Product Hierarchy Part 2

Developing a good product hierarchy can do wonders for your e-commerce site. The sad part is most merchants don’t invest the time to tweak and work on their product hierarchy on their website because of the lack of time, importance or a 100 other reasons. Bottom line: If you are spending money on traffic to your site, I suggest you read this post and future posts regarding product hierarchy and how it plays a vital role in your conversions metrics.

The Importance of a Solid Product Hierarchy

One of the foundational pillars of building a solid e-commerce site is ensuring that you create a solid, product hierarchy for your site where customers can easily find products at multiple levels and across categories. One key to creating the ideal product hierarchy for your customer is to make sure your customers find your products in multiple-associative categories. This is a major key to your online success as a merchant, please don’t forget this principle. If you are unclear as to what I mean by associative categories, let me offer you one example:

If your online site sells shoes and you create a category under strap-less sandals, you should probably include beach sandals somewhere in there as well. Don’t assume that your customer is only looking for formal sandals, make sure that at the very least you offer them an alternative that is associated with the specific product they are looking for. If you are saying to yourself, “wow that’s going to take a lot of work”, you’ve hit the nail on the head. However consider the following: 

I’ve personally assisted merchants with re-creating a product hierarchy and have seen anywhere between a 1-2% increase in their conversions. In some cases some of these merchants went from 0.8% conversion ratio to 2% or those who were already were at 2% went to 3%. Believe me when I tell you, if you are ignoring this very important element on your e-commerce site, you are missing out!

In next week’s post, I am going to be outlining all the elements you should consider for developing a solid product hierarchy. I encourage you to visit us again and see if there is anything that might help you convert better.

Sincerely,

Emilio Yepez
Founder
www.lighthouseinternetmedia.com
305 389 8955

BIO:  

Emilio Yepez is an e-commerce consultant located in Miami, Florida with over 16 years of operational and internet marketing experience. Emilio Yepez has worked with top Internet Retailer 500 companies and has generated Millions of Dollars in sales in both affiliate marketing programs while at ARC and ARC Media and ecommerce business development projects, like Navarro.com. Recently, Emilio Yepez developed and managed the Navarro.com ecommerce site, the largest Hispanic Owned Pharmacy Chain in the US.

Consider a Strategic Approach to Your Product Hierarchy Structure

Dear Reader,

I want to start by sharing that as an ecommerce consultant located in Miami, Florida, I get all types of calls from both local online merchants and online merchants in the carribean and Mexico. This makes my everyday very interesting becuase I never know who is going to call me; the call could come from a merchant in Miami or abroad. My uniqe geographic location gives me the ability to speak to a wide range of customers and clients with different needs, especially living in such a diverse city.

Last week I got a pretty interesting call from an online merchant who was seeking assistance with their e-commerce site. The merchant was a local electronics merchant, who sourced their products on Mexico but fulfilled in the U.S. This particular merchant was racking their brain over why he wasnt able to convert at a decent level. Please understand, whenever I get these types of calls I know our conversation or relationship could go in a number of different directions because the conversation revolving around conversions is so wide and so broad there could be a number of different reasons why they are not converting, However over the years I’ve found that  there are a few indicators that could immediately surface that might tip me off as to where to start and in my particular experience I know that this means a lot, especially to an online merchant that needs help and needs it fast! So when I speak to a merchant I try to get to the point, I try to quickly identify their issues and look at proposing a smart, thorough, strategic plan and solution.

As we got started in our conversation the merchant began to share with me the difficulties they were experiencing with converting on their site, they explained that they were acquiring all sorts of traffic but the site was simply not converting. They explained to me that the deals and prices were excellent and that the average time someone was staying on the was well over the norm, customers were staying on the site for an extended period of time, 10-15 minutes on the average, which is not typical, yet site vistors were not buying.

After our lengthy phone conversation I decided that the best thing I could do was to review his site without accessing their server and offer an on the surface, comprehensive review of their website. Whenever I offer this type of review I usually get some push back from the merchant becuase they usually prefer I offer my advice in conjuction with their data and information, however over the years I’ve learned that the only way to start these types of review is to use external tools and analysis to really offer an unbiased site review.  I like to ensure that I am not swayed by any initial data that could be delivered to me in advance. I like to review and do my own analysis to offer the merchant a valuable, unbiased opinion and then confirm my assumptions with data analysis from their analytics or server logs.

One of the first things that immediately surfaced in my review of their site was my inability to navigate the site quickly and find products easily, I found the site to be very difficult to navigate. One of the other elements I discovered in my assessment was their poor product hierarchy, it was completely off! This might or might not explain why site vistors were staying so long on the site, but there was much more analysis to be done before I could confirm my assumptions…

more to come….

Hire An Ecommerce Consultant…..Please

Good evening,

Over the weekend I received a call from a local start-up in Miami considering getting into an online business, primarily focusing on home decor and niche products online. After 30 minutes on the phone with this merchant, they expressed their immediate need for an e-commerce consultant based in Miami. Their main focus and urgency was to get someone to help them and get help fast.

Unfortunately, this merchant before contacting me for help, decided to research the web and seek out free help on blogs and forums, they opted to short cut their e-commerce business planning and poured almost 50K in Pay Per Click marketing into an Adwords Account, only to lose it all over a 90 day period of time. Needless to say, this merchant was in trouble and needed help fast, unfortunately after I spoke with them and explained that it would take them anywhere between 4-6 months for us to dig them out of their trouble, they decided to seek out another consultant. And the story repeats itself over and over…

There is No QUICK FIX, BUT there is a Fix!

As an e-commerce consultant I get these calls now and then and unfortunately, this type of urgent, “wave the magic stick” approach is nothing more than a fairytale. The truth is there is NO Quick fix when you get yourself these types of situations. Unless you decide to throw tons of money at the problem, which typically doesn’t work, you may not be able to turn things around very quickly.

The Good News: You can turn things around with the help of a seasoned e-commerce firm and begin recovering your losses and short cut your learning curve.

Or

You can opt to “do it yourself” , experience sleepless nights, experience huge potential loses, unnecessary frustration and a financial pit so deep it will make your head spin. I hate to sound so matter of fact, but there really is a better way. As an e-commerce consultant in Miami I always recommend potential clients opt for the wise choice, pay to learn the business and hire a Miami based e-commerce firm like ours to help you navigate the uncharted territories of the online world.

Question: What are some benefits you can expect to receive?  

Pay as You go or Retain our Firm, its up to you!

By Hiring us you get the following:

1. Avoid costly mistakes an online novice will typically make
2. SAVE yourselves tons of money
3. FAST track your online business
4. Learn from someone whos been there and done it
5. Get Clarity and a realistic expectation for your online business
6. Finally, set yourself up for success and begin selling sooner, rather than later!

I dont want to sound like I am overselling our services, becuase I am not. Even if you dont contact us or hire us, hire someone. Get someone who has a proven record and get the help you need. Dont go at it alone. If you plan on spending a good amount of captial on the online business, get a feasability study, have someone like our firm put together a business plan and really get situated. Believe me, you’ll thank me later.

In your service,

Emilio Yepez
Lighthouseinternetmedia.com
305 389 8955
emilio@lighthouseinternetmedia.com