How should I categorize my ecommerce products? | Agital
Skip to Content

How should I categorize products on my ecommerce website?

What is product categorization?

Product categorization is simply how one manages products through a system that groups such products according to relevance. Depending on how many variations there are, a product may further be divided into several subcategories.

It’s similar to how items in a grocery store are grouped into various categories within different aisles. Likewise, ecommerce stores should also have a system of organization to make sure customers find what they need.

Product categorization is an important part of user experience, especially for ecommerce stores. Did you know that 88% of online shoppers say they won’t return to a site where they had a bad user experience?

No matter how many leads you get, potential clients may fall through the cracks of your sales funnel if they don’t enjoy shopping with you. What you need to do is make sure that a customer’s user journey is pleasant, hassle-free, and secure at every turn.

How to Categorize Products on Your Website

Know your customers.

Find out how your customers shop by looking at site analytics. By gaining insights into your customer’s shopping habits, you’ll have a better understanding of the best user experience for them. For example, if you sell DIY household furniture, you might find out that shoppers like browsing through categories according to each section of the house.

Determine your first, second, and third-level categories.

Depending on how many products you carry, decide on the categories for each level. Going back to the grocery store analogy:

  • Your first-level categories are like the aisles in a grocery store. For a furniture store, this might look like the following categories:
    • Living room
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Patio

These categories can go into your main navigation or side menu. Keep the labels short and self-explanatory. As much as possible, limit your first-level categories to 5 to 10.

  • Your second-level categories are like the shelves in each aisle of a grocery store. These are the subcategories under each first-level category. Using our furniture store example above, we can divide the ‘Kitchen’ category into:
    • Countertops
    • Shelves
    • Dining tables and chairs
    • Decorations
    • Accessories
  • Your third-level categories are just further subdivisions of your second-level categories. Dividing the ‘Dining Tables and Chairs’ category above may look like:
    • Breakfast tables
    • Two-seaters
    • Four-seaters
    • Foldable dining tables and chairs

Place each item in your inventory under an assigned category.

Make sure to go through all the items in your inventory and properly assign them under an appropriate category.

Remember to keep your users’ shopping habits in mind. For example, a piece of furniture (such as a foldable table) may appear in multiple categories like ‘study table,’ ‘craft table,’ and ‘lounge table.’

Don’t go overboard with the categories.

Avoid being overly specific with your categories by using obscure names and burying your items under too many subcategories. As much as you want your inventory to be organized, keep in mind that consumers won’t benefit from too much categorization either—if it takes more than a few clicks to get where they need to, customers will find your web experience tedious and overly complicated. Keep your categories straightforward and functional. At the end of the day, you want your buyers to find what they need with ease.

Track your progress with analytics.

Keep fine-tuning your site’s categorization if you find that a system isn’t working well for you. Your analytics will help you capture consumer behavior and will tell you if something works.

For example, if you find that they keep keying in variations of a similar keyword, that might indicate that they’re having difficulty locating something on your site. Adjust accordingly, and see if it works.

However, don’t overhaul your categories too often, as this also might confuse your buyers.

What are the benefits of product categorization?

Product categorization is a crucial aspect of business for the following reasons.

Categories provide buyers with a pleasant shopping experience.

Think about it from a consumer’s perspective: Isn’t it frustrating to browse through a site with very poor categorization and navigation? No matter how much you initially like a product, interest can wane if a website offers a poor user interface and experience.

The bad news is that frustrated users will tell others about their experiences. Statistics show that 72% of online shoppers usually tell six or more people about a bad shopping experience online.

They helps buyers find things easily.

When you have an organized system for your products through your main navigation bar or header menu, you make things easier for shoppers. They can easily select the categories they want to visit, much like looking at the aisle headers at the grocery store.

This is great, especially for shoppers who might be squeezing shopping time in between breaks or a busy schedule.

Product categorization drives sales.

Naturally, a well-organized ecommerce store will enjoy more sales. Because customers can find what they need with ease, the chances for conversion are higher. Well-organized sites are also pleasing to the eyes.

And before you dismiss it as “just aesthetics,” look at this number: Apparently, 75% of users judge a site’s credibility based purely on aesthetics.

Next steps when strategizing how to categorize products on your site:

Connect with us to find new opportunities for how you can optimize your ecommerce website. With our help, you’ll see how much more revenue you can drive by making small changes that drive bigger profits. And contact us for your FREE deep-dive ecommerce analysis and growth plan. We’ll take a holistic approach that will help you grow your ecommerce sales and your brand.


Subscribe to the marketing revolution.