Navigating Your E-Commerce Site

At Swarming Technology, we recommend any person developing an e-commerce website to keep their site navigation simple.

In the e-commerce world, the destination is often to take the customer to the product. The amount of steps they have to take to do this is key to your site’s success. It’s also important to not overwhelm your customers with the amount of choices they have to make.

Why? Simply put, when an e-commerce store offers to many choices upfront, customers become overwhelmed and often don’t make a choice at all. This is commonly referred to as “analysis paralysis.” Knowing this, we recommend no more than eight (8) choices per grouping or category.

Within each grouping, we also recommend no more than three (3) levels deep of groupings. Below is an example of the three types of navigation:

  • Primary Navigation — General Classification for Products
    Examples: “Clothing” “Furniture”
  • Secondary Navigation — A breakdown of types of product under a classification
    Examples: “Mens” “Womens” “Living Room” “Bedroom”
  • Tertiary Navigation — Further breakdown of types of product
    Examples: “Tops” “Bottoms” “Couches” “Night Stands”

If your e-commerce store needs further refinement of a category, we recommend using product attributes for your store.

What are product attributes?

Product attributes are characteristics that define a product and will affect a consumer’s purchase decision.

  • Examples include: Color, Price, Size, and Brand.

This allows a customer to filter/refine the results to a specific product they want to buy. By using product attributes, the customer narrows down their results in a category and is then able to make an easier purchasing decision.

In general, the faster a customer can find the product they are looking for, the higher the likelihood they will make a purchase. By following the above guidelines, you’ll be able to create a more positive user experience and increase conversions. We call that a win-win for both you and the customer.