For obvious reasons, product catalog data on your furniture retail website is invaluable. We’ll run through a recap. Product catalog data gives the consumers insight into the brands you carry. Your website is a digital representation of your showroom. So, by extension, your product catalog data is the way to fill your online showroom. For retailers using eCommerce, product data on the website enables online sales. You can’t sell what you can’t show, right? Product data has a lot of value for retailers at every stage of online branding and selling. Yet, there is one intriguing benefit to product catalog data that you haven’t seen. Product catalogs improve your online store ranking.
What Impacts Search Rankings
To understand why this makes such a significant impact, let’s take a few steps backward. Do you know what actually impacts search rankings for your website? Whether you’re a fan of Google or a frequent Bing user, the search engines follow similar models. We’ll be using Google as the standard for our representation.
Google’s algorithm is constantly updating with new rules for websites to follow. They do this to make sure online users get the best experience when they’re using Google to browse. If you think about it, Google is really like a friend recommending a restaurant to another friend. Before you make a recommendation, you want to make sure it’s going to be as good for your friend as you think it is. So, you’ll use certain criteria to determine whether this restaurant is worth recommending.
If you recommend a poor restaurant with bad service and horrible food, your friend may blame you. Worse, your friend may not talk to you again. Extreme example but that’s how Google treats recommendations for websites. Google wants to make sure the relationship it has with you, the user, stays positive. It only wants to recommend good websites that provide you with exactly what you want.
Google wants to see how your website performs when a visitor comes to your website. A slow website means an unhappy visitor. So, Google will be less likely to show your slower website when a faster competitor is available. It’s also important that Google knows what your website is about. There are technical parameters Google looks for to understand what your website does for visitors. Great websites have onsite SEO to make sure pages connect and tell a story to Google and your visitors. These are just a few of the ways Google takes your website and grades it among the rest. And just like a recommendation, the better the grade, the more likely the recommendation.
Why Retailers Need Product Data Online
So, how does product catalog data play into your online store ranking? Simple. We talked about Google understanding your website’s purpose. Robots crawl around like spiders on your website. They look for all the pages you have on your website. If your onsite SEO is working, the pages will connect to one another. This helps Google and your visitors see what items connect. This is very metaphysical so let’s get into the example.
In this scenario, you are a furniture retailer. You carry about 15 main brands in your showroom. When you establish your new online showroom, you find a website platform like MicroD. In this example, we have product catalog data feeds from all 15 of your brands. So, we connect those feeds and populate your website with products. When a visitor lands on your homepage, they see categories. Someone can choose from living room, bedroom, dining room, outdoor, and others. From there, the web of your site connects to all the types of furniture in that selected category. Living room will showcase sofas, chairs, tables, and more living room home furnishings. If a visitor selects sofas, they can see all the product selections available.
In this example, someone may find a Hooker Furniture sofa, a Lexington sofa, and so on. Now, the shopper can browse the products they need in a simple fashion. The online store experience matches the showroom experience. With all the products populated and optimized, Google sees a robust website about home furnishings products. Now, when someone is looking on Google for a retail store carrying home furnishings products, Google knows to direct them to your website.
Online Store Ranking with Products
And this improves your website in Google’s algorithm. The more products you can show on your website will improve the user experience. It will also improve your online store ranking. Your website will have hundreds or thousands of more website pages for every product. Compare this to a competitor down the road with 4 website pages and no product. Google doesn’t know if there is a living room sectional for sale at this location. But Google does know that you have 15 living room sectionals with a variety of different options.
Adding products to your website won’t immediately improve your online store ranking. While Google values quantity, in recent years quality is also a contributing factor. Google looks for details in your product catalogs to serve the best results to visitors. Your online store ranking is going to be better than a retailer with no data online. Yet, if your products have better information, your online store ranking will increase more. What information are we referencing? Anything that lives on an item information page.
This would be romance language, product dimensions, photography, and calls to action. The more detail you can add to a product information page, the more Google can target specific visitors. Someone searching for a red leather sectional sofa will type it into Google. And if your website has product catalog data with romance language describing the sofa, you could be in the top results. The more relevant your page is to the search term, the higher your online store ranking will be.
►►See the manufacturer brands MicroD can connect to your retail website.
How to Find Premium Product Catalog Data
This is where your relationship with manufacturers comes to play. In the home furnishings industry, product catalog data is one of the hardest challenges. Many manufacturers have catalog data in print-alone. While many have adopted an online product catalog, it lives on their website alone. To keep improving online store ranking without overspending, you can’t take on this project alone. Some studies show that getting rich online product data can cost thousands monthly. If one thing is certain, that cost will be ongoing. As you add more brands and more collections, the cost increases.
The question is how to find online product catalogs from your brands? The shameless answer is to find a partner. At MicroD, we’ve built relationships with hundreds of manufacturers. In the home furnishings industry, we have the largest ecosystem of retailers and manufacturers. That means you get a great website with instant access to hundreds of brands. In the examples above, you already know the value of more brands online.