Home -> Best Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Website Navigation

Best Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Website Navigation

Brent Peterson Brent Peterson July 28, 2022

eCommerce website navigation

Without an intuitive eCommerce website navigation, your business could have top-rated products and valuable blog posts but still fail to convert visitors. If people aren’t able to find the resources or items, they’re looking for quickly, they’ll likely turn to one of your competitors instead. 

You’ve already done most of the hard work by creating a responsive website, optimizing product pages, and writing unique content. Now, you just have to streamline your navigation system to drive more sales. 

Here are the 5 best ways you can improve your eCommerce navigation to meet your customers’ needs faster and more effectively:  

1. Feature primary categories prominently 

When it comes to eCommerce website navigation, putting the most important and relevant links near the top of your website makes it impossible for people to miss. For parent categories, make sure to include a drop-down menu with links to more specific subcategories or other similar pages. For example, a concise navigation bar may have included “About,” “Services,” “Pricing,” and “Resources” tabs, each with more links to further information. 

2. Add a search bar 

To prevent customers from going back to Google to search for an item, keep them on your site longer by featuring a search bar at the top of your website. Amazon does this to make it easy for people to narrow down their product options to personalized criteria. You can further improve efficiency by including a search bar with the ability to autocomplete customer queries. 

3. Create manageable subcategory sections 

Whether you’re on desktop or mobile, a menu with dozens of subcategory options to scroll through can get overwhelming and tedious to navigate. Generally speaking, top-level categories shouldn’t contain more than 10 subcategories. If you need to, you can add additional drop-down menus for each subcategory so people can search for more specific products. 

4. Make parent categories clickable 

Imagine that you’re looking for a new pair of pants, but you haven’t decided if you want to buy jeans, shorts, or sweatpants. Clothing retailers will likely have a “Pants” category, but their navigation menu might force you to click on a specific type instead of allowing you to search their entire inventory of pants. You can help customers through your eCommerce website navigation by allowing them to search for items as broadly or as specifically as they’d prefer. Do this by making sure parent categories and all their subcategories are clickable. 

5. Use navigational breadcrumbs  

Breadcrumbs show users where they’ve navigated from and make it easy for them to return to a broader search if needed. A user searching for men’s sandals might navigate from Home > Men’s Shoes > Men’s Sandals before selecting a specific product page to view. This eliminates confusion and prevents visitors from feeling “lost” on your site. 

Final tips 

Need help optimizing your eCommerce website? Check us out free performance evaluation tool or connect with an experienced web developer today! 

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