One of the most ubiquitous features of the web 2.0 world is tagging. Tagging is an outside-in way of organizing information.
And while tagging my seem like a loss of control over editorial content it is surprisingly robust and effective at organizing data and greatly improves ‘findability’. Thus I don’t understand why retailers are not using tagging.
And while Tagging is useful for all retailers it is especially powerful for retailers with large online inventories. Here are a few examples:
Uline.com carries over 14,500 shipping supplies. With such an astonishing array of products Uline customers might find product identifications like “ 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 Orange ‘Invoice Enclosed’ Packing List Envelopes” a little confusing. Why not let them tag freely within their own login spaces.
The same is true for Grainger.com which carries over 350,000 products. If they opened up 350,000 SKU’s to tagging it might lead to interesting insights on how users categorize products. What’s even more interesting is that it could significantly improve search functionality on their site. For example, if the 5XC30 Conduit Locknut was tagged “used to couple or ground cables” by a user then when someone else did a site search for “ground cable coupling” they would be automatically directed to the 5XC30 Conduit Locknut product page.