Online Strategies: Placing a Catalog Online

Kelly “Rags” Ragland is owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising-specialty company providing a range of services including web design and development.

One of the common things we address in this industry is the ability to create and maintain some sort of online catalog featuring our products and services. While websites with e-commerce capabilities suit the purpose of immediate customer satisfaction, some websites need the ability to refer their visitors to a virtual catalog before they can contact you about their specific needs.

Although many vendors offer online versions of their catalogs, simply linking to them and expecting a customer to return to your website to make a purchase can make life more difficult than easy for online consumers. It also removes your branding and takes away your control over what you prefer to sell. Your site visitors want to quickly find what they want and have easy access to contact you for more information or to place an order.

FlipBoard may be a great solution to this. In 2010, FlipBoard was created as a mobile-only site allowing users to create magazines and personalize the content of those magazines. Users can include qualified RSS feeds from their own blogs, create magazines featuring their own content, or simply add content from other sites around the web. Recently, FlipBoard launched its web version, making the site responsive and friendly to desktop users as well as their already-established mobile crowd.

To get your content seen throughout Flipboard, you simply create magazines and include your articles within them, creating content based on any topic you like. You create a magazine, give it a name and description, and add all the content your heart desires. Much like Pinterest boards, FlipBoard is visual. However, FlipBoard allows you to expand beyond the eye-catching image and provide a short article on the topic or, in the case of creating an online catalog, product specs, descriptions and a call to action.

Consider how easy FlipBoard can make your online catalog for not only your site visitors and existing customers, but for yourself. Creating separate magazines for individual sports, plaques, trophies and more can keep your catalog organized and easy to navigate for users, as well as provide you the ability to slip in and add, edit or delete products as needed. FlipBoard also allows you to embed your magazines into your website, keeping your site visitors where you want them to be.

By giving your magazines smart titles and topics, you can reach the vast number of existing FlipBoard users, adding a marketing strategy to the benefits of having an online catalog. Another great thing about FlipBoard is that their magazines are indexed by Google.

Once you have created your online catalog using FlipBoard, you can easily refer your site visitors there to explore your products and services as well as provide them with a mobile-friendly catalog they can refer to anytime and anywhere.

—Kelly “Rags” Ragland, Rags to Stitches Productions