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Creating a catalogue in 10 easy steps
Your catalogue is at the heart of your online store. Getting it right is key to bringing your site to life for your future and current customers, and to making them want to come back.
Anyone visiting your site should find what he or she is looking for as quickly as possible, and that means a decent catalogue. That’s why the base of any PrestaShop store is its catalogue function, which includes products and product categories.
Adding products: Setting up your catalogue starts with adding products. Your e-store takes shape as you create content, and that content adds value to your online store.
But adding products isn’t just about slapping down a photo and a bit of text. You need to know your products inside out: price, weight, size, characteristics, specifications, details, brand, supplier, and a whole lot more. You shouldn’t start adding products to your catalogue without knowing exactly what to show the customer, so you’ll need to know product specifics and what information you want displayed for site visitors.
Product variations: Obviously you can’t show product variations without having established the product’s characteristics and any alternatives (e.g. Color: Red, Blue). Each variation should have its own corresponding stock, price, and visual.
Create a category: It’s crucial to use categories, because these enable you to group similar products. That way, customers can easily navigate their way through your products, and carry out specific searches too. Categories also help users compare products quickly, with a little help from PrestaShop’s comparison tool.
You should create a category the second you have at least two products which have similar characteristics. Products from the same category must be comparable, even interchangeable. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding on new categories or adding new products.
List any brands: Unless you make your own products, you should always enter brand name information. Listing brands means visitors can quickly access all the products from a particular brand. Again, this makes navigating your site easier. As for visibility, completing these fields helps you improve your search engine results too.
Illustrate your products: Visuals are a vital element in your catalogue – they should be used to display products attractively on the product page. In order to create the urge to purchase, use a variety of perspective photos or product views.
You can also create ‘scenes’ for your products, putting them in a photo of a larger scenario that has several clickable areas to it, each leading to a different product page.
Before creating a scene, you should have an image that presents the different variations of a product, or different products.
Monitor stock levels: Establish available stock for each product so that you don’t ever find yourself with an order you can’t fill.
Importing and exporting your catalogue: When you have to manage several products it’s a good idea to use spreadsheet software (like Microsoft, Excel, Open Office, etc.).
Optimizing your e-store: Optimize your products for the search engines like Google. Read more here about improving your SEO results (article link) or with our SEO Guide.
Offer a multilingual e-store: Having an English-language version of your e-store should be a priority, particularly if you want to establish a presence abroad. This is a sure way of increasing your sales.
Manage your suppliers: Just like the brands, visitors to your e-store should be able to rapidly access a list of products from a specific supplier.
Add tags: These are key words. Tagging allows you to link your products to keywords. Your customers can then use these key words to search for the products they’re looking for.
For example, imagine a customer is looking for an MP3 player in your store. To help him find a product that meets his search request, you’ll need a tag linking ‘MP3 player’ to ‘iPod Nano’.
You can associate tags to your products when creating a product page, or do it yourself later.
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