E-commerce sales have seen tremendous growth in recent years, especially since the covid-19 pandemic hit the world. Still, the e-commerce industry is expected to grow to $6 trillion by 2024 from $4 trillion in 2021.
Due to the restrictions imposed under covid-19 pandemic, consumers were left with online shopping as the only option to fulfill their shopping needs. Businesses had little choice but to introduce digital sales channels to survive.
It fueled the transformation of brick-and-mortar businesses to digital commerce at lightning speeds. However, because businesses moved to e-commerce channels quickly, most didn’t focus on product catalogs.
Product catalogs are an essential part of cost-effective marketing. If your business struggles with low sales through e-commerce channels, you should optimize your catalog to increase sales. An optimized catalog helps improve the customer experience and make quick purchase decisions. Here are some tips to optimize your catalog for improved sales:
1. Keep Stock and Price Information updated
If you are shifting from a brick-and-mortar business model to an e-commerce one, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be to keep the stock and prices updated for all your products. However, it is something that is a necessity in the e-commerce world. No customer wants to buy a product that is not in stock. It frustrates the customers, who move on to buy from other sellers. You not only lose this sale but all future purchases from that customer. You must keep your product data updated to prevent potential sales losses.
Automated product data updates play an important part in marketplace catalog optimization and avoid unfortunate inventory situations where a product may be out-of-stock.
2. Ensure Accuracy of the Data
Ensuring the accuracy of product data is essential for online businesses. Customers will lose trust in any brand that lists a product with insufficient or incorrect information or if its product images do not match the description. So, to build trust among customers, you need to create a product catalog that provides comprehensive information about your products, is standardized for all your sales channels, and is accurate.
Customers like to make informed decisions when making a purchase. To facilitate quick decision-making, customers must have all the information related to the product.
3. Optimize Product Descriptions
Product descriptions play an important role in customers’ purchase decisions. Creating descriptions that include all the features and specifications of the product is essential to enable customers to make an informed decision.
However, it does not mean you should add irrelevant information to the description. Product descriptions should include only the relevant information about your product. The details should be user-friendly and easily readable.
Once you optimize the content, you must also optimize your description for SEO. SEO-optimized descriptions improve the searchability of your product on search engines. It will also bring in more traffic which in turn means more conversions.
Make sure the description includes all the relevant keywords to increase the chances of appearing in searches. Writing the description in your language is also essential. Copy-pasting from other sellers is highly discouraged as duplicate content is ignored by search engines such as Google.
4. Optimize Product Images
While it is true that customers reach your product through product titles and SEO-optimized descriptions, it is also true that they make purchase decisions based on the product images. According to a survey by Weebly, around 75% of consumers make purchase decisions based on product photos. Most businesses already know this, and they make their product images look great. However, sometimes businesses overcommit in the pictures, which is why the return rate for e-commerce businesses is high. When customers receive a product that seems of good quality in the photos but is made from cheap materials, or the actual product is different from the images of the product, they immediately return it. So, it is crucial to display photos that portray your product accurately.
5. Promote Cross-Selling
An essential part of optimizing the product catalog is to provide product recommendations to customers and offer bundled products. Cross-selling and up-selling can improve your sale by as much as 20%. Most customers don’t know what they want until they see it. When a customer opens a listing for one product from your store, you can show recommendations for similar products to that customer. If the customers can’t find the features they are looking for in one product, they will see the recommended products and may find the required features in that product. So, you need to suggest similar products to your customers to increase sales.
Upselling products that work great together also increases the chances of a sale. Making bundle offers to customers encourages them to buy multiple items instead of one. You can make bundles for the same product or different products, such as offering a pack of 5 USB cables or adding arrows to bows to make a bundle for hunting enthusiasts.
Product catalogs can help customers make informed decisions and increase the chances of a sale. However, most businesses don’t give due attention to product catalogs, resulting in a low conversion rate.
Businesses need to optimize their product catalog by keeping their product stock and price information updated in real-time and keeping the product data as accurate as possible. Promoting cross-selling and up-selling opportunities is also essential for optimizing the product catalog. However, the most critical part of optimizing a product catalog and improving customer experience is to provide user-friendly and SEO-optimized descriptions and photos.