Product Catalog Benefits

Do you want to promote your products and product lines in an appealing, eye-catching manner? Are you looking for a way to make it easy for sales partners to order your products? If so, a product catalog is the tool of choice. It's not hard to create one, and the benefits of doing so far outweigh the time and work it takes.

Product Catalog Meaning

product catalog or catalogue is a document showcasing important information about your company's products. It can also be referred to as a product guide or product list. This information includes product dimensions and specifications, product benefits, materials, maintenance, requirements, and prices. Most product catalogs also include multiple images of products from various angles.

What Is the Purpose of a Product Catalog?

What is the purpose of the catalog? The end goal of making a product catalog is to generate sales, and there are several ways in which product catalogs can boost a company's bottom line. Statistics show that three-quarters of consumers rely on product images when making purchase decisions, and product catalogs featuring high-quality images of a product from multiple angles are sure to generate sales. Product catalogs build brand awareness by helping people get familiar with your company name and products, which increases the likelihood that they will consider your company if they need what you have to offer. Product catalogs make it easy for consumers who are already familiar with your brand to compare two or three similar products to make a final purchase decision. Additionally, a catalog helps consumers who have already purchased one or more items find related parts and accessories.

Product catalogs also make it easy for your employees to promote your products to potential buyers. A catalog can simplify the onboarding process for new employees by making it easy for them to get to know your brand, products, and product benefits. They can help your salespeople answer consumer questions about product features, specs, benefits, and availability. 

What Is a Product Catalog Example?

There is more than one example of a catalog in business. Catalogs come in all sizes and styles. They can be casual, playful, or have an elegant vibe. They can be large, mid-sized, or small. Consider the following:

  • Company One sells furniture from a brick-and-mortar outlet. It has a printed catalog that buyers can view when deciding which items to purchase. It also has separate catalogs for various product lines. This makes it easy for buyers to find information on items that interest them.

  • Company Two runs an e-commerce website and sells toys. It has a product catalog PDF on its site that potential customers can view and download. Sales partners can also use the PDF catalog to view information and place orders. 

  • Company Three sells nutritional products in person and online. It has a printed product catalog for all its goods as well as separate catalogs for specific product lines. At the same time, it also uses software to make a digital catalog for its website. The digital catalog, unlike a PDF file, can be easily updated as the company introduces new products and/or discontinues old ones. 

Almost any company in any industry will have a product catalog to showcase its goods. They're ideal for firms selling products ranging from home appliances to gardening tools. At the same time, they're not just for sellers offering goods directly to the public. B2B companies selling goods ranging from light fixtures to garden appliances to construction supplies have found catalogs to be ideal for attracting sales partners. What's more, the sales partners can use a B2B company's catalog to promote the products. Creating sales resources for resellers helps to maintain brand consistency, which in turn builds brand awareness and brand loyalty.

It's also worth noting that digital catalogs are also useful for companies that sell products in person and not on the internet. A digital catalog that is regularly and automatically updated is ideal for use in email marketing and social media marketing. It can be printed as needed so customers can see what you offer at any point in time. Furthermore, your employees can use it to explain product benefits to customers and answer questions regarding product specs, features, and availability.

How Do I Create a Product Catalog?

There are two main types of product catalogs. These are PDF catalogs and digital catalogs. If you want to make a PDF catalog, you can get a product catalog template from software programs. You can also use catalog creation software to make product catalog PDFs look like a flipbook, which is ideal if you want to replicate a printed catalog. All you need to do is add your photos, type in your product information, and provide contact information. However, the downside of a PDF catalog is that it's static. If you add new products, add new features to current products, or some products are discontinued or go out of stock, your catalogs become outdated. It's not too hard to update a PDF catalog, but it does take time and work. In the meantime, people may be relying on outdated information and could become upset to discover that prices and product availability don't match what's advertised in the catalog. An outdated catalog can cause more harm than good by giving consumers a negative impression of your brand. 

A digital catalog is just as appealing as a PDF catalog, even if it doesn't look like a flipbook. However, the important difference is that you use software to make catalog information current. A digital catalog is typically attached to a company's product information management (PIM) system so that the catalog is automatically updated every time there are changes in your product line. This improves customer service standards and product experiences. What's more, it also boosts your SEO as your digital catalog will immediately show consumers information about new products as soon as they're released. 

What Is the Biggest Challenge to Overcome When Creating a Product Catalog?

Some of the biggest challenges to overcome when creating a digital product catalog are related to the collection of product data and digital assets you need to include in your catalog. Consider the following catalog management example scenarios:

  • Business One has product information scattered across multiple branch offices. This information is stored in file cabinets and storage compartments in different offices, and it's difficult if not impossible to know which information is the most up-to-date, as employees in different offices may add updates or cross out information without informing other branch offices. As it takes so much time and work to collect information, the business only makes and updates a catalog once a year. It’s outdated soon after being printed, which leaves customers confused about which items are available. Furthermore, Business One can’t include new products released in its catalog right away.

  • Business Two uses a database to keep track of product information. However, digital assets such as photos and warranty policies are scattered through different folders on the company's IT network. What's more, the database isn't cloud-based, so not all offices have up-to-date information. Catalog creation at this company is time-consuming and sometimes the best digital assets aren't used because they can't be easily found. The company creates multiple catalogs for its product lines and updates these regularly, but it takes a lot of time and hard work for employees to design and update the catalogs.

While these scenarios are commonplace, there is a simple solution to spending long hours searching for accurate product information and high-quality visuals. A PIM software program is a cloud-based platform specifically designed to make it easy for companies to store and use product data. Most PIM programs also come with digital asset management (DAM) tools so you can store images, videos, and file attachments with text data. Other handy features and amenities include a change log that enables you to keep track of system updates, tagging/filter options to allow you to find assets with ease, and integrations that connect your PIM platform with the programs your business already uses. 

Why Use a PIM Program to Make a Digital Catalog?

Now that we've explained the product catalog meaning in marketing and answered the question of "What does a product catalog do?", it's time to cover the benefits of using a PIM platform to make a catalog, go over questions you should ask yourself before choosing a PIM platform, and explain how to use a PIM program to make and update a digital catalog for your business.

Connecting a PIM platform with a digital experience platform (DXP) makes it easy to create a catalog without copying and pasting information from your PIM software program into a catalog creation program. A PIM platform can also automatically update your digital platform every time you add new information or new digital assets to your PIM software program. What's more, a PIM platform can also automatically update your e-store and third-party e-commerce platforms, and provide custom product recommendations based on a consumer's previous interactions with your brand. Lumavate is particularly ideal because its PIM software program includes digital asset management as well as product experience management tools. It's a three-in-one package that offers all the tools you need to promote your product information on your website, e-commerce platforms, and via printed and digital catalogs.

Understanding the Cost Options

Type in the question, "How do I create a free digital catalog?" into any search engine, and you'll get literally millions of free product catalog website names. Many platforms provide basic tools for business owners to create free digital catalogs; however, free catalog creation programs won't provide you with the features and amenities you need to create great catalogs. Some may not include product information management tools or integrate with your PIM system. This means you'll have to copy and paste information into the catalog creation program every single time you make a new catalog or update a current one. Other free tools may have limited template and design options, while still others may be time-limited free trial offers for paid programs. In almost any case, using a free program means investing long hours in not just creating a catalog but also updating it every time your product information changes.

Rather than looking for a free catalog creation program, it's best to look for one that's reasonably priced and that provides all the tools you need to create catalogs and other marketing tools to meet your company's needs. The Lumavate PIM/DXP platform will save you hundreds of hours of work by enabling you to make a great catalog in under an hour. There's nothing else to do when you're done designing your catalog as the PIM program automatically updates it whenever you add new product information to your product information management system. Lumavate is available in various price points, with the Professional and Enterprise plans both offering PIM functionality.  

Steps for Creating a Good Product Catalog

The first question to ask yourself is, "What is a good product catalog?" While some tips apply across the board (i.e.; using high-quality images, maintaining brand conformity, creating a compelling call to action, etc.), the best catalog design for your business will depend on factors specific to your company. Consider the needs and expectations of your target audience, as well as your unique selling proposition. Do you offer the lowest prices or the most luxurious goods? Do you stand out because your products are organic or eco-friendly, or because they have features and amenities your competitors don't provide? Your catalog should appeal to the people who are most likely to be interested in what you're offering. 

Next, collect the product information and digital assets you want to include in your catalog. Make sure all your material is in line with your brand voice, and then add the assets to your product information management solution. Once the assets are in your PIM system, choose a product catalog template, and add the assets to your catalog. Upload your catalog onto your website and then promote it by posting the link on your social media platforms and sending the link to people on your email marketing list. As time goes on and product information changes, your PIM platform will automatically update the catalog to ensure it's always accurate. 

Why Use Lumavate to Create and Update Your Product Catalog

While there are many PIM programs you can use to create a winning digital catalog, Lumavate stands out for several reasons. First, it's one of the few PIM software programs that includes product information management tools, digital asset management functionality, and a digital experience platform. It comes with free templates and free form builders to make it easy for you to promote products and events. It's "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) platform doesn't require you to learn code, and you can use it to not only create catalogs but also landing pageswebsites, and microsites. Lumavate can also automatically update your product listings on your website and third-party e-commerce platforms as well as offer custom product recommendations to boost sales. 

Another benefit of using Lumavate is that the onboarding process is fast and easy. Most PIM software companies create custom solutions for clients, which means that you'll be waiting days or even weeks for the firm to offer a price quote and then have its technicians get your new PIM system up and running. With Lumavate, you just need to choose a price plan, pay for it, and then start using your new PIM software program. If you need added functionality, you just have to upgrade to another price plan.

Product catalogs play an important role in building brand awareness, generating sales, and boosting brand loyalty. They're particularly powerful because they increase the vividness of your products by making it easy for potential customers to see how your products can be used and to imagine themselves using your goods. While research indicates that catalogs are particularly powerful when offering items being sold for personal enjoyment, companies in all industries have found them useful for creating an emotional connection with their target audience. With Lumavate, your product catalogs can be even more efficient, effective, and powerful than ever before. Lumavate's PIM platform will not only give you the tools you need to design an eye-catching catalog but also help you keep it updated to improve consumer interactions with your brand and boost your SEO. Get in touch with us to find out more about our services and tools, or to schedule a free product demonstration.

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.