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What is an eCatalog?

An eCatalog is an Online product content management solution with powerful user interface which provides efficient navigation, searching and integration capabilities to organize and publish product information and enable real-time handling of business processes related to buying and selling.

An eCatalog stores product content in a single database and organizes product information under a certain categorized hierarchy. An eCatalog also have sophisticated searching opportunities so that buyers can locate products easily.

Classifying products

Usually product information is acquired from different sources and is often classified under different taxonomies. This makes product indexing difficult and in many cases products end up being listed under several categories. International Harmonized Codes, a taxonomy used by many countries for customs tariff purposes, is one of the example of such systems. Because of this problem, HC and similar taxonomies are not really suitable for eCommerce.

That s why, most advanced eCatalog systems use classification system like The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC ), which provides an open, global multi-industry standard for well-organized and precise classification of products and services.

In e-catalogs the product content also has to undergo a normalization procedure to comply with a uniform product naming system. This uniformed nomenclature makes it easier for buyers to compare products and prices, and ensures exact match for relevant product searches. Depending on the quality of product information available, the eCatalog also requires rationalizing abbreviations and acronyms, synchronizing terminologies, converting unit of measurements, etc.

How businesses are loosing opportunities

Early eCatalog adopters made a crucial mistake by assuming that catalog integration is a fairly easy task in comparison to the other parts of eCommerce development. This misapprehension of reality occurred mainly due to lack of practical knowledge in this field and is based on the false assumption that one method fits for describing all similar products and it is possible to constrain product content with finite number of attributes and values. Observation shows that in many cases buyers are unable to take key procurement decisions due to poor content of the product, which results in lost business opportunities for eCommerce companies.

Benefits of using right eCatalog

An advanced eCatalog system delivers a compelling value proposition. Using this type of solutions companies can integrate eCatalog capabilities into their business processes rapidly and manage sourcing, classifying, syndicating and publishing product content data effectively.

The return on investment from these solutions is also significant! Companies can expect increased revenue, better customer satisfaction, and shorter sales cycle.

 

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