Ever since taking roots in the early 90s, eCommerce has gone through a sea change as an industry. When Jeff Bezos established in 1995, very few in the retail industry could see the potential of online sales. But the fact is, today the market size of the industry has reached a whopping USD 9.09 trillion and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027. Marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay see thousands of new merchants emerging every single day. If you want to carve a niche for yourself in this highly lucrative business, you must understand that you are trying your luck in one of the world’s most competitive arenas. Merely setting up an eCommerce store won’t be of any consequence unless you give due importance to all the critical attributes of a successful eCommerce store. Apart from choosing a good selling platform, the single most important factor that can make or break your eCommerce business is eCommerce catalog management.
In this exhaustive write-up, we will understand the significance of eCommerce catalog management services. We will also try to answer critical questions such as: How does catalog management affect your eCommerce business? How can you manage your catalogs effectively? Where to find the right resources for eCommerce catalog management services? We will try to touch upon every aspect of effective catalog management.
Let’s get a deeper dive into the world of eCommerce to understand the significance of catalog management.
To start with, let’s look at these facts and figures:
- The global B2C eCommerce turnover was $1.84 trillion in 2019
- Global ecommerce sales are expected to top 4.2 trillion USD in 2020
- 67% of millennials prefer to shop online
- It’s seven-time more expensive to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one
- 61% of global consumers believe that online shopping saves money
- Just 52% of online stores have omnichannel capabilities
- For 93% of shoppers, visuals are the key deciding factor
For any reader, these statistics will appear to be pretty random at first sight, but if you look at them from the context of catalog management, you will be able to identify a trend.
To really understand the significance of these numbers let’s look at what eCommerce catalog management is all about.
eCommerce Catalog management is essentially a dynamic process where products are organized in a specific way to ensure consistent and high-quality data across sales channels. A consistent and quality catalog provides product names, descriptions, hierarchy, price, supplier, and other related details. Now in the light of this definition, you can understand the significance of catalog management services in an eCommerce business. While the numbers prove that eCommerce has become a highly competitive business landscape, surviving in this space calls for engaging catalogs that strike an instant chord with your target audience. What is more, your product catalogs should be visually appealing and should also be compatible with different selling platforms.
Having firmly established that catalog management is integral to the success of your eCommerce business, the only thing that remains to be answered is how to get quality eCommerce catalog management services. The answer to this question is not simple, as you have to understand the challenges of catalog management before finding a solution. As they say, ‘The first step of finding a solution to a problem acknowledging its presence’.
So let’s find out the major challenges faced by retailers in catalog management.
Need to sell on multiple channels
To succeed in the highly competitive eCommerce arena you have to leverage all the sales channels available in the market. For example, if you only sell on Amazon, you are missing sales opportunities on other channels such as eBay and your own eCommerce store. So to take advantage of multiple sales channels, your product catalog should be agile enough to suit the requirement of individual selling platforms. To make your catalog compatible with multiple channels, you need a team of catalog management specialists. Hiring such a team is not only cost-prohibitive but also takes a toll on the efficiency of your operations.
Showing relevant results
The attention span of an average online buyer is very low. If they don’t find the most suitable results in the very first go, they will move on to the next platform. Another important trend that makes catalog management very important for you is that buyers search for their desired product on multiple platforms at the same time. No wonder that cart abandonment rate is as high as 69.3%. If you want to cut on this rate and give your buyers the most relevant search results, you need the help of professionals to manage your catalog.
Consistency of product data
According to studies, more than 90% of buyers do not complete the sales due to incomplete or inconsistent product information. It simply means that most of the online retailers struggle to present the product data consistently. It happened because most catalog management is done manually and in manual mode the chances of errors creeping in are high. Today, artificial intelligence tools are used to make the product information consistent with the product page. AI tools identify products by scanning images and accordingly put them in the right category. To leverage these emerging technologies, you need to shell out more money.
Optimized product descriptions
Product descriptions are the backbone of your catalogs. You have to write persuasive product copies that are in sync with the individual eCommerce platform you are selling on. As an online merchant, your job is to focus on sales rather than writing content for your catalogs. Writing product copies is a niche job that calls for the expertise of professional eCommerce content writers. These writers can write lucid product copies that entice both your customers as well as the search engines. Obviously, you will have to hire product copywriters to come up with product catalogs that sell.
Quality product images
No matter how good is your product copy, your catalog is incomplete without quality images of the products you are selling. Remember, 93% of shoppers prefer to buy products that have good visuals. To give your product catalogs that power of great images, you need image enhancement specialists who can infuse life in your dull product photos.
The need for eCommerce Management Services
All these factors indicate that eCommerce product management is a rather intricate process that calls for diverse skill sets. Obviously, as an online merchant you cannot be master of everything and to take care of the complete lifecycle of catalog merchants you will have to hire resources. Hiring a team of catalog management specialists has its own challenges and what is more you have to spend a fortune in maintaining an in-house team. The best way out of this situation is outsourcing catalog management services to a third-party vendor.
Why outsourcing is your best bet to get quality eCommerce catalog management services
Having an in-house team of catalog management specialists is an option for retailers, but from all angles, it is an expensive one. First of all, you have to hunt for the right skill sets, which is a time-consuming exercise. Most of the good resources are already employed and the ones that remain in the market charge hefty amounts for their services. Even if you manage to hire a team of eCommerce catalog management experts, managing this team is a big task that not only eats into your productive time but also takes a toll on your overall operational efficiency. Outsourcing on the other hand gives you instant access to the most desirable skill sets. All you have to do is to share your individual requirement with the vendor and they provide you with the right resources to take care of the job.
Outsourcing eCommerce catalog management to destinations like India also absolves you of overhead expenses. You only pay an hourly price for the resource working on your catalog management project. In essence, you get your own catalog management team at an offshore location at zero cost. The main benefits of outsourcing catalog management services include:
- Instant access to the right skill sets
- No overhead expenses
- Dedicated catalog management specialists
- Quick and accurate services
- More time and resources for your core business
SunTec India: Your ideal partner to outsource eCommerce catalog management services
SunTec India is a specialized provider of eCommerce services. We bring to the table an industry experience of more than 20 years. Over the years we have helped thousands of retailers around the world stay ahead of the competition by providing customized eCommerce solutions. With us, you can hire dedicated eCommerce catalog management experts who work exclusively for you as your own employees. All our services are ISO certified for quality and data security. For free advice on eCommerce management, write to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.