Even though a basic search is the first tool used by users in marketplaces, the vast majority of online shoppers continue to refine the search by narrowing the search results by the specific attributes of the products they are searching. But despite the widespread use of navigation refinements, navigational tagging is often affected by the variety of products listed in the marketplace and the quality of product tagging.
Lisuto set out to evaluate the significance of navigation tagging, and for this purpose, conducted a three-months case study in cooperation with one of its clients. The case study set out to investigate how sales, page views and unique users numbers are affected by properly done navigational tagging. The results of the case study clearly show that tagged products perform significantly better in terms of page views, sales and unique users, compared to untagged products listed in the site during the same period of time.
In this case study, Lisuto aimed to measure and analyze the variations in number of page views, sales and unique users due to tagging. Lisuto’s client Jalana, a major Japanese online retail fashion store, with tens of thousands product listings, cooperated in the case study. For the purpose of this study, several hundreds of random listings were selected and tagged by Lisuto on Jalana's website.
The test period for the study was three months, during which Lisuto monitored page views, sales and unique users numbers. The first month of the test period, in which no products were tagged, served as the benchmark for subsequent months. Then the data was collected for the following two months in which products were tagged. For accuracy and consistency, only the top 1,000 most viewed products that consistently appeared throughout the test period have been taken into account and were analyzed.
The test period began in December 2019 and ended in February 2020.
To serve as a control group for the case study, the data from untagged products that appeared in the top 1,000 viewed products throughout the test period was collected and analyzed.
The test results for the total number of page views show us a perhaps less familiar aspect of tagging - resilience. We see that throughout the case study, both tagged and untagged products experienced a decline in page views numbers, this general decline can be attributed to a normal seasonal drop between December and January, followed by a drop attributed to the beginning of COVID19 pandemic in Japan. However, the decrease in page views of tagged products has been significantly smaller, never even reaching half of the decrease in page views of untagged products.
The resilience tagging adds to products is clear in the way tagged products performed significantly better than untagged products in page views, even in a time of reduced traffic in the website.
The reduced website traffic is noticeable in this table as well, but the test results for total number of sales keep up with the trend emerging from the total number of page views seen above. The reduced traffic causes substantial declines in untagged products’ sales throughout the test period. The tagged products, however, again show their resilience, and although they too experienced a decline in sales, it is significantly smaller than the untagged products’ decline.
The Unique Users category indicates the same trend - the resilience of tagged products. As in the above mentioned page views and sales categories, and on the background of reduced traffic in the website during the test period, we note a decrease in unique users for both tagged and untagged products. However, as before, the decrease in unique users for tagged products is significantly smaller than the decrease of the untagged products, indicating tagged products’ ability to much better withstand a decrease in website traffic.
The results of the case study indicate how important tagging is. In addition to its advantages in terms of product exposure in navigation, this case study emphasizes another quality of tagging - the resilience it adds to products.
The case study shows how tagged products consistently outperform untagged products in times of reduced website traffic. While both types of products experienced decrease in page views, sales and unique users during the test period, tagged products were able to sustain significantly smaller decreases, while untagged products experienced substantial declines.
Tagging gives you an advantage not only by actively increasing the exposure of the products in the marketplace, but also provides a shield from the effects of reduced website traffic. As this case study shows, if you want to increase total page view numbers, sales and unique users, you can easily do it by tagging your products.