If you run an eCommerce business or some form of enterprise SaaS company, you probably know the pain of having to manage a huge catalog of products and services. But have you ever taken the time to optimize your product catalog before? If not, you’re missing out on some very large wins when it comes to extra revenue, better user experience, and less overhead.
If you can champion this effort, not only will it make your bosses love you at work but you will unleash a lot of massive wins that your company can use for years to come. For those not familiar, let’s quickly go over what product catalog optimization is and the main benefits before getting into what steps you need to take next.
Product catalog optimization refers to the process of improving the organization, presentation, and overall effectiveness of a product catalog and the items within it. This can include activities such as:
The goal of product catalog optimization is to make it easier for customers to find and purchase the products they are looking for, which can help to increase sales and revenue for a business through cross-selling and up-selling.
Optimizing your product catalog isn’t always straightforward (we outline a strategy later in the article), but done right, creates huge benefits to both your company and your customers. Some of those benefits include:
Are you one of the 55% of companies that don’t conduct any UX testing? Did you know that 70% of online businesses that fail do so because of bad usability?
When you really take the time to research and optimize your product catalog, you unlock a better user experience for all of your users. But the statistics show that in the end, you are really helping yourself make more sales through cross-selling and up-selling.
For example, companies that build smarter search, filtering features, and comprehensive product information help customers find what they're looking for quickly. But it also adds a new layer of discoverability that enables your users to find new products or complimentary products to what they are currently buying.
For additional information, we have another article that goes through 5 ways to optimize subscription billing for a better customer experience.
By organizing products in a way that is easy for search engines to understand, product catalog optimization can help to improve a business's search engine rankings. In turn, this can help to drive more traffic to the catalog, which can lead to increased sales.
Did you know that 70-95% of revenue comes from upsells and renewals on average?
Optimizing your product pages to take advantage of your newly optimized catalog will make it easy for your sales team or website customers to see related products, sales packages, and product bundles. Done right, this new visibility will help your customers purchase more per sale and make it easier to upsell to more profitable products.
For example, if you are a telecommunications company and you are selling cell phone plans, it would be great to show all of the add-on services like long-distance plans or international data plans before your customer makes their purchase.
Data enrichment is a process that involves adding additional data to a dataset in order to make it more useful. For example, you can add manufacturing information, regional pricing, and package discounting and bundling options to each product. By having access to better quality data, your business can use this information to better sell and market your product and services within different sales channels.
As we mentioned in the data enrichment section, some products require independent pricing based on region or specific markets. This may be due to the regional economy or just trying to stay extremely competitive in a highly valued market. Optimizing your product catalog pricing by region gives you another advantage over your competition.
By optimizing your product catalog with data enrichment and other product details, you are really able to help your sales teams with Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) applications. In turn your sales representatives and self-service customers will be able to quickly generate accurate quotes for configurable products and services which opens up a lot of possibilities for new revenue.
When you use some form of billing platform product catalog to keep track of your products, you can reduce expenses related to data analysis, product returns, as well as facilitate the storage, management and enrichment of product information. Additionally, it can help improve customer centricity, accuracy of product information, speed up development processes and ensure consistency in data. Product Information Management Systems (PIMs) are highly effective for managing a centralized product data repository and helping to boost ecommerce success. For these reasons, businesses should consider leveraging the power of your billing solution or product data repository to optimize your catalogs.
To optimize your product catalog, you may want to take the following steps:
It is important to integrate new data into a billing platform or product catalog management tool in order to optimize the efficiency of a business, increase revenue, and keep customers informed and engaged.
Additionally, utilizing triggered messaging based on product catalog data can help generate more sales by engaging customers with relevant promotions. Lastly, engaging customers with timely emails about changes to products or services will prevent them from abandoning their shopping carts within the first 10 minutes - as 71% of US shoppers do - and ensure that they stay loyal to your brand.
An effective search function is key to making it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for. This can mean a lot of different things depending on your product and how you sell to your customer.
This could mean:
Search Engine Journal has created a great article that goes further into SEO optimization for eCommerce pages. Check it out here.
As for Structure data, if you are wanting to make sure that your website is optimized correctly for Google, they actually have released a tool to help with that. This is the link if you want to test out your website.
The way your product catalog looks can have a big impact on how customers perceive your business. Consider using high-quality images and a clean, easy-to-navigate layout to enhance the visual appeal of the catalog.
Once you have implemented the changes to your product catalog, it is important to test and measure the effectiveness of those changes. This will help you to identify any areas that may still need improvement. Your data can show you areas that have been improved as well as areas that still need improvement. Double-down on what is working and either tweak or remove features that are not helping.
Chris has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry dealing with Fortune 2000 enterprises and service providers globally. As VP of Innovation Chris interacts in the market and internally providing: technical leadership and vision, mentorship, and creative problem-solving.