eCommerce is very competitive. Customers search for products online and make their purchase decision based on product information.
Statistics say, “87% of the consumer’s rate product content extremely or very important when deciding to buy”
That is the power of product content. To showcase your products in a manner that drives them up the search rankings, you need to have a streamlined product catalog. Resources invested in product catalog management result in an increase in revenues over a while.
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Challenges of eCommerce Product Catalog Management
Like every business process, product catalog management also comes with a set of challenges.
Some of the common challenges that come in the way of product catalog management are –
1. Multiple Channels
Multichannel selling is an opportunity that the new age eCommerce stores have. However, this opportunity also comes with its own problems.
- Inconsistent product inventory management
- Multiple product listings
- Different price for the same product
Customers research online before they finalize their purchase. Your product on, say, platform A appears different from platform B and then from your own store. This type of inconsistency damages customer trust and they move on to another brand quickly.
When you market on different channels, each eCommerce platform has its own listing requirements. There are different product categories and you have to prepare your product catalog for each platform accordingly.
Your product is placed alongside your competition on the eCommerce platforms. One of the ways to beat the competition is to lower the prices. As a consequence, you have to monitor the price list in your product catalog multiple times.
All this is very time-consuming. The time that can be used for business growth, innovation, and marketing is spent on manual product catalog management.
2. Product update
To stay ahead of your competitors, your product catalog should be regularly updated.
Price change, product range expansion, change in the product description, adding a description to new products, including better quality pictures, etc. are the reasons to update the product catalog.
Common problems that sellers face during product catalog updates are-
- Lack of automation and integration
- Duplication in the product information
- Only products that need update should be modified
- Unable to remove products that you no longer sell
Update of real-time product inventory is also a challenge. In absence of seamless integrations between your eCommerce store and back end, the update of product stock positions can be a challenge.
The use of excel sheets in this case is a lot of manual work and inconvenience. Imagine the time spent tracking the product inventory online and then feeding the data on an excel sheet manually.
Again, the same time can be utilized for business growth in so many ways!
Your business grows when you have a vision of product line expansion. So, to expand your business you need to add more products to your catalog.
The product management system you use should be able to handle the level of expansion you want to do with consistent quality and efficiency.
An unorganized product catalog makes it difficult for small business owners to expand their range of products. It also discourages the upsell and cross-sell opportunities as it is very difficult to pick up related products from a disordered product catalog.
When you add products to your catalog, the problems that sellers face can be divided into two categories-
4. New Product
Here the product description and pictures are different from what you already have in the catalog. It is important to maintain the quality of the new description with the existing one so that the new products look a part of your catalog.
- Similar to the existing product
When you add products similar to the existing one in your product catalog, the chances of duplication are very high. Duplication of the same SKU, barcode, pictures, etc. creates confusion for the consumers and the back end.
The product management system you use should be able to rule out both the above-mentioned problems to make your expansion process a smooth one.
- Supplier data
eCommerce stores run online with the exchange of product information with a variety of suppliers, vendors, and partners.
The product description that comes with the products from different sources brings a set of issues with it-
- Wrong format
- Non-standardized data
- Low-quality images
As the suppliers are not the face of the product for the customers, they do not work on processes to standardize the product description.
To make your product data attractive on your eCommerce store, you have to fix these issues before you are ready to sell your product.
Lack of a streamlined process can make you deal with a lot of manual work which consumes a lot of your time.
Find the Right Solution
By now it is understood that these challenges cannot be met with manual effort. In today’s world where modern technology is in easy reach, we have to look for a solution that automates the product catalog management process with efficiency and accuracy.
VARStreet offers catalog management software with 45+ IT hardware and office supply products. It offers real-time price and inventory for both VAR business and eCommerce.
VARStreet’s custom catalog feature easily allows you to add any product or service to your eCommerce catalog. With VARStreet, you can organize your catalog and manage inventory.
Massive catalog? No problem. You can bulk upload the catalog in .xls and .csv easily.
In The End
The importance of a product catalog in an online business cannot be ignored. But, the challenges of managing a product catalog can overwhelm sellers with multiple responsibilities and manual work. All you need is efficient software that takes care of these challenges.
Investment in a good product management platform brings ease, accuracy, order, and competence to your business.
As Thomas Schranz, Founder and CEO of Blossom once said,
“Good companies manage Engineering. Great companies manage Product”