If you are an eCommerce business today, you probably understand the importance of product catalog management.
However, not all companies take their catalog management as seriously they should.
Let’s look at a typical scenario in which we have seen all too many times here at Sigmento.
A customer returned the Otterbox iPhone 5 case you sent them through eBay because they thought they’d ordered one for the iPhone 6.
Amazon removed 5 of your listings and threatened to close down your store because those listings were incorrectly categorized. And you received a slew of complaints from unhappy customers on your own site, claiming that, “the product received wasn’t as advertised”.
The reason for this? The eCommerce retailer has failed to properly oversee their product catalog management throughout their omnichannel presence.
Data Warehousing Institute estimates that lack of product catalog management costs U.S. businesses more than $600 billion a year.
That’s a lot of lost profit, considering that the health of your product catalog should be, and easily could be, completely within your control.
So what do you need to do to ensure up-to-date product catalog management?
The answer, in one word, is time.
You absolutely must take the time to clean up and optimize your entire product catalog management. This may sound tedious, and time-consuming, and it is. But the honest truth is that the success of your business depends on clear, accurate and concise information being presented to the customer.
Here are 3 tried and true growth hacks to ensure optimal product catalog management success for your eCommerce business.
Clarify ALL product identifiers with distributors and manufacturers.
There are so many product identifiers associated with each product, and each different version of a product, that trying to work out the exact ASIN, UPC, or Part Number can be confusing and stressful.
Talk directly to your distributors and manufacturers and request they provide you with the right details to match your inventory.
In the example below from eBay, you can see the Brand, Part Number and EAN for this drill. Having the correct product identifiers will reduce duplicate listings and unnecessary returns.
The Sigmento solution is a great tool to ensure your UPC and ASIN codes are accurate and up-to-date. Our live product database contains millions of products and actively finds UPC and ASIN for every product in your catalog.
Our live product database contains millions of products and actively finds UPC and ASIN’s for every product in your catalog. This is product catalog management at it’s finest and most optimal!
Check that all product catalog information is accurate by comparing listings to the actual product.
It’s not just the product identifiers that need to be accurate, but all the information on the product page needs to be full and complete.
This will improve the customer experience, as well as brand value.
It is also important to create unique product descriptions so that your page isn’t exactly the same as your competitor.
Although sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to copy what someone else has written, duplicate content ends up getting ignored by search engines, which is certainly not what you want to see happening.
Take these Nike sneakers on Amazon, for example. The description is thorough, so the customer knows exactly what they’re getting, and the importance of the Nike brand value is also emphasized.
This type of product information can be the difference between conversion rates for your eCommerce store skyrocketing or falling into the hands of a competitor.
Create uniformity on your own site so customers know what to expect.
No customer, or potential customer, will stick around if they find themselves frustrated with navigating your site.
If the user experience is complicated and unfriendly, people will get frustrated and your sales will lag. Don’t use the word “teal” for a dress, if you’re then going to describe a sweater in the same color as “jade”.
Uniform, standardized product information will result in efficient data management and a more pleasing user experience.
On the ASOS site, for example, every product is categorized according to product type, brand, size and color, thus simplifying the data management process and providing the customer with an easy way to search and filter what they’re looking for.
Take these 3 growth hacks to your eCommerce presence and see a remarkable improvement in your product catalog management, and more importantly, sales, in no time.