What Are the Best Ways to Build Effective Product Taxonomies

4 Impressive Ways to Build Effective Product Taxonomies

Product Taxonomy 101

4 Impressive Ways to Build Effective Product Taxonomies

Taxonomy is a way to organize information into categories or groups. In other words, it helps us classify things. For example, let's say you want to sell shoes. If you don't have enough shoe types, you might create a category called "shoes" and then subcategories such as "dress shoes," "casual shoes," etc. This makes it easier for customers to browse through your store.

Ecommerce sites often struggle with creating effective product taxonomies. They tend to focus too much on keywords and miss out on essential aspects of their site. By focusing on the customer experience, they can build better taxonomies.

How to Design a Product Taxonomy?

Emerging best practices for creating a product taxonomy development include the ones listed below. This advice is based on the expertise of numerous businesses that have successfully transformed various industries. All the companies we researched and interviewed and where we found these practices were either scaling up or optimizing their product transformations.

These strategies are designed to offer direction and make suggestions for methods, equipment, and methods of construction of conversations that will lead the organization to a product-centric operating model. There are numerous ways to have these conversations; these steps are neither a precise framework nor linear or all-inclusive. Recognize that every business is at a different stage of its transformational journey toward becoming more product-centric, Agile-minded, and customer-obsessed.

Here are the strategies we recommend. Below, we'll go into each process in more detail.

Tactic 1: Create the Portfolio

A common goal and vision serve as the north star, fostering interpersonal and emotional ties between leaders and teams. This serves as our inspiration to keep going in the face of hardship. This can be used as a reference to confirm that the actions we are taking are in line with our goals.

Who Should Be Involved?

Leaders in business and technology for the portfolio. It is advised that business and technology leaders get together early to map a product-centric operating model and align their objectives. Before working with the teams, establish shared understanding and alignment among the leaders. Obtain feedback from the groups, then make necessary adjustments. What strikes a chord with them? What fails? Avoid using too many corporate buzzwords that depersonalize the vision; use straightforward, approachable language to make the north star relatable.

Principal Questions And Thoughts

  • What is the goal here?
  • Where are we trying to go?
  • What will the architecture of the future look like?
  • What results are we aiming for?
  • What will success look like for our product portfolio in a year?
  • What hurts right now?

Suggestive Methods And Activities

  • Product and portfolio community map (a Venn diagram map displaying product dependencies, customers, and stakeholders)
  • Personas or customer descriptions (who are they, what do we know about them, their problems and joys, how can we help them, what assumptions are we making, and how can we help them)
  • Outlook or a roadmap with results
  • product naming (what, why, who)
  • Objects and essential outcomes (OKRs)

Tactics 2 And 3:Develop a Product Taxonomy And a Technologies to Products Map

Ideal starting point for this discussion is value stream mapping, also known as experience mapping. The best way to determine which products belong in a portfolio is to visualize the entire customer experience (from idea to revenue or from product creation to customer delivery).

If you can, bring in a coach or facilitator to keep the discussion on track and impartial. When ownership disputes or redundant capabilities first surface, which can happen frequently, a neutral facilitator can help move collaboration forward effectively.

Utilizing current service catalogs, configuration management databases, or business capability frameworks as appropriate ways to begin the product taxonomy development definition are some other approaches. Finding a natural place to start the discussion about product taxonomy definitions is crucial.

Who Should Participate?

  • leaders in business and technology for the portfolio
  • Principal Questions And Thoughts
  • Why is your team or space there?
  • What customer experience or capability are you enabling or delivering?
  • Just who are your clients?
  • Why do customers seek assistance from your team? What issues do you address?
  • What are the technologies or applications that provide or support that customer experience?
  • What applications does your team have overall responsibility for?
  • The applications' purpose is to: Do they all provide the same experience, or is there room for application consolidation, sunsetting, or realignment to a different team? What issues with customers do they resolve? For how long have they been around?

Suggestive Methods And Activities

  • Value stream diagram (on a whiteboard, collaboratively, face to face if possible)
  • Integration of value streams (implementation of the mapping exercise)
  • a community for products map (Venn diagram map displaying product dependencies, customers, and stakeholders)
  • client definition (personas)
  • Taxonomy of products document

There are a few recommended methods for creating your product taxonomy. Additional layers can be added below the value stream once the value stream map has been made to identify product groups, products, and applications.

Starting at the highest level, the portfolio, you can work your way down to the applications. Beginning at the top level, divide it into more manageable pieces based on the value stream or customer experience. Use the aforementioned leading questions to help guide the conversation. As shown in the figure below, a suggested approach is to start at the application layer and move up to products (customer experiences) and product groups.

How To Form a Product Taxonomy

  • When naming your products, use language appropriate for business. Avoid using ambiguous names or acronyms. Your product taxonomy development should be simple enough for anyone to read and comprehend the product's experience.
  • Ensure each product has a customer specified and that both internal and external consequences have been defined.
  • Instead of focusing on the application used to deliver it, pay attention to the business and customer outcome, capability, or experience that the product has.
  • Remember that while products will likely remain consistent over time, technologies and applications constantly evolve as new solutions are adopted.
  • When the application becomes the main focus, using the "5 Whys" technique can help ensure the source of the experience is discovered.
  • Get opinions from your coworkers, coaches, team, and business partners.
  • Be prepared for a bumpy path. Choose a starting point, then carry it out. Learn from the product taxonomy's initial iteration and feel free to tweak it quarterly or annually as necessary.

Authentic Product Taxonomy

The product taxonomy development ought to be a transparent artifact shared by all product portfolios. To guarantee the data's consistency and security, a centralized team should maintain the artifact. Publish taxonomy updates on a quarterly or biannual basis. The table that follows provides a sample product taxonomy.

Tactic 4: Map The People to the Products

The organization will be redesigned around the products using a clear product taxonomy development as a guide. Organizing teams to own the products from start to finish is a fundamental change when switching to a product-centric operating model. In a conventional project model, the units are assembled briefly to carry out particular project objectives before being dispersed, leaving no formal owners for anything produced during the project. Ownership, accountability, and empowerment are at the core of the product model.

Teams should be cross-functional, small (between five and ten people), and have the necessary skills to plan, design, build, and operate the product. Think about how many product teams will be required to support a development. Although there should ideally be one product for every team, a product can be supported by multiple teams. The scale and scope of the product should be evaluated based on historical data, overall demand, complexity, and dependencies to determine the required number of teams.

It takes art and science to evaluate various teams against a product. It is advised to start cautiously and add more units as time passes. This series's Workforce and Talent post offer more information on product roles, product team traits, and other workforce considerations.

Who Should Participate?

  • leaders in business and technology for the portfolio
  • People Resources

Principal Questions And Thoughts

  • What roles and qualifications do you currently hold? Is there a gap?
  • What number of teams are required to support a product?
  • Is the product owner or manager mentioned? Do they work for a technology or business organization? Why?
  • Do you need to remove any functional or traditional project roles (such as project managers, business analysts, process analysts, testers, etc.) or repurpose them into product roles (such as product owners, scrum masters, UX designers, engineers, etc.)?
  • Occurs a chance to automate manual tasks (such as tests, procedures, and repeatable functions)?
  • What is the number of management layers in your organizational structure? Are there any layoffs? Does the management structure need to be streamlined to promote team empowerment and flow?
  • Is more coaching or training required to become proficient in product management and contemporary engineering practices? How will learning opportunities be offered?

Suggestive Methods And Activities

  • Integrated product teams
  • The assessment matrix for skills (map the skills and people you have and need and assess for gaps)
  • Industry-specific descriptions of the roles that make up the product team (adhere to these as much as you can; avoid trying to create new parts that will artificially increase the size of the product team because this practice will also make it simpler to hire externally when necessary).


Users will have a more enjoyable experience browsing a website and its pages if the product taxonomy is correct and accurate. It will be simpler for customers to purchase from the website if they can easily see the products. 

At Vserve Amazon Listing Service, we take care to place each of your products in the appropriate categories. You will find it simpler to boost sales as a result.