21 Benefits of Using a Product Catalog
Updated September 30, 2022
Using a product catalog can be an effective way for a business or organization to list its products or services, provide additional information or context and share this information with customers and other stakeholders. There are many potential benefits of these product catalogs for customers and company employees. Learning about the benefits of product catalogs can help you select a marketing method that aligns with business goals for profit and growth.
In this article, we define a product catalog, list people who may use these catalogs and provide 21 product catalog benefits to help you succeed in a marketing, development or sales role.
What is a product catalog?
A product catalog is a marketing content method that lists and describes key products or services that a company sells. These descriptions can include product features, dimensions, prices, options, availability and reviews.
In some cases, product catalogs can be digital, but they can also come in physical form. Businesses can distribute these catalogs through sales representatives or directly to customers through the mail, email or other in-person or digital opportunities.
Who uses product catalogs?
Anyone involved in a business' product processes can use a product catalog. This can include:
Customers who use product catalogs to browse products and services
Marketing teams that use product catalogs to promote products to customers
Growth and development professionals who use product catalogs to engage audiences and spread awareness
Sales representatives who can use product catalogs to help give customers more information about products
Store or warehouse personnel who can use product catalogs to keep track of information like product dimensions and stocking needs
Business partners or investors who can use product catalogs to learn about the company
21 benefits of product catalogs
Here are some of the benefits of using a product catalog to drive sales or meet other business goals:
1. Offers information
One major benefit of a product catalog is that this type of document is often informative to anyone who reads it. In many cases, companies can include detailed product descriptions that allow customers or any employees to understand important aspects of each offering. This can guarantee that customers learn the benefits of each product.
2. Simplifies business cycle
Product catalogs can simplify the business cycle by giving customers all necessary information at one time. Rather than describing each product when a customer asks or having to communicate back and forward with any new concerns, customers can have all the information they need available in one place. This can make them more motivated to purchase a product if the process is quicker and less complicated.
3. Assists in sales representative presentations
If a company uses sales representatives, product catalogs can help them effectively describe potential options to a customer. Rather than having to memorize multiple products and details, representatives can distribute product catalogs for customers to look over at their convenience. This can simplify the sales process and allow the representative to focus on developing a relationship with customers.
4. Improves conversion rates
Product catalogs can help sales professionals convert additional customers and sales. Offering additional information and allowing customers to look over products at their leisure can convince them to purchase products. Since customers can feel more secure about their purchases when they're more informed, catalogs can give them the confidence to commit to their desired products.
5. Enhances visual branding
A product catalog can present an opportunity for a company to strengthen its visual branding efforts. Marketing and design professionals can include company logos, fonts or colors on product catalogs, making the catalog a clear extension of the company's brand. This can strengthen that identity internally and present it to potential customers.
6. Easily distributes
Whether you distribute a digital or physical product catalog, it can easily get to customers. With a digital catalog, you can send it through email or include it on a website or social media platform. You can easily send physical copies, hand them out to customers in person or distribute them within the store.
This ease of distribution can allow you to quickly distribute large numbers of catalogs to current, past or potential customers. Sending them to more people can lead to increased product sales by improving the conversion odds.
7. Improves user experience
Product catalogs can offer a positive, stress-free experience for customers. Besides offering additional information, a well-written and visually appealing product catalog can also be enjoyable for customers. This can motivate them to peruse through a catalog and reflect on which products they like. Even if they don't end up purchasing anything from the catalog, it can make a customer more likely to buy from a brand whose options they enjoy.
8. Applies to many industries
Product catalogs are often standard in any industry that sells to customers or other businesses. This means that you can use product catalogs to reach many types of customers without having to educate them about how a catalog works.
It also means that you can easily use product catalogs as a way to communicate with partners or other collaborators about the company's offerings. In this way, a product catalog can act as a simple but informative shared language between industries.
9. Aids representatives at trade shows or other events
You can use product catalogs as an effective tool to aid performances, demonstrations or speeches at a trade show or other event. While you present a product, you can also distribute catalogs to reinforce any information you give. If a customer doesn't have the time to watch a demonstration or speak to a representative, they can easily take a product catalog to read later.
10. Reinforces a business' identity
Depending on the company's identity, a product catalog can help tell a complete story to a customer. For example, if a brand identity involves the brand being transparent and informative, a clear and detailed product catalog can help promote that idea.
Whether customers are familiar with a brand and its story or are just hearing about it for the first time, a well-written product catalog can make it clear to the customer what type of brand it is. This can demonstrate what it might be like to work with the company in the future.
11. Reflects special offers or editions
While you can describe regular offerings with a product catalog, you can also use them to describe special events like sales or promotions or the release of unique product editions. You can even create individual catalogs offerings to match particular sales opportunities. This can create excitement for events and offer unique product information to those who are most likely to buy it.
12. Minimizes training requirements
Although customers often use product catalogs to shop a company's offerings, internal employees can also use and read training catalogs. This can limit training responsibilities and allow employees to focus on developing additional skills.
For example, rather than sales representatives having to undergo extensive training to learn all product information, they can simply distribute catalogs. Similarly, warehouse workers can use catalog information to inform packaging or merchandising efforts, rather than memorizing the required specification for each product.
13. Allows customers to interact with a brand
Especially if you utilize advanced digital marketing technology, product catalogs can represent an opportunity for customers to interact with a brand. For example, you can include links to relevant information or products within a catalog or offer surveys, questionnaires or quizzes.
Even if you don't use any advanced offerings, providing customers an opportunity to engage with the company's products can function as an interactive experience. This can be especially true for customers who might not visit a physical store or interact with a company in any other way.
14. Centralizes product information
Product catalogs can provide an opportunity for companies to centralize product information from multiple sources into one place. For example, product development teams can include final specifications, while marketing teams can include the desired language to promote each offering.
In this way, all internal departments can use a product catalog as the accepted source for product information. Providing easy access to the catalog for all teams can ease the product creation and distribution process.
15. Grants customers the ability to share
Another benefit of a product catalog is that it can be easily sharable for customers. Whether you use a digital or physical format, customers can share what they've found in their catalog by passing along a physical copy or sending links to friends.
This can help you spread the reach of your company without doing any additional work or using any additional resources. Creating an engaging, vibrant and easy-to-read catalog can make it more likely for customers to want to share it with other potential customers.
16. Aligns the company internally
A product catalog is often a collaborative document that includes information from many departments. Compiling this information can increase cooperation and knowledge sharing between teams. Functioning as a shared project in some cases, a product catalog can help align the work of many skilled professionals.
17. Entices customers with product images
One benefit of using product catalogs as a major marketing strategy is that they can use strong and effective imagery to convince customers to buy products. In some cases, customers may become motivated to buy products after looking at attractive and professional-quality images of the product or images of happy customers using the product. The catalog medium helps promote the persuasive power of the image.
18. Highlights effective brand copy
Besides quality images, product catalogs can also use the brand's best copy material to appeal to customers. Teams can develop fine-tuned product descriptions or incorporate other marketing language to include along with images. When combined, this can create a compelling argument for the product or service.
19. Provides customizable options
Product catalogs are often highly customizable. While you can use templates to create a catalog, you can also add or subtract any information that works for the company. You can include information about the company, updates, contact information or interactive activities.
Or, you can also use a simple and straightforward product catalog. You can also customize a delivery method and timeline. For example, you can create a regular product catalog release schedule or offer new catalogs whenever feels appropriate.
20. Easily updates
Once you create or find a winning product catalog template, you can easily update it to reflect new products or updates. This can help you easily and quickly create an effective resource. While you have the freedom to change each catalog as much as you like, you can minimize effort and expenditures by saving formatting and other catalog basics.
21. Demonstrates offerings for investors or other external stockholders
While a product catalog can clearly showcase a company and its offerings to customers, it can also help potential investors or partners understand the potential benefits of the company. For example, a potential partner may want to understand what a company offers to see if its products would be a good fit for collaboration. Potential investors could use catalogs to see if they'd like to include the company in their portfolio.
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