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How to achieve the ultimate shoppable content experience with catalogs

Consumers want and expect more than ever before, especially when it comes to shopping online.

But how can brands keep up with and satisfy a consumer's immediate shopping desire? How can brands produce engaging catalogs that enable a smooth and secure shopping journey? How do you reach that ultimate inspirational commerce experience?

In comes shoppable content. Hubspot states that brands find it difficult to bridge the gap between browsing and buying. With shoppable content, you can help to bridge that gap, turning browsing into actual conversions. 

By providing online shoppers with the ability to add products to their basket, and even purchase products, within an online catalog, brands can deliver that direct purchasing opportunity.

To show you just how effective and easy it can be, we've put together some examples of how our customers have adapted their catalogs to answer to this demand and enhanced their shopping experience.

#1 Enticing Imagery

#2 Eye-catching Animation 

#3 Captivating Video

#4 Quality Customer Journey

#1 Enticing imagery

There are various different ways to present your products, but they should always represent your brand and reflect what your audience likes. Two very different styles to compare are those of Ex.t, an Italian design brand, and Meny, a Danish supermarket chain. 




Ex.t uses imagery to inspire and encourage its customers to think about the style of their bathroom and what they want to achieve.

The images are effectively simple as they show the products in a life-like, realistic scenario. Rather than your typical grid style display, Ex.t has produced a more customer focused brochure that is simple, but makes them think. This style not only suits Ex.t's ideal customers but reflects the brand values.

With just the click of a button, customers can be re-directed to the specific product page on the Ex.t website and immediately add to basket.

Alternatively, Meny has developed a more interactive and visually enticing version of the typical grid style. This allows customers to find exactly what they want quickly, easily and effectively.




The vibrant backgrounds, segmented sections and price stickers bring that extra visually appealing aspect. Customers can enjoy flicking through the catalog, adding products immediately to a shopping list that's emailed to them directly (so they don't forget the deals once they're in the shop). 

Having a quality image database and strong brand identity is crucial when it comes to creating engaging online catalogs. Be it a lifestyle set up or grid style, your layout and imagery should be top quality and reflect the essence of your brand.


#2 Eye-Catching Animation

Animation adds an interactive twist to your commerce catalog. Not only will it engage customers, but allows brands to highlight exclusive deals and brand new products. Movement within a typically static catalog draws attention and is worth experimenting with.

Swiss home improvement retailer Bauhaus has embraced animation with its latest Christmas catalog. By thinking one step ahead they've implemented a GIF style image with falling snow as their front cover and used animation to highlight the add to basket buttons. 


To achieve the fully immersive shopping experience, Bauhaus has programmed the add to basket buttons to direct customers to each product information page on its website. Customers can then read more about the product, select a quantity, add to basket and go back to the catalog to browse.


#3 Captivating Video

If you still need convincing about the importance of video here's some quick stats for you:

By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

70% of millennials are likely to watch a company video while shopping online.

One third of online activity is watching video.

Need I say more? Integrating video into your online catalogs is key to attracting and impressing customers. BoConcept has mastered the integrated video perfectly by including videos that give more information about its products.


These videos add value to BoConcept's catalogs by creating a fully immersive and inspirational shopping experience. 

The customer has everything they need to shop in the catalog and aren't directed to a webshop after they buy. Meaning BoConcept has incorporated the whole purchase journey inside the catalog so once a customer has decided they like the product, they can pay for it then and there and return immediately to the catalog. It's shoppable content at its best.


#4 Quality customer journey

The main factor that makes effective shoppable content is the customer journey. What can the customer do in your online catalog? How easy is it to shop within your catalog and will it be a smooth ride?

You need to put yourself in your customer's shoes and see for yourself what they will experience. If you don't like it, chances are your customers won't either so you need to think that one step ahead. 

The iPaper platform not only allows you to create animations and insert videos into your existing catalog PDF files, but with automation, we can insert direct links to all your products within a matter of minutes.

Whether you want to contain your whole purchase journey within the catalog, or simply link to each product in your webshop, we can help you achieve your shoppable content goals.



The online market is crowded, and brands and retailers must lessen the friction between content and their products when attracting and engaging with their customers.

The key thing to remember is: make the path from browsing to actual shopping as simple as possible. Connect the dots between your content and your shop. 

Related reads

From Basics to Bottom Line: The Complete Guide to Online Catalogs


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About the author

Jo Molloy

Jo Molloy

Jo is passionate about brand storytelling and loves to write. A self-confessed chocoholic and TV addict, she is always on the look out for the latest trends and hopes to share her knowledge and enlighten you with her insightful blogs.

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