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.
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.
Depending on how many products you carry, decide on the categories for each level. Going back to the grocery store analogy:
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.
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.’
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.
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.
Product categorization is a crucial aspect of business for the following reasons.
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.
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.
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.
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