Manufacturing eCommerce

Product Catalog for Manufacturing eCommerce

October 5, 2022  |  8 min read

Utilizing Product Catalogs for Manufacturing eCommerce

Product catalogs are a must-have for eCommerce manufacturing platforms. They are the most useful when they are customized for the manufacturing eCommerce industry and the qualities of that particular site. This includes customizing the presentation style, filtering system, and other functionalities.

You can also optimize product catalogs for filtering via location, product category, or use case. There's no end to the possibilities that a customizable product catalog will bring.

How Product Catalogs Help Manufacturing eCommerce

With product catalogs for your manufacturing eCommerce platform, you can build a better shopping experience for your customers. Different ways of filtering items can be optimized for your site.

Through our experience with many clients using our product catalog system, we've discovered optimized product catalogs can solve the following:

  • Where Is It Located? – If letting customers buy from nearby warehouses or stores is a key factor of your business operations, then make it easy for customers to see where they can buy an item and what's in stock at each location.
  • What's In Stock? – In keeping with the last point, having stock or inventory indicators can be crucial for a manufacturing eCommerce platform. Let customers know if an item is in stock or not, and if you want to take it a step further, let them know how many are in stock.
  • How Can I Optimize Costs? – With the right setup, product catalogs can be vital to helping your customers save on items and fulfillment costs. Customers will appreciate the opportunity to optimize their logistics and this type of thing can build trust and customer loyalty.
  • Can I Return This? – The dreaded question no supplier wants to hear, especially for expensive bulk orders. To minimize the risk of this happening because of errors in the ordering process, you can set up a quoting system or workflow for approving the order and give the customer access to purchasing steps.

What Product Catalogs Can Do for Manufacturing eCommerce

Product catalogs work best when optimized for your particular use case and customers. Oftentimes, that means customizing your catalog to better suit your needs.

Our product catalogs can be integrated with any ERP, CMS,  or other back-office system so that everything in your manufacturing eCommerce platform has a single source of truth. 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 for Manufacturing eCommerce

  • Warehouse Location & Map View – With this type of presentation, customers can search based on zip code and get a list of nearby locations or get a map view they can move around to get a different perspective. These are useful for buy-online, pick-up-in-store and buy-online, ship-to-store models.
  • Quoting System – Some orders may require a quote before a customer can order. You can enable customers to request a quote right from the product catalog. There are also steps you can automate in that quoting process.
  • 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.
  • Different First Displays – Choose what customers will see and filter for first. Prioritize location, product type, shipping modality, order size, etc., based on what would be the most useful for your customers and the parameters or requirements of your business operations.
  • Product Variations – Let customers sort through the variations or options for a product, e.g., different sizes of track spikes. Variations can have different prices (which are dynamically applied based on what the customer selects) and show up in relevant filtered searches.
  • 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: Manufacturing-Specific Functions

For product catalogs, there will always be industry-specific required functions. As an example, we'll go over a manufacturing eCommerce platform.

  • Approval Process – If you're dealing with restricted items or products that might have different rules based on the jurisdiction, you may need to implement an approval process. This can include a checkbox for agreeing to terms and conditions or signing a legal document.
  • Presentation Styles – In the manufacturing eCommerce product catalog, there are different ways to present items to your users. One view provides information in a grid format with images of items and the other is in a list format with more details. You can also add a sticky bar so customers can always see how much they need to add to fill up a container.
  • Timeline Details – You can also let customers know or give an estimate on how long it will take to manufacture something and get it shipped to them. This can be helpful for customers as it allows them to prioritize their orders effectively.
  • Notifications – If an item is out of stock, backordered, or will take time to process, users can set up notifications on the item within the product catalog. Then, they stay updated with what's going on and when they can order.

Key Takeaways

Get Manufacturing-Specific Features

Product catalogs need to be optimized for your business and industry. Don't drive customers away with poorly constructed product catalogs. Work with Clarity instead to increase satisfaction and conversion rates.

Use Machine Learning & Analytics

Continue improving and optimizing your manufacturing eCommerce site with Clarity's built-in analytics features. Learn what filters customers use the most so you can bring those to the top of the list and make them easier to reach.

Work with Expert Developers

To make sure all your needs are met, work with an experienced development team and get a robust, versatile manufacturing eCommerce platform that grows with your business.

Discover Your Optimal Product Catalog

Product catalogs are amazingly flexible, and we can build it however you need. We've been developing product catalogs and manufacturing eCommerce platforms for years and we'd be happy to share our expertise and help your business grow. Please don't hesitate to take advantage of our complimentary, no-obligation discovery and strategy session. During the session, we'll go over what your needs are and provide solutions on what will work best for you.

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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 business.