Why do retailers ask for so many product attributes?

by | Oct 19, 2015 | Omnichannel, Retailers, Solutions, Suppliers

In my job, I often help suppliers understand why retailers ask for product attributes. And more importantly, why are they asking for so many of them?

It used to be retailers only needed 10 – 12 attributes. Throw in a photo or two and that was plenty.

item-attributesYou can understand why they’re asking for so many if you understand what they’re asking for. If you break the attributes down into three buckets, everything starts to make sense.


This is general supply chain information, which is historically what’s been asked for. Price, item, quantity, size and so forth. Nothing new here.

Consumer protection

These are the attributes related to regulatory compliance. Some examples include: Is the product an aerosol? Does it contain any hazardous materials? Is it Prop 65 compliant? This grouping of attributes is generally referred to as consumer protection, and it’s a category of information that digital consumers are demanding more.


This is a shift for many suppliers, as this content has less to do with the supply chain and everything to do with the branding and marketing of their products. These are the attributes that impact a consumer’s ability to search (or browse) and find your products. Oftentimes it’s these marketing-based attributes that lead to keywords and impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This lets consumers narrow down by color, material, hazardous information and so on. This last bucket is critical to the digital shopping experience.

In the end, providing all these product data attributes helps consumers find and purchase your products more easily.

Of course, uploading all these attributes can be a challenge. That’s where we can help. With the SPS Commerce Assortment solution, you can provide these attributes to one or many retailers with ease.

Talk with the experts at SPS to learn more about managing your product information.

Patti Thiel


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