Building Mini-Categories in Product Networks
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We constructed a product network based on the sales data collected and provided by a major nationwide retailer. The structure of the network is dominated by small isolated components, dense clique-based communities, and sparse stars and linear chains and pendants. We used the identified structural elements (tiles) to organize products into mini-categories—compact collections of potentially complementary and substitute items. The mini-categories extend the traditional hierarchy of retail products (group–class–subcategory) and may serve as building blocks towards exploration of consumer projects and long-term customer behavior.
Keywordsretailing product network mini-category category management
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