Digital Marketing Blog

22 Sep 2015

How To Improve The Shopping Experience Within Your Online Catalog

Many of our customers use iPaper as their catalog management software provider because of how the platform integrate their shop with their online catalogs.

In this blog post you'll find how to improve the shopping experience within your online catalog, using an example of a fictive company's catalog that presents some of the most popular features. The company is called Nover, a fictive wholesale company selling a broad range of products within the building materials industry. 

#1 Make It Easy To Navigate Your Online Catalog

#2 Integrate Your Online Catalog With Your Webshop

#3 Create Smoother Pop-Up Experiences

See Nover's catalog if you want inspiration for:

  • Shop functionality
  • Animations
  • Good use of images
  • Interactive table of contents
  • Forms
  • Pop-up content and images 

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#1 Make It Easy To Navigate Your Online Catalog

One of the things you can do is create a table of contents for the users who are looking for a particular product and don't want to browse through the full publication to find it.

You are always better off indicating the table of contents either by using a set of different colors or by using an animation. In this case, the five colors indicate that there is something different about that area, which is meant to make the user curious and eager to try it. 

 Nover Table of Contents

If you make use of custom elements (such as icons for adding a product to the cart), you might want to use some space to explain the readers how they work.

#2 Integrate your online catalog with your shop

In this demo catalog you can also see how the integration with the shopping cart and online catalog is visually presented and get a feel of how readers experience the options to add product directly to the shopping cart from within the online catalog. 

When providing your current and potential customers with shopping functionalities from your online catalog, it's important to make the shopping experience familiar and recognisable to the readers. 

In the Nover example, we've introduced an "add to cart" symbol that is easy to recognize. The symbol is a blue circle with a plus in the center. When using symbols instead of standard buttons, make sure you use them in the right context and that people understand what they do. This is also why it can help explaining the buttons function on the first page of the catalog.

Nover Product List


On the spread, you can see in the picture above there is a small difference between the products on top and the ones at the bottom. If you click on the add symbol beside the products on the bottom, you will add them to the cart. If you click on the add symbol beside the products at the top, a drop-down menu will appear. In this drop-down, you can select the amount of products you want to add to the cart. 

If your use iPaper as your catalog management software, you can add this option to any product in your online catalogs, and this makes it easy for your readers to add a specific amount of products to the shopping cart with minimal effort.

Depending on the type of shop you need, there is also a third option, which we call shop variant. Let's imagine this scenario: you have a product with several options like car wheels in six sizes. Normally, you would have to add six different buttons, because users should be able to choose the size. With shop variant, you can provide shoppers with a single button instead, making the experience much smoother. 


Nover Shop Variant

Example of shop variant in case you have products with different variants.

With shop variant, you just add all the sizes to the button. When you click the button to add the product to the cart, you get a dropdown asking for the exact variant. Shopping directly in your online catalog can't get much easier than that.

#3 Create Smoother Pop-up experiences

Pop-ups doesn't necessarily have to be used only to push forward a message to readers. You can hide a lot of information in pop-ups to keep your online publication cleaner and with fewer details. In the Nover example, we made use of pop-ups on the last spread to show information about our fictive shops. Click on the indicators on the map and you will be displayed a pop-up with a picture and some text.

Normally, in paper format, this would have to be either shown as a small text somewhere in the corner or on a page of its own. That's why the pop-ups are so useful because you can put a lot of content in an online publication without making it feel too cluttered.

Nover Store Locator

# Conclusion

There are many of our customers who rely on the shop functionality. If you have a shop, you can get inspiration from Nover's online catalog on how to design and implement it. At the same time, you can learn a bit about designing for your type of audience, and the creation of a catalog with the sole purpose of selling products. You can see how the different shop options work and figure out if this type of solution can be something valuable for you.


For more information on how to increase sales through online catalogs, develop an inspiring shopping experience and harness your user data, click below to read our downloadable eBook.

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About the author

Christian Vasile

Christian Vasile

‚ÄčChristian comes to work with a single goal in mind: to make sure iPaper stays at the top of the digital publishing industry in terms of usability. His job is all about improving our software's user experience and obsessing about every single detail that makes iPaper great. He can be bribed with pancakes & nutella.

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