If your company is still using a print catalog to sell its products, it's high time you considered converting your catalog to electronic format for online shoppers. Some great benefits of using an online catalog include:
1. Integrating your online catalog with your order database for an additional sales channel. Your online catalog can become a search engine friendly shopping cart system where clients can browse products and place orders day or night, with no effort required from your sales force.
2. Making your products available to a much wider client base without increasing printing and distribution costs. You can localize online catalogs with language and images specifically for different geographical markets and make them available to dealers and clients online from anywhere with Internet access.
3. Your online catalog also helps reach new customers by improving your site's performance in the search engines. When your entire product catalog is added to your website using a search engine friendly format, the search engine spiders will detect increased relevant content and give your site more importance in related searches online. Given the dynamics of today’s marketing landscape, a significant online presence can improve your company’s reputation as an industry leader very quickly.
4. Becoming more flexible. Correct mistakes, add or remove products, update features, change graphics all without reprinting.
5. You can use links to specific products or pages in your online public relations efforts, such as press releases, articles in online trade publications, and customer emails, to support your industry reputation and drive sales at the same time.
6. Gaining access to detailed sales analysis and reporting. Programs such as SEO TrendsTM track your catalog shoppers movements through the pages and can identify factors causing abandonment, allowing you to continually test and improve your online catalog.
Remember there will be costs associated with the benefits. A significant investment may be required to set up the search engine friendly shopping cart system. Sales support may be necessary. You should be prepared to answer questions about products by email and other channels. For example, live chat is effective for some online product providers.
You may need to budget for additional calls to your toll-free number or order center. Some companies can reduce their telephone ordering support costs by providing easy-to-use, thorough support online, from FAQ pages to product selection guides.
If you are serious about fostering a strong presence online, it's best to outsource your shopping cart or online catalog development, as you can improve performance with the know-how of specialists and reduce the number of hours your staff spends on trial and error. An ongoing relationship with your search engine optimizer is the best way to ensure long-term success in paid and natural search results for your site and online catalog.
To find out more about search engine friendly online catalogs and shopping carts, visit SEO Commerce.
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