Components manufacturers: How to launch your product catalog with success?

  • Priscillia Granval
  • Priscillia Granval
  • 18/05/2022

Launching a new product catalog is a genuine challenge. From the design and promotion of the catalog to putting it online, each step has a direct impact on whether the catalog launch is successful or not, and therefore on the company’s revenues.

As a manufacturer or distributor of industrial components you know that publishing CAD models of your products is an effective way to boost your sales.

You have a very specific target audience. To reach these qualified contacts, and then turn them into customers, you need to be credible, visible and responsive.

However, at the moment, your website only provides technical documentation and little or no CAD models.

To find the product they are interested, your potential customers first spend time on your website, look through your catalog and then ask for a sample of the part, or retrieve all its technical data. After that, your products are probably purchased or integrated in design projects.

However, you undoubtedly realize you could significantly reduce the length of this process by making CAD models of your products available online on the web, by choosing to publish your catalog in an online library, or directly on your website using an API or even a specific mobile application for iOS and Android.

You could also consider creating your own navigation, configuration, 3D display and CAD download interface using web services.

There are many solutions available, let’s look at it together!

My catalog launch guide

3 steps to ensure the launch of your product catalog on the web is a success

Step 1 : Model your product catalog

Whether you have 3D CAD models and 2D views, technical data, or specific native models, several possibilities are available depending on:

• the data you have: existing 3D models or not

• the time that you want to invest: whether you are willing to publish
your catalog yourself or want to subcontract the creation of your catalog

• the product selection method:

  • Simple selection: the product selection is made using a simple selection table presenting X columns representing the different characteristics for the criteria displayed and Y lines for the different product references proposed.
  • Selection with multiple options (also called “configuration”): the product selection requires several tables or lists of criteria to make it possible to select a product reference.

Step 2: Put your product catalog online

Now that you know all about how to create a catalog of 3D products, we will go through the different options available for the publishing your CAD models. We have selected three solutions.

Publishing your 3D product catalog in an online library

If you are a component manufacturer, you undoubtedly know that demand for 3D CAD models is growing rapidly.

That is why it is essential to provide your customers with detailed technical information about your products, including 3D files in multiple CAD formats so that your products can be selected as early as the design phase.

Publishing industrial components in an online library enables designers to configure even complex products, without necessarily mastering 3D software or having extensive knowledge of the products.

It is a simple and effective solution that has several advantages. It enables manufacturers of industrial components…

  • to be seen by their target audience,
  • to display their products using a 3D viewer
  • to benefit from a technical support,
  • to provide their contact information so that users of their products can ask for quotes,
  • to compete with manufacturers of similar product categories already present on the platform.

Adding CAD models to your website

Manufacturers and distributors may choose to publish their CAD models directly on their website, complementing the fact they have published content in an online library.

There are several integration solutions that depend on the configuration complexity of the products to be published.

The first level of integration, somewhat basic, is to create a web page that is independent from manufacturer’s website.

The manufacturer can thus create back-links, in other words a link to the page from the manufacturer’s site, so that visitors who consult his company website can access the models.

All the manufacturer’s CAD content becomes accessible via a simple interface (customized with a logo) offering the same technical characteristics as the online library.

The second level of integration, a little more technical, may require the services of a web developer. This solution involves integrating the CAD models directly in the manufacturer’s website.

The third level of integration makes it possible to completely customize the manufacturer’s web interface. In this case, all the necessary documentation must be given to the manufacturer’s web team in order to integrate the various web services and create a single interface.

These web services make it possible to display the CAD data using the manufacturer’s graphic charter, in order to retain the graphic identity. The manufacturer can then choose what type of content he wants to integrate in his website.

Step 3: Promote your product catalog

Once the content of your catalog has been modeled and put online, it is now time to deal with the product promotion. You have several solutions are at your disposal. We will look at all the main techniques available to increase the visibility of your online catalog.

  • On your website

You can highlight your new product catalog on the home page of your site using a banner.

Or you can use an article or a specific page to describe the advantages and the content of your online catalog

  • Via a newsletter

You can inform your contacts by sending a newsletter to your prospects/customers or to an external database of contacts. Two types of content can be highlighted in a newsletter:

a short text with a picture and a call to action (CTA)
graphic content in a banner with very little text and a CTA

  • On social networks

Everything is designed to be able to share your catalog easily.

A simple copy and paste of the hyperlink to your catalog on a social network is enough to make people aware of your catalog directly on the page of the network you have chosen to use.

  • Via advertising on specialist platforms

If you want to broaden your target, you could try “display” solutions.

What does the idea of “display” refer to? In advertising, “display” refers to digital advertising that uses graphic elements or videos. An advertising display
used to be simply called “internet advertising” or “online advertising”.

The principle is simple. Websites that want to earn the money through advertising have a space on their page(s) devoted to advertising banners. This space can have several formats.

  • Promote your catalog via email campaigns

To complement your strategy, email campaigns are a great way of directly targeting your audience and letting them know that your new catalog is finally available.

You can develop your HTML file by yourself and then send it via a email platform such as Sarbacane, Sendinblue, MAILCHIMP, Getresponse.

There are also marketing agencies specialized in sending of email campaigns. In this case, you do not need to look after drafting the message and sending the emails.

How to build an effective online industrial catalog?

Priscillia Granval
About the Author

Priscillia Granval
Responsable Marketing Digital Marketing Services

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