So, you have succeeded in getting users to your landing page and kept them interested enough to check out what’s on offer at your online store. Some studies demonstrate that users are more likely to click on links already present on a website instead of the using the search option. They depend on navigation more than search due to the ease and faster speed of clicking on links as compared with searching. When users find a match for the product they are looking to buy on a link, they are most likely to click on it rather than using the search option.
However, the presence of too many or haphazardly placed links prevent people from using them. Easy-to-use menus and links are the basis of all great websites. Simple and convenient navigation is also key to a great user experience on your online store. With website navigation and menu playing such a huge role in user experience of your online store, how can you ensure that you are using the best design to get more users to achieve the ultimate goal of purchasing from your store? This article offers you some advice on how to do that.
The main thing customers come looking for on any e-commerce store is their products and if they don’t find them easily enough, they won’t be able to buy it. Simple and natural navigation for users should be a major goal for every e-commerce store as it is a big deciding factor for whether visitors want to stick around and shop or leave. When it comes to navigation, it is imperative to categorize products for the convenience of users. It becomes easier for users to find similar products if they have been grouped together.
The menu of your website should include all the product categories and should be highly visible on your homepage. This makes it easier for users to buy a product. As for the arrangement of product categories, priority should be given to the products most in demand and bought by the customers. If you have decided to include subcategories, they should be arranged alphabetically under the main product category. It is easier for users to view and scan subcategories if they are given in menus under parent categories rather than in plain sight. However, all the menu options must be given on one page so that the user does not have to search for different options on different pages.
An example of a great menu is found on Under Armour website that has a simple design but provides all the categories on the homepage, with subcategories on view upon hovering.
It is also a good idea to make your website menu a dynamic one that makes it easy for users to locate the categories and subcategories they want to find. It would be an added convenience for users if your menu floats as users scroll down so they can access it anytime they want to. In addition, providing some menu icons at the bottom also helps users in browsing items of interest. The menu of Pandora jewelry website, along with the search bar and the store locator, travels with the user upon scrolling down, till the bottom of the page.
However, big menus do not work on mobile sites due to the shortage of available screen space. Most mobile sites provide users with a hamburger menu so that they can see all the product categories in a glimpse. A hamburger menu was designed specifically to cater to the space restrictions on a site and condenses the information of a website menu, making it visible on clicking. A good example of this is the Swarovski mobile site.
After Sales Service
Another thing to include in your menu is after sales service. Users should know that they have the option of calling and emailing your customer service in case of any query post sale and also of tracking the shipment until it reaches the customer. They must also be told of the option to return or exchange products if they are not satisfied with them. This builds up user trust in your business and can motivate them further to make a purchase from your website.
Amazon.com gives the ‘Help’ icon on their homepage which upon clicking expands on to give several options such as editing, tracking or canceling orders, returning or exchanging products, adding or editing payment methods, changing account settings, etc.
Outlet & Contact Number
If your store has a physical outlet in addition to an online presence and you get many customers there as well, remember to add a store locator on the homepage of your website. Sometimes users come to a website just to find out where their brick and mortar store is and it would be a big turn off if they were unable to get that information. A study shows that a majority of smartphone users plans their next shopping trip through a store locator and most of them do it while on the move. It is preferable to provide store locator option on the homepage of your online store and on every page of your mobile site. NYX cosmetics highlights its store locator on the homepage with a pink map icon on its homepage.
In addition, if phone inquiries by customers are a major part of your business, you should include the customer service number in the menu, and display it at the top of the homepage as well. This is especially recommended for mobile sites so that users can just click and place a call directly from their cellphones. A good example of this is Goto.com.pk, one of Pakistan’s fastest-growing e-commerce stores. They provide their Customer Service number on top of their homepage where users can spot it on first glance and can make a call easily without having to search for the number.
We hope that this guide helps you in designing a user-friendly menu for your website and increases clicks as well as conversions. The optimal site design is achieved after testing various designs and making countless modifications. Stay tuned for the next part in which we tell you how to optimize the Search option on your online store.