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17 Product Attribute Examples & Types for Ecommerce

Product attributes are key to getting your brand noticed in the increasingly crowded ecommerce marketplace. 

Companies need to offer potential buyers what they want in a format that makes it easy for the average person to find. With the flexibility offered by modern headless ecommerce systems, it’s important to understand and take advantage of the opportunities within strategic product attribution.

Use product attributes to show up in search engines and speak to shoppers’ extremely specific needs and wants. When we match our classification of products on the product details page according to consumer behavior and habits, we’re in business.

Consumers look for and buy goods and services with specific product attributes. Ecommerce marketers must hone their target market and build product descriptions that capture customers' desires. Using product attributes in marketing is critical in attaining brand success. Each product attribute must be a positive selling point to create a lasting impression.

What Are Product Attributes?

Product attributes refer to the characteristics that define a service or product and influence customer buying decisions. 

Companies internally identify products using a unique code or SKU (stock-keeping unit) to help differentiate between products in their inventory. Still, customers look for products in very different ways.

Customers use natural language and descriptive words in their search queries, such as “large family tent” or “affordable waterproof jacket.”

Attributes are further defined as tangible (physical) or intangible (non-physical). 

  • Tangibles are characteristics such as size, color, smell, product design, weight, etc.
  • Intangible refers to things like price, quality, and aesthetics

Buyers use a combination of these various product attributes to make a purchase decision. They desire a product that meets their needs and wants. Needs are must-haves in a product, and wants are desired but not critical. Buyers select a product that best matches these needs and wants.

Types of Product Attributes

When consumers look for a product, they need to readily obtain information about it and easily compare and find the right fit among all the available options. It is important to list the product attributes that will matter most to your prospective buyer.

Product attributes must be accurate and informative. Listen to customer feedback, take advantage of reading reviews (these also help with making product improvements), and understand how your product is meeting, or not meeting, customer expectations. 

Here are different product attributes that can describe your product, plus a few helpful examples.

1. Quality

This should be your brand's primary product attribute when pushing for market placement. People are drawn to products they know and trust will work. Generating positive reviews and solid manufacturing data are two ways of demonstrating a product’s quality.

This requires work. Companies that ensure their chain of product development, production, quality assurance, and control, as well as customer service, are all consistent with producing a high-end product will win stellar reviews that validate its quality.

Quality is an attribute type that should not only be highlighted but needed if the product is to be discovered by consumers and trigger sales. Examples of quality-related attributes include:

  • Consumer choice
  • Top-rated
  • Long-lasting
  • Made with ______
  • Real _____
  • Original _____

2. Marketing claims

Marketing claims are those relating to your product's performance. They can be both objective and subjective. Businesses invest time and money into conducting research groups and customer surveys to create a persuasive stat to entice customers.

Examples of marketing claim attributes include things like:

  • Cuts grease in seconds
  • Made of 100% cotton
  • Kills 99.9% of germs
  • #1 beverage company in the world

However, it's important to be aware that false claims, or statements modified to twist attributes, can cause marketing problems. A dishonest or weak claim can devalue your product and brand. It may capture a consumer's interest once, but if the attribute claim is false and the product does not live up to expectations, loyalty and repeat business are lost—and you'll miss out on positive reviews.

Extensive testing to verify and support marketing claims will help avoid the problem of misidentifying product attributes and strengths. Consumers will find your products through solid marketing claims and become repeat buyers when those claims are verified through a great customer experience.

3. Innovative attributes

Some products and services in the marketplace have been around for generations. Items like laundry or cleaning products are perfect examples. However, if your company wants to stay ahead of the regular market brands, innovations can help reinvigorate sales.

Keeping products fresh, whether they are well-established or new to the market, can be achieved by mining the data of a product category to analyze, assess, and rework products. This allows you to create next-generation products built on a strong foundation of tried and true products with loyal customers.

Focusing on increased reliability, a new look, extended shelf life, sustainable materials, and other needed improvements can differentiate your product and attract new customers.

4. Verification and safety

While color or size attributes can be important in triggering a customer purchase, another important tangible attribute is a product’s proven safety credentials. This variant should not be ignored, as consumers value trustworthy and safe products

Examples of verification-related attributes are:

  • Organic
  • All-natural
  • GMO-free
  • Fire-retardant
  • ______ certified
  • ______ approved

All these attributes are critical to making the consumer feel safe that the product can be trusted. Verification studies can be conducted at specialized labs to meet all safety needs. This works in any area of product and service support. 

Catching product and service issues before a product hits the market also means fewer negative reviews and reduces the chance of product recalls and returns. Verified safety attributes will help consumers find your products and feel good about buying them.

17 Defining Product Attributes That Motivate Purchases

The list of tangible and intangible product attributes is nearly endless. Here's a comprehensive (but by no means exhaustive) list of product attributes:

  1. Quality
  2. Color
  3. Size
  4. Innovation
  5. Design
  6. Weight
  7. Content
  8. Smell
  9. Taste
  10. Feel
  11. Quantity
  12. Material makeup or ingredients
  13. Price
  14. Reliability
  15. Verification and safety
  16. Packaging
  17. Marketing claims

Use this list to highlight the right attributes and ensure they help consumers find the product and trigger them to buy.

This list can help marketers highlight a custom product’s attribute selection and ensure customers see these positives in their online product searches. Product attributes should be easy to find in product descriptions, under an attributes tab or menu, or on the main page.

Put Your Product at the Forefront

Marketing a product or service needs more than just promoting the same old features. Using product attributes that are strong, positive, and true can help you stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

Highlight your product positives, name a custom attribute that makes the product shine, and do everything possible to surpass every competitor's claim. Your ecommerce site (and your customers' search results) should emphasize what you sell and what sets you apart from the rest.

Find this useful? Receive all the latest ecommerce insights and generous advice from industry leaders by subscribing to The Ecomm Manager newsletter.

And if you are looking for ways to manage and optimize your product attribution list, check out our article on the 10 Best PIM Software for Product Information Management.

By Finn Bartram

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