Assortment digitization as an indispensable element of e-commerce
Assortment digitization is a process that no online store can do without, especially in the initial phase of operation. In this article, I will try to explain what it is, what it is and what elements affect its quality. I will present why it is important to focus on both the needs of the client and search engines. All of this will be presented based on the popular PrestaShop online store software.
What is assortment digitization?
Someone who runs an online store or has ever had contact with it knows that, especially at the beginning, there is a lot of work related to supplementing the assortment. This applies to stores that sell a very extensive range of products or products with different attributes or characteristics.
After this short introduction, it is easy to conclude that the subject of this article is the process of adding products to the catalog of an online store. It might seem like a rather easy question to deal with, but the devil is in the details. What we most often see when browsing a store is just the tip of the iceberg. Many elements that are imperceptible have a major impact on the visibility of a product on the web. The same applies to the convenience of the customer using the store. And these are one of the basics of e-commerce, i.e. good SEO and customer focus.
Why is build quality so important?
Maybe this question posed in the headline is very hackneyed, but in this case, indeed, the quality is fundamental. If we do wrong SEO at this stage, it will have a serious impact on the further positioning of our website on the web. Therefore, before we even start working on the actual addition of goods, we must have a good plan of action. At this point, it is worth knowing exactly what we want to sell. First of all, by defining the category, it will allow us to create the store structure. In addition, thanks to this information, we will also be able to logically create a catalog of attributes and features. Good planning of the entire process will allow us to avoid unnecessary, major changes in the future. Minor ones, as you know, appear even with the best prepared plan anyway.
Choose the modules you need
Once we have dealt with the structure of the store, the next step is the selection of appropriate modules. I mean here optional PresaShop add-ons that are responsible for extending the store’s capabilities. In our case, we are looking for those that increase the aforementioned possibilities in terms of assortment digitization.
Modules that are responsible for displaying selected goods on the home page, but not only, will be worth our attention. Here I also mean presenting related goods in a product card or a module showing what purchases other customers have made. Creating a cross-selling opportunity will always have a positive effect on a sales opportunity. It will also be a good idea to install a module that displays the products recently added to the catalog. However, the addition of the most interesting for us will be the block of navigation filters. This module allows you to add the option of filtering the list of products by attribute or feature. In fact, it is hard to imagine an online store without such functionality.
When we create an online store, we create it primarily with potential customers in mind. The same principle should guide us when adding products to the store’s catalog. The digitization of the product range should then be based on a customer-centric strategy. And that is why it is worth putting yourself in the role of such a client at this point. The product should be presented in a simple and legible way, so that the customer can intuitively make a purchase. However, the quality of workmanship should be kept in mind all the time.
Quality must go hand in hand with clarity and simplicity
When the customer receives a separate group of products based on the search, a properly prepared product name will lead him to the goal. It must not be misleading or imprecise. The description of the product must also be transparent and, above all, it should provide comprehensive information. After reading it, the customer should be able to make a purchase decision at this stage.
The purchasing process itself must not be forgotten – customer must be able to define exactly what he wants to buy. This will only apply to products in which we have the option of choosing a combination (variant – for example colors). Well-defined product attributes are to help in this. However, when we have a problem with attributes, the customer will not be able to order the product. It will end the sales process, which is our failure. I will also mention here that poorly defined attributes will cause problems with automatic replenishment of stocks and prices of products on the website.
A very important, if not the most important element of the product card is its photo. It is on the basis of visual assessment that customers make purchasing decisions to a great extent. These are deeply rooted emotional processes. As I mentioned in the article on copywriting, the influence of psychological techniques on today’s sales philosophy is indisputable. However, in order for the product image to fulfill its role in 100%, it must be of both high quality and its loading time must be as short as possible, so that everything fits into the best possible website optimization strategy.
Filters or subcategories?
However, before a customer can browse the product card, they must first search for it on the website. At this point, I will come back to the topic of filters, discussed in one of the previous paragraphs. The customer must be able to quickly and easily search for a specific group of items, within which he will make a more detailed selection. And it is the block of navigation filters that will help narrow down the search area. However, this is not the only option that allows you to isolate a specific group of products.
Obviously, filters may turn out to be crucial. But in the case of an exemplary category catalog, we can make it much easier for the customer to reach a specific group of products. I mean subcategories, thanks to which our catalog of categories can be more extensive. By using both methods at the same time, I’m almost sure the client will find what he was looking for.
Remember about SEO
Every decision about the structure of your store has a big impact on SEO. It may happen that the better the functionality in relation to the client, the worse our SEO will be. Although it will also largely depend on the personal preferences of each client. The rule is simple. The more meta content we can put on a page, the better for our SEO. And definitely more possibilities are given by an extensive catalog of categories, with subcategories (and possibly subcategories of subcategories, etc.). Allegro website is a good example of this. You can then add more unique texts along with your meta content. However, this forces the client to click and search more.
The previously mentioned alternative or rather a supplement to this method is the addition of a block of navigation filters. We do not limit the room for maneuver in the field of SEO. In addition, we give the client more opportunities to search for specific items from the catalog of our products.
Assortment digitization – how to deal with it all?
I presented some of the elements that should be taken into account during the process of adding products. It is not an easy process and you can make a lot of mistakes during it, which will have a direct impact on the positioning of our website on the web. In addition, for someone unfamiliar with the subject, this process may prove to be very time-consuming.
You probably have already asked the question: “how to enlarge the assortment of my shop without enlarging the team?”. If you do not want to burden your employees with additional tasks or simply want the help of specialists, just entrust us with this order and we will take care of the rest. Together with you, we set the assumptions and then you provide us with the materials (unless we have to prepare them ourselves). Then you just wait for the result of the work.
Due to the fact that we offer the assortment digitization service, I would like to remind you about our proprietary program for updating quantity and prices. With its help, you will be able to update the stocks and prices in your online store. In a very simple and quick way. If you are interested, please contact me.