Product Catalog – 14 Things to Know about Content & Design
When you need to present your product portfolio to your clients and potential clients you must consider the design. Think about how the product catalog needs to look and feel to be as pleasant and convincing as possible so that people choose your specific products.
Before starting the design of the catalog, some things must be clear:
- 1. Who is it for
- 2. What is the purpose of the catalog (or why do you design it)
- 3. Which products from the product portfolio should be included in the catalog
- 4. Presentation order
- 5. Relevant information
- 6. Pre-sales and/or after-sales services
- 7. Other information
All of the aspects mentioned above will help you answer the next questions:
- 8. The format of the product catalog
- 9. Should the product catalog be full-color or black&white?
- 10. Should the product catalog be in an online format or printed version?
- 11. Text and product descriptions
- 12. Product images
- 13. Catalog distribution
- 14. The cost of design and, if applicable, the cost of printing the product catalog
1. Who is it for
- a) For the end-user
- b) For an intermediary
- c) For a specialist
If the products are in high number, then it is useful to add a table of contents. This way, the information is easily accessible. A comparison table can also be very useful for the customers, as it helps them with their decision.Depending on the industry you work in and how well known the products from your category are, it may be necessary to include some useful information such as:
- applicability domain (i.e. indoor or outdoor)
- how to install/use the product
- what other additional pieces/accessories/services should your client consider during the buying process
- useful tips for long-term use (extra warranties, maintenance, etc)
- product codes for easier identification in the database or stocks
- terms of delivery or other conditions that need to be met (i.e. stock products or on-demand)
- dimensions, sizes, colors
- purchase order form
- technical blueprints
- graphs, 3D renderings
- sections of the product
- technical agreements, state standards, and other such information
- technical performance (i.e. the maximum board size a CNC machine can process and the work speed)
- conditions of installations
2. What is the purpose of the catalog
- identify customer’s needs for which your products are a viable option (i.e. 7 models of office chairs that can accommodate weights of up to 160 kg); in other words, what specific problem does your product solve
- inform potential clients that you offer the products they need
- get your client to consider your products throughout their purchase journey
- include promotional coupons that can be used for a discount
- user manuals
- active promotions during a specific time of the year, etc
3. Which products from your product portfolio should be included in the catalog
4. Presentation order
- If one specific performance characteristic is the most important attribute of a product, then the catalog’s first pages will present the products with the best performances or specifications.
- If the price is the most important criterion, then you can dedicate the first pages of the catalog to the most accessible price-wise products.
- If related services are the most important ones, then make sure to present them on the first pages.
5. Relevant information
- technical specifications (sizes, colors, capacities, functions, etc)
- number of installs
- complementary products
- additional necessary or optional accessories which contribute to a better user experiencey
- contact information or online/physical locations where people can buy your products, etc
7. Other information
- your company’s presentation
- certifications, authorizations
- number of clients/installations (let’s not forget that social proof is one of the 7 principles of persuasion)
- potential promo codes
- other product categories or related services you offer
8. The format of a product catalog
9. Should the product catalog be full-color or black&white?
- the need for a full-color version for easier identification of certain product elements
- the cost of printing a full-color catalog is higher than the black&white version
10. Online product catalog or printed catalog?
11. Text and product descriptions
- How do you phrase the titles?
- What about the subtitles?
- What are the questions that your clients may have and to which they will find answers in the product catalog you are designing?
12. Product images
13. Catalog distribution
- Make a list of the locations where you will make these catalogs available to customers.
- How much space do you need for them to be in handy?
- Can you obtain the necessary space or does it have to be negotiated?
- How many catalogs will you distribute in every one of these locations?
- Will they be delivered through mail or by courier?
- Catalog weight and distribution costs it involves