Whether online or brick-and-mortar, product catalogs are the foundation of your operations. These catalogs provide customers with all the information about your products. Without them, you wouldn't be able to sell.
However, updating product catalogs can be a mammoth task, especially if you have hundreds (or thousands) of products and data from various sources. Manual product data management just won't cut it nowadays, so the right technology is crucial for your business.
Why is Product Catalog Management So Important?
Product catalogs are one of the most important components of retail and B2B. Think of them as a detailed list of your product inventory that contains all the data associated with product management, such as descriptions, images, specifications, and prices. Customers will often view your product catalog before making a purchasing decision.
In recent years, many vendors have created digital product catalogs, where customers can view products online. However, print catalogs are still popular. In one survey, 75 percent of people say that print catalogs make them more interested in a retailer's products.
Updating and managing product catalogs is "critical to customer satisfaction and service level," according to a company in one study. However, the process can be slow, especially if there are many online and offline channels. One of the biggest issues is third-party data from suppliers and vendors. This data can come in all kinds of different formats, which makes it difficult to add to product catalogs. There might also be inconsistent or missing data, for example.
The whole process can be messy.
What Happens When Vendors Use Outdated Product Catalog Management Methods?
Below is what often happens when vendors don't use the right methods and technology for product catalog management:
- Vendors retrieve data from various sources.
- Vendors send emails back and forth to vendors and suppliers.
- Vendors copy and paste revised information into catalog files.
- Data becomes outdated because the above process takes too long.
- Product catalogs are delayed or contain outdated information.
Many of the problems associated with catalog management involve retrieving data from multiple sources and transferring this data back and forth to different departments, agencies, and companies. Not only does this take time, but it increases the chance of unnecessary errors in your product catalogs.
Many companies just don't have the resources to update their catalogs properly, because they use the outdated manual methods. However, there's no excuse for manual product catalog management in today's market, where consumers expect real-time and accurate product information.
Poor product catalog management can result in:
- Customers receiving the wrong products.
- Customers paying the wrong price for products.
- Customers returning products.
As you can see, failing to update and manage catalogs correctly is just bad for business.
What's the Alternative?
A Product Information Management (PIM) system lets you update your product catalogs automatically, right up until the last minute before catalog publication. You can update all kinds of product information, including:
- Languages: Perfect if you sell products to customers in different regions/countries.
- Images: If you use photos, diagrams, or other visuals of your products.
- Videos: If you use product demos or explainer videos.
- Other data.
Product data management, especially catalog creation, is often time-consuming and expensive, but it doesn't have to be. PIM systems can automate the entire process. This means fewer errors, and you can spend more time on other business tasks.
The Benefits of a Good PIM Solution
A PIM system provides you with the following benefits:
- Save time and money.
- Enhance product data quality.
- Handle language variations in product catalog data and add languages for new markets.
- Improve the speed of catalog publication.
- Streamline product catalog management.
There are other benefits. With PIM, you can even create specific catalogs with customized prices, images, and descriptions for particular customers or groups of customers. This lets you send different product catalogs to different customers.
A good PIM provides you with exceptional business value, and it will become one of the most important additions to your tech stack. You can create responsive product catalogs, as well as price lists, whenever you like.
Not all PIM systems are the same, though. You need a system that lets you seamlessly publish product catalog data without the fuss.
Why Perfion is a good choice for catalog creation
Perfion is a PIM system that incorporates catalog management functionality. You will be able to update and manage both print and digital catalogs and revolutionize your retail operations and B2B business. There's no need for multiple digital tools, and you can incorporate the system into your existing IT infrastructure. You can even integrate the program completely with your ERP.
With Perfion, all sales staff, supervisors, and managers have access to the product data they need. This reduces human error and ensures customers have real-time insights into your products 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The result? More sales and engagement.
Download your PIM guide
A PIM system handles product catalog management for digital and brick-and-mortar retailers as well as B2B companies and provides customers with timely product data, such as images, languages, and descriptions.
As a result, you can improve operations and increase sales.
Learn more in our guide 'How to publish catalogs, datasheets and price lists in a flash with a PIM system'.