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Maryna Tarasenko
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Maryna Tarasenko
Digital Marketing Strategist
Cyril Dorogan Gepard PIM E-Commerce Consultant
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Product Attributes Role In eCommerce Brand’s Success

9 min read
Published: April 5, 2022
Updated: June 19, 2024

Product attributes are essential for providing a fantastic customer experience and improving your profit margin, but how exactly do they influence your sales? Let’s find out more about what they are, the types, what trends impact product-attribute use, and how you can optimize them to maximize your profit.

What Are Product Attributes?

Product attributes are the features that describe an item – objective and subjective details that can help a potential customer decide what to buy. These include, but aren’t limited to, technical specifications, design features like color and size, materials used in manufacturing, and the price.

Product Type And Product Attributes

At the basic level, product attribution can be roughly divided into two categories:

Tangible – physical characteristics that can be perceived with any of the senses, such as color, shape, and size. These are all attributes of a smartphone, for example, and they allow customers to imagine how it’s going to look and feel in the palm of their hand.

Intangible – non-physical characteristics that you can’t exactly capture just from looking at it. On the same topic of smartphones, these are hardware specs like battery capacity, internal storage, and screen resolution.

Both categories can have a lot of characteristics, but there are 12 most important product attributes examples that each item should offer:

  • Product name – a descriptor of an item that can contain its model name, manufacturer, and more. Such as “White iPhone 12 mini Pro” – name, color, and model.
  • Product images – high-quality pictures that accentuate features, like the overall design, size, and screen on a phone.
  • SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) – unique for each retailer alphanumeric barcode. This code contains information about the product itself, its manufacturer, and price, and can help trace the movement of inventory.
  • Retail and cost price – retail price is what a customer is supposed to pay and it consists of the product cost plus markup, which is a percentage added to get a selling price that can match competitors, among other criteria.
  • Barcode (ISBN, UPC, GTIN, etc.) – a two-dimensional code that contains product information like an SKU and can be read by an optical scanner or a tool like Google Lens.
  • Weight – how much an item weighs in grams or another measure with or without packaging. For goods like a phone, it can be important to measure if a customer feels comfortable handling it. But for bigger items, it can be crucial to gauge what type of delivery they might need.
  • Category – a group of items that share similar characteristics, like Smartphones. However, they can be part of a bigger category like Electronics, depending on how varied your assortment is.
  • Brand – this is, quite simply, the name of the company that produced an item, but it’s also a handy attribute for filtering items by a certain manufacturer.
  • Product type – the groups of commodities your eCommerce sells that can be roughly divided into physical, digital, and services.
  • Variants – the different forms that a product can come in, such as case cover color, sizes of clothes, and memory capacity.
  • Custom attributes – certain features of goods that are required for your selection but aren’t commonly provided in data management systems.
  • SEO fields – metadata like titles and image alt that help customers find your goods on the Internet.

What Are The Most Important Product Attributes?

Why Do You Need Product Attributes?

Product attributes are part of the content that markets your brand and gets it noticed on the web. On the one hand, an abundance of information means you can cover more keywords within the description. People searching for a particular item would be more likely to find your shop.

On the other hand, product information can help shoppers get a feel for the item, compare it to other options, and decide if it suits their needs. This creates a wonderful customer experience.

The Influence Of Product Attribute Management On Customer’s Choice

Consumer habits evolve and shape the trends. So let’s see what main customer behavior trends you can expect in 2024.

Customers Demand More Transparency

Many businesses like to keep their internal activities under wraps. It’s no wonder that some scandals hit high notes among the public and this often affects sales in a very bad way.

Brands can avoid this by being more transparent and providing accurate and holistic product attribution. In fact, 81% of consumers would prefer it, as opposed to 69% in 2019. This can come in the form of more detailed labels and easy access to certification.

Huge Shift For Online Buying

If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that buying online is easier and more convenient. Sometimes, it’s the only way to buy something. Sure, people were shopping online a lot before the whole ordeal, but eCommerce use will be growing even faster for a while.

eMarketer estimates an average of 11% increase each year till 2025. We should also expect eCommerce sales to reach $2.2 trillion in 2024 just in the US.
Sergey Shvets
Sergii Shvets
Founder & CEO at Gepard

But online shopping lacks a wholesome experience – you can’t touch, smell, test, or try on anything until it’s at your door and in your hands. However, product attributes can partly simulate physical shopping via holistic descriptions.

From Omnichannel To Omnipresent

Selling goods on multiple platforms is a great way to reach more of your target audience, this is now a given. Also, the omnipresent approach allows you to be available for customers at any time. How so?

There are now multiple tools that can help you communicate with customers 24/7 without forcing your employees into night shifts. For example, you can set up a chatbot that can provide information about products and orders or solve problems thanks to AI.

Though any AI and chatbot needs information and using product attributes data will facilitate such software in solving customer requests.

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More Leverage For B2B eCommerce With Tech Vendors

B2B customers will gain more leverage thanks to authentic reviews, a timeline for the sales cycle, or group-buying pricing. If you’re interested in better relationships, high retention, and low buyer remorse, leverage, and power are essential for customers. B2B vendors can also use product attributes to make the most out of product data.

Utilizing storefront visibility and using the specific attributes information help B2B businesses better process the product data from e-stores they work with and provide better services to their clients. It proves to be especially effective for comparison shopping software, data feed management, or cross-border trade solutions as with the specific product attributes they can get much more detailed and structured product data than they could retrieve by default.

Increase In Content Marketing Significance

Any type of content, including your product attributes, is a wonderful way of showcasing your products on your shopping platforms and making them available for web searches. It’s also a key to your sales – good content tells an engaging story with text and/or visuals, it’s relatable and actionable. For example, Tiger Fitness got 60% of customer returns thanks to video content.

Over 70% of content marketers also claim their efforts boost engagement. This is a surefire way to create more lasting relationships with customers.

Are Product Attributes Important?

More Accent On Green Products

Consumers are becoming more aware of the ecology and demand brands to be more sustainable. This means shopping for green products and searching by product attributes, such as using green energy, less packaging, recycled or recyclable materials, and so on.

While this might be an effort for brands to shift their perspective, there are green companies that retailers can collaborate with already.

Booming Customer Automated Decisions

Everyone’s busy these days, and it’s often easy to forget about some things no matter how good your planner is. But there’s a relatively new option for both B2B and B2C customers – software that allows for automatic decision-making.

Here’s an example: a customer buys the same set of office supplies every two months. Ensuring that they get them in time before anything runs out means they have to place an order (add the same products into the cart, pay for them, set up delivery, etc.) in advance. Alternatively, a piece of software can do the same job without manual involvement. Product data and attributes will be handy in this case, too.

These trends are leading eCommerce in an interesting direction, wouldn’t you agree? Knowing and understanding them allows you to optimize attribution and create rich product information. This, in turn, helps service a greater customer experience and stay on par or get the upper hand over competitors.

But how exactly do you optimize attributes?

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How To Optimize eCommerce Product Attributes To Create Rich Product Information?

Product attributes marketing plays a significant role in refining search results, enhancing visibility, and boosting customer ever-rising experience expectations. But if you want to keep your product information accurate and precise, you need to optimize them. Here’s how:

  • 1. Group the attributes

Organize all the attributes you use into groups by certain characteristics, like physical appearance or technical specifications. This should be done on your backend platform.

  • 2. Set attribute types

Setting values like boolean, decimal, or multiline helps improve the quality of your data. This ensures that no odd or extra information can be added to a certain attribute.

  • 3. Create high-level attributes

This ensures you have an attribute column for each item and makes it easier to fill out all the values. As such, your catalog won’t be missing any fields.

  • 4. Create compound attributes

Some attributes go together, like size and weight, so making them into compound attributes will add more structure to your product information.

  • 5. Limit access to attributes

Set levels of access for the different specialists who will be dealing with product data.

Another essential point of product attributes marketing is to speed up and simplify product information management. You’ll be lagging behind otherwise. But this is where a PIM solution comes in.

Benefits Of PIM Software To Optimize Your Product Attribute Management

PIM systems are dedicated to creating, managing, storing, and distributing (syndicating) product data. They can also help you handle product attributes.

So, let’s dive into how you can link up PIM, product attributes and benefits your business gains:

  • Simple integration with your software ecosystem. Whichever CMS or marketplace you’re using, a PIM is likely to integrate without a hitch. In any case, go for complimenting software as it will improve your content workflow.
  • Automated data import. You can import any product data, such as attributes and descriptions, that you already have as a file, so you don’t need to retype existing information or handle multiple spreadsheets.
  • Data validation. The system will help you check your data for accuracy – it will generate reports to show items that lack information (e.g., missing product attribute data) or where the input is improperly filled in.
  • Content creation workflow. It helps set up the flow of content production for your catalog, including the addition and alteration of new items, filling out product attribute information, as well as limiting access permissions for different team members.
  • Automated data transformations for retailers. It helps transform the product data that comes from different sources (i.e., brands) into a format suitable for your platform and bring them to a common denominator – your shop’s attributes.
  • Intuitive interface. It’s easy to export, import, or add your attribute information manually. The system works as expected and it’s easy to find and use all of the features for managing data.
  • User management/multitenancy. The system offers custom configurations so you can use your own attributes and satisfy your own eCommerce needs.
  • Bulk operations. You can process big chunks of data in one go, such as syndicating your whole catalog to multiple platforms.
  • Filters. They allow more room for organizing and structuring your catalog (e.g., by a particular attribute), as well as finding information more easily.
  • Product content analytics. Such reports help improve the quality of your data and thus, the overall customer experience.

How To Manage Product Attributes With PIM?

Product Attributes FAQ

1. What Is The Difference Between Product Attributes And Product Benefits?

Product attributes are static characteristics that can be observed objectively. Depending on the target customer, brand, or your currently running campaign, the set of attributes you show can change.

On the contrary, benefits are subjective observations. These are crucial features that can vary from one customer or shopper segment to another.

2. How Do Product Attributes Influence Marketing Strategy?

Since attributes influence buyer decisions, they also affect how you should market your products. For example, you can have unique attributes and base your campaigns on them to attract more attention from customers.

3. What Is Product Information Management Used For?

Product information management is used for improving the quality of your catalog data and thus, the customer experience. Software that automates this process will also help you reduce the time and effort spent on maintaining a high quality of your goods’ descriptions, organizing their product attributes, and syndicating them to the various eCommerce platforms you use.

PIM System For Product Attributes Management

Implementing a PIM system will grant you a number of valuable features and usage benefits. It helps manage the data, including product attributes, more efficiently and provides a high level of services.

Gepard PIM provides all the essential benefits and features that will help you transform and enrich your data. Whether you’re a brand or a retailer, our system allows reducing the time to market and increases profit. Contact our Partner Manager for a quote.

Maryna Tarasenko
Written by Maryna Tarasenko
Digital Marketing Strategist
A passionate B2B marketing professional with solid expertise in integrated marketing communications, go-to-market strategy, and analytics, driven by marketing meaningful products to the world.

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