The term “Taxonomy” comes from Greek and means “arrangement.” The Product Catalog taxonomy is the logical way of categorizing, grouping, and organizing the products. Proper naming and categorization and a well-defined set of searchable attributes minimize the amount of work a customer must do to find what they need. Well done taxonomy improves customers’ product discovery experience, which we will discuss in the Product Discovery Section. You need to develop a deep understanding of your products and form a logical way to present them.
Multiple independent taxonomies can also be overlaid for different views on the same data. For example, in a music catalog, a product could be found via genre or record label.
You might wonder why all of this can’t be handled via the search bar. The answer is: If data is not well organized in the first place, the search doesn’t work. It’s the classic ‘garbage in – garbage out’ scenario. A Forrester research report found that poorly architected retailing sites sell 50% less than better-organized sites. Where searches failed, 47% of users gave up after just one search, and only 23% tried three or more times.
As with any reporting system, good input is the key. Distinct categories and correct labeling make it much easier to deliver accurate stats across a full product catalog.
Many companies recognize the importance of a good, clean taxonomy and dedicate significant efforts to creating and maintaining it.
1. Get people excited
2. Identify the target audience
To understand the type of taxonomy that suits your customers, you should study them a little.
3. Know your content
4. Do your best to keep it simple
Keep hierarchies to 2 or 3 categories. Yes, users want organization, but they don’t want an endless list of categories to go through. Be consistent with names and remember the user at every stage. Use terms they can understand and employ synonyms to facilitate search. Even for B2B customers, try to avoid heavy use of industry jargon.
When you have built a taxonomy, you need to observe how people use it. Be prepared for people to interact with your taxonomy in ways you never imagined.
It will all come down to what users are doing. New ideas (like selfie sticks) will appear out of the blue, and they will quickly become must-have terms. Adding product names, categories, and attributes never stops.