Catalog Management in Ecommerce: Overview and Types

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When you’re an online business owner, it’s important to know about everything that can keep your business in tip-top shape. And one of those things is catalog management.

In this article, we’ll break down the catalog management basics, and your options for catalog management systems.

But don’t worry, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed – we’re here to walk you through everything. So, let’s get your catalog management on point and take your e-commerce business to the next level!

What is Catalog Management?

Catalog management is not just managing ecommerce inventory – it’s about making your e-commerce platform shine. Yes, it includes the “dry” stuff like SKUs, but it’s also curating, arranging, and keeping your store up-to-date so you can create the ultimate shopping paradise for your customers. Fantastic images. Compelling product descriptions. Killer product prices.

But wait, there’s more! Catalog management also involves organizing products into categories, adding unique attributes, and showcasing exciting variations and combinations. In other words, it’s an opportunity to be really creative. Catalog management is a chance to flex your creative muscles and go for it!

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: When making your catalog management decisions, always optimize for mobile, tablet, and desktop!

Tattly homepage with 6 images in a grid, featuring the latest products
Tattly has a colorful and interactive way of showing off its catalog.

Does Catalog Management Matter?

Good product catalog management is like having a personal shopping assistant for your customers. It gives them accurate and up-to-date information, making their shopping experience a breeze. And who doesn’t love a smooth shopping experience?

With a well-managed catalog, your customers will keep coming back for more, and you’ll earn their loyalty and trust.

But here’s the catch – poor catalog management can frustrate your customers because they’ll be dealing with errors, stock shortages, and uninspiring product visuals and descriptions. And we all know that unhappy customers are bad for business! A poorly managed catalog can also hurt your website’s SEO, making it harder for potential customers to find your products too.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: If you analyze customer behavior and purchase patterns, you’ll know when and how to adjust your catalog to keep customers happy and engaged.

Catalog Management Solutions: Types

You have to know the types of catalog management before you can figure out which solution is best for you. Here are our top picks as well as their pros and cons:

1. Cloud-Based

First up, we have cloud-based catalog management solutions – the superheroes of the online world. They’re hosted on remote servers, which means you can access them anywhere, anytime. 24/7 accessibility is really useful for an online business owner since you never know when you might have to update something for your international audience!

You’re probably already using cloud technology and don’t know it. Depending on your settings, when you take photos on your phone, sync up your devices, or download music and episodes to play another time, you’re using the cloud.

Some of the pros of cloud-based product catalog management include:

  • Easy to use and access
  • Often lower upfront costs
  • Regular updates and maintenance – so you’re not the victim of a bug you aren’t aware of
  • Scalability – it grows with your business

Some of the cons of cloud-based solutions include:

  • Dependence on internet connectivity – you’ll need to be able to get online to use it
  • Limited customization options
  • Security concerns – there are concerns about cloud hacking, so take precautions if you decide on this option

2. SaaS

SaaS – which stands for Software as a Service – is a cloud-based solution that gives you the software you can use for your applications. It’s really popular with online store owners and here’s why: once you sign up for a subscription, SaaS is like having a personal assistant who takes care of everything for you.

With SaaS, you can access your catalog management software over the internet, without having to install anything on your computer. That means you can manage your catalog from anywhere, as long as you can access the internet.

Some of the pros of SaaS catalog management include:

  • Easy to use and access – they make the software very user-friendly
  • Automatic backups, updates, and maintenance
  • More customization options than cloud-based solutions
  • Scalability

Some of the cons of SaaS solutions include:

  • Dependence on internet connectivity
  • Monthly subscription fees can add up over time
  • Limited control over the software

3. Open Source

Think about a time when everyone brought delicious dishes to the best BBQ you’ve ever been to. That’s how open source solutions work. It’s basically software that’s created and shaped by a community of developers who bring their talents and time to the table. From the beginning idea to its more sophisticated forms, open source has a lot of passion built into it.

And you won’t just avoid the front-end costs – it’s free to use forever. If you’re cash-strapped, it’s an attractive choice for product catalog management!

Some of the pros of open source catalog management include:

  • Consistent updates and improvements
  • Affordability – it’s free to use
  • Very flexible – it can be customized to meet the specific needs of your online business

But there are a few downsides to open source, including:

  • Limited support if you run into problems
  • Steeper learning curve – it’s not as user-friendly as other solutions
  • Scalability – if features are missing, then you’re out of luck
PrestaShop homepage has a black background with a graphic showing an online business example and "Your ecommerce. Your brand. Your rules" in white text. There's also a button inviting visitors to "get started"
PrestaShop is a good example of a popular open source catalog management solution.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Double-check that your low-cost solution doesn’t require you to spend ages learning how to run it. Your time costs money too!

Summary

Product catalog management is an amazing opportunity for you to grow your online business. Whether you choose a cloud-based, SaaS, or open-source solution, managing your catalog the right way can save you time, money, and headaches down the road.

Done right, your products are guaranteed to steal the show and leave your customers wanting more. So, what are you waiting for? Take control of your catalog today and unlock the full potential of your online business. With the right tools and a positive, can-do attitude, the sky’s the limit!

FAQs

Some best practices for effective catalog management in ecommerce include regularly updating your product information, optimizing your inventory and product listings for search engines, and using high-quality images and descriptions.
Use filtering and sorting options to help customers narrow down their search results. And if your product catalog is really large, you’ll need to look at automation.
Written by:
Smiling headshot of Amanda Graham
I started writing for Website Builder Expert in 2022. I love copywriting for ecommerce, website, automation, and website brands and I’ve ghostwritten and content strategised for some of the largest multinational brands in the world. I have years of writing experience for the BBC, including documentaries, scripts, and Twitter campaigns. With such a wealth of experience to draw on, some of my best work on Website Builder Expert focuses on topics such as ecommerce strategies, marketing tips, and small business advice. I hope you enjoy my articles!

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