How to Clean Up a Mismanaged Catalog

by David T. Griffith

So, you’ve inherited an existing Amazon catalog and it’s a complete mess. You can’t tell which products are supposed to be live or comprehend the product descriptions. Some photos are not communicating the products well with some views completely missing. Where do you begin cleaning up?

Whether you are new to a job or your employer has added a new brand to your group of responsibilities, inheriting a mismanaged catalog is a scenario most eCommerce professionals are eventually faced with. You don’t have to search hard to find vague and confusing product pages on any online retailer site. There are plenty out there waiting for someone to give them the attention they deserve. This doesn’t mean you should continue the established path of low-quality listings just to keep the assortment alive. It’s the polar opposite – turn that floundering assortment around and provide customers with a top-tier experience.

Figure Out What Belongs in the Assortment

When a brand’s eCommerce presence is mismanaged, it’s likely the assortment isn’t current or represented accurately. A catalog filled with dormant listings of obsolete products without inventory will leave customers wondering if you’re still in business. A lack of regularly introduced new products will instill the same lack of confidence.

Ultimately, you want to make sure the active Amazon assortment properly reflects your current product offerings intended for all retail outlets. So, immediately turn off feeds for inactive ASINs and perform new item setups for all missing products. As you create these new products, establish new standards and best practices that you will carry over to the existing product during the cleanup process.

Organize Your Catalog

Start with grouping variations of products that differ only by color or another single attribute. This will create Parent ASINs for each group of listings to live under and improve the shopping experience. A shopper will immediately see all options of the item without scouring the search results page.

Go a step further and make use of Amazon’s brand store platform to provide a logical and easy-to-browse shopping experience. Not only does the store give you the ability to organize products by collections and themes, it enables you to feature new products and tell the brand story.

Clean Up Product Detail Pages

Chances are, a neglected assortment contains outdated or sparse content. Invest the necessary time to improve your listings. Give your customers a well-rounded understanding of each product by using all available content formats from your marketing and creative teams. Confirm all product specifications are accurate and submit corrections. Revise the bullet points so they immediately inform consumers of the essential details they are probably seeking in shopping your products.

Bring In More Shoppers

Once your assortment is organized and your detail pages are cleaned up, it’s time to promote. Create a few AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) pay-per-click campaigns to drive traffic to your products or brand store page. This will help you increase awareness and conversions. Model the campaigns around your brand and product categories by bidding on terms specific to your collections as well as capturing searches for your direct competition. If you have the funds to invest in higher level advertising, look into Amazon Media Group’s advertising services to run banner ads on- and off-site along with mobile.

When you’re done with the cleanup effort, you should see an organic lift in traffic and sales that will continue to grow as you maintain and build the catalog. So, never fret when you receive a mismanaged catalog; instead, view it as a turnaround opportunity.

Originally published on July 31, 2018, updated August 12, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.