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Storefront vs Catalog

Store and catalog are two interchangeably used terms to refer to a shopping website, but there are substantial differences between both.

Store vs Catalog

In the digital world both catalog and store, are presented through a website or app. Both of these are your gateway to introduce your offering to your customers. Let's explore what are the key differences and where each of them is relevant

  • Catalog - Focus is on presenting your product, with the one single objective of leaving a lasting impression in your user's mind. Introducing and recalling your brand is a major goal in this. This is a key tool for your awareness building. The general structure has 2 parts: (a) Present your brand (b) Present/list your offerings/products
  • Store - A catalog plus the checkout/buying experience is a store. A store has all that a catalog has with an additional shopping cart, checkout, order management, etc.

I sell through physical stores. Should I have a digital catalog?

Yes, a well-presented digital catalog helps as great marketing and sales channel for you. Customers will research online and buy offline.

I sell on marketplaces. Should I still have a catalog(or store)?

Yes, you will still benefit a lot from having a rich catalog. Your consumers do research, seek more info, try to gauge the brand, most of this outside the marketplace. Your own branded website which has a catalog that presents your products in your own style, presentation, and language (well beyond the generic style which a marketplace does) helps your customers make that buying decision.

You may not need a store (checkout) if you are staying away from the fulfillment which marketplaces do extremely well these days (of course at non-trivial fees). You can direct the consumers to the marketplaces from your website when they try to buy.

High-value product sales need way more convincing than commodities, and hence an independent catalog is really important.


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