Product Taxonomy: 5 Best Practices in 2022

Organization and categorization are key when setting up any retail store. Imagine purchasing a box of corn flakes at a grocery store and you can’t see it in the cereals section, only to find out later that it was placed in the toiletries section. It seems odd, right? The years of going to a grocery store have conditioned us to know exactly where to find specific products we are looking for. Stores make it easy for us by organizing and grouping products of the same category in the same section of the store.

The same principles apply to online shopping. Developers and online retailers are always looking for ways to make a user’s experience on their website as smooth and as fluid as possible. Ultimately, the end goal is to make a sale, but the mark of having a great online presence is how well users respond to your e-commerce store.

This is where taxonomy comes in. It’s organizing products into categories aimed at facilitating a customer’s experience of shopping on your online store. The categories get a customer to find exactly which product they are looking for. Not only does it enhance user experience, but it also holds benefits for businesses, and product taxonomy boosts your online visibility.

But how do we develop and maintain this hierarchy and organization of our products? Below are examples of some of the best practices of using product taxonomy.

Determine Your Categories

This includes making a rough draft identifying what categories your products fall under. For instance, if you’re in the business of providing hosting solutions for other e-commerce businesses, users could get overwhelmed with the number of pricing plans they have available to them. The goal here is to set up your pricing strategy so that customers know which category their business falls in, making it easier for them to pick a plan that is best suited for them.

The best practice in this situation would be to offer 2 or 3 categories, ranging from small-scale to large-scale businesses, with a base price for each category. This helps customers make more informed decisions before taking things further.

See what the competition is doing.

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for how your competition practices product taxonomy. Since there is no hard and fast rule to conducting this practice, every competitor has its approach.

If there is a problem in your hierarchy of product categorization, it would be wise to compare how other websites similar to yours conduct their product taxonomy and see what changes and improvements you can make to your own. Customers prefer your rand to others for a reason, so you wouldn’t want them confused about where they can find their products.

Don’t Over-Categorize

The main purpose of your development of a product taxonomy is for the user to find their products as easily as possible. This leads to fewer website bounce rates, which means that your strategy is working. Over-categorizing on a website means that users spend more time navigating through the page to search for their product rather than being able to view the product itself. Not only will this confuse the buyer, but having too many categories leads to irrelevant products appearing in other categories.

Simplicity is key; you want your categorization to be straightforward and user-friendly. Attributes and filters help in sub-categorizing your products for a more detailed result, but at least it still falls under the same main category you intended the product to be in.

Strategic Category Naming

This involves knowing who your customers are. Understanding Consumer Behavior is crucial in this step as it gives you an insight into what consumers think about when selecting your product against the competition. Understanding consumer behavior allows you to conduct different trial runs of how your product taxonomy works. You can test different category versions and compare results to see which navigation process works well with your customers.

This also helps in naming your categories more strategically and appropriately. Keeping your language simple allows more consumers to navigate more easily through your webpage and find the product they’re looking for. Refrain from using ‘Other’ as a category. Not only does this mess up product hierarchy, but it’s also a vague term and causes the product to lose its identity on a webpage.

Keep Testing

It’s important to keep in mind that once you’ve worked on your product taxonomy, there are always going to be changes made to the hierarchy you have developed when you see how consumers are reacting to it, how effective it is, or if there are any products to be added to remove. It’s not a one-time project you can forget about once you’re done working on it. The best way to go about this is by looking at your product taxonomy from a customer’s perspective. This allows you to see how fluid your page navigation is and how many steps are involved in purchasing a specific product.

 

Once you are satisfied with the categories and sub-categories you’ve made, you can share your work with the rest of your team to get their feedback on it, or you could even share a test run with a few friends to get an insight from an outsider’s perspective. The real test comes when this new product taxonomy is live, and you can use tools to see how responsive your taxonomy is to consumers. If there are any glitches when purchasing a product, you can always tackle these hurdles and rework things to improve your strategy.

Conclusion

Having an online presence is crucial for many businesses to survive in 2022 and developing a product taxonomy is vital in enhancing a consumer’s experience when visiting a website. A good and intelligent structure of how products are categorized ensures a boost in traffic to your website and compels users to buy their products from you. On the other hand, if your product taxonomy is too confusing with too many navigation processes, it prevents a consumer from staying on your website, causing a decline in traffic and discouraging the user from using your website again.

 

The practices given above are just a few examples of how product taxonomy can benefit your e-commerce website, and working on a new online product strategy can give your whole website a well-thought-out overhaul with major improvements for the better.

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