How to Make a Product Catalog: Step by Step Guide Using DCatalog

How to Make a Product Catalog: Step by Step Guide Using DCatalog

Product catalogs are an essential marketing tool for businesses. Traditionally, these catalogs were presented in a printed format. While flipping through the pages of a print catalog is comfortable, product catalogs have evolved over time to provide a digital catalog experience that customers will find familiar and enticing.

Designing a beautiful digital product catalog from a PDF is simple, but complex at the same time. Converting your static PDF to a digital catalog provides numerous benefits. Notoriously, PDFs are not available across all devices (smartphones, tablets, and computers); there is no way to track data and analytics; there are few, if any, interactive elements; and it is frustrating for your users to download the PDF.

A digital product catalog provides these benefits and more. Online catalog software transforms your static PDFs into stunning, immersive experiences optimized for all devices.

This article provides a step-by-step guide about how to make a product catalog that works for you.

How To Make a Product Catalog with DCatalog

jewelry product catalog made using DCatalog

Product catalogs have long been the best way for businesses to showcase their products and services.

Oftentimes, product catalogs are a customer’s first interaction with a business. As customers peruse the catalog pages, they are subconsciously making a determination to shop with the business or not. These first impressions that a customer makes of your product layout will decide whether or not they will continue on the buying journey.

This is why it is important to create a digital product catalog that stands out.

heritage clothing retail catalog

If you are wondering how to make a product catalog that does just that, there are a number of ways. When you think about online product catalogs, consider the following:

  • Stunning, high quality images
  • Customized shopping windows
  • Interactive, engaging elements
  • Personalized and customized content

The above details seem obvious, but the key to creating a stunning digital product catalog is the way you structure the catalog layout to appeal to your target audience. Digital product catalogs are packed with functionality, interactivity, and automated features. They are easy to create and share and allow customers to easily browse and shop.

So, what steps should you take to create your digital product catalog?

  1. Design the template
  2. Match the look and feel of your catalog to your brand.
  3. Add depth and layers with interactive elements.
  4. Create a One Stop Selling Machine
    • Add order forms to your digital catalog.
    • Create customized shopping windows.
    • Automate linking

The most advanced kind of digital product catalog allows customers to make purchases directly from the catalog itself. They can search easily for the items they want, read detailed product descriptions, compare and contrast items, features, and price points, and filter for items based on their attributes.

Sales reps can utilize digital product catalogs on the business side as well. They can create curated catalogs to easily download, publish, or share with their customers. Sales reps can assemble quotes and purchase orders.

With the mobile friendly digital product catalog, they can take the products into the field and showcase the features and benefits in real time.

Digital product catalogs will greatly increase engagement and accessibility. Let’s discover how to design, enhance, and create a digital product catalog that stands out.

1. Design the Template

To start, you will need to have a completed PDF. It couldn’t be easier to start the design process with DCatalog. Simply upload the PDF into our digital publishing platform and your PDF transforms into a digital edition within minutes. Start the design process by deciding on a template. This can be one you create from scratch, or one that you design with DCatalog.

DCatalog software dashboard

2. Customize for Brand Consistency

Templates enable you to create a professional and aesthetically pleasing catalog. With DCatalog’s Design Template feature, harness your brand identity by adding your logo and customizing the background colors in your viewer to your brand standards.

Tailor the template with tools and features that match your company’s aesthetic. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to design a beautiful product catalog template. With a few clicks and a few minutes of time, you can quickly create a stunning template.

product catalog design templates by dcatalog

Be sure to stay true to your brand aesthetic. Within the PDF version itself, use custom fonts and colors that a customer would also see on your website and within your marketing materials. Easily keep brand consistency with DCatalog.

3. Add Depth and Layers

Static PDF product catalogs benefit greatly from interactive enhancements. These elements increase engagement and improve the buyer’s journey. With plug and play navigation, your customers will feel empowered to participate with the content, rather than being passive observers.

To start with, you can easily add interactive elements by using the Edition Tools and Multimedia Manager within the DCatalog admin.

table of contents and bookmark features

Edition Tools allows you to add personalized content to each PDF version of the catalog that you upload. Create an expandable table of contents that divides the catalog into sections for easy navigation. Add colorful tabs on the side of the catalog that highlight each section and entice the customer to click and browse.

Incorporate an introduction page to act as a concierge through the product catalog. Make it interactive by adding video clips, gif images, or clickable links.

The Multimedia Manager allows you to incorporate links, gif images, pop-ups images and videos, and more. When you add rich-media elements such as video and audio clips, you create a whole world of engaging content.

add multimedia to product catalog feature

Showcase your products by taking customers on a behind the scenes tour of how they are made. Show off your services by interacting with employees. Film a quick case study video that allows potential customers to see how current customers utilize and enjoy your products.

Using DCatalog’s admin platform and multimedia tools, you can take your customers on a buying journey that helps them to feel like they are part of the experience.

4. Create a One Stop Selling Machine

Design an ecommerce product catalog or an order form product catalog with smooth precision. Save time and money by using DCatalog’s tools that automate linking, integrate shopping windows, and incorporate order forms.

Ecommerce product catalogs allow customers to browse, shop, and check out directly from your catalog. This keeps their attention inside your catalog, with their eyes on your products. You can integrate with your existing ecommerce platform and deliver a shopping experience that your customers find familiar and enjoyable.

apparel brand ecommerce product catalog

If you have hundreds or thousands of products that take hours to link, DCatalog can help. Utilize our automatic linking tool for product ID and SKU numbers. No more manual linking! Our Automatic Link Recognition tool automatically creates links around item numbers. You can use this tool for internal (page linking) or external (landing page) links to direct shoppers. Get back your time and boost productivity with automatic link recognition.

staples product catalog for business

Using order forms is another great way to encourage shopping and browsing within your catalog. With DCatalog’s Order Form Technology, take your content to the next level and allow your customers to submit purchase orders and quote requests effortlessly through your catalog. This package takes minutes to set up and saves you hours in time and labor.

Manage Your Product Data Feed Effectively

There are a number of ways to manage your product data feed, but these usually involve some sort of manual management. This means that merchants, businesses, and companies are manually uploading, updating, and managing inventory lists manually instead of automatically. Your product feed files are likely collated in an XML, a CSV, an XLS or a Google Sheet. While this is a way to have your product data accessible, there is a better option.

DCatalog offers an XML to PDF solution so you can turn your product data into PDFs and digital product catalogs. Best of all, there is no need for manual updates or constant management.

xls product catalog file conversion in progress

Using the solution, you can automate the creation and design of your PDF as well as generate catalog templates from your data sources. Eliminate human error and publish new versions of the catalogs in real time, as inventory updates. This happens quickly and saves you valuable time and labor.

The intuitive platform will enhance and improve your marketing collateral. The catalog template design easily enables you to update products, inventory, and manage expectations in real time.


We hope you have learned how to make a product catalog in this step by step guide. It’s easy and with DCatalog, your product catalog is ready in minutes! All you need to do is upload your PDF or data feed file into our intuitive admin platform.

Digital product catalogs aren’t just useful for businesses, they are a future necessity for businesses. DCatalog provides intuitive tools and features designed to simplify the process of creating a product catalog.

Our mission is to make digital catalog publishing simple, fun, and accessible for users with varying levels of technical expertise. Our user-friendly interface and powerful features are part of what makes our platform a convenient solution for catalog creation.

We would love to help you create your own digital product catalog. Contact one of our Publishing Executives today to get started!


What is the best software to use to make a product catalog?

The best catalog software allows you to manage and maintain your content easily. DCatalog’s digital publishing platform enables you to do just that. There is a free 7 day trial and you can see how easy it is to upload your PDF and add what you need to make it an immersive viewing experience for your audience.

Any tips on how to make a product catalog that stands out?

First, pay attention to aesthetics. Use the principles of design (color/contrast, white space, style, and themes) to create the PDF file. Next, utilize a good digital publishing software, like DCatalog’s to upload your PDF. Match the product catalogs colors to your brand, add your logo, and create clickable links within its pages. Make the content interactive by adding multimedia elements to make it more engaging and draw the reader in. Add video clips or gif animations that help tell your story. Use automated linking to link all of your product SKUs, which saves you hours in time and labor.

What are some advantages of using a digital product catalog?

There are several advantages of using a digital product catalog. If you have hundreds, or thousands, of products, automating linking and being able to update the catalog and inventory at a moment’s notice is advantageous for your business. With a digital product catalog, you will showcase your brand, organize and streamline your sales process, and tailor marketing efforts to make a more personalized client experience.

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