3 tips to improve product findability

By Yuval Ginor, Sep 30,2021

The level of findability relies heavily on the taxonomy of the online store and that is why it should be properly structured. If customers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them. Here are 3 tips to improve product findability on your site.

Findability is one of the key factors for success in ecommerce. It means how easy it is for customers to find what they are looking for, whether it is within the website, using in-site navigation, or using search engines. The level of findability relies heavily on the taxonomy of the online store, and that is why it should be properly structured. In this article we share a few tips on what to avoid in order to make sure your store’s taxonomy is structured in a way that provides customers with a good shopping experience. 

  1. Avoid Attributes at the Category Level

A selection of attributes and values with which to sort results is always welcomed, but it is recommended to avoid them on the category level, and rather offer them in the sub-category level. The reason for this is that categories are almost always used first to slice through results. For instance, if the “Clothing” category contains the attributes “Leather Gloves” and “Wool Gloves”, then in order to see all types of gloves, the customers must search each attribute separately, which is quite frustrating. It is better to let the users select the “Gloves” sub-category, before offering them the material attribute. 

Offering such attributes at the category level not only prolongs the search process, but it also makes it confusing and overwhelming with dozens of unnecessary sub-categories. With so many sub- and sub-sub-categories, the customers can easily get lost. That is why it is recommended to make the taxonomy simple and clear, by allowing customers to first narrow their searches to a specific sub-category, and then offer them to slice through the results using attributes.  

  1. Avoid Single Value Categories

In order to keep the taxonomy efficient, try to avoid creating categories that contain only one value. This can be done by grouping together several such categories into one category that contains several sub-categories. Most often, sellers place accessories to the main product in single value categories, alongside the main product category. To increase efficiency and improve the shopping experience, it is recommended to group all these single value categories under one parent category (labeled “Accessories”, for example).

  1. Avoid Bucket Categories

Despite best practices, bucket categories are quite common. These are the categories labeled “Misc.”, “Other” or “Additional Items”. Since their name implies that the products within them did not fit any other category, customers only rarely visit them. These bucket categories usually pop up when there are products that do not fit any other category exactly, or it is a new product that a new category was not created for yet. 

In order to avoid bucket categories, it is recommended to have a policy in place which directs every product to its relevant category, and if no such category exists - then one should be created. Our purpose is to make the taxonomy efficient, and avoiding buck categories goes a long way towards that.   

We hope you take these 3 tips to improve product findability to heart when constructing your taxonomy. Remember, if customers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them. Make sure your navigation taxonomy is properly constructed, in a way that gives your customers the best user experience possible. 

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