For an ecommerce business, it becomes important that your visitors get exactly what they want on your website. If you have a product on your website that they are looking and they cannot find it, then it is as bad as not having it on your website altogether. Whatever cannot be found once on your website is sometimes even labeled as something regularly not available on your website. It can gain your ecommerce website a bad reputation of not having a particular product and so on.
There are various other instances when an ecommerce website experience a poor show due to the way the product is available or found on the website. It is either hidden in the narrow sub categories or out of the reach of filters. Some websites fail to feature special sections such as “recently viewed product list” or the “most viewed product list” amongst others. Visitors want the product in concern to have a high find ability on the website. Let’s find how! The following are some of the key regions that an ecommerce website should focus on. These improve the usability of the website, increase product visibility and also make product navigation a cake walk!
Prominent Parent Categories, Clickable Too!
Parent categories are very much a part of the hierarchy of categories than what they are considered as. Many websites lose out on keeping this all important category in their hierarchy or breadcrumbs. Visitors often find themselves clicking on the parent category with no luck. They are mostly non-clickable and they are mere labels. Many users are disappointed that there is no parent category to navigate to, instead they are forced to explore the sub categories instead.
Having sub categories in a menu are required to ensure that the different products are easily searchable, manageable as well as scannable. But even the top websites miss out on improving this vital part of the website for the benefit of their visitors. Many visitors opt to leave an ecommerce site much because of the unavailability of a prominent parent category.
Anyone who is visiting your website for the first time wants to get a hang of what the parent categories are offering before visiting the narrowed sub categories. Therefore, always have a parent category, a clickable one and with good set of links to the sub categories.
Distribute Products in Different Categories
More often than not we are not sure about what category to look for a particular product. For example, if we are searching for a coffee table on an ecommerce site, then there are chances that some might look for it in the ‘accessories’ section, some might look it up in ‘tables’ while some might look for it in living room section. Therefore, there is a different perspective used to search for a particular product online.
It is advisable and a safe bet to align your products in different categories when necessary. Do not add your products only to one category, when they qualify for others as well. Therefore, at the end of day there would be many sub categories that a user might expect to find in different parent categories.
While placing products in different parent categories, one has to keep the end users in mind. They have numerous fuzzy categories or sub categories in mind and search as per their choice. One has to provide them ample options to find the product they need on the website easily without a lot of brain wracking.
“What’s New” Always Comes Handy!
Many users avoid plowing through the different product categories and hundreds of products on your ecommerce site before deciding for a purchase. If they are buying for a friend or an occasion, it becomes all the more important to check out what’s new in store for them. A nice and well-defined ‘what’s new’ section helps users easily get their eyes on the new arrivals on the website.
Ecommerce sites can likewise have a filter added to their search for “what’s new”. It helps them easily search for the latest product additions to the websites. It is the best way to keep your return visitors interested in the latest offerings on the website. One does not even have to worry about whether the product is a new addition to the website or not. One can highlight the features of a product and offer reasonable discounts through the “What’s New” section.
Accurate Product Suggestions Win Gold!
Imagine you are looking for an elegant evening gown and want accessories and footwear matching to it. Or for that matter, you are searching for soft toys for your little ones and you are wondering what accessories you can add to his room. This is where product suggestions come in handy. If you are on a website and looking for a particular product, alternatives to that product or complimentary products make your search a lot easier.
If you are inclined towards cross-selling of products or suggestive selling, then it a positive sign for your business. Right from supplementary products to alternatives, users simply adore the idea to be helped along the way. This shows that you are not alone and you are constantly guided on the website. Good suggestions means that they find different products that are complimentary to each other; hence, saving time and effort of the users.
The need for accessorizing and add-ons has been heavy on most of us. We seldom buy a new dress without buying a matching pair of footwear with it. The case stands true even online! We feel the need to buy a new leather sofa and also end up booking for a coffee table that compliments it perfectly. Therefore, cross-sectional navigation is the need of the hour to help users have a great browsing and purchase experience.
“Recently Viewed Products” is Important Too!
Many users want to navigate back to the products that they had previously viewed on an ecommerce website. The “back” button of the browser might not serve the purpose well enough. More so, if you need to browse more than one product that you had viewed previously, then even the ‘back’ button does not suffice as a good option. Many at times we want to compare features and compatibility of different products before making the final purchase. We can click on the “recently viewed items” list and easily find the products that we had last viewed. This saves the time of the users and they are not required to move up and down the product hierarchy to find previously viewed products again.
Here, refinding products is also important to give a satisfactory browsing experience to the users. The users are more content with their purchase decision after moving back and forth to the products viewed by them and taking the final call. The recently viewed products list appears in the form of a series of products or history-based breadcrumbs and helps the users peep back into the products they had viewed previously and compare the different products.
Compatible Product Pages for Enhanced User Experience
As discussed in the above points, many users look for products as well as complimentary products or accessories. Even supplementary items are eagerly looked for that add on to your shopping experience. An ecommerce site can have dedicated pages that offer compatible products along with supplementary and alternative products. It is important that both suggestions of products as well as recently viewed products are clubbed with compatible products pages for the users.
For instance, if you are looking to buy a camera with a compatible case, you have search for the right camera and also the case that matches the dimensions of the camera. Instead, a compatible products page can offer the different accessories and compatible products or supplements that correspond to that particular product. Therefore, a camera page will also list different compatible accessories for that particular camera such as lenses, matching case, batteries, chargers etc.
Linking Contextual Images to Products Directly
Browsing products from countless categories and sub categories can actually get tiring for an end user. Moreover, if you spot the product that you are looking for in a contextual image and you are not able to navigate to it, then you are bound to get frustrated. Many ecommerce websites end up losing potential buyers due to the lack of linking between contextual images and the products on display.
It is widely considered that contextual images add an aesthetic appeal to the website; however, their inability to link to the products directly also results in a lot of frustration for the end users. They also end up losing their trust on the website and render it unfit for finding and purchasing a product.
For example, an online furniture store may have images that depict a living room setting or a bedroom for that matter. People might find the table beside the bed more appealing than the actual product (bed) in question. It is now that the contextual images should not just link to the bed but also to the table in the picture and help the users navigate to its corresponding page.
To sum up, if the end users cannot find it, they cannot buy it! The simplest rule is to improve the find ability of products on the website and provide quality browsing experience to the users.