In Marketing, Product Information Management (PIM)

The massive amounts of product content you produce demand structure and standards, which works best if you classify your products.
The idea of product classification is based on the separation of products according to certain characteristics resulting in one structured, exhaustive database. In line with the internationalization and trading of goods across borders, organizations have evolved and defined international guidelines facilitating the exchange between trade partners.

Some of these classifications even date back to 1957, such as the International (Nice) Classification of Goods and Services. One of the most common industry organizations is the GS1 Global Product Classification, with the aim to “help trading partners to group products in the same way, everywhere in the world.”

Product classification can happen in various different ways. They can be based on the type of consumer goods, the durability of the product, or its pricing. Specific classifications make more sense than others as they depend on the nature of a product.

Yet, what applies to every product classifications is, that in the long-run, they save you time and money! It avoids unclarities and confusion about your product content since the whole company & partners network speak the same (product) language! A skirt is no longer mistaken for a dress!

In this blog article, you will learn why the classification of products is essential for product discovery, supplier relationships and data quality!

1. Start at the beginning!

As a Marketing Manager, you regularly face the challenge of creating and recreating an effective, and sustainable Marketing strategy. Classifying products before defining the strategy actually helps you decide on a way to promote your products. Especially a diverse set of products demands tailor-made promotion strategies, which is why you should have a clear overview of all the different products in your database.

2. Provide visibility to your Ecommerce site

If you want your product to be noted on your Ecommerce site, it needs to be made visible in a type of classification that is relevant to the product’s actual nature. I.e. intangible products or services (insurances) require extensive descriptions and substantial references in order to convince, whereas a piece of fruit requires little description about origin and price.

The more relevantinsightful and compelling the product content, the better your company’s Ecommerce site performs (plus it stands out from the crowd when consumers search and compare products).

3. Get your products discovered in top search results

Previously speaking about the relevance of the product’s nature to your Ecommerce performance, product content differentiation is key to its performance as well! An excellent way to differentiate is to identify consumer search patterns to then include them in your product content: e.g. What keywords do people type in? Carefully selecting strong and distinct product descriptions, supports their differentiation. Keyword rich product descriptions have positive effects concerning the ranking in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). Your products and your web pages are more likely to appear in the search engine’s top results, enhancing your consumer experience, hence drive traffic to your Ecommerce site.

4. Empower your suppliers

Classifying your data according to one standard optimizes your Ecommerce activities,
since suppliers can easily manage, enrich and provide product content to your database.

5. Speak the same (product) language

A classification provides you with a clear overview of all product content available across the organization and as stated before, everyone speaks the same (product) language. This enables you to advance faster because you are no longer wasting time on correcting data errors, or searching for product information. Instead, you work with product content reflecting high data quality, which is distinguished by information completenessaccuracy and reliability. Using an international classifications lets you
enter new markets faster, based on the fact that certain suppliers most probably work with the same type of classification.

Summing up: As a Marketer, you should make your life easier by classifying your products because this aids in creating a relevant Marketing strategy, it improves the internal and external communication, enhances search engine visibility, plus it improves data quality!

Check out this Slideshare presentation on the topic of data quality:

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