Why is product structure important?
One of the main conditions for the success of an online store is the correct structure of the product catalog. It plays no less important role than the structure of the site itself, that is, the specifics of the location of its pages and subsections, the logical connection between them. From its convenience and thoughtfulness will depend on how comfortable visitors will use the site. When developing the directory structure, it is necessary to focus on the features of the search engines and popular user queries, and not on your own opinion about the location of product groups. The slightest mistake in this matter will lead to the loss of many potential buyers, as they simply will not find your site on the network.
It is necessary to engage in the development of the structure at the stage of site design, otherwise you will need to fix the errors later, and this will not only increase the final cost of the project and lead to loss of time, but also complicate the subsequent process of filling out the product catalog. For young entrepreneurs doing dropshipping, with a limited budget, you should abandon the cool design in favor of the functionality of the store.
Developers often make the same critical mistake: they do not evaluate the catalog structure from the point of view of the buyer. Sometimes they exactly repeat the scheme of the product catalog sent by the manufacturer, or prefer to focus on the structure of the warehouse.
Consider an example of an incorrect pet product catalog scheme:
At first it may seem that the breakdown into product categories is quite reasonable. However, the buyer, most likely, has only one type of pet (puppy or kitten, etc.). If a person involved in fish breeding gets to the site and wants to find special food for them, then upon entering the appropriate section he will have to search for the desired product for a long time among many cat, dog and other foods. Obviously, the search will take a lot of time.
But considering this feature, the structure of the product catalog will look like this:
It is easy to verify that all the well-known stores that supply products for animals have a similar structure:
You need to be able to put yourself in the place of the buyer, as this will help to understand the nuances of the search for products and allow you to correctly place product categories.
The primary goal of the directory structure is to instantly orient the visitor and direct him to the desired subsection, where he will be able to select the necessary product according to a number of criteria after comparison with analogues. There are 2 tools for forming a catalog structure: product categories and filter. Let's consider them in more detail.
Categories and Subcategories
This is the foundation of the site, the most important and most significant tool, since it is their visitors that they will see in the top menu.
Sorting products into categories must be taken seriously, since changing the structure of an online store that already has a steady influx of visitors can lead to losses. That is why this moment needs to be paid more attention when developing the structure.
Almost all categories can be attributed to one of the following groups:
In the case of the pet store there will be 4 types of products: animal feed, toys, clothes for walking and medicines. If the site sells clothes, then in addition to the clothes themselves, they stand out separately: outerwear, underwear, shoes and accessories.
By appointment is meant for whom (or for what purpose) a specific product is intended. In a furniture company that sells on the basis of dropshipping, you can find furniture for the bedroom, hallway, kitchen, etc. The clothing store will feature women's, men's and children's clothing.
The manufacturer-based structure does not need to be clarified, but it is only suitable for specialized stores. For example, if a site sells only bags, a breakdown into categories by brand will be appropriate. With a wider specialization, sorting by manufacturer should be done through a filter.