Buyer experience and product attributes

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By Yuval Ginor, Mar 29,2021


Buyer experience and product attributes on site are tightly related. A well structured attribute infrastructure helps you bring the data straight to your customers, in the most simple and efficient way for them to use.


The first step customers take when they visit an online store is to look for information about the product they are looking to buy. They read the description of the item, look at photos, and sometimes search for more information elsewhere. As a matter of fact, there are some products you wouldn’t even think about buying before at least seeing what they look like.  



As ecommerce continues to gain popularity - retail ecommerce sales worldwide are expected to jump from 4,206 billion USD in 2020, to 6,542 billion USD in 2023 - customers’ standards are rising, and they have nowaday come to expect to have all the information they need at hand. The way sellers present this information to customers impacts site performance. But it is not only photos and description texts. Showing customers the product’s attributes and values is just as important.   



What is a Product Attribute?

 

Attributes are the different properties that define the product. For example, the “Color” attribute details the color of the product, just as the “Size” attribute describes the size of the product. Product attributes and buyer experience linked together. In order to give your customers the best shopping experience, you have to structure the way you present attributes in an accessible and efficient manner. We gather some tips to help you improve your attribute infrastructure.



Create Attributes Groups

 

To simplify the use of attribute infrastructure, it is recommended to put attributes that have the same characteristics together. Here are some examples:

  • Attributes that describe the product’s physical features, such as size, color, pattern, etc.
  • Attributes that describe the technical aspects of the product, like megapixels, RAM, etc.
  • Attributes that are related to marketing information, such as price, customers review, etc. 
  • Attributes that are related to logistics, such as shipping.

Presenting related attributes together makes it much easier to find all the information you need. In fact, it is such an important practice, you can already see it applied in most major marketplaces and online stores.  



Use Different Types of Attributes

 

We recommend that sellers maintain at least some control over the attributes infrastructure. To achieve more efficiency, sellers need to pre-determine what type of information can be put into the different attributes. Other than text and numbers, there are many different types of attributes:   

  • Boolean - Yes or No
  • Date - selecting a date on a pop-up calendar
  • Integer - a box that allows whole numbers. Maximum and minimum may be applied.
  • Decimal - a box that allows numbers with a decimal point, for specificity. Maximum and minimum may be applied here as well. 
  • Single Value List - opens up a list of options, but only one may be selected. 
  • Multi Value List - opens up a list of options, with multiple selection enabled. 

 

Create Shared Attributes

 

Products that share the same category, usually also share the same attributes. This makes it easier to assign attributes for whole categories together, rather than applying them to every single product. If you know that a certain product belongs to a specific category, you can immediately tell which attributes should be assigned to it.   

 

For example, a seller that sells men’s clothes knows that most of the products in the ‘Shoes’ category will share these attributes:

 

  • Size (US sizes, European size, or both)
  • Material (leather, suede etc.)
  • Color (either with a color pallet pop up, or a list)

 

As all the products in the ‘Shoes’ category share these attributes, it is important to have every shoe you sell in your online store assigned with these attributes. To make things even more efficient, we recommend you set such shared attributes as mandatory when uploading new shoes to the store. Creating shared attributes have multiple benefits:

 

  • Creating shared attributes for products of the same category is more time efficient, compared to assigning each product individually. 
  • By making shared attributes mandatory, you ensure that all the products in the category are assigned these important attributes. 
  • Creating shared attributes helps you enrich the products’ information.  

 

It is important to note, however, that creating shared attributes may not always be efficient. For example, the ‘Material’ attribute that is used in the ‘Fashion’ category, is not the same ‘Material’ attribute used in the ‘Watches’ category. These two categories cannot share the same ‘Material’ attribute. That is why it is important to carefully manage your shared attributes, ensuring that each category is assigned only relevant attributes.   



Create Multiple Data Attributes

 

We recommend sellers use attributes that include multiple data. For example, a store that sells photos and posters may want to include ‘Dimension’ attributes, which incorporates both the height and the width of the product. Creating an attribute for ‘Height’ and a different attribute for ‘Width’ is both inefficient and useless.  

 

Maintain Control Over Attributes 

 

If other people have access to your attribute infrastructure, such as employees, administrators or other third parties, we recommend you maintain control over how new attributes are added. We mentioned before applying mandatory attributes for products from designated categories, and you may also want to restrict what other people may add. Managing who has access to the attribute infrastructure will help you avoid any duplications and redundancies, ensuring the information you provide to your customers is accurate and useful. 



Conclusion


As customers have come to expect accurate information on the products they are looking to buy, sellers have to make the effort of providing this information. Buyer experience and product attributes are tightly linked. A well structured attribute infrastructure helps you bring the data straight to your customers, in the most simple and efficient way for them to use. This contributes to a better overall user experience and is sure to improve your store’s performance. 

 

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