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Great online stores start with a strong online catalog. However, many business owners don’t know exactly what makes an online catalog shine. The good news is, creating an awesome online catalog isn’t hard, you just need to understand the basics to what separates a so-so online catalog from an outstanding online catalog. Here are some inside secrets to help you create a great online catalog.

Use photos to show your product’s quality.

One drawback of online ordering is that consumers don’t get to see the actual product before buying it, but photos are your chance to bring the product to life. Be sure to always use high-quality photographs and try and include as many angles of the product as possible so customers can really understand the product. While a picture says a thousand words, multiple pictures say even more. Catalogs that integrate multiple photos help tell the story of your products better than catalogs with single photos of products. For businesses with fewer products, or businesses that want to highlight top-selling products, videos are a great way to get an even stronger idea of a product in all its glory. Remember that while you fully understand what your product looks like, feels like, and probably even smells like, your possible customers are in the dark - you want to use photos and videos to bring your product to life.

Let your catalog help you sell.

The benefits of an online catalog versus a print catalog are its intuitive capabilities. Online catalogs often come equipped with up-selling and cross-selling capabilities, so your catalog can automatically detect what consumers may also want to purchase based on what others have looked at or bought. Up-selling and cross-selling is a great asset in online catalogs to help you sell even more of relevant products to your customers. Use it to your advantage and watch your sales skyrocket.

Allow users to share products they love with those they love.

Integrating social media in your online catalog is an easy way to allow your customers to share products they love with their friends and family. In the past, adding products to shopping carts or wish lists were a great way for users to share products with their loved ones, but now, these same lists can be shared across social media channels, or single products they like can be shared. Not only can this help generate word-of-mouth sales but it also stimulates your shop’s social media presence.

Track analytics to constantly improve your online catalog.

Online, it’s always important to think of the user (or, in the case of catalogs, the customer). Analytics allow you to understand what your users like and don’t like so you can tweak your online catalog accordingly. Find out what sections of your catalog they spend the most time on and identify which parts send them speeding away so you can constantly improve as you go. The greatest online catalogs never stop improving.

Don’t deny the importance of descriptions.

Use product descriptions to give a clear, concise, and lively understanding of your product. Picture yourself talking about your product in the store in person - what would you say to a customer? Think about relevant questions a customer may have, such as regarding sizing, dimensions, or weight, and include this in the product description so that your consumers feel entirely in the know before purchasing. Your goal in an online catalog is to reduce the workflow for your team, and including pertinent information will keep questions from arising later. However, be sure to trim down your product descriptions so you don’t overload readers. Know what’s necessary and what’s overkill. Your photos should tell the story of your product, and your description should only include information that a photo can’t describe.

This guide should get you well on your way to designing a comprehensive and outstanding online catalog. Remember, your online catalog is your customer’s portal to your online shop, so it’s vital it does your products justice. Awesome images, descriptions, easy navigation, and selling features are all important components to a superb online catalog, but feel free to let us know if you have any other insider tips!

About The Author

Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods is the Senior Business Development Manager at Pepperi. She has extensive experience in B2B sales and understands the many benefits that can be gained by automating and syncing the different sales channels in a company.