Simple and Effective Tutorial for Creating and Designing your Product Database
One of the keys to success in business, whether online or in a physical store, is having a strong and well-organized product database. An effective product database allows you to manage your inventory, respond quickly to customer inquiries, track market trends, optimize your operations, and showcase your entire product offerings. In this article, we will explore the essential steps to create and optimize your product database, whether you run an online store or a physical shop.
Some Concepts. What is a product?In our case, applied to the store or online shop, we consider a product to be a physical object intended to be sold individually. It should be defined by what we will call attributes (qualifiers), such as its name or designation, model, brand, internal reference, SKU (for Stock Keeping Unit), GTIN (for Global Trade Item Number), description, size, color, etc. These attributes are unique to it but can, in some cases, be shared with other products; for example, the brand may be common among several products, or multiple products may be pink, etc.On the contrary, some of these attributes will have a value exclusive to them, and it is crucial to be extremely precise about these. In most cases, the following are used: the SKU (for Stock Keeping Unit), the GTIN (for Global Trade Item Number), and the internal reference.Therefore, you need to identify which attributes will help you identify, classify, and promote your products.Note: The risk in creating a database is wanting to make an exhaustive model and thus wanting to break down information into many attributes to be as precise as possible. While the intention is commendable, it is clear that the more specific the fields (attributes) are, the more it will require a strong demand to maintain a high level of quality and completeness (and believe us at Katalog, we know the pitfalls of wanting to do something too pushed).That's why at Katalog.world we have worked on a relatively complete model but sufficiently synthetic to encompass all types of products.
The first step is, in our opinion, to list the minimal information we wish to obtain for each product.In a product database, there are, in our view, two types of data. The cold data (which does not change over time, such as the product name, description, etc.) and the hot data, which evolves as operations proceed (Stock, Sale Price, Purchase Price).In this case, we will focus on the cold data, which is often the most tedious to acquire.If you are completely starting this construction work, we advise you to truly imagine a common model that will suit all your products and keep it as simple as possible.Here is an idea of a basic model:Unique Reference*; Product Name; Brand; Size; Color; Description; Image.*If possible, we advise using the GTIN of the product as a unique reference if it has one. This will serve you in the future, you'll see.
To do this, nothing could be simpler: open an Excel spreadsheet or another and in a new file add as column headers the items from the model you have defined (or the one we have proposed above).And there you have it! You have created your first database. Indeed, a spreadsheet is the first database tool and the simplest to set up. With this database thus created, you can structure data and start to reap its benefits.
So now you have a simple, structured but empty database.We need to fill it to get the most benefits. If you have an inventory somewhere (another table with references and quantities), now is the time to bring it out to copy its content into the columns of our still virgin file. For the data you don't yet have, you will need to collect it. This step is the longest and most tedious because you will need to collect and integrate the product data.To do this, several means: you can obtain this information from suppliers, from product packaging, or through online research. Remember to integrate dimensions, weight, materials, technical specifications, and any other relevant attribute for users and for your management system.If you sell products manufactured by other brands, you could request product sheets directly from the brands or distributors. For products you manufacture, make sure you have detailed descriptions and high-quality photos.The use of database management software can facilitate the collection and mass import of data. These software solutions often allow importing data from CSV or Excel files, and some can even connect directly to your suppliers' systems for automatic synchronization.This is the sense in which we created our solution: Katalog.world allows you to automatically collect product contents and descriptions from the GTIN (EAN or UPC of the product) and integrate them wherever you like. Our tool also allows you to merge several supplier files into a single database without having to acquire it through our robots and send it to your tools very easily.It is also wise to consider setting up a regular audit process to ensure data accuracy.In short, many methods will allow you to collect data on your products. The essential thing is to process this collection as much as possible to minimize the time dedicated to this operation.
Once you have structured your product database, the next step is to integrate it into your store management system or your e-commerce platform. This could be as simple as uploading a CSV file into your content management system (CMS) or more complex if you need to integrate multiple systems (such as POS, order management system, and other reporting tools).Ensure that your platform can handle the data you want to incorporate and that it is capable of displaying it as you wish on your user interface. Test scrupulously to ensure that the data displays correctly and that search and filtering functionalities work well.
The work does not stop after integrating the data. To keep your product database perfect, it will require regular maintenance. This includes updating stock information, prices, adding new products, and removing obsolete references.Setting up alerts or verification routines can help you maintain the integrity of your data. Also, consider training your staff on the importance of data accuracy and establishing procedures for updating product information.By following these steps and adopting a methodical approach, you can create a perfect product database for your store. It will not only be an asset for managing your inventory but also a powerful sales tool to improve the customer experience and boost your revenue.
Once your product database is in place, use it to analyze trends and product performance. Identify the best-selling products, those that do not sell well, and adjust your inventory accordingly. Use this data to make informed decisions about supplies, promotions, and sales.
A well-designed and optimized product database is a valuable asset for any store, whether online or physical. It allows you to efficiently manage your inventory, meet customer needs, and track market trends. By following the steps described in this article, you can create and optimize your product database to enhance your business's success. Do not underestimate the importance of this valuable resource for your store's growth.By investing time and resources in creating and optimizing your product database, you will be better equipped to respond to your customers' changing demands, make informed decisions, and thrive in an ever-evolving market.
It is quite simple. Create simple and effective tools to allow you to automate all these steps in the least constraining way possible. Our tools are designed by former merchants for merchants. We know perfectly the challenges of all this, and that is why we are convinced that these difficulties regarding the creation of online catalogs are the first locks to jump to be able to respond to the evolution of consumer expectations in their mode of purchase.Do not hesitate if you want to get started and you wish to ask us questions to carry out this project of creating your online offer.
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