Product Attributes: The Missing Piece to Ecommerce Success

February 16, 2023

by Andrew Stack

With most products, consumers have multiple choices. For example, shirts come in several sizes, tables have various finishes, and household appliances have different functions. These aspects are the product attributes, or the information that distinguishes similar items on ecommerce sites.

Product attributes may help online retailers keep track of inventory, but their main purpose is to augment ecommerce content. People often have a specific idea about the type of product they want — instead of looking for a “sweatshirt”, they may say “large sweatshirt with moisture-wicking material”. The more attributes you include, the greater the chances a shopper will locate an item that best matches their demand on your site. Learn more about product attributes and their importance for your ecommerce strategy from Virtucom Group.

Types of Product Attributes

Shoppers have different priorities when searching for products. There are two broad categories of attributes that consumers think about during the search — tangible and intangible. Tangible characteristics are visible or measurable, whereas intangible qualities have more to do with value. Consider the following examples of each:

Tangible Product Attributes

  • Color
  • Size
  • Design
  • Taste
  • Feel
  • Smell
  • Weight
  • Quantity
  • Content or ingredients
  • Packaging

Intangible Product Attributes

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Reliability
  • Innovation
  • Verification (tested for safety)
  • Support for marketing claims

Benefits of Product Attributes for Your Ecommerce Strategy

Product attributes answer the customer’s growing expectations, yet some businesses are reluctant to devote time to improve this feature with product content. Without factoring product attributes into your ecommerce strategy, you may be missing out on the following advantages:

Facilitates More Meaningful Product Comparisons

Consumers are becoming more conscious, taking the time to research their options, read customer reviews, and investigate brands to see how they respond to social and environmental concerns. As a result, it’s rare that an online shopper will purchase the first option, instead comparing it with the same or similar items on other ecommerce sites.

When an online retail site incorporates more product attributes, it makes it easier for a shopper to compare options. This can put your store at an advantage because the more characteristics you highlight, the clearer a picture a consumer has of the item’s value.

For instance, you may charge more for a similar product than a competitor, but the attributes you include detail a durable construction, long-lasting materials, and other traits indicating superior quality. This may encourage a savvy shopper to opt for your listing. Without product attributes, they might choose the more affordable option.

Product attributes also help you create comparison tables for big-ticket items like appliances and computers. Providing a grid for comparing prices lets customers decide between multiple items in your inventory, and they might decide before looking at another site.

Boosts Left-Hand Navigation

Left-hand navigation is a web design element that allows customers to narrow down search results within your ecommerce site to locate items that meet their specific needs. Product attributes enhance this tool, allowing shoppers to select or exclude characteristics.

When customers can easily filter results, and these options truly meet their requirements because of product attributes, they spend less time sifting through pages of listings. The quicker a customer locates the item, the more time they have to make an informed decision with their purchase.

Strengthens Cross-Selling

With well-defined product attributes, you can connect consumers to related items, potentially making more sales. For instance, if a customer wants a tent in a specific color, a product data management system can use attributes to highlight related gear in the same hue to prompt customers to add these selections to the carts.

Cross-selling isn’t just beneficial for your profits — it adds value for customers, as well. By shopping for consumers who are already busy, you provide convenience. Many shoppers will remember that added assistance, inspiring them to return to your site when they have special requirements.

Promotes More Consistency

When applied alongside normalized and cleansed product data, product attributes provide a reliable foundation for your ecommerce site. Once customers see how one listing is organized, they know where to look to find the characteristics that matter most when searching for a different product. Ultimately, product attributes can improve the customer experience significantly, potentially increasing the chances they come back.

Product Attributes Guide Purchase Decisions

With a normalized product attribute system complete for all product pages and types, you can positively influence customers’ purchasing decisions. If you’re unsure how to utilize product attribute to your ecommerce site’s advantage, or your current system isn’t well-organized, turn to Virtucom Group for assistance. Our data solutions can help you achieve a well-structured system that’s easier to navigate and builds trust with current and prospective customers. Contact us today to learn more about enhancing your ecommerce strategy.

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