An electronic product catalog is a comprehensive list of all your products in a digital publication. Unlike paper catalogs, electronic product catalogs are easier to navigate and maintain regularly. The primary objective of the electronic product catalog is to facilitate product availability and information to customers, thereby pushing sales. In Computer-Aided Design (CAD), such a digital product catalog consists of a list of CAD products readily available to the customers and other prospects.
An increasing number of companies resort to electronic product catalogs with information about CAD products available to their customers and prospects. The reason behind this points towards a handful of benefits that electronic product catalogs bring, they are as follows:
- The electronic product catalog has comprehensive, clear information about products that one can navigate smoothly and make informed decisions. A well-prepared catalog ensures a simple user experience and easy transactions.
- An electronic product catalog helps your prospects make a quicker decision about your product. A smart electronic catalog understands a customer’s past shopping choices and acts accordingly.
- A good feature of the electronic product catalog is the automatic sync option. Automatic syncing updates the catalog by uploading new products as soon as they happen. It also eliminates the need to make the updates to the catalog manually.
- A good electronic product catalog ensures accuracy and swift transaction. A customer can choose to save payment details which saves time and helps carry out the payment.
- An electronic product catalog helps you avoid last-minute surprises and installation nightmares and provides you an edge over your competition.
An excellent electronic product catalog requires some planning and decisions to be perfect for your requirement. Here are the few areas you need to consider and make decisions on:
The Product: The first and foremost task is to decide which products you wish to include in the catalog and how you wish to portray them. You may have dozens or even hundreds of products in your portfolio. You could apply the 80-20 rule and decide on a set of products that gives you maximum coverage. Remember to not flood a single page with the bulk of your products, as that kills the purpose of a smooth customer experience. It would help if you also determined how you group your products. Righ grouping results in a better surfing experience.
The Platform: Choose the preferred platform to house your product catalog. The most obvious choice is to make it available on your website. However, you could choose to make a Phone App or create a DVD (if you have a vast number of products). You can also go for a host website that works solely to monitor and maintain your catalog. A particular advantage of host websites is their inventory of pre-existing design features, tools, and templates. It saves a lot of brainstorming.
The Data format: Decide what data you wish to make available. You can have a plethora of data, and including all of them will mess up your platform. Visual appeal is a must, and you must carefully decide which one to prefer, be it 2D data vs. 3D data, GA or schematic vs. to the scale drawings, dumb 3D models vs. parametric models, etc.
The Technology: At a high level, there are two main approaches to solving this: Pre-Cooked and On- The-Fly. In the Pre-Cooked method, data for all configurations of your products are kept in the repository and are delivered on-demand. This option is suitable if your products’ unique configurations are on the lower side, say up to a few hundred. The On-The-Fly method generates the necessary data in real-time using specific master models. It can very easily handle any number of unique product configurations that you may have.
Pricing and tax: Pricing and hidden tax rates are crucial if you want a business-friendly e-catalog. You have to decide the price of your products, and they need to be market-specific. Tax and other charges (shipping charges) contribute to the overall cost of a product, and you must make sure they are reflected under the product description or payment gateway.
Links and CTAs: Electronic product catalogs work best with links inside. Links are a great way to point buyers to your shop. Alongside links, we have call-to-action (CTA) buttons short text on buttons prompting the customer to take the next step. CTA buttons alongside links are an excellent tool to boost sales. So it is up to you to decide how you want to enhance your catalog.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Since your e-catalog will be published online for the public to see, you need a robust SEO strategy to ensure your catalog platform is readily available in the search engines. For that, you will need marketing SEO expertise to help you go through SEO objectives.
Electronic product catalogs are a fantastic way to showcase your inventory and make sales. Make sure you have ticked off all the necessary do’s and dont’s before launching your e-catalog.