The benefits of online product catalogues
Online catalogues are not just a repackaging of your printed material; they're a tool that lets you reach more customers, improve customer experience and boost leads and sales.
Many manufacturing businesses have a catalogue or product list to help customers find what they need. Perhaps it’s a paper catalogue or a PDF. You might only have this information on internal systems such as an Access database, Excel spreadsheets, or your PIM (product information management) system.
But what if you made your product catalogue available online? Not just turning your brochure into a flipping book PDF, a fully interactive online catalogue. Which lets your customers find what they're looking for more efficiently than a paper catalogue or a download.
Online product catalogues can be interactive
If you have a spares catalogue with thousands of lines, it can be hard for a customer to find a specific part. However, having a web-based catalogue means you can include tools that improve the customer experience and increase satisfaction and the likelihood of a sale or lead.
Sort your products by which ones are in stock or most popular. Customers will be able to see exactly what they're looking for without having to negotiate pages of products that aren't relevant to their needs.
Filter products based on size, application, connection-type, etc. This allows people to very quickly narrow down their options based on requirements.
People take the humble hyperlink for granted, however it’s what makes the web so powerful. Products can link to extra information, larger imagers, distributors / stockists (if you don’t sell direct), related products, suggested products, enquiry forms, email support, or anything else to help your customers.
Online product catalogues are flexible
Remember that your online product catalogue will be powered by your product database. This means that you have complete control over how you access and present your data, so can think beyond the traditional category approach.
For example, Wilco offer a facility to enter your registration plate and see all the parts that apply to that vehicle.
And Snap-on’s vehicle coverage guide uses a similar approach where you select a vehicle using a step-by-step process to see available system information for that vehicle.
Online product catalogues can be great for SEO
The main concept behind SEO is to make sure that your website appears high up in search results thereby increasing how many visitors you get. As mentioned above, having your catalogue online means it can be found by search engines. This can greatly expand your reach beyond your known customers and geographic constraints.
Your whole web presence can benefit from a well optimised product database, as it can be integrated into your website, and products make perfect landing pages for their specific search terms.
Like any website, you should track how people find and use your catalogue with a tool such as Google Analytics. As well as things like popular pages, you can see what people are searching for, how long they’re spending on different pages, and which filters they interact with. This data can help you learn more about your customers and their intents. This will give you insights to further optimise your online catalogue for SEO and gain even more relevant traffic.
Online product catalogues are a great addition to your website, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Combining your data with the power of the web, they can be used for customer service tools, lead generation, or ecommerce.
You could also create an online product catalogue for your own staff. A web-based searchable catalogue can make your data easier to use, and if you don’t want the public or search engines seeing it, you can always set it up behind a login.
If you have any questions, you can ask us anything about online product catalogues, or anything else digital.