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8 Tips to Improve Your eCommerce Product Catalog for Smoother Sales

Business Development

eCommerce product catalogs are more relevant than ever. The shift from print to online has meant that customers, both B2B and B2C, make buying decisions based on the information in your digital catalog.

Buyers are looking for a seamless, personalized experience, and you cannot create it by just adding all your products and prices to a page. 53% of customers revealed that they wouldn’t buy from the same business after a bad experience, so the quality of the customer experience is as important as the quality of the product.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your eCommerce product catalog to attract traffic, generate more conversions, and improve customer experience.

1. Adopt a Flexible Point of Sale (POS) System

Ensure that customers have a quick and enjoyable purchasing experience with a flexible point of sale system that enables:

  • A variety of payment, purchase, and delivery options - cash, card, or digital payments, buy now pay later, home delivery, buy online and pick up from store
  • Flexible exchanges, returns, and refunds - exchange or return in-store for items bought online
  • Customized receipts and saved shopping carts

Other capabilities of flexible POS software are:

  • Aligning inventory to customer demand based on sales data
  • Real-time inventory insights across multiple channels to prevent stock-outs
  • Secure billing anytime, anywhere
  • Fraud management and control of operational losses
  • Spontaneous pricing and promotion rules
  • Report generation and analytics
  • Access to customer profiles, purchase histories, and loyalty programs

Thus, you can easily manage customer relationships and customer experiences through automated and intuitive systems. Flexible POS platforms integrate seamlessly with your processes and streamline your workflows.

eCommerce merchants tend to use multichannel POS software that can integrate with various channels - websites, third-party marketplaces, social media, events, and so on.

2. Categorize products accurately and use clear navigation.

Help your customers find what they want on your eCommerce catalog by tagging and categorizing your products accurately and consistently. Give them the option to filter, sort, and refine choices to find their desired product.

For instance, if it’s a clothing catalog, don’t limit categories to size and color. Customers look for styles, occasions, materials, brands, and availability, too.

  • When choosing the categories and tags, think from the point of view of the customer.
  • Define your categories based on how they would look for product information on your catalog.

Ensure your tags are consistent to avoid confusion. E.g. Use either “kilogram” or “kg” to represent package weight, but not both.

Similarly, use the same system of weights and measures across the product catalog. Don’t use centimeters for some products and feet for others.

The average cart abandonment rate is 69.8%. Don’t be a part of this statistic by having an inconsistent catalog structure.

Use breadcrumb navigation to help customers understand product hierarchy and move to other pages of interest. This navigation scheme reduces bounce rates as well.

3. Use High-Quality Product Images

High-resolution, zoomable product photos are the best way to boost conversions and sales because visitors are more likely to remember information when accompanied by a vivid image.

93% of consumers use visual content to decide whether to purchase or not.

Best practices for product photos include the following:

  • Create a photo gallery that displays the product from various angles.
  • Allow customers to rotate and scale images to examine the product.
  • Add white space around the product to highlight it.
  • Ensure that product photos load quickly because not all customers will have high-speed Internet.
  • Display large product photos because they’re more effective at attracting customers.
  • Show photos of customers using your products as a form of social proof.

4. Focus on Video Content

What could be better than a product demo or tutorial to help your customers experience the product? Or, even user-generated content to build trust?

73% of adults are more likely to buy after watching an online video that explains a product or service.

  • Product videos help customers understand the product, especially if it is complicated.
  • Customers tend to recall products with demos more easily.
  • The specifications of a product are clearer when the customer has seen it from all angles.

5. Upsell and Cross-Sell with Alternative and Similar Product

You can increase sales and conversions by showing customers related and alternative products while they shop.

  • Use tabs like “Customers also bought” or “Often bought together” to convince customers to buy more items and increase your average order value (upselling).
  • Suggest alternatives to the product that the customer is searching for using tabs like “Similar products” to keep them browsing in case they have not yet found exactly what they’re looking for. Or, you can persuade the customer to buy a better, more expensive version of the product--bumping up your revenues (cross-selling).

It’s easier to sell to existing customers, so strategies like upselling and cross-selling can bring more revenue.

These strategies can also be applied to internal searches by directing customers to category pages or displaying suggestions in a drop-down menu.

Source: Conversioner

6. Create Unique Product Descriptions

Since customers cannot physically examine online products, they rely on product descriptions for information.

Good product descriptions connect features with benefits and are optimized for search engines. Create rich, comprehensive, and consistent product descriptions that communicate value and include relevant keywords to drive traffic.

Elements of a good product description:

  • They speak to your target audience.
  • They are consistent with your brand personality.
  • They tell customers how each feature will benefit them and why they should buy the product.
  • They use more verbs than adjectives to get the customer excited.
  • They answer important questions like:
  • Who is the product for?
  • What is the product used for?
  • How does the product work?
  • How is it different from other brands?
  • They use jargon sparingly and only for a sophisticated audience.
  • They mimic the ideal customer’s language.

Use a scannable format with short paragraphs and bullet points to help customers glean information quickly.

7. Add Easy-to-Access and Prominent CTA Buttons

Make your call-to-action (CTA) buttons easily accessible, prominent, and large so that customers do not have to look for them when they’re ready to buy.

It could be a “Buy now” or “Add to Cart” button that customers can easily recognize.

Pay attention to fonts, colors, and contrast for a pleasant visual experience.

Create a sense of urgency and/or scarcity by using CTAs like “Only 2 left in stock,” “Buy now for free shipping.” Customers don’t get time to think over their purchase decision and are compelled to act quickly for fear of missing out (FOMO).

8. Remove duplicate content to avoid hurting SEO.

Duplicating product descriptions or using the manufacturer’s copy in the catalog hurts SEO. Search engines consider such copy as plagiarized and will penalize you by reducing traffic to your site.

Duplicate content also diminishes the customer experience because people cannot differentiate between various products and make informed purchasing decisions.

On-site search is affected because incorrect products may rank higher, leading the customer astray.

If a product exists within multiple subcategories, it is also considered duplicate content and should be avoided.

Closing Thoughts

By optimizing your eCommerce product catalog for a smoother buying experience, you can ensure that customers will remember your brand and return for repeat purchases.

A superior customer experience, smooth checkout systems, and consistent layouts help you stand out from your competitors and boost sales

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