We have been living in the digital era for over two decades now. Traditional and electronic commerce have both evolved in different yet highly related directions.

Ecommerce sales in the United States exceed $400 billion per year, so ignoring the new trends is not an option if we want to succeed in an incredibly competitive industry.

You might know what a print catalog is, but what is a digital catalog? Let us further elaborate on this matter.

What is Digital Catalog?

A digital catalog is a simple collection of product data, images, prices, and information that potential customers can browse digitally.

Such catalogs are the digital versions of classic, print catalogs that have been around since the year 1872.

In short, a digital product catalog is a well-organized digital file that showcases all the products and services of a company as a printed catalog would, but digitally.

digital catalog
digital catalog

How do you use Digital Product Catalogs?

Some of the biggest benefits of digital catalogs over printed catalogs are related to the fact that many businesses and online retailers have immediate access to product data on the catalog, which makes it easy to keep it up to date.

The benefits of digital catalogs are primarily enjoyed by online store retailers, sales and marketing teams, sales reps, and ecommerce stores that implement ecommerce catalogs.

The ultimate goal of a digital or electronic catalog is to provide customers with all the information they need regarding products or services in a simple and visual way.

Showcasing product images, product categories, product descriptions, and information about new products in a representative and digestible way improves customer experience and reinforces purchasing decisions.

What’s inside Digital Catalogs?

Most digital product catalogs have features that remind us of a classic paper catalog or physical catalog.

The characteristics of digital catalogs might vary from one business to another, but as a general rule, most of them share common characteristics.

1. Online catalogs in different formats

Common format for many digital catalogs and online magazines is PDF - it’s easy to read, and after downloading the file, no Internet connection is needed to open it again, which reminds customers of paper catalogs.

But besides PDFs, catalogs viewable directly on the brand website in the form of interactive flipbooks or even as a mobile app are a thing in today's digital world. They are more interactive than PDFs - often times including rich media like videos or GIFs.

As technology and new trends advance, business owners and teams have employed different marketing tools to adapt digital catalogs to them.

2. Brand and style related to a company

The design and style of digital catalogs are highly related to the tone of the brand.

The entire selection of products or services of a company is its voice, and digital catalogs should be in sync with what the company represents.

That’s why digital catalogs are not generalist tools and, instead, they are tailored to the personality and style of the business.

catalog with the brand and company style

3. Multiple pages with products and prices

Digital catalogs consist of multiple pages with several product prices, descriptions, and inventory levels.

In order to maintain the attention of readers and potential customers, the pages of digital catalogs are varied and designed uniquely.

Most digital catalogs integrate robust search technology to quickly find products. In the case of a digital catalog, a simple and efficient text search allows customers to find products they are interested in within just a few clicks or taps.

4. Rich images and graphics

One of the greatest benefits of printing catalogs in the past was the fact that product images led people to purchase certain products more frequently.

It has been proven that 83% of digital purchase decisions are influenced by images (source: Search Engine Journal), so harvesting the power of visuals in a digital catalog is a must to ensure their effectiveness.

Images in a digital product catalog have different sizes, distinguishable colors, and provide a smooth catalog experience that keeps customers visually hooked.

5. Different grid sizes and visual designs

In a digital catalog, less can be more. The combination of complex and simple visual designs makes digital catalogs easier to scan and read.

Principal products, those that bring the most revenue to a company, usually have larger grids than “B” class products.

The combination of grid sizes helps customers easily distinguish between primary and complementary products in a natural way.

Variety is key when it comes to visual design, and it can be accomplished by turning the visual focus of products into a mix of both complex and simple layouts that showcase their relevance.

Digital Catalogs have an ending

Most digital catalogs are not too short nor too long, but they all have an ending. Digital catalogs are finite, and when potential customers finish reading them, they should be satisfied with their content.

Setting an “end” to digital catalogs prevents product cannibalization and overwhelming customer experiences.

In ecommerce, the average attention span is just around 10 seconds, which creates the need to show a set of highlighted products in a visually attractive way to grab people’s attention.

The always-evolving world of digital marketing pushes us to replace print catalogs with digital catalogs. For many, making this change represents a big challenge, mostly if there isn’t a clear starting point.

Fortunately, with Heyzine, you can create custom catalogs that resonate with your brand’s style and personality.