Product Information PDF
What Is Product Information?
As the name suggests, product information comprises everything about a given product. What is the definition of a product? The definition of product is anything that a company sells, whether or not they manufacture those items.
What does product information include? Product information includes factual information about the product, such as the product’s SKU, pricing, features, dimensions, functions, and more. Additionally, product information refers to the more personal aspects of the product, including the benefits of the product and the types of consumers that would most benefit from the item. Lastly, product information also consists of digital elements relating to the product; this can include digital owner’s manuals, spec sheets, photos, and product videos.
What Is the Role of Product Management?
Product information is important because it assists in every area of the business operation. From a logistics perspective, product information helps with distribution, order fulfillment, and getting the product on store shelves. In terms of marketing, the importance of product information is massive in promoting the product, creating advertising materials, and appealing to various groups of customers who might benefit from the product.
All of these factors are governed by product management. Product management comprises far more than simply storing all of these elements. Product management examples include keeping track of all of the company’s different product offerings, how they differ from each other, and the particulars of each item. Every facet of each product must be carefully stored, organized, and made available for quick distribution as needed. This includes general product facts, digital elements, offline materials, and much more.
Additionally, product managers must also keep information up to date as it changes. If the company updates a price or changes the shipping dimensions of a product, the product manager must make that change in their internal systems immediately. Failure to keep organized will result in the consumer receiving wrong information, which could ultimately cause them to purchase from a different organization.
That final point is the real key to product management. The ultimate goal of product information is to inform the consumer, build up trust between business and shopper, and show the customer that they are making a wise investment when buying a particular product. If there are any breaks in that chain -- if the consumer has any reason to distrust the company or question its integrity -- then the product manager has failed.
In some businesses, there is a full-time product manager tasked with overseeing all of this information. In other instances, several employees handle product management in addition to their other duties. But in all cases, the actual management of product information is made far easier with a dedicated product information management system, aided by product information management software.
Importance of Product Management
While the main goal of product information is to inform the customer, the key to product information management is to make it as easy as possible to do what is necessary to sell the customer. Therefore, the top objective of product information management is to store all of the company’s product information in one centralized, accessible location.
The reasons for this are clear. With so many products for a company to manage, and with each individual product having its own specifications and features, it’s important for the company to keep everything as clear-cut as possible. This is best accomplished with a centralized focus that ensures that all products are clearly defined and differentiated from each other from a business perspective. If individual employees have their own files, it’s easy for them to confuse one product for another, or to fail to update their information with the latest iterations of company data. This leads to poor communication within the organization, which eventually results in an unsatisfied customer.
However, if the company as a whole has its product information neatly organized, with a structured process for updates, then this confusion does not occur. In this centralized scenario, everyone knows exactly where to go for product information, and this information can be accessed and utilized by multiple employees at the same time. The end result is stellar customer service, which results in consumers who are more likely to consider buying from the company.
Product information management is made much easier by software whose sole focus is on streamlining the product information across the entire organization. These programs, often referred to as PIM solutions (PIM being the acronym for product information management) or PIM software, assist companies by providing the technological framework necessary to organize and administer access to the company’s product files. The best PIM software programs also come with additional features, such as digital asset management, so that online files can easily be edited and shared by users. Because of this infrastructure and the ease at which digital files can be utilized, the company’s ability to use these assets in sales and marketing initiatives is much more manageable.
Product Information Pages
A product information page is a section of a company’s website (also available in print, if necessary) that has information relating specifically to one unique product. Each distinct product should have its own product page, so that customers can understand exactly what they’re getting if they decide to purchase this item. What is the product? What is the basic information of a product? What is the general description of a product? The product information page should answer these questions, and much more. The page should contain everything a customer could possibly want to know about a given product. Pricing information, product dimensions, shipping timeframes, uses, benefits, manuals, how-to videos, product demos, and troubleshooting information are just a few elements that should be on every product page. Additional information can also be included, depending on the industry and the desires of the company.
How do you write product information? It’s important to go beyond simply listing out a product’s attributes. A good product information page is one that takes the customer’s situation into account. What does the customer want to see on a product information page? What are their needs? What issues are they currently struggling with, and how will this product help to resolve those issues? Furthermore, the product page can still have significant value after the sale, and that should be taken into account as well. Help videos, Q&As, usage tips, and troubleshooting can turn a product page into a valuable resource for anyone who’s already purchased the product.
Product pages must serve a variety of purposes. They have to inform and educate consumers. They also have to facilitate online ordering through a simple and streamlined process. And, they have to serve as an aid for people who have bought the item and need additional assistance. It’s through the lens of these three considerations that the best product information pages are made.
Product Detail Pages
Product detail pages are similar to product information pages, but have one significant difference. While a product information page is designed to store all of the information about a product, product detail pages are geared towards the consumer’s unique stage in the buyer’s journey. For instance, a customer just doing a preliminary search for a type of product might end up on a product detail page with general product information and the opportunity to view a video highlighting the product’s features. At the same time, a consumer much further down their path to purchase might get a more aggressively worded page speaking to their pain points, explaining why the product will solve those issues, and a promo code enticing them to buy now. In this way, there can be multiple product detail pages, and even more than one detail page for each stage of the buyer’s journey. These are just a few product information examples of how detail pages can be useful for businesses.
As we saw with product information pages, a good product detail page relies heavily on understanding the intent of the user who will access this page. Product detail pages don’t have as much information as product information pages, so they must be carefully designed to present only the information necessary to move the consumer to the next page of their path to purchase. After all, what is the purpose of product information in business? Simply put, to make sales. The best product detail pages engage the viewer, speaking directly to their situation while encouraging them to go further in their consideration of the product.
A product catalog is essentially a short-form combination of all of the product information pages within a company. Its purpose is to showcase the types of product sold by the company, so that people can peruse the catalog and find the right product for them. Product catalogs can be on paper or digital, based on the needs of consumers and the organization.
One significant perk of catalogs is that they feature everything the company offers, and can be organized in any way desired. This lets the company place products near other products that they feel would make good additions to their order. Some different products examples are suggesting batteries to go with a handheld appliance, or garbage bags to accompany a vacuum. By doing this, businesses can encourage the sale of additional products that might otherwise go unnoticed. Therefore, catalogs are vital parts of a smart company’s product marketing strategy.
However, actually creating the catalog can be a challenge for some companies. That’s because those businesses don’t have a true product information management solution installed. Instead, they rely on Excel spreadsheets, emailed files, and assets that are stored individually. While these companies may mean well, and while it’s possible that this works to some extent for some businesses, the reality is that miscommunication is inevitable -- especially when it comes to making annual updates to the catalog. This leads to confusion among staff, which ultimately results in a fragmented brand message that sends the customer running to a more cohesive organization.
A company that uses a PIM solution, though, will find itself highly organized and well-equipped to handle an undertaking like a product catalog. Instead of sending around obsolete Excel files and outdated images, a company that uses PIM software knows exactly where its most current files are stored. Therefore, it’s capable of responding immediately to customer demand. What’s more, thanks to its tidiness in regard to data and digital assets, it’s able to easily create a product catalog of any sort, whether it be print or digital.
Traditionally, catalogs have been printed out and distributed offline, via mail or in-store giveaways. These catalogs are great for consumers because they are tangible, they can be easily left in a place that will allow people to remember them, and they can be browsed at the consumer’s leisure. The downside to print catalogs is that there is no digital component to them. They’re wonderful for product information, but they don’t take consumers to the next level of actually making a purchase through the catalog. They also don’t automatically receive updates that are entered into the company’s PIM software.
Digital PDF Catalogs
Another alternative is a digital PDF catalog. This is essentially a digital version of a print catalog. It’s much cheaper to distribute a PDF catalog than a print catalog, and it can be easily shared by customers who want to refer a company to others.
To create a PDF catalog, businesses use a program like Adobe InDesign to create the layout of the catalog. Some companies may also be able to use Word or Canva for their catalogs. Once complete, the catalog is exported into a PDF file, and from there, the PDF is uploaded to the company website and distributed via email.
It’s worth noting that, much like an offline catalog, a product information PDF catalog is only accurate on the day it’s created. Updates to product offerings, specifications, or prices must be entered into the catalog manually. This opens up the chance of a customer receiving an outdated catalog; it’s also possible that mistakes may be made when doing a manual update to the catalog.
Digital Product Catalog
A digital PDF catalog does have its benefits -- the ability to search the catalog for a keyword is a big plus -- but in many respects it does more harm than good. Like an offline catalog, a PDF catalog is static, meaning that it doesn’t change, even if the products and their prices change. A product information example of something that’s immediately out of date is a name change or packaging change that isn’t reflected in the catalog. Furthermore, a PDF is stored in a folder on a computer, on a website, or stuffed in a crowded email inbox. None of these options have a great deal of visibility, which makes it easy for shoppers to forget about the catalog altogether.
The final option for product catalogs -- a fully digital catalog -- combines the best of both worlds. It’s an online catalog, but instead of being emailed around, it’s hosted directly on the company website. This may seem like a step back, but it’s actually a great thing, because the catalog will update anytime changes are made to the product information system (PIM). This means that customers will always get the most up-to-date information, and they are informed of any changes that may transpire after the catalog is produced. Because of this immediate updating, there is no chance for internal miscommunication to result in customers getting incorrect information. Best of all, the product catalog is integrated with the company website, so clicking a link in the product catalog can take users directly to the product detail page, from which they can purchase the product. These features make this digital product catalog the best way to produce a catalog.
Product Catalogs and Lumavate
Given that a digital product catalog updates in real-time when product information is developed, it’s clear that a digital product catalog is a no-brainer. This setup is made even more attractive by linking product information to a PIM system. A PIM makes managing product information as easy as possible; storing all of the product information in one place makes it super simple to update the catalog. Additionally, if the PIM software is accompanied by Digital Asset Management and a Digital Experience Platform, it’s even easier to make a digital catalog. In fact, the entire catalog can be made through the digital experience platform and updated via the product information management software.
There are many companies that sell PIM software. Some include a vast wealth of options but are too expensive. Others are more affordable but include just the bare minimum in terms of functionality. But one company offers top-level features at entry-level prices -- Lumavate.
Lumavate’s PIM software includes both digital asset management and a digital experience platform. That means you can create a digital catalog in minutes and know that it will always be up-to-date, thanks to the built-in PIM functionality. It’s the ideal solution for a company that wants to keep track of its products at a high level, but also wants an updated catalog that shows off the best products the business has to offer. Of all of the product examples on the market, Lumavate is the best blend of features, affordability, and integration.
Steps for Creating a Digital Product Catalog
At one point, catalog creation required a massive effort to obtain product information, then create a visual layout, then enter product information manually -- and even then, the product information would be out of date almost immediately. Today, creating a catalog is virtually effortless with software solutions like Lumavate. Here’s what you need to do to create a product catalog today.
Determine the structure of your product catalog and what you want to include in it. Look at the catalogs you receive in the mail, and think about what works best for your business. Also, examine the catalogs produced by competing brands, and identify ways in which your company can give customers something they don’t currently get from the competition.
Gather all of the product information and related assets. Collaborate with your team and brainstorm about who has the latest product information for all of your products. Encourage your team to be honest if they have outdated information that is no longer relevant. The end goal is to compile a fully current set of data that will be updated via the PIM. What information do you need to market a product? Everything the consumer might possibly care about should be accounted for.
Add all of your product information and related assets to a product information management solution. Use a PIM program like Lumavate to store all of your product information, so that you never have to go looking for it again. Lumavate is cloud-based, which means it can be set up virtually immediately and can be accessed from anywhere.
Create a digital experience that is tied to your PIM solution and provides up-to-date product information when the catalog is accessed. If your PIM has a digital experience platform, this is an easy step that will help your catalog to update automatically. Again, look at what’s currently being utilized in the marketplace, and find ways to provide a better experience than the competition. Think from the customer’s perspective -- what is the general information about the product? How will it make my life better? How easy is it to purchase this product?
Update your product data and related assets using the PIM and have them instantaneously available in your product catalog. The information in your product catalog will update automatically as long as it's linked to your PIM. If you do your catalog right, you’ll only have to create it once -- and your PIM software will take care of the rest.
What is a good product definition? A product is anything that your company sells and anything that will bring in revenue. A great way to produce that revenue is by publishing a digital catalog that updates itself based on the information in your product information management system. Programs like Lumavate can help you to not only manage your product information but also to produce a great catalog that delights customers and keeps them coming back for more.
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