The entire shopping experience is based around a system of organization that simplifies the way we interact with the products we want to purchase. Everything is categorized in a way that’s designed to improve the flow of the shopping experience. Also known as classification, product categorization is exactly what it sounds like: the practice of organizing a store’s products into helpful groups so that customers can find what they want faster. However, because of the sheer volume of products modern eCommerce businesses deal with, categorization is a surprisingly challenging job for many businesses to the point where many deploy AI-driven technologies and machine learning to help.
Why Categorization Is NecessaryOutside of the obvious benefit of facilitating product searches, product categorization is a hot topic for web designers and eCommerce companies for several reasons.
It Helps with Search EnginesYour site’s search engine will be faster and more accurate thanks to your categories. Manu users interact with on-site search engines, so this aspect of site design should not be ignored.
It Naturally Provides Product RecommendationsIf a customer is interested in a specific item, then he or she might also purchase another product in the same subcategory.
It Improves the User ExperienceSometimes, having the best price or the highest quality offering doesn’t guarantee a sale. Customers are attracted to the businesses that provide a streamlined shopping experience, and site navigation through categorization is a significant contributor to that expectation.
Best Practices for Creating GroupingsSmaller businesses only have to worry about a few products at a time. They only need to adjust categories, shift products around, and add additional ones over time. Occasionally, they might consider shifting their groups entirely. For example, should the main categories be “Men’s Clothing” and “Women’s Clothing” which split into “Shoes” and “Hats”? Or should the main categories be “Shoes” and “Hats” which themselves split into “Men’s Wear” and “Women’s Wear”?
The Need for Automatic SolutionsLarger companies, however, must deal with millions of products and individual sellers with their own naming schemes. These services, like Amazon, rely on AI-driven solutions to automate the categorization process. At this scale, even a small increase in the volume of products can result in large calculations to reclassify everything. The investment into more efficient algorithms for product classification is rising every day with increasing adoption of eCommerce platforms. Newer solutions can determine categories based on:
- Rough product titles and description
- Images of products
- Parsing metadata
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