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5 Reasons B2B Businesses Need Shoppable Online Product Catalogs

by aleran
10 August, 2021

B2B catalogs are at the heart of merchandising for most B2B sellers, particularly in manufacturing. Many hours are invested creating these visual indexes of a company’s product offering. But in today’s digital buying and selling landscape far too many B2B catalogs remain static PDF documents or even hard copies, not at all optimized for today’s B2B buyers who are demanding self-service e-commerce experiences.

What are shoppable online product catalogs?

Shoppable online product catalogs present a digital alternative to the print catalogs, sell sheets, tear sheets, order forms and line cards of yesteryear. Digital catalogs in e-commerce can range from online flipbooks to fully integrated e-commerce shops and provide e-commerce functionality to previously static pages.

Publishop is Aleran’s A.I.-powered online product catalog software, which instantly transforms any static PDF document or catalog into a shoppable and secure e-commerce site. Publishop works by deploying HTML5 to instantly transform a static PDF catalog file into a responsive, clickable e-commerce site with integrated payment processing (doing so in a fraction of the time and expense you’d spend on a more traditional website build).

To use, you just upload your product/pricing list and a PDF catalog and the Publishop Instant Configuration Portal uses proprietary A.I. to convert your PDF into a shoppable e-commerce site in a matter of minutes (no technical skills or IT required). You can then immediately share your online product catalog across any desktop, Android or iOS device for online browsing and shopping, or place a QR code on your printed catalog to link to your online shoppable catalog.

Here are 5 reasons sellers should be thinking seriously about using shoppable online product catalogs and B2B product catalog software as part of their eCommerce channel strategy.
Shoppable online product catalogs are self-service.

  1. Recent reports evaluating the post-covid landscape for B2B sellers revealed B2B buyers overwhelmingly prefer digital self-service shopping experiences to traditional or in-person sales. These survey results from B2B buyers in 2016 vs. 2019 demonstrate a strong preference for self-service channels at practically every stage of the customer decision journey. That includes Research (up 90% from 2016), Evaluation (up 120% from 2016), and Ordering and Reordering (both up 30% from 2016).
    While human touch still matters, self-service gives the buyer the kind of control over their shopping experience they’ve grown accustomed to as consumers. Sellers still relying on print catalogs or digital catalogs that aren’t set up for e-commerce self-service are not delivering the kind of customer experience today’s buyer expects.
  2. Shoppable online product catalogs are convenient.
    Today’s buyers prize convenience above all. A whopping 97% of buyers surveyed in a recent NRF report say they have backed out of a purchase because it wasn’t convenient enough; and another 52% say convenience influences more than half of their purchase decisions. Shoppable online catalog software like Publishop can be easily shared or linked to from social media, so buyers can conveniently do their own research, browsing, and purchasing all in one place.
  3. Shoppable online product catalogs grow your revenues.
    Shoppable online catalog software like Publishop can help grow revenues by creating a new shopping channel for your customers quickly and with lower costs. Shoppable online catalogs with integrated shopping cart functionality and secure payment processing allow users to shop directly from the online catalog environment, driving more conversions. These shoppable online catalogs are also shareable, which means you can boost marketing efforts easily by sharing your catalog across different platforms and online channels — expanding your customer base and your reach without incurring any additional costs.
  4. Shoppable online catalog software gets you up and running quickly.
    One of the most time-intensive aspects of catalog sales is known as manual hotspotting. In this process, an admin or staff member must review every product in a catalog, tag its related SKU, and then associate it manually with the same item in the product offering database. Even the most experienced hot-spotter working through a small catalog can spend hours on this process. Publishop automates this process so that associated product links and display info are created in seconds, reducing the excessive amount of admin time spent on manually hotspotting catalogs and eliminating errors in the process.
  5. Shoppable online product catalogs increase your ROI.
    With rising production, postage and environmental costs, mass-print catalogs are an expensive undertaking for most businesses. While still extremely useful as a branding tool, print catalogs can be a slow and inflexible solution for today’s modern and fast-moving B2B landscape.
    To extend your investment, shoppable online catalog software like Publishop allows you to repurpose a pre-existing catalog or other PDF and transform it into a live, self-service shopping experience. Not only does this reduce admin time spent on manually hotspotting catalogs and managing sales orders, it also stretches your marketing dollars to help you derive even more value from your efforts.

Designed and built for today’s sales agency and manufacturer, Publishop will reduce valuable time spent on data entry and keep customers in the catalog environment longer. Watch the explainer video now to see how easy it is to sell, share and shop with Publishop. Then start your free 7-day trial today!

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