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  1. #1

    Normalized category list

    Attached is a file that contains a list of all of our current product categories. We have a little over 7,000 categories, so filtering can get pretty broad or specific depending on your needs.
    Attached Files

  2. #2
    Really looking forward to integrating this in to my system! Thanks Brian.

  3. #3
    Can we still use merchant categories?

  4. #4
    looking at the list--nice list.
    1. Is this a static list--that is does each product have one category that is assigned to it?
    2. Is filtering working the same way as before?
    3. Are the categories listed expected to change much initially? Changes can be difficult to incorporate so I'm wondering if I should wait a while if there will be a lot of initial changes in the coming months.
    Last edited by tedm; 06-02-2015 at 11:06 PM.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I have put in a couple of hours to get a sense of the usefulness of the normalized categories and here is some feedback.
    Many of the categories are very useful and provide relevant results. Some aren't as good. Here are some issues I came across from looking at Kohls, a few in Best Buy, and at the categories themselves. Had I done a generic search some of these results would probably not have come up or been as noticeable, but I already had in place category filters by merchant so I simply chose a couple of merchants and started searching on various 'new' categories within that merchant filter.

    1. There is a category called 'Additional' which appears to be a catch-all. For Best Buy about 20% (over 120,000) products are in this category. Many of the 'Additional' products appear to have words in the main title that would seem useful for identifying a specific category for them.

    2. Three of the four generic categories I looked at returned highly irrelevant results for Kohls. The Health & Personal Care returns clothes -- shirts make up nearly all of the first 100 results. I noticed that the words FABRIC & CARE are in the longer description for these. Perhaps that is why, and using 'personal care' would work better. The other I noticed for Tools & Home Improvement. All of the first 100 results are clothes. I didn't see anything that might explain it. Similar problem for Toys & Games.

    3. For Best Buy I noticed that almost all of the first results for toys & games > sports & outdoor play > lawn games > flying discs were for CDs, presumably because the word 'DISC' was in the title. When a word like DISC exists - which can belong to more than one category - it would seem that a second search is needed (like for CD or DVD) to clarify which category applies.

    4 In the categories list file there are
    "clothing & accessories > accessories > men > belts"
    "clothing & accessories > belts > men"
    "clothing & accessories > men > accessories > belts"

    I would think these all could be consolidated into a single category. It appears from a glance there may be quite a few similar cases.

    I have mixed feelings when some results are really good and others are not. I know from spending several hundred hours last year creating a pseudo taxonomy that it it no simple task, so I see it as a good initial rollout especially for the more specialized searches, but there will be a negative response for those generic searches I mentioned when drilled down to the merchant level. So I have to ask - Is this being reviewed on an ongoing basis to identify these kinds of situations or is it being left for us to find and report?
    Last edited by tedm; 06-07-2015 at 08:45 PM.

  7. #7
    Can you provide the categories in an XML file?

  8. #8
    Ted, as with anything, it is an ongoing process. Using machine learning to classify 50 million products isn't easy

  9. #9
    Last night I did some searches using merchant filters, and reported the results above. This morning I decided to check out a few normalized category filters without the merchant filtering. I did a few generic category searches:

    toys & games
    sports & outdoors
    tools & home improvement
    furniture

    the results were mixed -- toys and games in particular was dominated by irrelevant results from Pier1Imports - mostly art and home decor

    Then I did 3 more specific categories:

    shoes > boys > oxfords
    grocery & gourmet food > wine > red
    clothing & accessories > girls > swim > rash guard shirts

    Unfortunately, the results for the first two were not as I had hoped. They were consistent with my own results last summer when I used search words without massive amounts of filtering out. I discovered that sometimes 25+ fillters were necessary.

    The results for the rash guard shirts were very good. I assume this is because the word rash guard is fairly unique.

    This is all I plan to test at the moment. Hope it is helpful info.
    Last edited by tedm; 06-08-2015 at 01:18 PM.

  10. #10

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