Digital Catalogs – The best product marketing and sales tool for small businesses and online stores.

Why is a digital catalog one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses?

Competition is immense for small and online businesses. Every entrepreneur and owner spends their days looking for the advantage, the best tool, the unique selling point, the way to reach and convert their customers better and quicker than their competition.

Well we think we’ve found it and if you read on you’ll realize why digital catalogs are one of the best product marketing and sales tools for business and eCommerce.

It’s a magic bullet – you reach millions of people instantly, create an amazing reader experience for your product or service and can quickly update, customize, and tune on the fly to sell more and more to different groups on different channels.

There are endless benefits to employing a digital catalog as a superior product marketing tool that doesn’t require a large outlay or specialist design skills. Just keep on reading…

Only a short few decades ago, home shopping was through printed brochures and mail order catalogs. Online shopping changed retail almost unrecognizably. The high streets changed, the top brands adapted or vanished and many small e-commerce businesses were born, some of them now as large as their historical competitors.  Online shops have become a cheap, flexible way for a small business to sell product or services.

However the product catalog hasn’t vanished. Indeed it’s experiencing a revival.

Print catalogs were a dominant marketing tool only a few years ago, the benefit of the product catalog is undeniable.

The use of product catalogs is growing NOW

Digital catalogs are the modern alternative, offering distinct benefits when compared to, and used alongside websites and social media networks.

They are today’s must have marketing tool.



In print the number of catalogs mailed in the US actually increased in 2013 to 11.9 billion and major retailer J C Penney, who withdrew their mail order home goods catalog three years ago, has decided to relaunch this avenue of marketing. Their chosen focus, interestingly is to gain orders from existing customers rather than new; ease of conversion perhaps or seeking larger repeat orders as trust is gained.

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7 steps to create an online product catalog that sells

Increase sales and market your small business with a cost effective online product catalog.

Your catalog – What, Who and Why?


Your business is design, manufacture, service or retail. You could be a Shopify, Etsy or eBay seller. You have products or services you need to sell, online, offline or both, and you are asking the question – How do I create myself a successful product catalog? Not just an aesthetically pleasing or comprehensive but a powerful sales tool which delivers critical conversions and products sales for your business.

We aim to answer that for you with seven effective steps to producing a product catalog which will entice and reach even the most passive of customers.

How to begin making your cost effective product marketing and promotion solution that sells…

Consider three elements as you start your catalog creation journey…What, Who and Why.


What are your products or services, how well do they fit to an informative or promotional style? What is the best way to present them, what level of information and sale nudging is needed and what are your industry “norms” or your competitor approaches? Informative catalogs may be more suitable to employees, experienced buyers and professional services.  Promotional style, sales oriented, bright and engaging pages are more applicable to product sales, consumer services and attracting new buyers.


Which of course brings us onto the audience; who exactly are your customers or buyers and what do they expect? What works in your marketplace and why? It’s ultimately critical that a product catalog is tailored to the product buyer, as any mismatch will jeopardize sales hugely.

Consider timber sales. The experienced business or trades buyer needs only to know wood type, dimensions and price. The home DIY enthusiast, amateur builder or crafter needs to know which type of wood is more relevant or suited to their project and why. The former, an experienced B2B buyer needs a simple, easy to use, even tabular layout to quick find their requirements, price and order. The latter, a consumer buyer, wants to know the properties of each type of wood, how long it will last and may be engaged by quick DIY guides, tips, information about complementary wood care products.


Answer the why, the “What’s in it for me?” for your buyer, matching your product or service to their needs and answering any questions, overcoming any objections and your “sale” is made.

We can use the example of a home improvement retailer. Their buyers’ reasons for purchase can include:

Fulfilment of need – they require materials, lighting or furniture. The catalog should be factual, include dimensions, price and key information.

Problem resolution – the product may need to be a certain size, shape, color or fit for an existing project.  Think space saving storage or furniture design for owners of smaller or city homes, explaining how space can be maximized by each product will convert the sale.

Satiation of desire – the buyer strives to attain a lifestyle or gain pleasure from a purchase decision, a beautiful room or home.  Allow the buyer, through the product catalog, to visualize themselves or their home with a certain style to win them over.

Money – getting better value or saving money is of course a massive motivator for purchase decisions. The product catalog can emphasise price, old price/price reductions, value for money and feature top sellers, deals and discounts.

Answer the buyer’s subliminal “What’s in it for me?” and your product catalog is well on its way to being a successful tool in your online product marketing portfolio

With good understanding of What, Who and Why  we can move to answering How to create myself a successful product catalog.

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