When you go to the grocery store, you’ll find everything in its right place. There are no surprises; while many of the aisles are similar across different supermarkets, you can always follow signs, and returning to square one is easy. Predictable navigation is just as important for online stores as it is for their brick-and-mortar cousins.
If your shoppers can’t find their way around your site, don’t be surprised when they give up and shop elsewhere. Presenting potential customers with a clear, simple path from browsing to purchasing is a critical factor in reducing cart abandonment.
If you undertake layout and design for your online store, take a look at some of the tips below to help you present shoppers with clearer navigation, leading your store to more conversions.
Don’t overload on product categories.
Simply put: you don’t want to overwhelm your shoppers with dozens of tabs. Create overarching categories. Then, break out smaller subcategories by allowing shoppers to filter or navigate to them.
Offer different paths to the prize.
Shoppers may follow more than one train of thought to find what they’re looking for. If you sell purses, for instance, one shopper may be browsing small handbags while another may be looking for Louis Vuitton brand items. Make it simple for shoppers to browse by bag type or brand name and you’ll satisfy more customers.
Use a strong search feature.
Not every search feature is as powerful as the next. If configured correctly, search built into your shopping cart may fit the bill. If you run a large store and need something more dynamic, applications like SearchSpring and Nextopia offer retailers advanced search functionality.
Ensure shoppers can get to their carts from any page.
If at any point during the shopping process your customer is ready to checkout, empower them to do so. Everything comes down to making it easier for shoppers to buy. Display the shopper’s cart on every page of the site, in a predictable place (like the top right corner or sidebar), and your sales will benefit from it.