Product Catalog Maker
What Is a Product Catalog?
Your dishwasher hasn’t been working as it should for quite some time now. You know you need to replace it but with the number of options on the market, it can be overwhelming for consumers to know what product they should purchase based on their needs.
Brands can win over customers by creating resources that help narrow down the options available for customers based on their needs and preferences. These resources are called product catalogs and are extremely beneficial for brands to win over customers in the decision phase of the customer journey.
A product catalog typically contains a list of all of the company’s products and is a valuable resource for customers to use when they’re in the market to make a purchase. You’ve likely used a product catalog before if you’ve purchased a product like a lawn mower, faucet, or even a television.
Product catalogs contain product information that equips buyers with product information including:
- Product Descriptions
- Product Name
- Features and Benefits
The term product catalog tends to be used interchangeably with product guide, product list, or even the British spelling of the term - product catalogue.
No matter what phrasing you use, these are all essentially the same resource to guide customers to finding the right product for their needs and helping your brand capture the dollars of new consumers and retain your current customers.
What Is a Digital Catalog?
From how we shop to how we view restaurant menus has all moved to digital formats. Product catalogs are no exception to the movement towards digital.
Consumer expectations have risen dramatically in the past several years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, customers expect their shopping experiences and content to be seamless, engaging, and immediate. That puts a lot of pressure on brands to meet consumers where they are and not fall short of these high expectations. That’s why creating an online catalog is imperative to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
A digital catalog is similar to a traditional catalog in that it displays the brand’s products and pertinent product information for customers to read. But how these two catalog formats are presented and how customers engage with the content are drastically different.
Digital catalogs are inherently more interactive for the customer and provide an enhanced user experience than a printed copy of a product catalog or a PDF version. Digital catalogs are easier to navigate and oftentimes are searchable so users can quickly find what they’re after.
Creating a digital version of your brand’s catalog on your company’s website is a win-win for you and your customers. It’s always up-to-date when connected to a product information management (PIM) solution which means your customers can come to depend on the resource, and your team doesn’t have to spend countless hours updating a PDF.
An added bonus of creating a digital catalog is the ability for brands to go paperless. Your customers will appreciate not having to physically flip through countless pages of paper as digital product catalogs can be accessed through a QR code on a user’s smartphone. Plus, your brand can play its part in helping the environment and saving a few trees.
Product Catalog PDF vs. Digital Catalogs
There are essentially two ways brands can format a product catalog, via a PDF or digitally. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of catalogs.
A PDF product catalog is a static resource containing basic product information for customers to view a brand’s products. Brands that create PDF versions of their product guides usually utilize design software like Adobe InDesign to design and create these resources. They are cumbersome to create and the data within them is often outdated shortly after their creation.
A digital catalog is typically created by taking the data stored in a PIM solution and harnessing the power of a digital experience platform to present the product information in an interactive and accurate format for readers. Digital product catalogs can save brands a ton of time and are easier to manage than their traditional PDF counterpart.
What Are the Benefits From Creating Digital Catalogs?
Creating a digital product catalog will make your team more efficient and lead to fewer errors in your content.
Here are just some of the benefits brands can witness when creating a digital product catalog:
- Increased Revenue Through Related Accessories
- Enhanced Customer Experience
- Ability to Capture Zero-party Data with Digital Forms
- Increased Brand Loyalty
- Decrease Shipping and Printing Costs
Additionally, creating a digital catalog can contribute to your brand’s SEO efforts. If you’re not familiar with SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, let’s take a quick look at how creating a digital catalog can increase brand awareness and revenue for your brand.
Let’s say an individual is interested in purchasing a new lawn mower. One of the first steps they’ll take is completing a Google search. Brands that have helpful and informative content are the ones that reach the top of these search results.
When done correctly, SEO helps a brand’s content appear before its competitors. It increases visibility for a brand, so when the customer in our lawn mower example goes to search “best lawn mowers,” it’s your brand’s catalog that appears - especially if your competitors are still printing their product catalogs.
SEO is also a great cost-effective marketing strategy for your brand. Optimizing your product catalog for SEO is an extremely effective and inexpensive way to get your product catalog noticed by your customers.
How to Make a Product Catalog
There are several options marketers have when it comes to creating a product catalog.
Adobe is a powerful marketing tool that countless marketing teams rely on to design their marketing materials. Marketing teams may also choose to design their product catalog using Adobe.
When brands choose to create their product guide using Adobe InDesign, they are usually solely creating a PDF version of their product catalog. Adobe is a trusted software solution but is problematic for creating interactive customer resources like product catalogs for several reasons. One is that PDFs do not lead to an engaging customer experience. PDFs aren’t engaging and can be overwhelming for users to flip through tons of product data.
Perhaps the most important consideration is the limitations Adobe can present in updating product information. It is extremely common for product data to change - new prices, new accessories, recalled accessories etc. A design software requires that all of these updates be made manually. The marketing team must then share and distribute the updated version, attempting to replace the older versions that have been shared.
Your customers need a dependable product catalog they turn to in order to consume accurate product information - and your brand needs a platform to create this marketing reason easily and efficiently. That’s why we recommend brands use a product catalog maker to create these valuable resources.
Product Catalog Maker
Another option available for marketing teams to create a product catalog is a product catalog maker like a digital experience platform.
A digital experience platform (DXP) is a software solution that enables marketing teams to create digital experiences, like digital product catalogs, without the use of developers. Another benefit to using a DXP to create a digital experience is it saves time and money for brands to make a product catalog. Because the product catalog is created digitally, brands don’t have to spend money on printing or shipping, nor do they have to wait weeks or even months for these items to reach their customers. Digital catalog makers are the best options for businesses that want to beat their competition while providing an engaging experience for their customers.
How Do You Design a Product Catalog?
Below are the steps for designing a product catalog.
- Determine the Structure - The first step in designing a product catalog is determining the structure and the product information you want to include in the resource.
- Gather the Data - Gather all of the product information and related assets from your brand’s product line.
- Add Product Information - When using a PIM solution, your team will want to add all of the product information you’ve gathered in the previous step and add it to the centralized location. This will ensure the actual creation of your product guide is seamless for your team.
- Create a Digital Experience - When using a DXP that is tied to your PIM solution, you can provide up-to-date product information when the product guide/catalog is accessed.
- Continuously Update Your Product Data - You will most likely have updates to product data and their related accessories. When using a PIM, your team can make these updates ad hoc and have them instantaneously updated in your product catalog.
Using a solution like Lumavate makes it easy for you to complete these steps, manage your product data, and create digital experiences tied to product data in less than 30 minutes. Schedule a demo today to learn more.
What Software Is Best for Making a Catalog?
When looking for a digital catalog maker, Lumavate is a great choice for both managing your product data and creating a front-end digital experience to display the information.
Lumavate’s digital catalog software capabilities enable marketing teams to create an interactive product catalog digital experience in less than 30 minutes. Lumavate even has a simple product catalog template marketers can use to accelerate their digital experience building.
Our Product Catalog Template holds many benefits for brands including increased brand loyalty, increased revenue, decreased costs, and more. Lumavate’s online catalog template has the following functionality:
- Detailed Product Information
- Product Images
- Product Descriptions
- Related Accessories
- And More
In addition to product catalog design templates, Lumavate offers a PIM solution in its DXP which allows marketers at manufacturing companies to easily create product catalogs by storing their brand’s product data in this solution.
When using Lumavate’s PIM software and DXP, your data is always accurate. Any changes you make to the product data are immediately reflected in the digital experience.
Take a look at an overview of Lumavate’s PIM solution and how you can use it to centralize your product data and digital assets.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Product Catalog?
Depending if your brand creates a printed product catalog or a digital version will determine the price for making a product catalog. The cost of a product catalog goes beyond dollars. Not only is going the traditional way to make a product catalog expensive, but it also takes up an incredible amount of the marketing team’s time.
If a company uses spreadsheets to manage product data, teams could spend 30-plus hours updating a product catalog annually - and that doesn’t even account for the likely hundreds of hours required to create a product guide from scratch, using traditional methods.
When brands are forward-thinking and understand the importance of investing in a platform to create digital product catalogs using a PIM and DXP, the cost of making a product catalog is significantly lower for businesses.
Not only are the solutions used to create digital product catalogs less expensive than traditional methods, but they will significantly decrease the time it takes teams to create one. Once all of the product data and related digital assets are entered into a PIM solution, it should take a team no more than 30 minutes to build out a comprehensive product catalog digital experience when using Lumavate.
On Lumavate’s Professional and Enterprise plans, teams get access to our PIM solution and can create an unlimited amount of digital experience that is extremely cost-effective. Teams that choose Lumavate’s Enterprise plan have access to Premium Support which means a dedicated member of the Lumavate team will be with you every step of the way when transitioning your product data to our PIM solution and when you start to create a digital product catalog. Sure, the best free online catalog maker might not require any payment from your company, but investing in a solution like Lumavate ensures your team is successful when creating an engaging product catalog digital experience.
Make a Product Catalog with Lumavate
Your team needs a centralized place to store product data and digital assets. Your team also needs an easy-to-use solution to create engaging product catalog digital experiences.
Lumavate can help with both. Schedule a meeting with one of our product experts to see how our team can help you increase your speed to market and increase revenue for your business via a digital product catalog today. Or take an on-demand tour to see our PIM solution capabilities to see for yourself how easy it is to store and manage your product data using Lumavate.