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2021: Manual Product Tagging Vs. AI-Driven Product Tagging

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Published on

February 5, 2021

6
MIN READ

Online retail stores have irrevocably disrupted the shopping world. The backstage operations of design, merchandising, production, and other touchpoints in the consumer journey have been completely transformed. Retailers have more variety to satisfy quickly evolving consumer demand through their product catalog. 


Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused a decline in shopping worldwide, the fashion e-commerce market is expected to recover. According to ReportLinker, the market will reach $672.71 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 11.48% during the forecast period (2020-2023).


As most shopping is going online, retailers are expected to handle large numbers of orders and items at a high level. This is a challenging task, especially for stores that offer products from multiple brands. 


One of the solutions to this concern is product tagging. It improves the entire organization of the product catalog. Moreover, since they have the right keywords as their tags, it makes products more relevant. 


In 2021, we expect to see new technologies taking over retail processes, including catalog management and product tagging. This article will talk about product tagging in 2021 and AI-driven product tagging as a better alternative. 


What Is Product Tagging? 


Product tags, known as object metadata, are a collection of product attributes. Each e-commerce store item consists of several tags set to identify its features, characteristics, and the category that it is part of. There are different tags for every product since every product is unique.


To expand your base-level information, they add a comprehensive description and knowledge that help better understand the purpose and the features of the product. These tags include color, height, style, brand, use, price, and many other attributes. The process of adding these tags is known as product tagging. 


You boost search features, product ratings, and product reviews for the consumer by applying attribute metadata to your items. You also streamline the inventory management process on the company side. 


The “traditional” way of product tagging is manual. This means that the e-commerce store manager or an employee spends weeks, sometimes even months, manually adding product tags to the images in the product catalog. This is a very inefficient way of doing things, especially when the store has a large number of products. What is more, manual product tagging can lead to lousy catalog management, resulting in several problems: 


  • Confusing supply chains that prevent stores from meeting market demand in real-time. 
  • A time-consuming digitization process for new products. 
  • Irrelevant search results that downgrade shopping experience. 


To prevent these problems, the catalog data must be clean and structured, with accurate product information. If you perform the retail tagging process manually, achieving this will be almost impossible. 


However, there’s an alternative. The rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) has introduced new ways of automating retail processes, including product tagging. AI-based tagging, known as automatic tagging, is replacing manual tagging to efficiently organize the product catalog, saving a lot of time and energy. Let’s dive deeper. 


What Is Automatic Tagging? 


In the product catalog, automatic tagging organizes and tags photos based on their features, leveraging advanced AI algorithms. These algorithms speed up the tagging process, making it automatic and eliminating the need for human interaction, thanks to Deep Learning. This is a method that creates catalog asset metadata. It operates in a way that examines the image and identifies characteristics linked to specific keywords.


To recognize a clothing piece and determine whether it's a skirt or a dress, we only need a glimpse of a photo. This is not an easy job for machines, and that is why people perform the traditional process of catalog tagging. However, automatic tagging can completely replace the manual tagging process. Automatic tagging is a qualified AI system that can recognize clothes in pictures like we humans do.


Scientists developed Neural Networks that replicate the human brain thanks to Computer Vision and Deep Learning advances. They can be taught to identify what is in a picture just as we humans do. These neural networks will take an image, process it, and send us semantic knowledge in the form of text.


AI tagging systems need to learn from a lot of photographs of how clothes and clothing look and what characteristics can be used to identify them to know when a fashion object is in an image. And this is precisely what automatic fashion tagging is—a qualified AI system that has been trained with thousands of fashion photos. 


Any photo can get multiple attribute labels added with automatic tagging. These attribute tags are far more than ordinary tags, offering profound, detailed product observations. After a while, tags gather information about their use, who uses them in particular, and their links to other tags, apart from only collecting catalog data.


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The Benefits of Automatic Tagging


Here are some of the most important benefits of automatic tagging: 


  • Better catalog management. Through detailed and rich tags associated with your items, you can improve catalog management processes. The engine automatically creates informative tags that will enrich the way your online shopping store searches for items, finding the right products for your shoppers. These tags can have a serious effect on purchasing decisions and thus offer more significant insights into attribute-level sales analytics.
  • Less time spent on repetitive tasks. Suppose the manual tagging process is replaced with automated tagging for e-commerce. In that case, shop managers, brand owners, and their staff have more time left for other, more critical activities. Without trying to recruit new employees to do all these things, they will concentrate on improved marketing strategies, on-demand customer service, and expanded retail management.
  • Valuable knowledge. Getting rich, descriptive tags on your items will help you understand the intentions of your customers who are shopping in your online retail store. If you are a fashion retailer, the designs, colors, and brands they want can be found by automatic product tagging.
  • Increased revenue streams. Customers can more quickly access the items they want or need through automatic product tagging. For example, the item they want could sometimes be unavailable, so they leave the shop assuming that there is no other choice. By allowing the customer to select from a wide variety of associated products that can be an alternative to the unavailable product, product tags can minimize these losses. This will help customers stay longer and spend more in your e-commerce shop.


Conclusion

Automatic tagging reduces the time it takes for items to be labeled, increases the accuracy of tags and search results on the website, and plays a significant role in lowering operating costs. In order to eliminate human effort, brands should use automatic tagging and thereby decrease the chances of making an error in the tagging process. In addition, it will reduce the time-to-market of new products, automating the whole process of digitization.


To find out more about product tagging, check out our complete guide for automatic tagging in e-commerce.


By searching the entire product catalog in just a few seconds, Pixyle.ai's automatic product tagging engine will help you get a clean catalog, boost your SEO rating, and maximize your sales volumes. Try our demo now. 


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