Product Catalog Software

Product catalogs make it easy for your company to present its products to the public. They make it easy for new staff members to understand who you are and what you offer, thus reducing employee training time. Additionally, they boost your conversion rate by making it easy for interested customers to find the information they need right away. 

However, not all product catalogs are equal. Some are better than others, and the way you present your data in a catalog can have an outsize impact on the long-term success of your business.

What Is a Product Catalog?

A product catalog is a document showcasing company products. It typically contains images of the product in question, along with images of the same product being used by happy customers. A product catalog lists available products, along with basic information about the product so potential buyers can make an informed purchase decision.

There are various ways to design a catalog. Some companies have a full catalog for all their products. This can be helpful if you're a wholesaler offering supplies to retail outlets as buyers can refer to a single catalog to see what you have to offer. However, if you're selling to the public, it can be a good idea to break up your catalog into different parts. 

For instance, a company that sells kitchen supplies may want to have one catalog for dishware and another catalog for cooking utensils. You can even create mini-catalogs to highlight a particular collection or brand.

What Is a Product Catalog Software?

What is product catalog software? Product catalog software is a program with the tools and amenities you need to create great product catalogs. Some of the best product catalog software options on the market include AnyFlip, FlipBuilder, iPaper, Maglr, and Documoto.

Types of Product Catalogs

What is an example of a product catalog? There are many ways to design a catalog; however, they fall under three main formats:

  • Print catalog. Brick-and-mortar companies use print catalogs, but online sellers may offer them as well. Print catalogs are useful if your business attends exhibitions or trade shows. They're also ideal if your target audience prefers print materials to digital ones; however, they're fast becoming out-of-date. Nearly 70 percent of businesses say they plan to stop printing catalogs over the next five years.

  • Digital catalog. Digital catalogs are .pdf files. You can post them on your website and email them to potential customers. If users want the information in print, they can print your catalog at home or in the office. However, the downside of a .pdf catalog is that it's not easy to update if you discontinue old products, add new ones, or add new features/amenities to existing products. What's more, customers can easily get confused about your product offerings if they are inadvertently relying on an outdated catalog for information.

  • Online catalog. An online catalog isn't a file that can be sent as an email attachment. However, you can send potential customers the link to the catalog so they can view it on your website. An online catalog can be every bit as eye-catching as a printed or digital file; what's more, you can keep it updated in real-time to ensure all the information is accurate. This enables you to promote new products faster than would otherwise be possible. It's also ideal if you offer seasonal items that aren't available year-round. Customers can count on the catalog to always be up-to-date, and you won't have to worry about someone inadvertently relying on an outdated catalog for information. The link to the catalog remains the same no matter how many updates you make.

Common Product Catalog Creation Challenges

It's not easy to create a great product catalog. You'll need high-quality images that showcase your products in the best possible light, as well as pictures of people using your products. You'll need engaging product descriptions that capture attention and accurately convey the many benefits of doing business with your company. You'll also need someone who knows how to use the best catalog design software to create an appealing catalog in line with your brand guidelines.

Another problem many companies face when creating a catalog is finding all the information and digital assets they need to complete the project. Some product images may be on one computer while others are on a different computer. Product information may likewise be scattered across various file cabinets and/or digital folders. The problem is compounded if you have more than one branch office, as you may need to call various offices to make sure the information you're going to print is accurate and up-to-date. Thankfully, these problems can all be solved by a good Product Information Management (PIM) software program.

PIM software programs have the tools and amenities you need to store all information about each product in its own separate folder. They have search filters to make it easy for you to find whatever you're looking for. They even have tools to help you create an ideal catalog without using separate catalog design software.

What Is a PIM Catalog?

A PIM catalog is a catalog created using the templates and tools in a PIM program. Because these tools are integrated with your product information management system, you don't have to switch back and forth between programs when creating a catalog. You also don't have to hire a designer to do the job, which saves you time and money. Even more importantly, using PIM software to create catalog ensures all your information is up to date. You won't have to worry about forgetting important product benefits or inadvertently adding outdated images because the PIM system acts as a "source of truth" for your company's products and is always accurate and up-to-date.

What Is the Best Way to Create a Catalog?

Creating a digital catalog is the best option for most business owners. Most people are used to accessing product information online. What's more, you can always print out your digital catalog if you need to give someone a paper copy.

A digital catalog is easy to update, which enables you to advertise your new products as soon as they're available. You can easily add new discount coupons to attract attention to sales and special offers. It's great for SEO because it's authoritative and attention-grabbing. It also builds brand loyalty because customers know they can trust you to provide accurate information at all times.

How do I make a simple product catalog? How do I create an online catalog? These are common questions. Not all business owners are tech-savvy, and hiring a professional to handle product catalog layout can be costly. At the same time, your product catalog has to be professional, appealing, and in line with your brand voice to attract customers and generate sales.

The good news is that creating an online catalog isn't as hard as designing a .pdf or print catalog. This is especially true if you use a PIM system that offers free templates and forms. At the same time, you can't rush through the process or count on product catalog management software to do everything for you. Good product catalog management is a must if you want your catalog to generate a high return on investment.

What Is Product Catalog Management?

Catalog management software can save you a lot of time and hassle. However, there are some aspects of catalog creation that require your careful attention. You'll need to create engaging product descriptions, highlight the advantages of doing business with your firm, and take plenty of pictures of your products from different angles. You'll also need to do consumer research to identify the needs and wants of your target audience to create a catalog that will grab their interest and that they'll want to share with others. Furthermore, you'll need to decide on which brand colors and voice style to use in your catalog to maintain brand conformity across all your channels.

In a large or mid-size company, you'll likely have more than one person in charge of product catalog management. Small companies will likely have one person who is not only in charge of the process but also does most of the work. The person handling product catalog management will also likely be in charge of the company's product information management.

What Is Product Information Management?

Product information management is the process of managing all product information you use to keep track of, sell, and service products. It includes text content such as product descriptions, benefits, features, dimensions, and product reviews. It also includes digital assets such as product images, walkthrough videos, how-to videos, owner's manuals, installation/assembly instructions, and warranty policies.

A Product Information Management system can also be the best catalog management software, but it's not just about product promotion. Its primary aim is to act as a single "source of truth" that stores all information related to each of your products for sale in an easily accessible location. Most PIM programs are cloud-based to allow authorized employees to access the database from any location. What's more, many come with a change log so you can keep tabs on information that's been added, removed, or updated.

Why Is a PIM Platform the Best Product Catalog Management Software Option?

What is the best program to create a catalog? The answer to this question depends on multiple factors, including your industry, business size, the type of catalog or catalogs you need to create, etc. Even so, using a PIM solution gives you access to tools and amenities that regular product catalog software doesn't offer. With a PIM platform, you can easily access your product data. It will be easy to find information and images to include in your catalog, and you can rest assured that your product catalog is mistake-free. Even more importantly, your PIM platform can automatically update your product catalog as needed. This not only saves you a lot of time and hassle but also improves your brand reputation.

PIM Software: What are the Options?

There are many free PIM software programs to pick from, including OneTimePIM, Kontainer, MarketStudio, and Poleepo. However, free PIM programs often have limited features, thus making them less than ideal for product catalog management and creation.

Some of the best-known PIM and catalog creation programs on the market include Catsy, Salsify, Inriver, Pimcore, Plytix, and Lumavate. These programs have a range of tools to help you not only manage your product information but also share that information with your target audience. They allow you to store text, digital assets, and file attachments in a single location so you can keep all information pertaining to a product in the same location. They integrate with other programs to help you write up and design your product catalogs. They can also update your catalogs as needed. Even so, Lumavate stands out from other, similar PIM programs because it comes with a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) that offers a huge range of tools and amenities to help you promote your products, services, and events. What's more, Lumavate is continually updating its platform to include new tools and features for its users.

How to Choose the Right PIM

Choosing the right PIM for your business can be a challenge. Following are some points to keep in mind when deciding which software program to purchase:

  • What level of functionality do I need? Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality is a must as it enables you to store images, videos, and file attachments with text information. A platform with unlimited storage space is also a good idea, as is a platform that allows you to add an unlimited number of products to the system.

  • What other systems do I need to integrate with? Integration saves you time and can help avoid human error.

  • How will I use this program? PIM systems have multiple functionalities. Some have AI text generators to create product descriptions. Most will send information to your e-commerce platform and even provide custom product recommendations to customers. Lumavate has a full DXP platform to help you create catalogs and other marketing materials.

  • How long will it take to get the platform up and running? Most PIM platforms have an IT technician set up the PIM software for clients. The onboarding process can take days or even weeks and some companies require that you pay extra for their IT assistance. Lumavate, on the other hand, offers price plans that you can pick from. Once you choose a plan and pay for it, you can immediately start using the PIM system.

  • How do I create a digital product catalog? Some PIM programs are more complex than others. Tools and features can also vary depending on the platform and price plan you pick. Lumavate's software doesn't require coding. It's a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) platform.

  • How much does it cost? The cost of a PIM system ranges from $1,000 to well over $100,000 a month. The cost of the platform you pick can be unclear at first as most PIM companies don't post price plans. Rather, you have to contact the company with your business information, explain the level of functionality you need, and wait for a custom quote. Lumavate, however, has price plans ranging from $499 a month to $4,999 a month. It's up to 75 percent more cost-effective than other, similar solutions on the market. What's more, the company's Growth and Enterprise plans include text messaging services to boost your digital marketing campaign.

How to Create a Product Catalog with Lumavate

Creating a product catalog is easy when you use the Lumavate platform:

  • First, put all the information you want to use in your catalog in the Lumavate PIM system.

  • Create a digital experience tied to your PIM solution. This ensures the catalog always provides up-to-date information to end users.

  • Choose your templates and build the forms of your choice.

  • Lumavate will do the heavy lifting and create the catalog in accordance with your specifications. The process can take less than 30 minutes once your information is in the PIM system.

Product catalog software can't hold a candle to what a PIM program can offer. A PIM program can not only create catalogs and other marketing materials but also help you store product data, update e-commerce platforms, provide customers with custom product recommendations, and more. There are many PIM software programs to pick from but Lumavate stands out from the rest because it's easy to use, has all the tools and features you need to promote your business, and is more affordable than other PIM platforms. Get in touch with us at your convenience to find out more about our system or schedule a free demo.

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.