Working with Catalogs
Product cataloging is one of the options available for the Product Information Management. In addition to automatic product pricing, you can define taxonomy for all your products – a systematic classification of products including hierarchical display of grouped attribute elements.
Most common e-commerce systems such as Magento, Prestashop, and other local systems offer the possibility of creating catalogs. You can import products, product descriptions, and pictures and assign them to selected categories and subcategories.
The problem, however, is that catalogs are only available within e-shops. Certain business processes could also benefit from them greatly, such as pricing (see Example 1 below), purchasing (see Example 2 below), or other marketing-related processes (Examples 3 and 4).
Even if these functionalities were available, they would be mostly duplicated and would lack quality in some areas. You have to consider the problem of updating – double checking and double updating would be necessary. Moreover, if the customer has several companies or e-shops, his difficulties are multiplied even further.
We, therefore, think that catalogs located directly in the internal ERP system offer several advantages. Based on your needs, you can integrate catalogs into other business processes related to either merchandising or marketing. Each catalog undergoes periodic updates to reflect recent changes – new products come, old products automatically go. You can also create multiple types of catalogs and publish them whenever you need to.
On a side note, IKEA printed more than 200 million catalogs this year. This distribution channel is still extremely popular with customers.
In Cloudempiere, you can create a multi-perspective catalog using just basic categories and the whole company can take advantage of it.
Advantages of using catalogs in ERP system
- Easy search function in the ERP system
- The possibility to perform operations in backend instead of e-shop
- Evidence and archiving of catalogs
- Pricing by catalog
- Using a catalog for a specific e-shop
- Export to XML format
- The possibility of further processing, e.g. Adobe InDesign catalog
- Sales statistics by catalog
Examples of using catalogs in Cloudempiere
Cloudempiere offers great benefits in case you have several business channels such as retail, sales through brochures, catalogs, and e-shop. In this case, the categorization may be different for B2B and B2C customers, and more parallel catalogs are required.
You can calculate prices and business discounts. For example, you can create a manufacturer-specific category (Hewlett Packard) and set a 3 % flat rate on the B2C e-shop, and set a 5% discount on the B2B e-shop.
You have a single product database available. You can examine all current stocks and sales statistics in the selected category in the B2C or B2B catalog. You can also integrate one product into multiple categories to evaluate its performance from a variety of perspectives.
You have several e-shops that have their own identity, marketing, design, and categorization. The product database is shared and managed by one company, while the products are located in one store. Once the catalog has been created, the catalog is assigned to the specific e-shop and data replication rules can be set. In this way, you can assign one product to multiple catalogs and e-shops.
Your company issues the catalogs in paper form. You need to provide documentation for the marketing agency, which will then process them into the final product. After identifying the relevant catalogs, you will assign selected products and export them to XML format. The XML file, including images, will be uploaded to Adobe InDesign where relevant content is uploaded through pre-filled templates. In the system, you have an archive of all the issued catalogs, in which you can perform a search any other time at your convenience. Some examples of catalogs:
- Kitchen Booklet
- Furniture Catalog
- Catalog 2017
- Catalog 2018
Creating catalogs is a powerful marketing tool because, in addition to providing relevant product information the customer is currently looking for, it is also an indicator of professionalism and a solid foundation of a company. The Product Catalog and its design can decide whether the customer will buy your product right away or join your competition.