7 eCommerce Catalog Management Challenges & Solutions

For an eCommerce business, catalog management is an essential aspect of doing things right. It helps customers find what they are looking for more easily and gives them all the information they need to make a decision on purchasing – including the color and size of a product, when it was manufactured and where. For merchants, it allows an eCommerce catalog to be targeted to different audiences for the maximum impact, and inventory to be tracked. 


To successfully operate your catalog management strategy, you need to be prepared for the challenges you will face and know the solutions. Below, we’ll run through a lucky seven of the most important things to know.


Multi-Platform Selling

For an eCommerce business, it is standard to be selling across a number of marketplaces, with your own online store, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and potentially a wealth of others to be considered. That makes it tricky to keep track of what each site needs to know about the product. The solution is an inventory management system that makes it easier to categorize and organize products – and as the name suggests, keep track of inventory.


Trust & Attention


We’ve all been on an online store site that has frustrated us – we want to order a can of blue paint and all it shows us is multiple shades of white or some similar annoyance. The last thing you want is a customer browsing your store for a product and being shown irrelevant results. Ship Joy helps you out here by allowing you to arrange products in your eCommerce catalog by a wide range of categories and making them searchable – so if your customer wants a pink hat, they’ll be shown pink hats.


Reaching Different Audiences


Most eCommerce business owners are by now aware of the benefits of offering a different eCommerce catalog for each category of customer they’re looking for. Where a lot of businesses fall down is in not sufficiently differentiating the information in each catalog. This can be overcome by first curating a catalog that will appeal to all, and then using inventory tech that automates what is displayed depending on the audience – so everyone sees the right catalog.


The Right Framework

An “as and when” approach to catalog management, adding new products and lines when they become available, can cost you a lot of time, and the delay can mean different customers, such as B2B clients, aren’t seeing new lines when they should be. Implementing a Product Information Management system, or PIM centralizes all the information and allows it to be added to the site in a prompt and orderly way.


Customer Returns

There isn’t an eCommerce or mail order service that doesn’t get some returns – customers will order to see if they like something, and return it if they aren’t wowed. However, higher return rates are often the result of poor cataloging which leaves out salient information or gets it wrong. Design your catalog so that people know what they are getting before checking out, and consider the information people really need to know.


Product Tagging

This one is fairly simple. Product tags are used to identify products across a range of categories, making it easier for the customer to search for them, and warehouse staff to find them. Inaccurate product tagging means customers aren’t seeing what they want to see – and makes it harder for warehouse staff, too. Adopt a rigid tagging system and stick to it, adding every new product to it as they come in.


Stock Reordering Management

A robust approach to reordering needs to be part of your eCommerce catalog management from the very beginning. If you aren’t rigorously tracking inventory (ideally by use of SKU number), then you run the risk of stockouts and other challenges with your inventory. Through Ship Joy, you can implement an SKU-based system of reorder points that means you automatically reorder when inventory falls to or below a certain point.