6 B2B eCommerce Mistakes You're Probably Making (And How to Fix Them) - Part 4: Undervaluing Your Product Offering

eCommerce professionals are quick to share strategies and tactics that can help your online business succeed. Things like search engine optimization and PPC campaigns are tools every small, medium, or enterprise-scale business can sharpen and improve. 

It’s easy to point out the do’s, but not enough businesses focus on the don’ts. Don’t let your business fall into common eCommerce pitfalls, and you won’t have to worry about digging yourself out when things go awry. 

In this series, we focus on some of the most common mistakes companies make when establishing a B2B eCommerce storefront. We also offer insights, tools, and techniques for how you can improve your online platform.

We’ve already covered not being customer focused, addressing product gaps, and optimizing the ordering process. Now, let’s talk about undervaluing your product offering and why doing so can create eCommerce problems. 

Why the Size of Your B2B Product Catalog Doesn’t Matter

Businesses new and old often put too much time and too many resources into growing their product catalog. That’s not to say your product catalog isn’t important, but size doesn’t matter as much as you think. We promise that no one shopping your eCommerce store is doing so because you’ve got 500+ pages of product after product. 

What does this mean for your B2B eCommerce business? It means you should focus your efforts on promoting some products exceptionally rather than all products haphazardly. Your goal should be quality over quantity. 

Don’t fall victim to the eCommerce pitfall of thinking you have to build your product catalog out indefinitely. Believe it or not, the more choices you give customers, the harder it is for them to actually make a choice. 

Researchers at Caltech pointed out in a 2018 study of human behavior that having too many choices overwhelms the average person. Turns out the optimal choice offering is around 12 items. That’s probably a lot less than what you’ve got in your storefront or on a category page. 

The point is, offering more isn’t always the best course of action for eCommerce businesses. Don’t try to have more products in your store just to have more. 

Instead, find out which products are most valuable in terms of sales volume, popularity, and marketability. Then, promote those products in unique and targeted ways to engage customers.

Product Value and Building a Good Product Catalog

Too many online retailers accidentally hide their best products, and the culprit is simply having too much to offer in your eCommerce product catalog. Nothing is important if everything is important. 

That’s why smart marketers work to build a good product catalog rather than trying to build a full catalog. 

How do you do this? The simple answer is with an exceptional outsourced eCommerce platform. The right eCommerce platform will have tools and resources to help you understand product sales and marketing data. And that’s what you need to do—understand the data to assign product value. 

  • Which products are the stars of your product catalog and why? 
  • Are some products more popular online versus in-store? 
  • Is it easy to find and purchase products through your eCommerce storefront? 
  • How do you bridge the gap between eCommerce offerings and products that are a better fit for in-store purchase? 

In order to build a good product catalog, you need to refine your product offerings and make it easy for customers to take action. According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers state that their last purchase was very complex or difficult. This reinforces how critical it is for B2B businesses to make it as convenient and pain free as possible for buyers to research and purchase products. That might mean creating smaller sub-categories—so products are easier to locate—or it might mean optimizing your calls to action for better sales funnel engagement.

How an eCommerce Platform Can Reveal Product Value

It’s your job to control product merchandising and present a clear, coordinated eCommerce storefront. That’s hard to do when you’re missing the product value within your product catalog. 

Some companies try to handle product merchandising and presentation on their own with the help of website plug-ins and add-ons. These work fine, but they’re more likely to confuse the big picture than they are to clear it up. 

The trick is to find a comprehensive eCommerce platform to do most of the heavy lifting with pre-built functionality. Most of the time, simply having limitless data and reporting capabilities is enough to improve your product catalog. 

An exceptional eCommerce platform will:

  • Guide you through the product listing process.
  • Help you create unique product and content pages to attract customers.
  • Give you full control over product merchandising.
  • Provide comprehensive data reporting.
  • Integrate seamlessly with your existing web hosting platform.
  • Come with eCommerce resources and tested strategies for success.
  • Monitor your product catalog status.
  • Evolve your product catalog over time to address older products or those that aren’t selling.
  • And more

You’ll still need to input product information, but the right eCommerce platform ensures the process is easy and stress-free. 

Build a Great Product Catalog with a Fully Featured eCommerce Platform

Retail eCommerce is expected to reach more than $6.5 trillion in worldwide sales by 2022. You want a slice of that eCommerce pie, and the best way to get one is to optimize your product offering to provide value to customers. The pitfall many e-retailers fall victim to is offering too much and undervaluing their best products.

You want to find the Goldilocks sweet spot—not too many products, not too few—and use compelling tactics to engage customers within that sweet spot. 

Sometimes, the best solution is to outsource your eCommerce platform to the experts. The right platform will offer complete product flexibility, so you can refine, streamline, and market your most valuable products with ease.

Not sure if an outsourced eCommerce platform is right for your business? Contact the professionals as Slatwall, and we’ll talk through your challenges to find the perfect eCommerce solutions.


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