Software to Make Catalog
As we develop in a primarily digital landscape, the product market grows more extensive and competitive. With many digital experiences available, product differentiation is much more critical than ever. Product guides, lists, and catalogs are the most iconic ways for those in the manufacturing and consuming packaged goods industry to showcase and deliver their most effective products and services.
Product catalogs and guides have been around for a long time, but synchronizing these physical product lists within the digital landscape can be difficult but necessary.
In this guide, we will compile a comprehensive list of catalog software, software catalog tools, catalog management software, and the best catalog maker on the market. We will also tackle critical questions regarding pricing and competition and even answer a question at the back of your mind: is it catalog or catalogue?
What Does a Catalog Do?
Have you ever wondered if the word is written "catalog" or "catalogue?". "Catalog" is the standard way to spell it in American English, and "catalogue" is the British spelling, sometimes used by former commonwealth members.
A catalog is sometimes called a product guide or product list. Regardless of what your team calls it, a product catalog contains all of the company's products. At any moment, there can be multiple catalogs in production, depending on their use. It may be prudent for the design and manufacturing team to keep track of prototypes that are unavailable to the public.
A catalog of previous versions is also handy for back-end teams, such as compliance, to keep a proper audit trail ready for inspection and to stay onside with industry regulators. Catalogs are available in primarily two forms: printed or digital. A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is essential for creating these catalogs quickly and accurately.
How Do I Create a Free Catalog?
As with many things, nothing is ever free. The effort spent creating a visually appealing catalog and loading it with concise and relevant information should be viewed as an investment rather than a sunk cost. Catalogs are great ways for manufacturers to display product offerings such as home appliances, faucets, fixtures, and garden tools in a new light to drive sales and solve pain points.
Free catalogs are often created in PDF versions or using online tools such as Canva, accessible up to a certain point. PDF solutions do have their merit, but the issue is that they remain static. A common challenge faced across the industry is ensuring that product data and assets are current. PDF catalogs often remain static, so the information posted to your website, app, or portal may be outdated.
How Do I Create a Catalog in Word?
Many organizations can create PDFs with the sunk costs already being accounted for. Creating PDF versions of these catalogs is usually done via Microsoft Word, as it is the most widely available suite of tools that most organizations use for creation and collaboration.
Creating a catalog in Word is simple: drag and drop images of your product and fill out descriptive boxes in the text field. Saving the file as a PDF that cannot be edited is paramount to guaranteeing no incorrect edits are made post-printing.
The issue with creating catalogs within Word without a proper set of tools is that it does not support the scalability of your business or the differentiation between your competitors. You will need the best software to make catalogs to stay ahead of the curve.
What Software is Used to Create Catalogs?
Creating a physical catalog by combining PDF files and using in-house technology will make a product guide feel like a flipbook. This does have its merits, especially if the client is in front of a salesperson at the point of sale, but this is not often the case.
Creating fully digital product catalogs and lists is a great way to showcase your offerings. Ideally, these are tied in with your PIM and Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution so that you can seamlessly update and place the correct information and assets within.
Is There an App to Create a Catalog?
Digital catalogs can be created using many different tools, but the best way to integrate all the necessary solutions is to provide your team with a comprehensive platform. Creating digital experiences around your product catalogs is the best way of making them stand out.
Lumavate's Digital Experience Platform (DXP) allows the marketing team to use the information from the PIM and DAM solutions to create new ways to highlight the features and benefits of your products. The built-in functionality combines all three into one platform, ensuring consistency in messaging and design.
The best digital experiences combine the pain points that your product serves to alleviate while also demonstrating the features and functions of the product. Digital experiences include, but are not limited to, well-crafted landing pages, niche microsites, and brand portals for the correct audience.
Digital experiences are not just for your clients. Channel partners, vendors, employees, and other stakeholders will be interested in the product's design, creation, and sale. This will unify the vision and give confidence to all users that they are on the same page.
How Do I Make My Own Catalog?
Making your own catalog is simple; making the best catalog is the challenge. There are many benefits to creating an effective catalog using a comprehensive PIM solution:
Stay Competitive: Most manufacturers create a static PDF "flipbook" using Adobe InDesign, as this is another standard suite of tools that may already be integrated into your firm.
Stay Onside: The information posted on the product catalog's PDF version is not constantly updated promptly, which can confuse staff, customers, and regulatory bodies.
Stay Effective: Data and information stored within the catalog are tracked and managed, often through Excel spreadsheets. Without PIM and DAM, fragmentation and data silos grow.
Stay Innovative: Most manufacturers and those in the medical device and CPG industry do not use a proper PIM to create their catalogs. A PIM helps innovate accurately based on analysis.
Stay Unified: By employing a PIM, you will have a single source of truth - discouraging teams from misinterpreting critical information and having the confidence to move forward.
What is the Best Way to Create a Catalog?
Before using PIM software, it's essential first to understand the benefits of product information management. This refers to the process and methodology of managing all kinds of data and product information related to numerous things: the necessary product information to make features more attractive, the product information needed to design a product, or even the essential product information to implement feedback.
Having a solution that markets, sells, and services products in one platform is a powerful way to reduce the need for technical resources, and you can redistribute the efforts of your teams in a more meaningful way. When a PIM is connected to a DAM and DXP solution, you can manage your product data, related creative assets, and brand-approved elements to create better digital experiences.
When customers first hear of your brand, offerings, or a referral, their first instinct is to check your web presence. While many rely on old-school methods, increasing your digital presence and having an avant-garde marketing approach helps solidify your standing in the market and position you as a thought leader.
What Software Do You Use to Make a Catalog?
As we've established, one of the best ways to create and manage a digital catalog is a comprehensive PIM software. The next step is to choose the best solution that resonates with your brand and customers.
With a vast competitive landscape, it isn't easy to know where to start. Here is a curated list of the best catalog design software on the market:
Plytix is known for its user-friendly interface that promotes easy navigation.
This PIM is marketed towards medium-sized businesses and focuses on core functionalities.
As this is a specific solution, advanced features may not be available or may cost an additional fee, depending on your package.
Pimcore is an open-source solution that gives you great flexibility and customization options.
It has a robust data analytics and reporting tool.
While the community is large, there is a minor entry barrier. This causes a steep learning curve and can delay implementation extensively if new community members read misleading information.
Salsify prides itself on its syndication features for distributing product information and associated assets.
It provides some general digital asset management support, with more intensive support in premium packages.
Non-transparent pricing can be out of reach for small and medium-sized businesses.
Inriver is created around providing an intuitive interface so that the user experience has a great first impression.
It provides potent help for handling complex product data structures and topology.
There is a steeper learning curve, and users cannot customize their overview as they see fit.
Lumavate has a comprehensive Product Experience Management (PXM) package that is clear and easy to understand.
Cost-effective pricing, often 75 percent more affordable than competitors.
Integration of PIM, DAM, and DXP in a single platform.
No-code platform, enabling marketers to create digital experiences effortlessly without technical or external support.
What is a Catalog Management System?
A Catalog management system is any piece of software that you would use to curate and direct your company's resources in distributing and managing the product guides you create. When selecting a catalog management system, ask yourself these five key questions to get you started on your research and due diligence journey.
What Features Are Essential for Us?
The first step in the process is to consider the different functionalities vital to you, your team, your brand partners, and vendors. To assess your needs, it's best to begin with your mission statement and specific goals in mind. Would you need only core functions to create a simple list, or are there other functions that are critical to your success?
Integration: What Systems Are in Your Ecosystem That You Can't Do Without?
Take inventory of your current software, including any third-party solutions, in-house tools, and spreadsheets. Identify whether they can be moved into a new software solution during integrations or if there is no replacement for your existing solution. Lumavate offers a complete DXP experience, so digital assets and product information can be merged into a cooperative balance.
The Purpose of Your Product Data: How Will You Use it?
Your PIM solution will be used in specific ways, especially if niche products are in your catalog. You will use information in sales resources, marketing campaigns, events, brand portals, and other creative avenues differently than spec sheets and compliance parameters for your back-end and fulfillment departments.
Budgeting for Success: What are my Parameters for Investment?
Your team must decide on a budget for implementing your chosen solution. Depending on the features, PIM, DAM, and DXP solutions can range from $1,000 to $250,000 annually. Other than monetary costs, consider the time your divisions take to create a product catalog from end to end. Lumavate is 75 percent more cost-effective than other solutions and can produce excellent product catalogs more efficiently.
Time Matters: What's My Timeline?
Of course, every project will take time and must be completed diligently to smooth out the transition period and practicality of that project. Consider the urgency of the implementation and timeliness for delivery. Strike a balance between swift implementation and an accurate transition process. Lumavate is well-known for its timely implementation, often taking less than a day to get up and running.
How Do I Create a Product Catalog?
Creating and delivering a beautiful and practical product catalog is both an art and a science. You will need to determine the structure of your product catalog and the information you want to include in it before getting started. Planning your strategy is essential to reduce the number of errors and re-work and ensure that the team is championing the entire process and is on the same page.
Here are five crucial steps to consider when creating your software product catalog template:
1. Plan the Structure of Your Catalog. Decide how you want your product to look and brainstorm the information it should include. You may need to consult with subject matter experts and compliance for this step.
2. Gather Your Product Info and Products. Start by explaining the primary function of your product and any distinctive features. Add any images and videos as necessary to improve the visualization of the product.
3. Centralize Everything. Use your PIM software as a source of truth for your team. You can decide on proper access for all teams, so they can be confident they are retrieving the most current version.
4. Create a Digital Experience. Update your product data and any brand content and assets. Using Lumavate's DXP platform, you can instantaneously make this available in less than 30 minutes.
5. Collaborate to Improve. Your marketing team can help sales and customer services channels effectively communicate the product benefits by getting customer and fulfillment team feedback within the software.
How Much Is It to Make a Catalog?
Creating a catalog can vary greatly depending on the end quality, the volume, the provider you choose, and the additional features you would like to have at your disposal. Companies that use Microsoft Excel to manage product data and create PDF versions of products can spend upwards of 30 hours, and much more if you have a diverse or complex product offering.
A PIM solution tied to a digital experience product guide can save hundreds and thousands of working hours and create a more interactive guide.
Once you have selected your cost-effective solution, a product catalog is free to create and deploy with your software. The only difference is the price you pay for your platform and its associated subscription plan.
Lumavate: Your Comprehensive Catalog Solution
Creating, managing, and curating a well-thought-out and executed product catalog must meet your potential client's needs while positively affecting recurring buyers to maximize growth and brand consistency. A catalog is more than just putting together some photos and witty descriptions on a page; it needs to resonate with your audience in a personalized way.
Once a catalog is created, the job doesn't end there. Continued maintenance and versions in the catalog must be tracked and automatically updated promptly to reduce the number of errors made.
Lumavate is one of the top solutions for managing product data and related digital assets. It combines the functionality of a PIM and DAM into a holistic DXP platform, which takes these vital assets and data and transforms them into stunning digital experiences that leave your customers with the satisfaction they are looking for.
Reading a catalog should be more than just scanning a "picture book." The reader should be able to imagine having the product and address the pain point effectively in their personal or professional lives.
If you're ready to take your first step forward in centralizing your business while providing an unforgettable experience to your clients, Demo Lumavate for FREE today to learn how one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market can benefit your brand.
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