How to increase sales with a product catalog
The end goal for all brands and businesses is to increase sales. While there are a lot of stages that need to take place before a sale is finalized, like product planning, marketing, manufacturing, and production. Still, once you’ve done all that, knowing how to increase sales and maximize profits is key for successful businesses. Aside from increasing your revenues, you will have the financial security to invest in further optimizing your processes.
Table of contents
- What is a product catalog?
- Why is it beneficial to use digital catalogs?
- Why are digital catalogs important to retail marketing?
- Tips to maximize sales with a digital product catalog
- Implement tips to maximize sales with Flipsnack
There are many ways to boost sales by optimizing your content, but today we’ll focus on product catalogs and, especially, catalog marketing, as without it, all you have is one fancy-looking catalog. Let’s move beyond creating the most engaging digital product catalog, and let’s discover how to implement catalog marketing strategies that will help you sell more.
What is a product catalog?
Product catalogs are comprehensive marketing materials that companies use to promote their products and services. Ideally, a product catalog provides customers with helpful information like product descriptions, images, sizes, colors, product tags, and prices. Customers can then choose the variant they want and make informed purchase decisions based on all those details.
Product catalogs come in printed or digital formats, both forms being used in catalog marketing. Still, if you know how to make a product catalog, you’ll enhance your marketing strategy by providing a cohesive and engaging format for your offer. They can be shared across platforms and used by the sales team to present to potential customers and maximize.
What is catalog marketing?
Catalog marketing or catalog retailing is a form of direct marketing used by businesses to group their offer in a printed or digital catalog so that customers can make purchases. Customers get to buy directly from the catalog via phone, return envelope for printed catalogs, or via email or message for digital catalogs.
There are catalog marketers that group products and services from different manufacturers for customers in one catalog or businesses that create their own catalog, depending on their needs. Bigger businesses or businesses with lengthy product offers invest in their own on-brand digital product catalogs for seamless interaction with their customers.
Why is it beneficial to use digital catalogs?
Catalogs will always be a part of retail marketing. Still, while printed sales catalogs are still being used by international or local businesses, the benefits of digital catalogs make them an asset for any service or product provider.
Let’s take into account the sales potential for these interactive catalogs. Businesses are more responsive to the following benefits that can be unlocked as they directly affect the business’s financial aspects:
Taking out the distribution and printing costs associated with printed product catalogs will substantially reduce your catalog production and distribution budget.
- Ease of distribution
With digital sharing options, you’ll no longer have to ship printed catalogs or manage relationships with different print shops nationwide to ensure your catalogs reach your customers. All you’ll have to do is copy and paste your flipbook link, send it via email, or share it on social media.
- Maintenance and updates
Any necessary changes or updates to your catalog can be done in real-time without having to recall millions of copies from being printed and issuing a whole entire new batch of catalogs. You’ll update the content through team collaboration, and the link you sent to your customers will contain the catalog with the updated information.
When you already have a digital catalog format, it’s much easier to make changes to the offer, pricing, or products with just a few clicks. Guaranteed brand consistency across all distribution channels, ready and available to easily reach desired customers.
These four factors are sometimes overlooked when creating a printed catalog. The offers change constantly, and trash cans hold the evidence of a catalog marketing strategy based on printed catalogs. Why create so much waste when a digital catalog takes care of all that hassle? They cost less and are easier to maintain, distribute, and personalize.
Why are digital catalogs important to retail marketing?
Given the information above, there must be a reason why digital catalogs work so well in the retail space. Right! Especially over the traditional methods.
In the retail and wholesale industry, you’ll need every boost to your sales that you can get. People who are shopping want to feel the convenience and professionalism of your catalog. Inserting things like shopping links and other interactive elements can greatly improve your catalog’s performance, hopefully leading to more sales.
Still, here are three reasons why digital sales catalogs work so well in retail marketing that go beyond links and GIFs.
Comprehensiveness and brand consistency
Digital sales catalogs can include an unlimited number of products, variations, details, images, links, and shopping opportunities. Making them available to customers in your brick-and-mortar store gives them access to visual aids of products you may not have on display while respecting your brand elements. You can also share them online as trackable links with any changes to any offers without affecting brand consistency. Just save those elements in your workspace or ensure your team adheres to them by creating branded templates.
Accessibility across platforms
Retail marketing starts and ends with customer reach, meaning that your first goal is to ensure that your sales catalog reaches your target audience. Digital sales catalogs can be browsed at any time, in any format or display available, making them far more accessible. Additionally, digital product catalogs can also be used to reach audiences regardless of the platforms used by the customers. Through SEO strategies and customer behavior analysis, you can get closer to your prospects, and they will be able to find your offer easier.
Customizable approach to sales
The end goal of any retail business is to make a profit. This can be achieved through converting leads from prospects to customers. Discover your prospects and their shopping patterns through analytics tools and features. Analyze your target customers based on how they interact with your catalog to personalize offers and approach methods accordingly. Buyer personas can differ greatly, as does your product offer, and having the ability to connect the right buyer with the right offer is one of the most compelling attributes of digital catalog marketing. In line with this, Yates Jarvis (Linkedin), founder of 2visions, a full-service E-commerce marketing consultancy, emphasizes the importance of integrating digital tools into traditional retail strategies. He states: “Inventory extension via sales associate use of digital product catalogs brings the best of both worlds to the customer experience: extensive selection and choice combined with personalized curation, the promise of enhanced post-purchase service via a brick-and-mortar establishment, and product customization options backed by the helpful advice of an expert.” This approach not only enhances the customer experience but also bridges the gap between online and offline shopping, offering a comprehensive solution that caters to the modern consumer’s needs.
Tips to maximize sales with a digital product catalog
The fact of the matter remains. Digital product catalogs in today’s economy can make the difference between overshooting your quarterly targets or falling short. Businesses across industries are switching to digital, but there’s more to these visually enhanced and engaging marketing materials than product tags and video embeds.
No matter what you’re selling, who your target audience is, or how big your customer base is, by including the following elements in your digital catalog marketing strategy, you’ll undoubtedly enhance your customer’s shopping experience and make it more effective for your bottom line.
How to maximize sales with a sales catalog?
- Craft comprehensive product descriptions
- Optimize customer experience
- Leverage seo strategies
- Enhance sales potential
- Implement mobile-responsive design
- Expand sales catalog reach
- Strategize advantage for sales agents
- Gather insightful data-based feedback
1. Craft comprehensive product descriptions
While the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, actual words have a different type of value in content marketing that we’ll get into shortly. Because of that value, you need them, but your customers also need them to make informed purchase decisions.
The product name is an identifier for customers, while the description helps customers understand what they buy. Create a copy describing the product’s features, benefits, or how to use it. If there are different sizes, colors, technical specifications, or other things worth mentioning, include them with visuals for the products. Lastly, for a product description to be clear and give the customers all the details they need, make sure to include the price.
2. Optimize customer experience
If you don’t add anything else, high-quality images are a must. People are visual shoppers. We see something, we click it, and we make a purchase. For a professionally branded sales catalog, make sure the images used are high-quality. Avoid blurry or pixelated images.
Still, why stop at images when there are GIFs, slideshows, iframes, videos, and all sorts of interactive elements that improve how customers engage with your product catalog? Through a video, you can show customers how to use a product, what it looks like, or how the fabric moves. If you take the time to ensure they look flawless and provide your audience with the most relevant details, I can assure you that people will be much more likely to purchase that item.
Digital catalog makers give you the ability to enhance your customer experience with at least some of the following interactive elements. Feel free to combine them as long as the catalog’s layout remains clutter-free.
- Pop-up frames – multimedia elements (slide shows, maps, virtual tours, music players), contact forms, or surveys in a pop-up.
- Hyperlinks – internal links for improved navigation through the catalog or external links to take customers to your e-commerce site.
- Videos – upload videos or add them from hosting sites (YouTube, Vimeo) to showcase your products.
- Shopping lists – shopping or buy buttons give customers the ability to send orders directly to your inbox for swift and clear communication.
- Product tags – provide extra information about your products.
- Spotlight images – show high-quality images in great detail by hovering over a small corner photo.
- Slideshows – show more images without taking too much space.
- Captions – add icons that, once clicked, a small pop-up appears with a title you set, along with the URL you want people to access as external resources for more information about your product.
3. Leverage SEO strategies
Publishing a product catalog online doesn’t only mean that potential customers will be able to see it. Once any digital content is publicly published, it is indexed by search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!), giving you the opportunity to implement digital marketing tools, and practices to influence this metric. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can help increase sales by making your digital content rank higher in search engines. So, when someone googles “hand-made products near me” they can see the digital catalog of some locally owned artisan that sells these products.
Invest in keyword research
In order to drive search engine traffic to your catalog, you must first target the traffic you want. Because if you want to sell hand-made products, like the example above, you wouldn’t want people looking for oil filters for their car to come to your catalog. I mean, you might, but the chances of them purchasing something aren’t high.
With effective keyword research, however, you first discover what your target audience is searching for, and the words they use. Then, you can use those words in your product catalog, product descriptions, and product names and increase catalog conversion rates.
Some of the tools that can help you implement a successful SEO strategy are:
- Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
- Google Ads Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Microsoft Advertising Keyword Planner
One of the ways in which search engines can understand your content is through the metadata added to the HTML content of your product catalog. Aside from the title and description you provide your digital product catalog, you can add meta titles and meta descriptions for further SEO optimization. Like this, you ensure that search engines have the capacity to see and impact the results generated by search engines for the keywords or queries you target.
4. Enhance sales potential
As we established, technological advancements have taken product catalogs to the next level. Digital product catalogs not only look better, but are more cost and time-effective. Going digital also provides alternative channels for sales enablement strategy. For example, if your sales team is selling to wholesale distributors they can leverage the product catalog and website in conjunction with quoting software when presenting options for customers to purchase. Here, you’ll find some powerful ways to generate sales directly from your digital catalog with minimal friction and maximum effect.
Bridge the gap between your catalog and website
Once your catalog is published online, connecting it to your e-commerce website is as easy as adding a link. Because that’s literally all it takes. For each product in your catalog, you can add a link that takes customers to your e-commerce website, where they can finalize the transaction.
This is another way to provide more details about your products without overcrowding the product catalog. It also gives your customers the opportunity to choose the platform they prefer. Lastly, connecting your e-commerce website to your digital catalog can drive more traffic to your website to improve its ranking in search engine results. You can also track which sale was driven by your catalog by collecting analytics data, but I’ll cover more on that shortly.
Give customers the ultimate one-stop-shop experience
Those customers who prefer browsing through a flippable digital catalog would appreciate the option to place orders directly from your digital catalog. The software available for this feature is still being optimized by different digital catalog makers, with some offering built-in functionalities while others include a version of the e-commerce connection from above. These built-in features give customers the ability to add products to their shopping cart and send orders without even leaving the catalog.
The following are some of the built-in shopping functionalities available:
- Shopping buttons
- Buy buttons
- Wish lists
- Add to cart buttons
- Shopping lists
Once the products are added to the cart, the customer can download the order as a PDF and email it to you or email it to you directly as a quote. Still, things can be taken one step further by shoppable product catalogs.
Add order forms to your online product catalog
A more advanced option for shopping carts is to transform your digital catalog into a shoppable one. By adding an online ordering form to your digital catalog, like Yudu allows, customers can add products to the form while browsing your catalog. When they are ready, they can either be redirected to your website to finish the transaction or email the order form to you directly.
5. Implement mobile-responsive design
According to Forbes, around 91% of shoppers make online purchases through the use of their smartphone. If most of your customers browse your product catalog on their mobile devices, your catalog needs to be mobile-friendly. Additionally, Google operates on a mobile-first indexing protocol, meaning that the mobile version of your platform (catalog or website) will be the one indexed first.
Design optimized for mobile devices
Ensure that your catalog is mobile-friendly by implementing a mobile-responsive design. Many digital catalog software provide this feature as it delivers a positive experience to customers and makes the catalog more accessible. Your product catalog will reach your customers on their preferred devices and in their preferred format. Visually impaired prospects can scale up texts and improve their experience. You can even test how mobile-friendly your catalog is through their mobile-friendly test tool.
6. Expand sales catalog reach
Digital product catalogs are designed for digital sharing. Whether it’s in PDF format, HTML5, or flipbook, digital catalogs are excellent for being shared through any online medium and tracked accurately. The following list is the baseline for sharing any digital catalog publicly for more catalog software on the market:
- Share via email
- Share the full-view link
- Embed the catalog on a website
- QR code to print or share online
- Download options
- Social media
There are also private sharing options you can choose from:
- Password protected
- Share via email
- Share via readers
- SSO Sharing
When it comes to social media sharing, these online platforms that customers spend so much time on are incredible to boost traffic to your digital sales catalog or e-commerce website.
Use social media as an effective marketing tool
When designing the layout of your product catalog, include social media buttons. It may sound simple or silly, but when your customers see the small social media rectangle, they’re inspired to click them and can be taken to a social media campaign you have or a particular social media post. This won’t only increase your digital catalog’s reach, but your social media engagement will grow as well. Give readers the opportunity to become brand ambassadors by sharing your catalog with their friends through social media.
7. Strategize advantages for sales agents
Once you finish designing your digital product catalog, you may notice that its design, format, and availability make it the ideal sales tool. At any sales pitch, sales representatives require a representation of their sales offer. Having a digitally enhanced catalog designed for maximized engagement available on any device is the key for any successful sales agent. Most digital catalogs only need an internet connection to be accessed from anywhere at any time.
Considering all the features and functionalities we already covered that are available in digital catalog software, what sales representative wouldn’t want this catalog on their tablet, phone, or laptop? Sales agents can engage their customers without crowding their online platforms simply by presenting their offer on their own devices. They can even place orders through the shopping options listed above. Agents can create sales on the move regardless of their location, the device, or the size of the audience, seeing as mobile devices can be connected to 85-inch full-HD smart TVs in auditorium-sized conference rooms.
Digital catalog software gives the ability to manage features like editing or workspace access. Digital catalog accessibility can be limited or expanded, and the manner in which different departments, team members, or collaborators can work together to create and use these digital catalogs can be organized through such software.
8. Gather insightful data-based feedback
The cost and time effectiveness of digital product catalogs can never be underestimated. You’ll have minimal printing costs if most of your catalogs are distributed online. That is established. Still, that’s not the biggest appeal for businesses to invest in digital sales catalogs.
While a printed catalog can ultimately reach your target audience, the feedback you get from your customers can only be calculated in the amount of sales. And that’s it. You don’t know what product they engaged with most or what type of content inspires them to make a purchase more.
When you distribute your sales catalog digitally, you have several methods to track business performance based on how your audience interacts with your catalogs. These insights can help you optimize your content according to direct feedback from your customers. The following processes to analyze the data and access key insights:
Track performance across different mediums and traffic sources
You can find the medium that generates the most traffic by looking at your high-level traffic report from different sources like direct, referral, paid, organic, or email. Furthermore, you can examine how different search engines contribute to your organic traffic.
Analyze catalog performance across devices
In order to ensure the best performance across devices, you need to consider how well your digital catalog performs across devices, operating systems, or web browsers. Check that none of these elements affect the responsiveness of your sales catalog design. You need to look at how performance differs according to devices through conversion rates, bounce rates, average sales, and average time spent on each page. Dive deeper through Google Analytics reports made available by some digital catalog makers or their built-in statistics and analytics.
Evaluate page-level performance
Through digital catalogs, you can access performance metrics for individual pages and their interactions, making tracking customer behavior and engagement easy. You can identify which pages are doing poorly and optimize them for increased customer engagement. Ensure that every inch of your digital sales catalog is designed to entice your potential customers to purchase your products. Based on the feedback you can gather you can fix possible issues that decrease conversion rates or guarantee enough entrance points for your customers to finalize the purchase.
After all, the end goal of any business is to sell as much as possible. If you’ve reached this far in the article, you’re probably interested in this yourself. Now that your search for ideas and tips on how to increase sales has concluded, you’re probably wondering how you can do all of that.
Well, with the right software, it’s easier than it seems.
Finally, in our last section, let’s focus on how to apply these tips in Flipsnack.
Implement tips to maximize sales with Flipsnack
I’m not gonna end this article without telling you how each of the tips explored above can be easily applied through Flipsnack’s digital catalog maker. Follow the next steps and reach the benefits of a sales strategy aimed at maximizing profits and customer satisfaction. Now, let’s apply the tips from above in Flipsnack.
Step 1 – Upload PDF or start from scratch
Sign up for Flipsnack and choose how you want to start. Either choose a product catalog template, start creating one from scratch, or by uploading your PDF catalog copy. Open it in our Design Studio and begin the designing process!
Step 2 – Populate the catalog
Starting from the cover, throughout your catalog, add images and texts with your own professional product content. Just like I’ve told you about before.
- Compose clear product descriptions based on your keyword research when creating the copy for your catalog.
- Include interactive elements to maximize customer engagement. Still, don’t forget that these elements help you track performance and optimize future marketing campaigns. A video widget will be just perfect for introducing your latest product collection. So add the URL link and show potential buyers the video featuring your unique products. While your customers enjoy highly captivating content, you get to maximize engagement and sales while optimizing your business practices.
- For efficient catalog production, connect a data source containing all your products to Flipsnack. Simply drag and drop each product content in its designated area. For any future change to the catalogs offered with the automation feature, all you’ll have to do is sync the data source to your flipbook.
- For the optimal shopping experience, add shopping options from the available elements and ensure your digital sales catalog is mobile-friendly so search engines know how to target your intended audience. And you’re done. Your digital sales catalog is ready to reach your customers.
Step 3 – Share far and wide
- Regardless of the communication channel used, your digital product catalog will maintain brand consistency through simple branding elements like logos, brand colors, typography, and custom domain.
- Use social media to your advantage by including icons that connect your audience with ads, promotions, gifts, or simple posts about your offer.
- Through features management, teammates, and workspaces, optimize your team’s collaboration efforts and give your sales representative the best tools to exceed their quarterly targets.
- Easily make changes within your catalogs once they reach your customers without having to send them a new link. You can fix any errors and update promotions, prices, or general information in real-time, guaranteeing up-to-date offers available to all or some of your customers.
Step 4 – Interpret the data
- This final step is covered extensively in the final tips. The relationship between seller and buyer doesn’t end with the transaction, nor should your digital catalog marketing strategy. Take your digital catalog software to its full potential using the built-in Flipsnack Analytics or integrated Google Analytics for deeper insights.
- Track engagement metrics for each page, flipbook, or entire collections.
- Optimize current or future catalogs in order to boost sales based on the metrics measured and the reports. Like this, your future marketing strategies can be based on real data from your digital sales catalog.
Thank you for sticking with me ‘till the end! Hopefully, this article convinced you that your retail business needs product catalogs in order to boost sales. Make sure to consider all the tips and tricks I’ve presented before and take advantage of the unique interactive elements you can find in Flipsnack.
Waste no more time and start creating a product catalog today with the aid of a product catalog template! Flipsnack is always here at your disposal to help you increase sales and build brand awareness.
Customers received catalogs in their mailboxes, picked the items they wanted, and then sent their mail order along with money for selected items and shipping. The products were received through the post in the following days or even weeks.