Catalog Quality Analysis: Best Practices & Factors to Focus On
Blog: MattsenKumar Blog
From $2.3 billion in 2017 to $3.5 in 2019 and expected to cross the $6 billion mark in 2023, the e-commerce industry has grown at a rate no one imagined. In the coming years, e-commerce is expected to handle 95%o of retail transactions. The simplified shopping experience, on-time delivery, and quality post-sale support are cited as the key metric on e-commerce success.
While metrics like price, fast delivery, and post-sale support are considered to be the differentiating factors between e-commerce players, in reality, it is the quality of catalog that drives sales, retains customers, and improves customer experience.
How Incorrect Catalog Impacts E-commerce Players?
Here are some statistics that prove how an incorrect catalog affects the overall revenue
- 1 out of 3 products ordered online are returned
- 45% of customers are likely to switch platforms due to lack of info
- 38% of customers prefer platforms that offer high-quality photos & videos of products
- 22% of products are returned because they look different in real life
- 23% of returns occur because a wrong or fake product was delivered
A major percentage of returns occur either because the catalog provided incorrect information or because images looked different. All such shortcomings can be overcome with the help of Catalog Quality Analysis.
E-commerce marketplaces are working in close ties with industry experts and sellers to get over innocuous challenges and offer customers the best possible experience.
What are the Benefits of Catalog Quality Analysis?
E-commerce growth has acquired some eyeballs and now everyone is willing to make the most out of the growth opportunity. The growing impact needs to be stirred in the right direction to ensure proper customer satisfaction. The prevalent set of challenges today needs to be handled extremely carefully by investing in catalog quality analysis can ensure better results. Some of the most tangible impacts of catalog quality analysis are:
Improved Search Engine Rankings: Search engines like Google and Bing love fresh and unique content. Sites that are updated with unique content frequently are ranked higher in search results. Taking a cue from this, e-commerce stores should invest in ensuring the freshness of content along with the removal of errors and stuffed keywords.
Better Decision Making: The motive of creating a quality catalog is to help customers understand the product better. When requisite details like color, shape, size, and USPs are corrected and highlighted, it gets easier for customers to realize whether this is the product they are looking for or not.
Improved Product Discovery: Freshly written product descriptions with correct attribute values will impact the on-site search positively. With the relevant product ranking for relevant queries, customers will be able to find the desired product faster. Also, improved on-site search allows e-commerce platforms to collect correct data, which later helps in increasing the breadth of assortments.
Cross-Sell and Up-Sell: Product recommendation is perhaps one of the most impactful practices in the e-commerce industry. Amazon relies on product recommendations for driving 29% of its sales. Cross-selling and up-selling, when leveraged properly, can help businesses improve the overall CLV and customer retention.
Catalog Quality Analysis Best Practices
Rigorous catalog quality checks will help marketplaces and sellers identify products that are listed in the wrong categories and sub-categories. When products are listed under the wrong categories, they fail to reflect on relevant search results, which impacts the customer’s ability to make informed decisions.
Apart from less exposure, brand interference is another problem that arises when products are listed under the wrong categories. Customers will start to see women’s clothing even when searching for men’s t-shirt. Once identified in catalog quality checks, such errors can be rectified through Catalog Enrichment.
Best practices to follow are:
Get Rid of the Duplicate Content
Want to make it easier for customers to find the right product and order it instantly? Start by getting rid of the duplicate content. Some sellers rely on duplicate content for boosting sales, which is a wrong practice and it impacts the entire store. The dark side of duplicate content can be illustrated as:
- It takes away your Search Engine Rankings. Since, Google, Yahoo, and Bing do not rank plagiarized content, you get penalized and your traffic from search engines decreases.
- Duplicate content also impacts the on-site search, where wrong products start ranking higher and impacts customer’s decision-making capacity. Brand interference is perhaps the biggest negative impact of duplicate content.
- Customer experience takes a dip because users see two products with similar names and prices but fail to understand, which one is the original.
2. Work on the Catalog Images
No Blur Images: Blur images will never help your catalog get passed through the multiple checks established by online stores. Also, blur images will never assist customers in developing a better understanding of the product.
Cropped and Graphical Images: It is indispensable to ensure that all images are properly cropped and have the main product in focus. Adding graphical content or computer designed objects in images is not permitted. Graphical images of irregular cropping will impact the overall product customer experience and add up to return rates too.
International and legal guidelines: Following all the norms is the only way to creating a perfect and impactful catalog. International and legal guidelines are designed to protect underage users from exposure to illicit content on the web. Adhering to these norms does not affect the customer experience at all but enhances the overall experience.
3. Catalog Enrichment to discover misplaced attribute values and control brand interference
E-commerce platforms are investing heavily in catalog enrichment services, which traverses the catalog of products that were returned for errors. It often happens that sellers upload wrong information deliberately to rank higher in search results. Such incorrect attribute values lead to an increase in return rates.
For example, a seller can list a watch with “waterproof” as one of its attributes; customers looking for waterproof watches will order the product. Once the product gets delivered, the customer will realize, it’s not a waterproof watch and will apply for a return.
Through rigorous catalog quality checks, such deliberate attempts at marketing can be controlled. Every time a product is returned, both marketplace and seller lose money hence an e-commerce player deciding to invest in catalog quality checks or catalog enrichment will benefit heavily.
What are some other Benefits of Including Proper Attribute Values?
- E-commerce enterprises can create theme-based bucketing for popular events and holidays
- Just by mentioning all the attribute values correctly, marketplaces can help buyers make informed decisions
4. Optimize the Existing Content
Optimize the product title: A product title is not only used to differentiate between two products but also to improve on-site search and search engine ranking. By optimizing product title, e-commerce stores can maintain a standard format on their platform. Following a specified pattern for all product, makes it easier for customers to identify the right product.
Some of the other benefits of optimizing title include:
- Easily rank in search engine results
- Simplifies site structure
- Facilitates easier product recognition
Unique content: When creating a product description, it is necessary to avoid plagiarism because it impacts search engine rankings. Industry experts recommend creating fresh and unique product descriptions because customers love interactive content. By creating content that is luring, interactive, and educative, e-commerce stores can offer a better understanding of the product.
With new sellers joining the platform, errors are bound to occur. E-commerce players will have to take initiatives on their own to curb errors and educate the sellers. Till the time all sellers get well-versed with the norms, let’s ensure catalog quality analysis and checks are helping customers find the right product.
With catalog quality analysis and checks, online stores can reduce chances of product return and improve product discovery leading to better conversion rates.
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