Have you ever shopped online and felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices?
With so much choice comes extra costs and commitment. You have to wade through numerous websites to find what you want, read the small print to make sure you get what you need and there’s always a chance you might make a mistake and end up with something you didn’t want. Believe it or not, all of this can add up and make the whole process very costly and time-consuming.
Thankfully, there’s a solution. You can create an online catalog that gives you the benefits of shopping online without all of the hassle. A robust online catalog can be the key to improving your online shopping experience and increasing your sales. When done right, it can also be a useful communication tool between you and your customers.
What is an online catalog?
An online catalog is a virtual shopfront you can use to display the products you offer. The difference with an online catalog is that it operates online, so customers can browse your products and make purchases at their convenience.
Instead of having to go from store to store to find what you want, you can simply search for the items you need online and display them in the order you find them. You can use online catalogs to sell both physical and digital products and also offer special discounts to your customers.
Why should you have an online catalog?
Shopping online can be both convenient and cost-effective for your customers. They can find whatever they want and need as they search for your products. Plus, you can get products you might not have access to in a store. Customers love that you can offer what they are looking for and enjoy the savings you provide because of your lower delivery costs.
If you’re new to online selling, having a robust online catalog that’s searchable is a must. It will make browsing your products simpler and more convenient for your customers. It also allows you to up-sale and cross-sell your products easily and effectively. Your customers can always find something they want and need without having to go from website to website to compare prices and availabilities.
How to Create a Robust Online Catalog
To create a robust online catalog that will serve your needs, you need to start by asking yourself a series of questions:
Is this going to be a physical or digital catalog?
What is the purpose of this catalog?
Who is the intended audience?
What are the keywords I should focus on to get the best results when people search for my products?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start creating your online catalog. Start by making a note of everything you want to include in your physical product catalog. What are the categories and sub-categories you will need?
Make sure you make a list of all the merchandise you have on hand now and what is it that you might need to get more of. Once you have that down, you can start thinking about the content you will need to include in your online catalog to make it useful to your customers.
Make Sure You Organize Your Products Correctly
When you’re listing products for sale in your online catalog, you need to make sure you have everything organized correctly. Not only will it make navigating your website easier for your customers, but it will make creating and maintaining your catalog simpler. Customers will love that you took the time to create a user-friendly online catalog.
If you don’t know where to start, begin by printing out a rough draft of your physical catalog. You can use this as a guide to get everything organized. Once you have your physical catalog, you can start taking the time to input the products you already have into the online catalog. Take your time putting everything in order so you don’t have any unexpected additions or omissions when creating your online catalog.
Make Use Of The Different Channels Available
When you have a physical product catalog, it is essential to make use of all the available channels to ensure your products reach the right audience. When you have an effective online catalog, you have the chance to reach more people than ever before. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity by using all the different channels available. Create social media accounts, join relevant forums, connect with bloggers and more.
If you can utilize all the available resources, you will greatly improve the reach of your products. When you have an effective online catalog covering all the bases, you will become the goto source for everything relevant for small businesses. Ensure you tell your customers everything they need to know about your products and services and that you update them regularly.
Create A Compelling Description For Each Product
One of the most important things you can do for your products is to create compelling product descriptions. A compelling product description should not only briefly detail the product but should also draw the reader in and make them want to read more. You can use compelling product descriptions to sell your products online. If you’re new to online selling, creating product descriptions is a great way to get started.
Use the following guidelines to create an effective product description:
- Understand your target audience
- Use specific language
- Be concise
- Be relevant
- Be honest
- Don’t use too many hyperlinks
- Formatting and structure
- Make it easy to read
- Include images
- Include videos
- Offer special discounts
- Give customers some peace of mind
- Use keywords in your product descriptions
- Have a look at other successful products in your niche
- Always review your product descriptions before you hit “publish”
Include enough information to satisfy the needs of your target audience while being brief enough to make reading easy and enjoyable.
If you’re struggling to come up with a compelling product description, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. It’s challenging to come up with the right material when you’re not familiar with the industry and its terminology. Sometimes, you just have to go with what you have. In those cases, simply make sure you re-word things so they make sense to your target audience. You can also ask friends or colleagues for help if you’re stuck.
Curate Content For Your Customers
Another important thing you can do for your products is to curate content for your customers. What does that mean? It means creating relevant content that will help your customers make better decisions when purchasing your products. While there’s no exact science to finding the right content for your customers, you can follow these simple steps:
- Look for relevant blog posts, white papers or other types of content.
- Find your competitors and see what content they are creating.
- Search for popular topics and see what content arises from those topics.
- Browse online forums relevant to your niche and see what content people are creating.
- Visit your local library or bookstore and see what is available in books or e-books about your topic.
- If you already have a social media account, start using this account to curate content. You can start by sharing blog posts, white papers or other types of content you find valuable.
When you have curated content, you can use this to your advantage. You can create blog posts, white papers or other types of content to promote your products. Ensure you make it easy for your customers to find what they need. Create a table of contents or an index that will help them navigate your content easily. Include an abstract or short description of what you’ve written in case anyone is searching for content on your topic.
Analyze Data To Improve Your Marketing Efforts
To improve your marketing efforts and gain more insight into what is working and what needs to be changed, you need to analyze the data. You can use Google Analytics to easily find out what content your customers are engaging with, what products they are clicking on and more. Simply create a profile so you can start tracking the data immediately. The profile should be able to tell you about your customers’ behavior and the content they are engaging with. You can also use this data to determine which products your customers are responding to and which ones they might be interested in.
You can use the following tools to analyze your data and track results: