Product Catalog Template
You have decided it is time to purchase a new refrigerator and visit your local store to look at some options. There are numerous variations available and you quickly become overwhelmed with all of the choices. You find yourself wondering if there is a document where you can easily see all of the information in one place. You know you can search online, but you could spend hours searching and still might not find what you are looking for.
This is where product catalogs come into play. A product catalog can provide valuable information to consumers about specific products and can help them with making informed decisions when purchasing a new product.
Product catalogs can also be extremely helpful to retailers or dealers when looking for new products for their stores to carry.
What Is a Product Catalog?
According to Gartner, the definition of a product catalog is it “contains all commercial product information that enables product marketing managers to define and map new product offerings. This encompasses certain sets of tools that allow configuration of new products and service bundles, pricing and discounts.” A simple definition is that a product catalog is a document that contains a list of all of a company’s products. Product catalogs are also often referred to as product guides, product catalogues, or product lists.
Product catalogs can be delivered in a number of different ways, including a printed version or a digital version. You might be familiar with a product catalog as the large book that would show up in the mail. You would then flip through the catalog to find the product you were looking for. This option would be considered a printed product catalog.
These days product catalogs are more commonly delivered in a digital version. A digital product catalog can also be delivered in a number of different ways. One option is a static PDF version shown on a website, while another option would be one that can be updated in real-time. This would be the case if the product catalog was connected to a product information management (PIM) solution. We will discuss this in greater detail in the upcoming sections.
What Does a Product Datalog Contain?
The type of information that is included in a product catalog really depends on the company and what they want available to the public, employees, or the retailers and dealers who purchase their products. With this in mind, a product catalog typically contains a full listing of all the products a company has to offer. The catalog can also include additional product information, including product descriptions, pricing, photos, features and benefits, and additional size options. Another important item to include in a product catalog is related parts and accessories for each product. This can be extremely impactful and can help increase sales on aftermarket parts.
How Do You Write Content for a Product Catalog?
Writing content for a product catalog can be a cumbersome part of the process. There are numerous things to consider when determining what content you would like to include. Before you can begin writing the content, you will need to complete the steps we describe below to start creating a product catalog.
How Do I Create a Product Catalog?
Whether you have created numerous product catalogs or this is the first time you are creating one, there are several steps and questions to consider. One of the most important questions to ask is what should be included in a product catalog? This is important because it helps determine what you want to include in your product catalog and will assist you in starting this document.
Let’s walk through the key steps for creating a product catalog:
- Determine the structure of your product catalog and figure out all the information you want to be included. This can include the name of the product, along with a product description, price, size details, features, and accessories.
- Gather all of the product information and the related assets. Now that you have determined what you want to include, the next step is to gather all of the information. This particular step could take a significant amount of time, as you will likely have to work with various departments to gather the required information. This step may also involve writing some of the content, especially for new products and products that do not yet have written content.
- Now that you have gathered all of the information, it is time to add the product data and related assets into a product information management (PIM) solution. If you do not have a PIM, another option would be to add this information to an Excel spreadsheet.
- Create a digital experience that is tied to your product catalog management solution. When using a digital experience that is tied to a PIM, this can provide up-to-date product information anytime the product catalog is accessed by your customers. From a set-up perspective, it can also assist in completing the catalog quicker.
- Update your product data and related assets using the PIM. As described in step four, if this is connected to a digital experience, once the data is updated it will automatically be reflected in the corresponding experience. This means that anyone who views the digital experience will always be accessing the latest information.
If this is the first time you are creating a product catalog, starting with a simple one is a great starting point. Overtime you can continue to add to it and expand what is displayed.
What Makes a Good Interactive Product Catalog?
A good product catalog is one that is easy to use and navigate. Imagine trying to find product information and spending an extensive amount of time searching for a specific product. This can quickly become frustrating and will likely leave you with a negative experience. This negative experience could affect your purchasing decisions when looking at this company in the future. Essentially, a good interactive product catalog is one that provides detailed information about the products available, is easy to read, is clear and concise, and is always up-to-date.
Another thing that can be included in a digital product catalog and not a printed version, is the option to search and filter the data. This will help make finding the relevant information a lot easier. This does not mean that a PDF version or physical copy is not useful as well, however digital does offer more flexibility.
What Is an Example of a Product Catalog?
A product catalog can be used by any type of company in any type of industry. With this in mind, one of the most common types of companies that use a product catalog is manufacturing companies. A good catalog example for manufacturing companies is one that showcases their light fixtures, home appliances, faucets, and lawn and garden tools.
Product catalogs are commonly delivered in one of two ways, either as a PDF or a digital catalog. Manufacturing companies typically use a product catalog PDF version. They often use software that allows them to make the PDF more interactive, like a flipbook. This means that you can click on one side of the document and it will act like it ‘flips’ to the next page. While this is a nice way to provide your product catalog to your customers, the downside to this version is that it is still a static document and is not connected to your product data. This means that if there are any changes to the product data, it will not automatically be updated in the product catalog. Instead, those who are in charge of managing this data and document will be required to update the PDF each time data is changed.
A newer alternative option is to create a fully digital version of the product catalog. Once you have decided to create a digital product catalog, the ideal scenario would be to tie this to a product information management (PIM) solution and a digital experience platform (DXP). The benefit of these solutions is that any time product data and the related digital assets are updated in the PIM, it will also automatically update the digital product catalog. This solution would ensure that your customers are always accessing the latest data and that staff members can quickly and easily manage the data and product catalog.
What Program Can I Use to Make a Catalog?
Product catalogs can be created in a number of ways, as discussed above, and there are numerous programs or solutions on the market.
One example of a solution is creating a simple product catalog in Excel. It is common for manufacturers to store their product data in a spreadsheet, which means they will likely already have some of the data collected. This is a common solution for companies that do not have a product information management (PIM) solution.
While Excel works well for storing your product data, it does not necessarily make using this data easy. Those who use Excel spreadsheets to store their product data will find using this data to create a product catalog difficult. The reason for this is that it requires the team to manually pull this data from the Excel spreadsheet and then manually enter the data into another program. If the data is regularly updated, then the team will have to repeat this process over and over by updating the Excel file, then the product catalog. This can quickly become a very cumbersome process and will become a very frustrating process for staff members.
There are also numerous challenges when using Excel as your product catalog. Here are some of the common challenges:
- It is not easily updated when there are multiple people working on the document within your organization. This can be a problem, as there are likely multiple people who manage the different product areas.
- Dealers and consumers will have a difficult time accessing the latest information. If the data is regularly changed, this can be a challenging area.
- Updates made in the Excel file will not automatically update the product catalog.
With all of these challenges in mind, there is an alternative option to create a product catalog.
Another option is to search online for a product catalog template free download. With this method, you will likely find solutions that work, but since it is free, there will be limitations to the features that are available.
An ideal scenario would be to create an interactive digital product catalog. This would require using a product information management (PIM) solution to store your product data, then using a digital experience platform (DXP) to create a digital experience that displays this information. Selecting a product catalog maker that provides a product catalog template, can save your business a significant amount of time, as it provides a blueprint for how to create the catalog.
If you select a solution like Lumavate, you will be able to easily manage your product data and digital assets. Lumavate is a no-code digital experience platform (DXP) that allows you to quickly and easily create digital experiences. Lumavate also has a PIM solution, which allows you to connect your data to a digital experience. This means you can quickly create a product catalog that can be accessed by your customers. It also means that you can have real-time product data available to your customers within minutes. With this in mind, you can reduce your speed to market and save your company time and money. Lumavate also provides numerous templates to help you get started even quicker. Lumavate also has a template that can be utilized as a starting point for your product guide. The template can help you with the following:
- Display product information
- Share product manuals
- Display product images
- Highlight related accessories
- Allow customer to save it to their home screen
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