In December 2020, just a few weeks ago now but you may be reading this in the future, we published a new eGuide called “Improving eCommerce Performance through taxonomy“. You can download it for free and I thought it worth highlighting the contents.
The eGuide was written for eCommerce property owners but there are lessons for any website owner. Particularly for those that have large properties with lots of pages or items cataloged. So not just retail but also content sites, even corporate sites.
Why do sites develop issues with taxonomy?
In an ideal world, when a website is originally designed, the taxonomy and information architecture (IA) will be properly researched. An outcome of this research will be establishing the governance infrastructure that deals with growth and change. All to often, the original taxonomy and IA is not properly researched and there is no governance.
With no governance in place, websites evolve organically. As new content and categories are added, new organisation divisions and structures are created, the website is changed to accommodate these. Typically these changes are tactical and often politically driven. mega menus, like homepages, are prime website real estate and so everyone wants their content featured.
What you can do
In the eGuide we set out the stages in our approach. These include not only customer research, but also stakeholder research. Customer research is obvious in developing the taxonomy and you may well be familiar with the type of qual and quant card sorting exercises we use.
However, stakeholder research gives us the business view of how the future taxonomy should change. We will use stakeholder interviews to reveal:
- how individuals feel about the taxonomy – i.e. state of the nation
- where they see the issues and how they feel about solutions
- what political pressure they are under – if any
- what they think customers want and need
- any sacred cows that we should be aware of
Quite often the business is in close agreement with what customers want but have been caught up in tactical changes and have lost control. Through the research process they gain the time to think about the taxonomy more strategically and input to a wider requirement.
This is just one of the elements of our approach that is described in our eGuide. If you want to find out more download copy and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch.