ECommerce Product Catalog: What It Is & How It Can Help

Updated   |  8 min read

Who Uses Product Catalogs?

Businesses that run eCommerce stores or marketplaces use product catalogs so customers can easily navigate available products.

Product catalogs are the most useful when they are customized for the specific qualities of each store or marketplace. The presentation style, filtering system, and other features can be optimized for your business’s industry, situations, and specifications.

For example, depending on the type of delivery model and number of purchased items, product catalogs can be optimized for filtering via location, product category, or use case.

How Product Catalogs Can Help

Product catalogs offer a highly efficient way for your customers to find the items they’re looking for. They help simplify the process from customer inquiry through final purchase.

Over the years, Clarity has discovered these problems can be solved by implementing a product catalog:

Product catalogs.
  • Searching for the Right Product – If customers can’t find what they want, they’ll leave your site and look elsewhere. Advanced filtering capabilities allow users to find exactly what they’re looking for in the most efficient way.
  • In-Stock Inquiries – Customers don’t want to be surprised with the message “item not available” when they get to checkout or make the order and never have the item arrive. With product catalogs, you can let your customers know if something is in stock, out of stock, or backordered.
  • Fulfillment Costs – Without proper optimization, fulfillment is a higher expense than it should be. Among other features, we can set up your product catalog so that you have a map view of store and warehouse locations, which makes it easier to plan an efficient route.
  • Bulk Returns – Bulk orders are important to get right because customers don’t want to have to do expensive returns. That’s why customers can get in touch with the seller through the product catalog, and you can make it a requirement to do so for certain large bulk orders.

How you set up your product catalog depends on your customers’ priorities and what your products are typically used for. Learning what’s most useful for your customers is key to having an effective product catalog.

Product catalog.

What Product Catalogs Can Do for You

It’s important to remember that product catalogs work best when optimized for your customers’ and business’s needs. That’s why Clarity customizes the product catalog for each of our clients.

Product catalogs can be integrated with virtually any ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or other back-office system. This gives your business the opportunity to use a new and improved tool without having to change the core system you have in place. We also offer many features with our off-the-shelf eCommerce platform that can be tailored to your needs.

Product Catalog Features

  • Automatic Updates – With an ERP integrated with your back-office system, inventory and other details are automatically updated onto your website. End users can view whether something is in stock, backordered, or out of stock, and set up a notification for when something becomes in stock again.
  • Optimized Presentation – The presentation and format of the product catalog automatically adjusts to the user’s preferences and chosen catalog and filters.
  • Product Comparisons – Product catalogs give users the ability to compare products quickly, which gives them the information they need to make a purchasing decision.
  • Enhanced Filtering – Built-in analytics within the catalog help you determine what people are filtering for. You can then utilize machine learning to automatically progress the most often used filters to the top of the list for a more user-friendly filtering system.
  • Navigation Depth – A navigation menu can be included on the side of the page for easy access. And beyond category filters, there’s filters for category and suppliers, too. With this depth of filtering and navigation, users can easily access different areas of the catalog.
  • Minimum Order – Some items may have a large minimum order quantity, so it’s important that users can set a minimum order that’s required so they can see if it’s within their budget range.
  • Supplier Details – In addition to details about the product itself, there can also be details about the supplier, such as whether the supplier is on the site, their response rate, and what seller level they are (e.g., Silver or Gold). These factors help drive interaction between the buyer and the seller.
  • Promotions – The product catalog can also display personalized marketing for different sellers who want to promote their products within the marketplace. You can have sponsored listings at the top with organic results beneath those.
  • Dynamic Pricing – Different prices can show up for different customers on select products. When a customer logs into their account, they’ll see their account-specific discounts, promotions, coupons, etc. Dynamic price ranges can differ based on the filters selected as well, such as the number of items and type of material.
  • Dynamic Search Field – The catalog search field can be dynamic based on the customer that’s logged in. A customer might have a particular vendor they usually buy from, or a certain set of items they often buy. When they go to search and start typing, the dynamic lookup field will filter the list of items based on the activity associated with that account.
  • Custom Fields – Products in the catalog can have an unlimited number of attributes or custom fields that work as filters. Products can automatically have certain attributes applied to them when they are placed into a category, and we can add this data dynamically based on an ERP integration.
  • Stock Indicator – The product catalog can include a visual indicator of stock levels. There can be a green dot for in stock, yellow for backordered, and red for out of stock. There can also be rollover icon tooltips where users can get more information.
  • Discount Indicator – If there’s a discount, it’s good practice to show how much the discount is for. This is also something that can be set up and filtered for in Clarity’s product catalog.
  • Details in Rollover – We have a rollover where, if you want to turn on this feature, users can compactly see options to add to a favorites or wish list, add to a compare list, or add to an in-stock alert. Or the rollover can contain information about delivery and shipping options, for example.
  • Sticky Bar – A sticky bar that floats down when going through the list of items can let users see various details. If fulfillment and containers are important for your marketplace, the sticky bar can show the capacity on different containers so users can optimize their load.

Product Catalog Example: Auction-Specific Features

For product catalogs, there will be industry-specific required functions. As an example, we’ll go over an eAuction platform.

  • Approval Process – To get into the auction view or place a bid, users need to go through an approval process. This can include adding a payment method, checking to agree to terms and conditions, making an escrow account, or signing a legal document (we can integrate DocuSign or our own native e-signing capability for this feature).
  • Presentation Styles – In the auction view, there are different presentation styles the user can choose from. One view provides information in a grid format and the other is in a list format. Another presentation style includes a grid format for auctions but also a side panel with available filters to select from, such as categories, sellers, seller ratings, current bid price, and a date range or timeline.
  • Auction Listings View – Auction listings can be shown in a detailed or compact view, depending on the user’s preferences. The auction listings page is especially useful for auctions that have multiple countdowns occurring due to the easy sorting and filtering functionality.
  • Product Photos – The auction page has photos of the products split into three sections within its container. This allows the user to glance through multiple images without having to go into the product details page. They can also see the location and the items within the auction, and the time for the auction.
  • Auction Details – This presentation style shows the items within each auction, and users click the left and right arrows in the auction container on the page to flip through the images. Other details are also displayed, including the seller information, terms and conditions, fulfillment information, and details about their bid.
  • Notifications – Users can set up a notification for an auction to be reminded of various things to do with the auction. For example, they can get a reminder of when the auction will end, when they’ve been outbid, or other useful information. They can also choose a preferred method to receive the notification (i.e., text, call, email) and add information specific to that notification (i.e., phone number, email address). Users can even add auction events to their calendar.
  • Affiliates – We can also specify whether there are affiliates. Affiliates can have their own landing page to be able to promote the catalog, and they can be branded and promoted. We can show the items in the catalog as restricted for a particular affiliate, as branded based on the affiliate, and track which affiliate landing page users went to. These things help affiliates gain credibility.

Key Takeaways

  • Auction Platforms – For auction platforms, it’s crucial that users can immediately see what’s going on with relevant auctions. Proving all the information they’ll need is a good idea, but there also needs to be a way to sort through that information in an intuitive way. That’s where Clarity’s product catalog comes in.
  • You Choose Your Features – With Clarity’s eCommerce platform and product catalog, there are many features and functions you can have. However, not every feature is necessary for every business. That’s why we let you decide exactly what features you’d like to include, and we customize the software for you. This helps you streamline your business processes and user experience and minimizes your costs.
  • Product Catalogs Are Essential – Without a product catalog, users won’t have a way to navigate through your eCommerce marketplace or store. Without an intuitive search, filter, and navigation system, potential customers may get frustrated when they are unable to find what they want. That’s why having a full product catalog is essential for success.
  • Clarity’s Catalog Is Adaptable – The catalog system with the Clarity eCommerce platform can change dramatically. Within a single instance of our platform, we can change presentation styles for different categories, product types, affiliates, account type, preferences, pricing, locations, and much more.
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Discover Your Optimal Product Catalog

Product catalogs are amazingly flexible, and we can build it however your business needs. We’ve been developing product catalogs for years and we’d be happy to help you with your product catalog needs. If you’re interested, we’d love to chat with you more. Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of our complimentary discovery and strategy session. Through this process, we’ll help you discover what your needs are, what solutions will work best for you, and if we’re a good fit for your company.



An eCommerce product catalog is a structured database or listing of all the products offered by an online retailer or business. It serves as a comprehensive inventory that showcases details about each product, such as descriptions, images, prices, variations (like sizes or colors), and availability. The catalog acts as the digital storefront where customers browse and select items to purchase. It typically organizes products into categories and subcategories, making it easier for users to navigate and find what they need.

The catalog is often integrated into the eCommerce platform's website or app, providing a user-friendly interface for customers to explore products, read specifications, view reviews, and make purchasing decisions. For businesses, maintaining an organized and updated product catalog is crucial for effective online sales, customer engagement, and efficient inventory management.


A product catalog provides several key benefits to businesses engaged in eCommerce or retail. First, it enhances the customer shopping experience by organizing products in a structured and accessible format, making it easier for customers to browse and find items of interest. This streamlined approach can lead to increased sales and higher conversion rates.

A well-maintained product catalog also improves operational efficiency by serving as a central repository for product information. It helps businesses manage inventory effectively, track product availability, and streamline order processing. Furthermore, a comprehensive catalog can aid in marketing efforts by showcasing products across various channels, such as websites, social media, and email campaigns, thereby increasing brand visibility and customer engagement. Ultimately, a product catalog acts as a powerful tool that not only drives sales but also enhances brand reputation and customer satisfaction in the competitive world of eCommerce.


A product catalog is instrumental in assisting customers by providing detailed and accessible information about products. Firstly, it allows customers to browse and explore a wide range of offerings conveniently from any location, enabling informed purchasing decisions. The catalog typically includes comprehensive product descriptions, specifications, images, and pricing details, which help customers understand the features and benefits of each item.

A well-organized catalog simplifies the search process, allowing customers to filter products based on categories, attributes, or keywords to quickly locate desired items. This saves time and enhances the overall shopping experience. Additionally, customer reviews and ratings often featured in catalogs provide valuable insights and build trust.

A product catalog empowers customers with the information they need to make confident purchases, facilitating a seamless and satisfying shopping journey in the digital realm of eCommerce.


A product catalog plays a crucial role in marketing by serving as a powerful tool to showcase products and engage customers. Firstly, it acts as a visual representation of a business's offerings, allowing marketers to highlight key features, benefits, and unique selling points of products. This presentation helps capture customer attention and stimulate interest in the brand.

A product catalog can be leveraged across various marketing channels, including websites, social media platforms, email campaigns, and digital advertisements. By integrating the catalog into marketing efforts, businesses can effectively promote products to targeted audiences, driving traffic and conversions.

Also, a well-curated catalog supports cross-selling and upselling strategies by suggesting related or complementary items to customers. It also reinforces brand identity and credibility, contributing to brand loyalty and customer retention. Ultimately, a product catalog serves as a dynamic marketing asset that enhances visibility, promotes sales, and fosters meaningful customer relationships in the competitive marketplace.


Businesses can optimize their product catalog to improve user experience, boost sales, and enhance operational efficiency. Firstly, they should ensure accurate and detailed product information, including descriptions, specifications, images, and pricing. Consistency in formatting and categorization helps in easy navigation and searchability.

Businesses should also leverage SEO techniques by incorporating relevant keywords in product titles and descriptions to improve visibility on search engines. High-quality product images and videos enhance visual appeal and provide customers with a better understanding of the products.

Regularly updating inventory levels and availability status prevents customer frustration due to out-of-stock items. Implementing user-friendly filters and sorting options facilitates efficient product discovery. Moreover, integrating customer reviews and ratings adds credibility and assists in decision-making.

Utilizing analytics to track customer behavior and preferences helps in optimizing product recommendations and marketing strategies. Overall, businesses can achieve catalog optimization by focusing on accuracy, visibility, user experience, and data-driven improvements.

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Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their eCommerce business.