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"Product Catalog Management for Retailers"

Einführung: Product catalog management is the most important discipline for retailers to keep product data correct and consistent across channels. We show how companies define an efficient product catalog strategy by using a PIM system.

In order to understand which disciplines are involved in product catalog management (PCM), the term “product catalog” should first be defined:

“Contains all commercial product information that enables product marketing managers to define and map new product offerings. This encompasses certain sets of tools that allow configuration of new products and service bundles, pricing and discounts.”

Source: Gartner Glossary, Definition of Product Catalog

A product catalog is a collection of information about products that retailers can present on various platforms and media. In addition to classic print media, product catalogs can thus also be displayed digitally on websites, in online stores or on marketplaces. A product catalog typically contains the following product information or attributes:

  • Product name, title
  • SKUs for each product to manage inventory
  • Product and subcategories
  • Specifications (size, length, volume, height, etc.)
  • Prices
  • Media assets
  • Shipping information, availability
  • Terms and conditions
  • Descriptions (materials, features, versions, origin, etc.)

Product catalog management ensures that the quality of product data is consistent across all channels. If you consider the increasing demands of customers (in both the B2C and B2B sectors) for detailed and up-to-date product information, this can quickly become a major challenge for retailers. If product information does not meet the quality requirements of customers, they will continue their information and purchase decision process on other channels or touchpoints of competitors. Poor product information thus leads to poor product catalogs with poor performance. This is reflected, for example, in a low interaction and conversion rate, a high return rate, and low customer satisfaction.

Accordingly, retailers go to great lengths to keep their product data up to date so that it always meets customer expectations. However, creating product catalogs is a time-consuming and never-ending process. Therefore, product catalog management is a must for all retailers who manage multiple sales channels in parallel in the age of omnichannel commerce.

Advantages of Product Catalog Management

” In 2021, global retail e-commerce sales were approximately $4.9 trillion. This figure is expected to grow by 50 percent over the next four years, reaching about $7.4 trillion by 2025.”

Source: Statista, Worldwide Ecommerce Sales, 2022

Online shopping is one of the most popular activities in the world today. According to the Bitkom study from 2020, over 83% of German citizens buy online. 37% of online shoppers even have a regular purchase frequency and shop online at least once a week. Convenient payment methods, ever faster deliveries and risk-free returns are just a few arguments that online shoppers value. At the same time, this buying behavior is also increasingly reflected in the B2B environment. Here, too, shoppers expect a shopping experience that meets their requirements from the B2C environment. Accordingly, it is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers to ensure a convincing product experience on all channels. 

In the online customer journey, up-to-date and detailed product catalogs are the main factor influencing potential buyers in their purchasing decisions. Accordingly, professional product catalogs can reduce return rates by giving customers access to the relevant information at the right time and in the right place.

“In the past year, 40% of consumers had returned an online purchase due to inaccurate product content. The most returns came in the clothing and apparel category, where one in four consumers returned an item due to a lack of quality product information.”

Source: Syndigo, Product Information Report 2020

In addition to minimizing return rates, clean product catalogs yield the following benefits for retailers:

  • Improved conversion rates
  • Shortened time-to-market
  • Enormous time savings in day-to-day business

“According to Goodmasters, 25 min per SKU per year is spent on manual item data cleaning which would take only 4 min with automatic synchronization. In other words, 20 man months per 10,000 SKUs!”

Source: Product Information Management: Theory and Practice, Book by Abraham Jorji, 2014

This key figure illustrates how much potential professional product catalog management has for retailers with an extensive (and explanation-requiring) product portfolio. You can find out more about the individual benefits in detail in our article “ROI in PIM projects“.

PIM as the basis for your product catalog management

Every successful online retailer starts by defining a product data strategy before commercializing their products. Product Information Management (PIM) provides the fundamental basis for this. It enables companies to make the best use of their product data, including all relevant media content, to create user-friendly product catalogs. PIM supports retailers in creating catalogs as quickly as possible by managing and orchestrating a huge amount of product information in a (partially) automated way. 

The most important feature of a product catalog is its up-to-dateness in order to ensure the relevance of the offerings. As the center for all types of data, the PIM system collects appropriately up-to-date information from various sources (e.g., supplier portals, the ERP system, and other data pools) and automatically updates it based on industry-specific validation rules so that it is finally distributed to the various output channels (e.g., website, online store, marketplaces, etc.) in the correct format. This ensures that product catalogs remain up-to-date and consistent across all sales and marketing channels.

Learn in a non-binding online demo how prodexa Cloud supports retailers in turning their raw data into well-structured product catalogs. Our specialists will be happy to demonstrate different use cases for different industries and business models.

Weitere Beiträge:

Comparison: PXM vs. PIM vs. DAM

How do the disciplines PXM, PIM and DAM differ? We demonstrate the differences between the various data management systems and show how they relate to each other and for which business models they are most suitable.

PIM simply explained

Product Information Management (PIM) is becoming an increasingly important discipline for managers from marketing, sales and technical product management due to increasing digitalisation and the merging of different brand contact points. We show what is behind the term “PIM” and what advantages PIM software brings to companies.

Process optimization between suppliers and retailers using PIM

Manually collecting product data from numerous suppliers and manufacturers can result in very time-consuming and error-prone processes for retailers. We show how retailers can use intelligent supplier onboarding to transfer product data quickly and securely, thereby ensuring scalable workflows.

The leading marketplaces and how to sell successfully on them

Due to their enormous reach, online marketplaces are increasingly being taken into account in B2B and
B2C when designing their own e-commerce strategy. We show which online marketplaces are leading in
Germany and give you tips on how to market your products successfully on them.

Experience the benefits live

Find out more about prodexa Cloud for your industry in a non-binding and individual product tour.

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