Automate Product Classification For eCommerce Filtering & Search

It’s well accepted that on-site search and filtering is important. The product taxonomy help’s visitors narrow in on the specific products they’re looking for and find products they might be interested in. This is particularly critical with large product catalogs, for visitors to enjoy and appreciate the extensive range instead of bouncing in frustration.

Interestingly, despite the logical importance of filters, The Baymard Institute usability testing across 50 major eCommerce sites found that 84% of the sites had a mediocre or poor filtering experience.

So why, given the advantages of filtering, are so many eCommerce sites falling short?


Poor product taxonomy and classification

The answer, we see with the retailers we work with, is not a challenge to build filter functionality on the website. It is the exasperating amount of time needed to manage the product classification that feeds the filter logic.

Retailers can work with their eCommerce agency partners to design a good data taxonomy to feed the filters. But the product catalogs they receive from their suppliers, are all in different formats and structures to that architecture. Cue hours and hours of work in excel for the retailer, to translate each vendor’s product data into the format needed ready for their website.

For example, a useful filter might be product length. Different suppliers will provide that attribute in different units of measure, such as cm, in, m or ft.  Or different formats for the same unit of measure, such as Length: 10IN, another Length: 10” and the last Length: 10, Length Unit: Inch.

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