Organizing data – A simple task, right?

August 2, 2016By Behind the Shelf Blog, Data Analysis and Management

by Julie Bonnell

Classifying a product is the simplest definition of taxonomy. The concept seems so simple, but like any simple thing, the devil is in the details.

It’s really easy to say “Aspirin belongs in pain relief.” and “Fiber products belong in digestive health.” However, in doing so, what point of view (POV) are you utilizing? Your own viewpoint as a retail professional with years of being influenced by your work experiences or a consumer POV based on advertising and their personal experiences? And the biggest question of all – “Does it matter?”

Let me assure you. It matters.

How you plan to use your taxonomy is critical to establishing the structure. Will you use it so people can buy a product? You need to think like the customer you are looking to establishing the structureconnect with. Take the fiber product as an example – you may think it belongs in digestive health, but if the person you are trying to connect with is interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle they may look for it in vitamins and dietary supplements. And that aspirin? You may want to place it in pain relief, but where is a customer looking for a heart regimen?

You also need to think about what sort of analytics are driving your business. What other products do you need to compare to in order to maximize sales? How discrete does categorization need to go? Is the classification enough or do you want to organize based on active ingredient, form, or a further refinement of symptom?

There is no one right answer to these questions – however, there is a right answer for your business. To get there, you need to start by asking good questions to clarify vision. Understanding what questions to ask is something we do well. Our analysts can help you clarify the point of view required to get the insights and results you are looking for.