What is product taxonomy?
Broadly speaking, we understand a 'taxonomy' (Greek for: 'laws of ordering') to be an authorative, restricted list of terms, names, labels or categories, where each term is for a single unambiguous concept. Practically speaking, when it comes to your website, imagine for example a curious customer looking for the latest men's swimshorts. You could imagine that he or she would go through the following categories:
Men's clothing < Summer clothing < Swimwear
This is what we call a product taxonomy. A taxonomy serves to support indexing, tagging, categorizing, and the metadata management of content, as well as facilitating the findability in both browsing and searching. They are also subjective to a hierarchical structure or groupings, as we can see in our example above, the customer first needs to click on 'Men's clothing' and then work his or her way to the actual product.
Having a proper product taxonomy requires a good knowledge of your products, and having insight into how you can best present them in a logical way to your customers. The customer should intuitively end up with the product they came to find. It should work the same as being in a supermarket, and expecting to find the milk and yoghurt in the dairy section, instead of near the spices.
Advantages of taxonomy
A well-structured taxonomy is critical for organizations to manage their existing catalogue or to grow into new domain. It can improve your search-engine rankings, generate higher conversion rates and eventually more sales. A proper PIM is able to connect the correct attributes to your taxonomies, so your coffee cups, for example, will not get the measurements of - say- your extension cords, and therefore present false information to potential buyers. Furthermore, product taxonomy is necessary in collecting the data on your products in a normalized and consistent fashion, by using a PIM. This enables you to monitor and evaluate your product data for redundancy, better methodize products according to the correct taxonomy and maintain a tight quality check on the final output.
For those of you who use Google Adsense, your miscategorized products may appear in search queries that are not relevant and thus you may see an increase in clicks but a decrease in conversions. Moreover, you may also have to increase your bidding in Shopping campaigns just to get your products to appear in “relevant” queries.
Finally, while this article has mainly focussed on the output-side of things; from an input-perspective, maintaining proper taxonomies/ classifications is crucial to link up with your external content suppliers. A properly equipped PIM, which adheres to standards such as GS1 or ETIM, allows you to relatively easy buy product content and use it online. In doing so, the speed by which products can be displayed online - and therefore be bought- increases dramatically.
By showcasing 'Featured Categories' you can attract the attention of customers to any actions you might have going on.
If you are interested in the benefits of product taxonomy, and how a PIM could aid your ecommerce business in your online sales, feel free to contact us at anytime! Just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org