How to prepare catalogue changes if you are a manufacturer

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Angela de la Vieja

A manufacturers catalogue and brands are what defines, among other variables, their possibilities of acceptance by both consumers and retailers who sell their products to the end customer. Hence, keeping it updated is extremely relevant. Catalogue changes by any brand must be a meticulously measured and detailed process so that none of the content is left without the necessary coverage.

Changing a brand's online catalogue is usually as a response to the launching of a new product or the need for an integral modification. The latter is the one that usually entails more dangers that things can become misleading if it is not carried out properly.

There are two typical situations in which the change of the complete brand catalogue is made:

  1. Seasonal changes for commercial reasons, regardless of the sector.

  2. Promotional periods with generalised discounts.

In both cases the task will be to modify and update all the details related to products sold by the brand, either directly or through other e-Commerce systems.

To prepare this online catalogue change, it is essential to prepare a list of susceptible elements when implementing the modifications so that none get left behind. This is a list of ideas that should be taken into account, at the very least, when making changes to a brand's online catalogue:

  • The product spec sheet. The catalogue change should not affect details in the product information. Titles, product descriptions, images, evaluations... Everything must be completely accessible and provide the greatest possible value.

  • Stock update. As a supplier, the brand needs to have clearly reflected what the stock level of its products are after the catalogue change, both when it comes to sales and the introduction of new items.

  • Price changes. Perhaps the most important element to benefit the brand when making a catalogue change. With the new dossier of product’s, it is necessary to update prices and recalculate everything related to them: margins, costs, competitive price analysis... Especially during the sales, it is essential to adjust the prices of the brand correctly. In addition, the brands role as supplier, it is essential to check whether the price compliance policy has to continue with the same conditions and that it is being carried out.

On the other hand, it is also essential to define, in advance, what form the new brand catalogue will take. It's time to look beyond the actual update and check with both retailers and end customers that the products will continue to be valid when compared to previous features or prices.

This is a clear example of what usually happens in any online store during the sales period. Usually, the times in which these promotions arrive coincide with the introduction of new seasons products. If it is the case with your brand, remember to take into consideration how the existence of both product types will affect your catalogue.

Organisation of the new supplier catalogue

Within the new online brand catalogue, it is essential to have carefully considered what the established order will be for the products as well as the different related elements.

This is a very important aspect, especially when presenting the news to those responsible for selling the products to the consumers: retailers. Now they will become the target audience for your strategy and it is imperative to understand what will really appeal to them.

To do this, it is necessary, on the one hand, to measure what interest was aroused in previous catalogue changes and, on the other hand, to verify what the conditions were, and how, these changes affected their competitors.

In any case, once the new catalogue has been created and presented, the last step is to integrate it into the distribution channel control tool. Only this way it will be possible to easily monitor what the relationship is with each seller regarding products and conditions recently introduced by the brand.

These simple notes only aim to refresh what elements have to be considered essential when making a catalogue change for a brand with online sales. With the help of integral management software for manufacturers, this transformation will be able to respond with values one hundred percent​​adapted to the market and the commercial reality of retailers and end consumers.



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