Common Challenges of eCommerce Catalog Management: One of the most challenging parts of having an online business is managing your online catalog. You might have thousands of SKUs to publish on hundreds of sales channels.
This whole process can be tedious, making your product data unstable and inconsistent. To normalize such an issue, would also require a lot of time. This is why various merchants provide incomplete product information during their listing and cataloging service. It becomes too much for them to handle. However, having insufficient or inadequate product information can lead to the loss of potential customers for your online business.
Why does eCommerce product data matter?
Having efficient product information would always lead your customers to find interest in your online business because you provide reliable and accurate information for your products. This would lead to an optimized online experience for your customers. How you are managing your product data serves as the foundation of shopping experiences. Some of these experiences are as follows:
This feature determines how often your online business would show up in the SERPs.
This feature ensures that your buyer can easily navigate the website and find the product that suits their requirements accordingly.
This feature allows your customers to search for the necessary product on your site.
This feature shows relevant suggestions to customers so that the total order value increases and provides you with an upsell opportunity.
Confidence to purchase
Provides your customers with the belief that your product meets their requirements.
The management of your product also depends on various back-office operations like:
- Go-to-market time: Ability to publish and update product descriptions as and when needed.
- Financial report: Providing accurate sales report, costs, breakdowns by category, and when it is time to reorder more product
- Integration: Ability to map product data to your ERP, ensuring that the item is placed in the right inventory.
Common challenges faced during eCommerce Catalog management
The most common Challenges of eCommerce Catalog Management are as follows:
1. Keeping the product list up-to-date
Various merchants need to regularly update their online catalog due to constant price changes. It is necessary to spend a significant amount of time fine-tuning your items so that you can list them. However, this time requires a lot of effort, and you might face issues in targeting other tasks such as marketing, operations, and customers.
This is where the need faces Challenges of eCommerce Catalog Management. These agencies consist of various team members who can effectively manage all the tasks at one go without the need to comprise any.
2. Selling across multiple channels
Listing products across various marketplaces can be a tedious task since each channel comes with its listing requirements. You must know how to place your products in the right way when you have to display your products on your branded website.
Making sure that each of the products is placed in the appropriate list consumes a lot of time. This eventually slows down your market time with the products that lead to causing mistakes like providing wrong or incomplete information in the wrong place.
3. Dealing with supplier data
There are several cases when your vendor provides various products to you with incomplete descriptions and different missing attributes. The data offers can also have multiple spelling mistakes.
Since suppliers do not deal with consumers directly, it is your sole responsibility to provide the appropriate product description to your customers since you directly deal with the consumers.
Therefore, you need to look forward to this hectic issue before you can publish your products online. Having to arrange such data is quite time-consuming. This is why you need to know the Common Challenges of eCommerce Catalog Management.
4. Expanding your product catalog
When your product catalog is not organized appropriately, it is tough to add more SKUs to the already existing mess! You either need to clean up your existing SKUs or have to live with the current catalogs. This is the reason why merchants like yourself do not tend to fondle with their existing catalogs. The resources of not fixing such problems can be disheartening for you. They would eventually stop you from growing your business.
5. Dealing with complex product structures
The complexity of the product data structures depends on the type of product you are selling. The relationship between your product and data should be well-presented. If it is not, you might face a lot of issues while publishing data online.
How can you improve your eCommerce catalog management?
The above challenges which we have already mentioned lead to a depreciation of quality and consistency for your business and product data. It is tough to maintain quality data while trying to look for the same at the exact time.
The ability to maintain data comes back to where you centrally manage all of your data for your business. However, if you have a large online business, operating such data can be difficult. All more difficult if you are managing such data on Excel sheets!
Whenever you manage a hefty amount of SKUs on your eCommerce platform, it can be overwhelming since there is a constant need to maintain a standard. Excel wasn’t built for maintaining eCommerce catalogs for online business. If you are using excel, you wouldn’t be having the right set of tools to help you with an effective data management procedure.
You need to heavily rely on your employees who are prone to errors just like the rest of the humans!
You’re existing eCommerce platform is designed to handle SKU management, but it is not suitable for catalog management. It doesn’t come with comprehensive tools that allow you to import or publish data like your sales channel. This is the reason why an effective listing optimization service is required.
How to manage your product data?
To solve the above problem, merchants tend to turn towards various software solutions or agencies that provide their efficient listing service, which would help you to keep all of your sales channels in check at once.
Managing product data in an ERP
Merchants often turn towards ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning systems. While not all ERPs come with numerous capabilities, modern ERPs in the market can do so without any hassle. Your ERP is a better choice for effective data management for your products than Excel. It doesn’t matter which system you have your items stored in. The plan would act accordingly to turn as a single source of truth for your product data.
Investing in a PIM (Product Information Management) System
Merchants also look forward to PIM or Product Information Management system designed to handle your product data requirements. A PIM system manages all of your product data. And it doesn’t matter where it is coming from or where it needs to go. The software can streamline every process to upload, standardize, and publish your data to your sales channels without any hassle. You will have robust tools that would allow you to properly manage all of your product data. The catalogs to ensure that your customers are provided with a piece of rich, consistent product information.
PIM systems vary in price for the number of services you want to use them for. For merchants selling across more than five channels, they need to have a worthy investment to provide them with top-notch performance.