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Navigating your Online Store

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Most visitors to your online store are in a rush. When they can’t directly find the information they are looking for via the search box, there is a big chance they will leave your online store as quickly as they came.

The aim of a navigation menu is to make the mostly looked for information easily accessible. One menu is often not big enough to mention everything you need to. As a solution, you can employ different top, side and/or footer menus. Don’t forget thinking about what is important for the visitor. What is important for you is not necessarily important when designing and grouping the information!

Make sure your menu structure is clear

The size of your assortment should correspond with the amount of categories in your online store. Don’t create too many categories when they are not used. Only create categories that are searched for.

Especially small online stores sometimes have many superfluous subcategories. They sometimes only have one or two products in these subcategories. That is not good practice. Only for SEO considerations you could create such a category, but in terms of navigability there is nothing to gain with it.

Sort categories per popularity

The category links in the navigation menu should be sorted according to category popularity. When this is not possible you could choose to sort alphabetically. Always do make sure to make one clear choice though – either sorting alphabetically or by popularity.

Make categories according to the search terms visitors use

Use Google Analytics to discover what visitors search within your website. You can configure Google Analytics in such a way that all data of the search entries within you online store (your own search box) are shown in Google Analytics.

Proceed in the following way to track search entries with Google Analytics:

  • Subscribe to Google Analytics
  • Click in the colomn “Settings” of the website profile you want to configure on “Edit”
  • Click in the upper right corner of “Main Website Profile Information” on “Edit”
  • Choose: “Do Track Site Search”
  • Enter “q” (Without the quotation marks) as search command parameter.

It may take up to 24 hours before statistics are shown.

More information about configuring the parameters can be found here.

The search terms with the biggest amount “total unique search entries” are what your visitors look for most frequently. You should make what visitors are looking for easily accessible through the navigation menus.

A navigation menu based on visitors’ preferences instead of a “normal” navigation menu can have a positive outcome for your sales.

Make the logo clickable

Make the logo a hyperlink to the homepage of your online store.

Use a great slogan!

Visitors pay more attention than you might think to your slogan or tag line. In general you may assume it gets as much attention as your logo. Giving it some attention would be wise!

A good slogan should always have your most important search term. You could – but not necessarily have to – add your most important unique selling point.

A good slogan ensures that the visitor directly recognizes your online store in the way the visitor like to see it.

Don’t use vague Unique Selling Points

You don’t need an MBA to know that have to communicate your Unique Selling Points to your visitors as early and clearly as possible.

Try to be as clear as possible in this. Examples:

  • Quick shipping
  • Easy returns
  • Secure order processing

Best is to be even more clear and specific:

  • Direct shipping, delivery within 24 hours
  • Free shipping for orders over 50 USD / 30 GBP
  • 14 days free returns
  • Made of 100 % natural products

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