Finding products on an ecommerce store is the most critical task that a website can have. After all, if you can’t find it, you can’t buy it.
There are various methods you can use to locate the products you need, but let’s explore some of the most popular ones:
Search – This method is used a lot by customers, but I’ve never come across a retailer who’s entirely satisfied with their search feature. There are so many options for it to not work as you’d like, from synonyms through results, personalisation and on to understanding the scope.
Navigation – This is one of my favourite areas to optimise. Does the menu provide an easy way for visitors to find what they’re looking for? The mega-menu has a lot to answer for here, with many organisations allowing bloat in their navigation that makes some tabs underused and poorly monetised.
Merchandising – Showcasing a product or category on a homepage or category page can provide a quick link to an essential area of the site. It’s challenging to prioritise which products are most critical, seasonal, and need to be in this limited real estate. Still, it can be useful to showcase the depth of a product range and provide a shortcut.
Related Products – Recommended products can expose different options from the product a customer is viewing on a product page. However, unfortunately, I’ve never tested any recommendation that works better than recently viewed products. Most people tend to go back to a listings page or search to review other potential products.
As you can see, my preference lies with navigation optimisation for helping visitors find their desired product. It’s relatively easy to test, present on every page of the website, and getting a visitor to the right product increases conversion. In my next post, I’ll be discussing research and optimisation opportunities to improve your navigation. Stay tuned!