November 8, 2010

Electronic Catalog Design - Importance Of Content Management Systems (CMS)

electronic catalog
A professional content manager system allows you to not only publish your online / electronic catalog, but also take advantage of all that volume of content to generate traffic and promote your brand and products online.

If your business is dedicated to the manufacture and / or distribution of diverse product lines, you are likely to become involved sooner or later in the development of an electronic catalog. This kind of websites are developed in cases where a company needs to display a large number of items, commonly organized by categories and sub-categories of products. They are usually very large sites (200 web pages at least) and often require a continuous maintenance due to changes in fashion, materials or designs, such as footwear industries, clothing, furniture, decoration, clothing, lingerie, shoes and jewelry.

Because of being this websites so extensive, e-catalogs are much more expensive, take more time, development and maintenance is also more frequent, that's why so many companies choose not to design the website at product level but only at product line level, reducing significantly the volume and cost of the website. For example, if your business produces 200 products in 5 different lines and you decide to develop a website at the line, it would be integrated for only about 20 webpages (10 on products and 10 about your company), while a full website developed at a product level in this case would consist of about 220 pages (210 of products and about 10 pages about the company).

Put your website to work

In defining the volume of the website, take into account not only the cost factor but also the benefits your company will get, since an exhibited wide product catalog will obviously generate more traffic and interest than a line level website. Companies usually look for ways to cut costs when developing their website and many opt to publish online only at line level. However, customers expect to find websites with information on each product, including image, description, price, accessories, and manual steps, such as websites about computer equipment and digital appliances from prestigious brands such as Dell, HP, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Motorola, Samsung, among others.

Update your website easily

In order to facilitate the design, but above all the website's maintenance, online catalogs can be built using software known as content management systems (CMS). This application allows any employee with the necessary permissions to edit and publish content from any Internet-connected computer. The system is easy to use and requires only that the person has basic knowledge of computer operation and desirably, but not indispensable, graphic editing skills.

The content management system will allow, among other activities, to update the images of the items, including new products or new categories, update prices and descriptions, change sales staff contacts, including addresses and phone numbers of new offices and publish articles and technical manuals. All this without requiring the services of a web designer for maintenance after the website is designed and published. That is, you have the full control over the content of your website in your hands. Hourly updates of the information, if required by your company. Site maintenance may be then in charge of a person, a team or several departments. You define the rules about editing, revision and publication of content.

In addition to these editing facilities, a content management system will allow you to operate your site in three ways: catalog, online ordering and sales. That is, your company can use the web site just to post descriptions and specifications of products to generate online orders through the use of the electronic catalog or even to make online sales by incorporating a shopping cart.

Acquire the appropriate technology

By hiring a web design agency, you will have access to this technology for the development of an electronic catalog. It is important to know then that there are several content managemet systems available in the industry. Some are easier to operate than others, some with facilities more advanced, some are freeware and other will make you have to invest between $ 1.000 and $ 10.000 U.S. dollars for the license, some are produced by their own web design agencies and others created by organizations of CMS specialists, some are niche applications (buildings, cars, press, etc..) others are of general use. The interesting thing is that no matter the type and cost of all of the various CMS applications, they all have something in common: they'll make easier for you and your company to handle the website's maintenance.

Besides maintaince, and perhaps even more important, is the need search engine positioning. There are probably no less than five hundred content managment systems available in the market to develop your online catalog, so you should be careful when selecting a CMS, since a high percentage of these solutions, particularly those developed by the web design agencies themselves, are not compatible with search engine positioning techniques. That means that if you do not specify in writing that request at the beginning of your project, the agency is very likely to end up developing a conventional website that will not be located through search engines and that in terms of marketing will lead to the death of you website. After selecting the platform and developed the online catalog, it is virtually impossible to do anything for promoting the website in organic search engine results and you only have the option of using the hosted payment, which is an effective but expensive alternative in the medium and long term.

If you are looking for website promotion hire a professional

In case you do not know, there are hundreds of thousands of websites that are developed under content management systems, sites consisting of 500, 700 and up to 1000 web pages or more in some cases, with an enviable design and content, but that have somehow become white elephants because of not appearing in search engines and not actively involved in promoting the business online.

Open your eyes and do not let your web designer decide for you what development platform and method of promotion for your business website is the most convenient. If you already decided to provide better service to your customers through the creation of a website with a complete online / electronic catalog, then do it right and select a content management system that allows you to not only create the electronic catalog but also get the maximum reach in promoting your products. There are some freeware CMS applications that are excellent tools to create and promote online catalogs. It's all in knowing how to select the right platform.

About the Blog Author: Timpa has the mission of providing all entrepreneurs, whether experiencied or not in online business strategies, with the right information to help them manage their businesses online in the best, most time-effective and cost-effective, smarter way.