Paper-printed catalogs have been around since the 19th century, and nowadays, the printed catalog industry is still relevant in the United States.

The digital era has pushed businesses into the next logical step of printed product catalogs, which is the creation and implementation of digital catalogs.

Implementing digital catalogs provides many benefits and advantages to e-commerce businesses around the world - that’s a fact. But why is it beneficial to use digital catalogs? Let’s dig deeper into the pros a digital product catalog provides to a brand or company.

Digital catalogs in Ecommerce: Overview

Digital catalogs, also referred to as online catalogs due to their online nature, are the digital version of old, classic paper catalogs.

The goal of an online product catalog is to show online shoppers and potential buyers the products or services of a company in a visual and well-organized way.

Digital catalog example for ecommerce
Digital catalog example for ecommerce

According to Statista, retail ecommerce sales in 2023 will surpass 6,1 billion USD. Retailers can enhance sales by appealing to potential customers who access their websites through mobile devices or desktop computers.

Since most consumersexpect at least 5 different product photos before buying online, an online catalog is a valuable asset during the buying process that facilitates access to product data to potential clients.

Statistics show that more than 40% of consumers shop online to save time. Browsing through the physician pages of a paper catalog takes time, whereas checking a digital catalog can be quickly done by using a simple text search.

The new generation (Gen-Z) prefers ecommerce over physical store shopping - this doesn’t mean that having a printed version of a product catalog is useless, but it does show that the interest of new customers is more leaned toward digital sales.

Overall, digital catalogs are more convenient, cost-effective, easy to access, and efficient than printed catalogs.

Who can use digital catalogs?

Online stores, retail stores, and product manufacturers are the main places that can benefit from digital catalogs.

A retail business can create and implement digital catalogs to promote and sell its products via online channels. Likewise, digital catalogs are a natural fit for an online store that users browse through computers or mobile phones.

Product manufacturers can employ digital catalogs to showcase their products to retailers, distributors, and other potential clients in an all-digital way.

Why is it beneficial to use digital catalogs? 5 benefits

The benefits of digital product catalogs can provide companies and brands with a clear advantage over their direct competitors.

Print catalogs have been powering and enhancing the sales of products and services for several years, and now, the digital aspect of an online catalog opens the door to learn more about potential consumers and the impact of certain digital marketing efforts.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the most prominent digital product catalog benefits.

1. Get more information about customers and potential clients

Digital catalogs implemented into a website facilitate not only the browsing of products and services but also provide insightful data about buyers and user views.

Companies and brands that create a digital product catalog through a tool or software like Heyzine, can measure the impact of a certain catalog page, implement links, videos, and customize them to improve purchase processes.

You can also learn more about your customers by analyzing key customer data related to your company’s digital catalog.

This information represents a competitive advantage that can be used in a company’s marketing campaigns.

2. Provide better product and service accessibility

Digital catalogs have a wider reach than paper catalogs for an obvious reason: they are distributed digitally, which provides additional benefits to customers and buyers who prioritize online shopping.

This provides better product and service availability data. Customers can see information about a new collection of products released in an easier and more natural way through a digital catalog.

It is also possible to filter products, use quick text search, and browse the catalog by product descriptions or visual elements.

3. Make product inventory more visually attractive

It has been mentioned before that most digital shoppers prioritize the presence of product images before making a purchase decision.

Digital catalogs have customized visual elements that enhance the way a customer perceives the products of a brand.

For instance, products with bigger grids and more unique designs are perceived as main products, whereas product photos with smaller grids represent secondary or complimentary products sold by retailers or online stores.

Digital catalogs provide more visual freedom than a paper catalog: they can be updated, edited, and enhanced frequently without interrupting business processes.

example of product inventory in catalog
example of product inventory in catalog

4. Save costs and time

Printed catalog production implies printing and distribution costs that digital catalogs do not face.

Retailers and ecommerce stores save a lot of time, money, and effort by producing digital catalogs instead of classic, print catalogs.

Likewise, browsing and exploring a digital catalog is quicker than doing the same with a paper catalog. In a world with more than 6.8 billion mobile devices, prioritizing digital catalogs over classic print catalogs is certainly a cost-effective decision.

5. Digital catalogs are easy to keep updated

One of the biggest advantages of digital catalogs is the fact that they can be updated frequently and easily.

Up-to-date product data provides customers with the information they need to drive their purchases in an efficient way.

Moreover, if a brand or company needs to change a product price, improve service descriptions, or create a whole new page, it is possible to do all this inside a digital catalog without major production costs.

Digital change is already upon us, and taking advantage of the different tools that power ecommerce will put businesses one step ahead of their competition.

Customized, unique, and brand-tailored digital catalogs have many great advantages that both customers and businesses can enjoy and experience.


Are digital catalogs effective?

Yes - product catalogs showcased digitally are efficient and have proven to enhance digital business sales organically. Even paper catalogs remain relevant in today’s digital age, so implementing a digital catalog is certainly an effective way to improve marketing efforts.