Vendors and retailers have many options available to them today (many of them thanks to the Internet) to reach out to customers and advertise their products or services. Sometimes, retailers and independent shops will create social media profiles such as on Facebook or Twitter to reach out to customers and advertise deals or sales (or even conduct polls), and sometimes digital ad space will be purchased on the Internet. More traditional methods such as billboards, wood signs, and posters exist, but in the realm of digital access to goods and services, a great catalog is essential for any modern retailer big or small, and investing in a good catalog management system will almost definitely pay big dividends. The question is how and why someone can create and use a catalog management system, as well as how product attributes can be communicated clearly or how structured data can be useful. E-commerce, or shopping online, has grown huge, and modern retailers have a keen interest in keeping up.
Everything from grocery stores to department stores to car repair shops are making use of e-commerce, and a good ecommerce content management system can go a long way to boosting business. For example, American e-commerce sales reached a total of $396 billion in the year 2016, and experts believe that it may grow to $684 billion by the year 2020. Buying items on mobile devices is also popular, such as on laptops, smart phones, and tablets, seeing how 30% of all American e-commerce is done while mobile. Even grocery shopping is done this way; in 2017, 22% of American consumers bought groceries online, and today in 2018, a survey of 1,000 American consumers showed that 36% of people plan to buy their groceries online. With all this online shopping going on, any smart business will make sure that its online purchasing features are convenient and up to date, and include all the features that modern customers look for. A great catalog management system has no substitute.
Digital Catalog Software and More
Today, a practical and useful catalog management system for online shoppers is often the key to getting good business to supplement sales in brick and mortar locations. And for some smaller businesses or individual vendors, online shopping is in fact the only way that they sell to customers, having no physical location at all. Those online businesses will especially need to invest in proper online catalogs.
Convenience is often the number one way to make and keep customers who who shop online. Images, for example, are vital for making sure that any catalog is effective at selling its products. 70% of e-commerce site users say that being able to zoom in on large, high quality images is among their top priorities when shopping online, and around 66% of Internet consumers will want to see at least two to three images of an item before deciding whether or not to purchase it. After all, these customers are not in a store, so they cannot hold something in their own hands or look it over; without good images, a product is just a name and a price tag. Other studies have shown that Internet users are impatient; if a website fails to load its images or videos within just a few seconds, website guests often leave, and this can spell disaster for any online catalog. No one will make purchases if they are frustrated with slow loading times.
The software should also be able to handle on-site traffic. Not only should images be large and load quickly, but items should be sorted in the catalog by type, price, brand, customer review averages, and more, making the site more intuitive and convenient to browse. A messy, confusing layout or organization system can be as bad as images that fail to load, and the search engine should also work well. If items have proper and numerous tags on them for price, brand, name, features, and more, customers will have a much easier time searching for what they want to find, and this can help secure a sale. Customers online do not have the advantage of a sales associate to help them, so the online catalog must handle all presentation and search functions that a sales associate would carry out.