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Conversion Rate Optimization

[Guide] How to use product attributes and taxonomy to multiply profits (examples)

Product attributes are an often overlooked form of conversion optimization. This post dives deep into how eCommerce brands can use product taxonomy to increase profits.

We explore examples from Target, Pomelo Fashion, and others. These product attribute examples showcase how product taxonomies can be used for dynamic content, improve site architecture, improve customer experiences, product discovery, and more. If you'd like to skip straight to the examples, click here.

What is product taxonomy? A simple defintion.

Product taxonomy is a process to systematically categorize and classify products. In addition to categorizing products, taxonomy systems often use attributes to further qualify what type of product it is.

In eCommerce, product taxonomy is used to enrich product data feeds, organize site architecture, and create dynamic content. Examples of dynamic content enabled by product attributes include product recommendations, content personalization, and triggered messages.

Above, Target uses product attributes on their product display pages to quickly showcase product variations.  

What are product attributes?

Product attributes are a characteristic of a product. Attributes are used to enrich product data and empower product search and filtering. Example attributes are size, material, or color.

Product attributes are an important part of a product taxonomy. 

Here, Target uses customer input and product attributes to dynamically change what products are recommended. 

Product attribute lists

The most common way to manage product taxonomies is through a data feed. After identifying a product with a category, you can add additional data fields to further distinguish the product from others within the same category. These distinguishing factors are called product attributes.

Facebook's catalog items has an extensive list of product attributes. For each major product category, they have both recommended product attributes to include, as well as additional product attributes.

You can see the full product attribute list here. Below is a quick excerpt covering their "Health & Beauty" category.

  • Age Group - Age group associated with the item. Sample values: adult, all ages, teen, kids, toddler, infant, newborn.
  • Gender - Specific gender that your item is intended for. Sample values: female, male, unisex.
  • Health Concern - Indicates if the item is meant to alleviate a particular health issue, illness, or life stage. Sample values: Fever, Allergies, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar.
  • Ingredients - List of active ingredients as shown on the item label. Sample values: Vitamin C, Benzoyl Peroxide, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroquinone.  

How to use product taxonomies and product attributes to increase sales. Examples.

Aid product selection and maximize customer satisfaction ft. Pomelo Fashion

Product quality is a key driver of customer loyalty. In fact, according to one study by Deloitte, product quality and shopping experience account for 66% of the top 6 reasons for customer loyalty.

The challenge for brands is , what makes a great value? Customers value product attributes differently. 

Product taxonomy provides an elegant solution. By giving more details about a given product, brands can ensure that customers are able to select items that best fit their personal evaluations.

Below, Pamelo Fashion uses enriched product data on their PDPs. Specifically, they share the following product attributes with their customers. 

  • Fabric
  • Lining
  • transparency
  • thickness
  • stretch
  • silhouette

Improve product discovery ft. Target

Perhaps the most obvious use case for product taxonomy and attributes are in the product discovery phase.

Product discovery is a key part of your customer's experience. The challenge for large catalogues is how to surface relevant products quickly. Below, Target showcases how a brand can use product attributes to empower customers to quickly filter though products.

The items displayed dynamically change based on a customer's choice in dress type, size, brand, color, and even pattern.

Improve site navigation creating categories based on buyer personas ft. Good Eggs

Another key aspect of product discovery is site navigation. By definition, the way that you present your categories is reflective of your product taxonomy.

However, I want to share a few examples that go beyond basic categories, and instead take the opportunity to use product attributes in a more personal way.

Good Eggs is an online grocer. As their top level navigation they have all the familiar categories a customer would expect: product, dairy, mean & fish, and so on. 

However, the sub-categories is where they creatively combine product taxonomy and merchandizing. They have identified a number of buyer personas, and the types of items these personas search for. They encapsulate these products in specific categories, such as "Plant-Based Favorites" category presented front and center under "Dairy".

Improve site navigation creating categories for use cases ft. Pomelo Fashion

Product attributes can also be used to create categories based on use cases. Pomelo 

Pomelo Fashion is a great example. As part of their top level navigation, they have a "Shop by Occasion" option.  Recognizing that customers often seek out specific outfits for a reason, they allow customers to shop collections organized for "Festival Style", "Beach wear", and more.

Next steps...

Product taxonomy and attributes should be a core part of your eCommerce strategy. 

Beyond site navigation optimizations, product attributes can enrich first party data you have on your customers and fuel dynamic content like product recommendations and content personalization.

To see if Barilliance can help you leverage your product data into improved sales, request a demo here.

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