For category managers or buyers, It takes weeks (in case of marketplace) or monthes (in case of retail) to validate one item’ s referencing : meanwhile as soon as it is released on-line, the product may stay lost in unvisible categories of site-tree . Only very few courageous customers could reach it.
Let us compare E-commerce website categories with Department Stores sections. Containing 40 000 items in 30 sections or 100 sub-sections and Making them always visible by customers through regular re-modeling (twice a year), that’s the feat of the Department Store Industry. Besides E-commerce industry enlarged drastically catalogs to many-million items, many-hundreds sections and many-thousands sub-sections without solving the issue of customer flow.
E-commerce Site tree structures have been inherited from Stores sections organisation and have tremendously grown in flying menu without an end converting sections in labyrinth whereas size of screens was decreasing !
According to Merchandising.io, 40 % of categories represent 1 % of Page views. Most of on-line store sections are rarely viewed by visitors which means that E-commerce websites are far from looking like a Store. That is the dark side of long tail and market places.
Home page releases, rotating banners, regular e-mailing and audience scores maintain the myth of a lively Store. But most of E-commerce sections remain empty of customers. The goal then is to wake up all this sleeping business.
Before making e-commerce more social, make it more lively. Make your trafic more liquid in your catalog through simple and relevant site tree.