AI in Retail

What is Fashion E-commerce Catalog Management?5 min read

November 13, 2018   |   4 min read
Fashion E-commerce Catalog Management

What is Fashion E-commerce Catalog Management?5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In fashion e-commerce, growth is often associated with increasing catalog sizes. Growth also means that retailers are expanding reach, selling on different channels and possibly also working with several suppliers at the same time. Keeping track of a growing catalog can be a complicated catalog management process. Starting with an audit of a catalog, from understanding the existing loopholes to finding a way to clean up the ontology, the entire process requires quite a dedicated effort.

Selling on different channels simultaneously also brings in different cataloging requirements. While discover-ability through web searches might be the most important factor in a Google merchandising catalog, index-ability for more relevant results might be the need of the hour for the eCommerce store catalog. While the former might require more broad tags like style and occasion, the latter would certainly require more in-depth, and domain-specific tags like, say, sleeve length and necklines for fashion.

“By 2022, revenue in fashion is expected to show an annual growth rate of 11% worldwide, resulting in a market volume of $790 million USD.” *Statista

In a study, Royal Mail found out that poor data is costing brands 6% of their annual revenue. In 2016, IBM estimated $3.1 trillion USD as the yearly cost of poor quality data in the US alone. Correcting this poor quality data is not only time-consuming but also a costly proposition for businesses. “Approximately, data working waste 50% of their time finding and correcting errors, or attempting to confirm data sources they do not trust.”, says Harvard Business Review.  

Manual tagging is bleeding the retail businesses. It takes more than 30 hours per person per week to tag roughly 200-300 images in a day. Tagging is one of those things that are invisible, and yet, indispensable – without which the entire gear assembly essentially falls apart. A catalog that has well-labeled tags helps the entire retail value chain – from decreasing costs by automating workflows, to aiding product discovery by helping index products better, leading to more accurate searches on the site.

Clever content management techniques are key to ensuring that, ultimately, your shoppers discover what they are looking for. Unless you have the right tools, this is going to be a difficult task to achieve.

A growing retailer today is constantly expanding the breadth of their catalog and is finding ways to push SKUs across different channels. With this comes the deeper nuances of catalog management, working with multiple suppliers and their varied product information structures, finding ways to standardize and update product information in real time, ensuring that all stakeholders have a single view of the catalog for real-time decision making and ensuring that the right products reach the right set of customers at the right time.

AI-powered Product Tagging
Source: Fashion E-commerce Catalog Management

5 Ways AI-Enabled Tagging Can Help Your Business

1. Save Costs With Faster, Automated Product Digitization And Go To Market 10x Faster Than Before

  • AI-generated tags, titles and descriptions for real-time ontology clean up, and consistency
  • Standardize product information across all distribution channels for a unified view of the catalog
  • Reduce operational costs, errors and time associated with manual tagging
  • Easy export of the tags to comply with the formats of existing PIM systems

2. Make Better-Merchandising Decisions With Catalog Insights

  • Understand the split of categories and visual styles, trends, seasonality and styles
  • Understand shopper behavior based on the granularity of the attributes of products they interact with
  • Use this data for more robust inventory planning

3. Create Consistent And Rich Metadata

  • SEO and better search listings for improved product discovery
    • Get cleaner and consistent metadata, including titles and descriptions, translate into rich data for search indexes
    • Reduced bounce rates on-site due to relevant results on pointed searches
    • Ensure a better RoI on ad spend
  • Clean catalogs, better navigation
    • Get enhanced faceted navigation based on deeper product classification

4. Help Merchants And Sellers With A Smoother Seller On-boarding

  • Enrich metadata for standardized product information across all distribution channels

5. Curate Personalized Collections With Style, Occasion, Season Tags And More

  • Classify catalog based on themes and collections and curate ensembles based on visual attributes
  • Provide individualized experiences by understanding customers’ affinities to visual attributes
  • Create and highlight the right merchandise to the right audience at the right time
product discovery with automated catalog management
Source: Automated catalog management


Managing a catalog (classifying products into categories, identifying attributes and creating titles and descriptions) can be a tedious process if done manually, requiring substantial resources and time and causes human fatigue. Manual processes and issues associated with them and different input images of different format and type, contribute to inconsistencies in the metadata.

Poorly classified products cause the quality of the data to suffer, leaving retailers with product information that is not standardized across all distribution channels. This prevents teams across an organization from having one single view of their catalog and customers.

Poor Data Quality Results In

  • Operational inefficiencies
    • increase in labor costs
    • inaccurate demand forecasting and merchandising
  • Inaccurate site search results and product discovery
  • Non-robust SEO tags
  • Lost sales and revenue due to site and shopping cart abandonment
  • Shopper frustration due to navigational issues

Convenience is an integral aspect of a customer’s shopping experience. How can a retailer ensure that your catalog offers products that are labeled accurately with specific and rich metadata so that they’re categorized properly and produce relevant personalized search results that gratify customers instantly? Introducing, VueTag – an AI-powered automated catalog management tool for accurate tags and better product discovery. The tool enables 10x faster product digitization, with no manual intervention, thereby reducing manual errors, faster time to market and significant cost savings for eCommerce businesses.

Sign-up for a free trial today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR engineers bespoke AI transformation roadmaps for enterprises across industries. Retailers to resellers, auto-extracting data from files to extrapolating fashion styles, 150+ conglomerates in five continents recruit How can we help yours?