User-friendly navigation in an online store is not a myth, we see some stores that are doing it right here and there. But still many shops are missing simple filters, good site search and make customers go through the deepest depths of their site to find the needed page. Do you think your navigation is perfect? Check again as there is always room for improvement. And here are actionable suggestions that will help you.
Minimum number of clicks
Let’s imagine that your homepage is A and the needed page is B, then the way from A to B should be as short as possible. Don’t make people go through C, H, Y and Z to find B, that’s frustrating, so give them what they need instead!
What does it mean for online store navigation? It means that your products should be located at maximum 3 clicks from the homepage and don’t have too many paths in URLs. Examples:
Store.com/apparel/men/t-shirts/green/awesome-t-shirt.hrml – this is non-friendly URL containing too many directories
Store.com/men-apparel/t-shirts/awesome-t-shirt.hrml – this is a better example. However, the number of included directories can still be reduced here.
Clickable navigation items
Have you ever opened store navigation just to find out that some of its items are not clickable? I have, and I hate it.
Here is an example of accordion navigation:
Some store owners think that it’s enough to make clickable items like “list one”, “list two”, “list three”, etc. and leave items like “Title one”, “Title two” and “Title three” unclickable. Wrong! Many researches show that customers expect to see broader categories before exploring narrow ones. So respect those users and give them an opportunity to explore your store the way they want.
Site search is a must-have
It’s important to provide customers with a site search option, but it is more important to make this site search as much relevant as possible. Most eCommerce platforms like Magento provide site search out of the box but it’s far from perfect, so using additional extensions is a good option.
Auto suggest for site search
If you use Google (I bet you do), you know what auto-suggest is. It makes the search faster and improves its effectiveness. Some people may be not sure how a particular word is spelled, and auto-suggest will be of great help for them. Anyway, it increases the probability of a purchase and decreases the number of clients that failed to find the necessary product just because they misspelled it.
Make sure your auto-suggest is up to scratch and remember to include variations of the same words like “color” and “colour”; “sunglasses” and “sun glasses”.
Rich filtering and sorting options
I can’t imagine an apparel store without good filters and sorting options but still they exist.
People value their time and won’t spend too much of it on searching for particular products. A potential customer doesn’t want to see shoes of all the sizes and types while he needs athletic shoes, size 9. Give him what he needs. Additionally provide price sliders to save his time.
Such filters are relevant for many store types, not only for those selling apparel and shoes. If you own a car parts store, a year-make-model filters is a must-have. I guess you understand what I mean.
Additionally, let people sort items by different criteria: best sellers, newest, reviews count, price, etc. This way you’ll make all your products visible.
Breadcrumbs for finding the right way
I won’t explain what breadcrumbs are, I assume you know that. But I should remind you how important they are.
On the one hand, breadcrumbs provide seamless site navigation: a customer always knows where he is and how he can return to the previous page or proceed. They add to simplicity of your store navigation.
On the other hand, breadcrumbs provide smooth site indexing by search engine spiders as they are a good way to interlink store pages.
Now you have something to test in your store. So go ahead and find actionable solutions that will help you grow customers’ base and get more sales.