Three ways to make your ecommerce site easy to navigate

Online shoppers are a discerning bunch. With so many high quality and intuitive ecommerce sites out there, it can be easy to be turned off by a site that is convoluted and difficult to navigate. Indeed, reducing confusion for potential customers should be a top priority for ecommerce sites. The following tips are just a few of the ways in which this can be achieved:

1. Set out some ‘breadcrumbs’

‘Breadcrumbs’ is a term used by the ecommerce community to describe the digital trail left behind that allows shoppers to work their way back through previous steps. There’s nothing more frustrating than stumbling upon the perfect item and being unable to navigate back to it, so include links to every previous category or sub-category that customers have worked their way through.

Similarly, if a user stumbled upon an item straight from an ad campaign, make sure similar products are easy to reach by adding links to relevant categories.

2. Include an obvious search bar

It is expected that all ecommerce sites will feature a search bar nowadays, particularly those that sell a wide range of products. One of the first things to consider is, of course, that the search bar is easy to find on your site. Somewhere around the top right hand corner should be fairly prominent.

Secondly, depending on the sector in which you operate, it may be worth setting up a tool that can include keywords, model numbers, types of jacket, type of sport etc. Ultimately, retailers would do well to ensure that every search term ends up with at least one result.

3. Make sure your navigation bar is rock solid

A navigation bar is where most customers will start searching for their desired items, so it is an absolutely fundamental element of a good ecommerce site.

First of all, make sure you establish the right categories for the bar, separating your products up into a succinct number of relevant groups.

In terms of design, it is a good idea to make sure that the navigation bar is a contrasting colour to the rest of the site to make it pop out to visitors. On top of this, making a navigation bar ‘sticky’ – where it stays at the top of the screen regardless of scrolling – can make navigation faster and less confusing.

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