What is the Aggregated Catalog?
VARstreet’s aggregated product catalog is a tool that is instrumental in aggregating catalogs from 35+ distributors. The result of this whole exercise is that you get detailed, up to date and structured information from all the sources. This is particularly designed to have all the information which is necessary for different teams such as sales and marketing, etc. to compare or research products and to frame their strategies.
It empowers customers in a way that it makes all the necessary information available in one place, thus enabling them to make more informed decisions. This is particularly important to enrich the overall customer experience. It also eliminates the overall tedious process of calling multiple vendors and surfing numerous websites to acquire product information.
Advantages of Aggregated Catalog with your e-store
Catalog management can no longer be ignored by those who wish to succeed in the online world. The reason for the same is- customers are demanding rich, detailed, vivid and consistent information from e-tailers. In addition, customers have developed the habit of comparing product catalogs from multiple channels, in order to get the best benefit. This factor also has to be taken into consideration.
A product catalog, to put into simple terms, is the detailed document pertaining to the inventory of a store. It is essentially the cornerstone of an eCommerce business. It may consist of product images, description, SKU details, pricing information, delivery guidelines, Brand Name, handling cost, MSRP, dimensions, manufacturer part number, the available quantity, etc. It is directly responsible for influencing the buying behaviour of a customer. In cases of online purchases, customers cannot actually handle the products, and hence a proper catalog can offset this shortcoming.
Product catalogs are the foundation of the whole eCommerce business. In the overall catalog management, the factors that need to be considered are costing, updating parameters, among others. Catalog management particularly becomes difficult when one has a broad product base and has to sell products on multiple channels. Aggregated product catalog helps online sellers to overcome impediments related to catalog management. Let’s have a comprehensive 360-degree view on aggregated product catalog.
Uses of the Aggregated Catalog
VARs frequently have to submit their full catalog either the hard copy or the soft copy or a subset of the same to their customers either corporate or government, educational institutes, etc. This has to be submitted in addition to the contract pricing as demanded by customers.
With aggregated catalog resellers can easily provide their customers with partial or full catalog and that too with just one click as and when required. The same can be provided via email route or in FTP based format depending upon the size of the file. However, the export file may not have rich content but will contain the vital information pertaining to cost, price, delivery, description, category and the sub-category and product data etc. Thus, this results in time-saving for the online sellers and enables them to concentrate more on enriching the customer experience. Thus, the aggregated product catalog enables enriching customer experience, which ultimately leads to increased conversion prospects and revenue generation.
Benefits & Advantages of the Aggregated Catalog
Aggregated product catalogs are instrumental in upgrading the product information constantly. The aggregated catalog provides vital data to perform core tasks such as marketing of the product, branding of the product, operations as well as customer service. Uninterrupted and quality updating is an important feature of the aggregated catalog and hence, it provides essential information of updated citations, price alteration, introduction of novel products, their availability, etc.
An aggregated catalog also helps in the merchandising efforts of sellers. The online market participants face impediments particularly when they have to work on multiple channels and with various suppliers, thus resulting in making the whole merchandising process harder, time consuming and rigorous. Since, the aggregated catalog has the ability to provide customers with the entire catalog or the subset of it, at the click of a button, it is instrumental in attracting the right customers who will end up purchasing the product. Thus, it ultimately results in the increased ROI of the company.
The maintenance of quality data is one of the most important advantages of the aggregated catalog. The sustainability of quality data can be hampered especially in the cases where there is involvement of multiple channels. There might be different scenarios, which might impact the overall quality of the data. These scenarios include discrepancy, spelling mistakes, inaccurate pricing information, missing information about products, and backdated information, among others. These scenarios may arise, as there is a lack of standardization in the information supplied by various sources.
Another factor contributing to such mishaps is the manual intervention in the overall catalog management. The aggregated catalog provides a consistent, updated and pleasant buying experience for its customers. In addition, the margin for error is removed as the entire process is completely devoid of any human intervention. With the advanced tools of the feature, it provides quality and consistent information to a number of verticals of the company such as technical support, customer care, marketing and sales.
Instead of outsourcing of catalog management and aggregation of the same, it can be also done internally. However, internal management of the same can lead to certain challenges. Firstly, dedicated internal resources need to be allocated which increases the overall working expenditure and secondly, proper training has to be provided for the appropriate gathering of information. Otherwise, internal tools can be developed such as macros which help in the management of a certain section of product catalog by certain teams. The one thing to note is for internally managing the entire process, it is essential to hire the right people at the right time.
These hassles can be avoided by aggregated catalog management. It provides quality service as it has rich experience, dedicated team and provides connections with 35 plus distributors, 2 million plus SKUs, 4000 plus vendors, and can provide information on a daily basis and also a real-time update. Thus, in an industry where information is vital, aggregated catalog feature is a lifesaver.