There is a deep connection between millennials and online shopping in the modern world, a connection so deep that even necessities like groceries, food, clothes, etc., are being bought online. People expect the same kind of experience that they get when shopping at a physical store while shopping online, and it is up to the ecommerce businesses to deliver that to the customer. Consumers want to find the products they want easily and as quickly as possible, and product taxonomy helps achieve that. 

What is product taxonomy?

In very simple terms, product taxonomy refers to categorizing or organizing your products based on their type to facilitate the users while they search for a product. It is a way of providing a structure to all the products that you sell on your ecommerce site. A good product taxonomy enables users to find the product they want with the minimum clicks possible. 

Let’s look at an example. 

The above image is a typical ecommerce website that sells various products ranging from groceries to furniture to apparel. The diverse product categories are listed on their home page. The apparel section is organized into two types, Men and Women. A further drill down gives us the types of apparel for men and women, names shirts and pants, and tops and bottoms, respectively. For example, a male buyer wanting to buy a shirt can do so in less than three clicks. 

In ecommerce, there are 2 main elements associated with product taxonomy: categories and attributes. These two elements dictate the entirety of product taxonomy. 

Categories are common products grouped under a single type, while attributes apply to products of each category. A category groups the product while an attribute describes a product. A round-neck T-shirt may come under the clothing category. Its color, size, sleeve length, etc., can be applied to products of other categories. 

Overcoming taxonomy challenges of the ecommerce retailers

Every ecommerce retailer wants to ply their trade across channels and marketplaces. 

But one of the main challenges for brands that want to be present across marketplaces is adjusting to the different categorization rules of various sales channels. For each channel, there are different product data rules and preset guidelines that need to be met. 

The categories for products might be different on Amazon, while you might sell the same product under a different category on your website. Finding a structure and maintaining product data consistency becomes a very big challenge and results in loss of sales for the ecommerce retailers. A PIM solution like PIMworks helps structure your product data and enables your product taxonomies to comply with various channels. 

Customers want to explore more categories and subcategories. By making them more structured, customers are more likely to find something they might buy.

A Forrester research report says that ecommerce sites sell 50% less when they have a poorly structured product taxonomy. Only 53% of users proceed beyond one search, and even lesser audiences do two or more searches. A well-built taxonomy will allow your website to display related products. Rather than losing a customer for the unavailability of a product, you can suggest some alternatives that help with your conversion.

In addition to making your product data organized, a well-implemented product taxonomy has many business benefits. From enhancing the overall sales by influencing users’ purchasing decisions and improving the overall brand visibility, product taxonomies help you gain insights to find more business opportunities. 

  1. Better search engine ranking with SEO 

Ecommerce product taxonomy plays a very important role in the SEO of the website and your marketplace store. Good product taxonomies help your website rank better among competitors. Your consumers search for a product using specific keywords. If the product taxonomy has that keyword, it can directly showcase that product, and the customer’s life becomes easy. Or, if the keyword is not present, it can at least show related products.

  1. Improved customer experience with structured data

Different retail platforms require different structures for displaying product data. A good product taxonomy brings in the necessary structure, improving the customer’s experience. Customers have limited shopping time. A clear product hierarchy helps the buyer choose their product quicker by reducing the number of steps needed to reach a product improving their buying experience. 

  1. Reach more customers with a standard dataset 

One of the main business advantages of having a structured product taxonomy is that selling across multiple countries becomes much easier. Usually, when selling across countries, terminology and currencies differ, causing confusion among the users. Product taxonomy helps in providing a standard, a hierarchy of sorts that enables the users to get consistent information wherever they go.  

  1. Driving more sales with clear navigation

Shoppers, especially online shoppers, tend to buy a product if the ecommerce site caters to their needs. Or in other words, if the site can help them with all the necessary information about buying a product, they buy the product. A well-structured product taxonomy helps the users navigate better through the websites enabling them to make informed buying decisions and convert casual shoppers into regular customers. 

As tempting as it may seem to bring in more product taxonomy, even nectar, if consumed more, can be poisonous. There are some best practices that businesses must follow regarding product taxonomies. Not over categorizing, ensuring the use of market standard terms for category names, separating categories and attributes, avoiding repetition or duplication of categories, etc., can go a long way in influencing customers’ purchasing decisions. 

Product taxonomies may look like a simple logical concept, but it is quite hard to implement correctly. A PIM software like PIMworks, which has automated product taxonomy mapping capabilities, would surely come in handy when preparing taxonomies for your product. PIMworks reduces the time needed to take your product to market by bringing in automation. Also, you can ply your trade across platforms through the integration PIMworks provides. 

What are you waiting for? Make your product taxonomies better with PIMworks


Product Marketer for a career, Enjoying Life for a living. I believe that the universe gives things to people who truly deserve it. I love spinning stories about anything and everything. If I am not doing that, you can catch me with a Sudoku puzzle or playing, sorry, winning games against my brother

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