Poor Product Data? – No Worries!

Many people will tell you that your search and navigation is only as good as your product data.  However, derived attributes with natural language search and navigation now allows you to mask the problem of insufficient data in your product catalog and still deliver a rich search and navigation experience.

Derived attributes enable you to add extra navigation facets and search terminology when these attributes are not fields in your e-commerce catalog.  This saves you the cost of fixing or restructuring your product catalog when you want to deliver better search and navigation.

Also, from a customer experience standpoint, derived attributes can provide alternative ways for customers to shop on your site, creating a better shopping experience and allowing customers to find the right products faster.

Derived attributes are a feature unique to natural language site search systems such as EasyAsk.  They are defined easily using natural language rules.

The natural language rules derive the attribute values from any field in your product catalog and/or operational data from your e-commerce system.  When the search index and navigational facets are generated, the natural language rules calculate the derived attributes, extending the range of the index and facets.

The derived attributes can also provide unique merchandising and promotional capabilities.  Promotional rules can use the derived attributes to raise products or place products in special display blocks.  Andertons Music, who has a derived attribute named “Great for Beginners”, can use this attribute in promotion rules when they offer specials on music products geared for beginners.

Let’s look at two EasyAsk customers and how they use derived attributes: Andertons Music and The North Face UK.

Andertons Music

As mentioned above Andertons Music uses derived attributes to label specific products as “for beginners.”  This allows customers to search for things such as “beginner guitars” when looking for guitars geared for those just learning the instrument.  Customer can also select a navigational attribute called “Great for Beginners” when a person performs a more generic product search such as one for a specific instrument.  You can see this navigational facet in the screenshot below.

















In addition, since Andertons products cover a wide range of color types, some of which have complicated color names, they needed the ability to rationalize these colors into a palette more easily readable by the generic consumer.  Thus, they created a derived attribute for color, which you can see on the screenshot below, which takes these various color descriptions and presents them in a facet more understandable by the shopper.

















The North Face UK

The North Face UK site also uses derived attributes to help describe the different technologies that go into some of their products, such as jackets.  This derived attribute is called “Technologies” and appears in the navigation after performing a search on products which include unique technologies.

This allows a sophisticated buyer who is looking for a product with that technology to find it faster on the North Face UK site.  In the screenshot below, you can see the Technologies navigational facet after I performed a search on “mens jackets”.  I can then narrow the results by selecting the technology I am looking for.  I can also use those technologies in my search, allowing me to search for “mens primaloft jackets” and get the exact results.

















Derived attributes help you provide a unique shopping experience on your site without the high cost and complexity of re-organizing your product catalog.  In addition, the derived attributes are automatically applied to new products added to your catalog, which simplifies the launch and merchandising of new items.

To learn more about derived attributes and ways in which you can increase conversions through better product findability on your site, click here to receive our white paper Increasing Customer Conversion by Boosting Product Findability.

Also, contact the EasyAsk team to schedule a demo today, and we show you this unique feature and others that will lower the cost of maintaining your site and increase your customer conversion.


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