas, you only need to update the PIM system. Once the price has been updated in the PIM system the catalog will automatically update the price too.
- There’s no coding involved whatsoever. If you’ve ever built a webpage with HTML you know how frustrating it can be. One misplaced comma or character and suddenly the whole page out of whack. Lumavate is a no code platform so you don’t have to worry about that.
- Customers can save your catalog to their mobile devices for easy viewing. No need to search for it. They can easily peruse your product catalog anytime they want to.
Product Catalog Template
Lumavate also has a Product Catalog Template. With other programs, you may need to “fight” with them to ensure all the information is put in the right place. Our template makes it easy to include the products you want.
Our Product Catalog Template was created to help brands be more cost-effective when creating product catalogs by saving money on printing and shipping.
The online catalog template functionality includes:
- Product Information
- Product Images
- Product Manuals
- Related Accessories
- Ability to Save to Homescreen
Another added benefit to using a product catalog template like Lumavate is the ability to get insights on how customers are viewing the resource. With a printed product catalog, you can’t see important analytics like page views, what are the most popular pages, how long customers are spending on a particular section, etc.
Brands can’t even see if their product catalog was opened or even shipped correctly.
With a digital product catalog, brands can access these important analytics to help inform them of necessary iterations they should take to improve their resource. And because it’s digital, all updates are reflected instantaneously in the Interactive digital catalog.
How Much Does Catalog Design Cost?
How much catalog design costs depends on the method of delivery and software you use.
For example, let’s suppose you’ve created a printed product catalog. You thought the entire catalog was checked but you discovered a typo. Now you have to spend extra time to proof the catalog and extra money to reprint it. Even if the catalog has no errors you’ll need to reprint it when you add new products or remove obsolete ones.
Updating a digital product catalog is much cheaper. Instead of having to reprint the catalog, you’ll only need to update the PIM system. Your Lumavate-created catalog will be updated in real-time. Once the PIM system has been updated you can distribute the catalog like you had before.
When comparing the pricing between a printed catalog versus a digital catalog used with Lumavate, you’ll find it much more cost-effective to utilize Lumavate’s platform. Not only are our Enterprise and Professional plans cost-effective, but they’ll also save your team time. What do we mean by that? Your team's time is invaluable, and if they’re no longer spending hundreds of hours gathering product information to include in the product catalog and then making the product catalog with catalog design software
Like Adobe InDesign, and then shipping and printing the catalogs, your team will gain an incredible amount of time back so they can focus on other areas of the business.
Check out our scalable Lumavate pricing to learn more.
Check Out the Best Digital Catalog Maker Today
Lumavate is a no-code digital experience platform that can create many different experiences. No matter what your customers need, Lumavate has a solution. Book a demo today to see exactly what Lumavate can do for you.
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