Ecommerce: How These Brands Balance Customer Needs with Large Catalogs

Learn how two ecommerce brands balance a massive catalog with a user-friendly experience to grow sales. 

By Miva | April 22, 2024
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Ever walk into a store overflowing with options and find yourself standing there, completely overwhelmed and unsure of where to start? It's a phenomenon many online shoppers face, too. Big ecommerce brands boast a massive catalog of products, which is great for catering to diverse needs and becoming a one-stop-shop for customers. But this abundance can also lead to paralyzing inaction, shopping cart abandonment, and lost sales. 

So, how do successful ecommerce stores strike a balance between providing a comprehensive catalog and delivering a user-friendly customer experience? In this post, we'll explore the unique success stories of two large catalog brands and how they mastered this balancing act to boost their revenue. 

Sparking Customer Action with Time-Sensitive Promotions 

Large catalogs are fantastic for offering variety, but they can also make it tricky to grab a customer's attention. Here's where time-sensitive promotions come in – like a flash sale or a limited-time discount. They create a sense of urgency and excitement, prompting shoppers to act before the offer disappears. 

But what if launching these promotions felt like wading through molasses? That was the struggle faced by the OSU Beaver Store, the official retailer for Oregon State University. Their previous ecommerce platform made it a cumbersome task to set up promotions online, requiring them to contact a third-party developer every time. This created delays, wasted valuable staff time, and limited their ability to be as creative with promotions as they were in their physical stores. 

Image of OSU website | Powered by the Best Ecommerce Platform

Since partnering with Miva, the OSU Beaver Store has experienced a game-changing shift. Their new platform, designed with user-friendliness in mind, allows them to launch promotions quickly and efficiently, entirely in-house. Imagine wanting to run a "Buy One, Get One Free" sale – something that used to necessitate contacting a developer – now it's a breeze to set up with just a few clicks. 

This newfound agility translates into big wins for both the store and their customers. The OSU Beaver Store can now: 

  • Respond to trends and customer preferences at lightning speed: See an opportunity for a last-minute flash sale on school spirit gear for a big game? No problem! They can set it up and get the word out in record time, impressing their customers with their quick and relevant offers.
  • Offer seamless omnichannel promotions. Ensure that in-store and online promotions are always in sync, creating a cohesive shopping experience no matter where a customer chooses to shop. 
  • Empower their team. Store staff can focus on strategic marketing efforts and customer service instead of getting bogged down in technical details. 

The results speak for themselves. 

The OSU Beaver Store has seen a 16% year-over-year growth in their online business since implementing Miva. But there's more to the story than just sales figures. And the impact goes beyond sales. The ability to launch promotions quickly and efficiently has freed up valuable time and resources, effectively adding an extra five points of margin to their business.

That's the power of streamlined promotion management at your fingertips! 

Smart Product Recommendations = Happy Customers 

Imagine you're a gearhead browsing an online store for that perfect car part. You type a few keywords into the search bar, but with a massive catalog, finding precisely what you need can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.  

This was a familiar challenge for Xtreme Diesel Performance, a performance parts and accessories distributor. Their customers are passionate about their vehicles, but navigating a vast product selection could be daunting. The solution? XDP leveraged powerful search and recommendation technology on their website to transform the buyer experience.

Image of Xtreme Diesel Performance website


Here's how it empowered their customers: 

  • Personalized Recommendations: As customers type in the search bar, relevant products are suggested based on their search terms. This helps them discover new options they might have yet to consider and streamlines the path to finding the perfect fit. 
  • Smart Misspelling Correction: Typos happen! But with XDP's intelligent system, even if you fumble a keyword, it recognizes common misspellings and synonyms for auto parts, ensuring you still land on the right product page. It's like having a search engine that understands you.
  • Promoting the "Win-Win" Core Charge Program: XDP offers core charge discounts, a program that not only helps you save money but also minimizes environmental impact. By returning old parts, you receive a credit that can be used towards your purchase. The website highlights these deals on product pages, making it easier for you to take advantage of the program. It's a small step towards a greener future and a smarter way to shop.

The results are clear: with an advanced ecommerce solution and intelligent product recommendations, XDP has seen a 24% increase in conversion rates. Shoppers find the products they need faster and more efficiently, which translates to happier customers and a significant boost in XDP's bottom line. 

The Best Ecommerce Platform Enhances CX

Large catalogs offer variety and cater to diverse needs but can also overwhelm customers with too many choices. The key is to strike a balance by using smart merchandising strategies. Ecommerce is all about creating a frictionless, enjoyable journey for your customers. Whether discovering hidden gems through personalized recommendations or finding exactly what they need with a few clicks, a well-organized catalog empowers your customers to explore and purchase confidently. 

Here are some additional tips for success: 

  • Use high-quality images and videos. This will help customers get a better sense of your products. 
  • Offer customer reviews. Customer reviews help build trust and credibility with potential customers. 
  • Create a blog or resource center. This is a great way to provide customers with valuable information about your products and how to use them. 
  • Use social media to promote your products and engage with your customers. 

With these tips in mind, you can build an ecommerce brand with an extensive catalog that is both successful and customer-centric. Always remember that satisfied and knowledgeable customers are the most loyal ones. Therefore, while you embrace your vast catalog, ensure that you prioritize user-friendliness. In the ecommerce realm, a happy customer is a returning one! 

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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