Imagine yourself in a city you’ve never been to. Without a map, no GPS to help, you find yourself lost in a busy street. The longer you stay, the more frustrated you get. And when you finally escape out of it, you never wish to go back again to that city. Along with that you warn others too to not to visit that city. Same is the condition of the visitors who land on a website with poor or no navigation. A bad website structure can make your visitors feel trapped & lost. All the want is to escape your website & never come back again.
eCommerce navigation should be easy and simple for a customer to find & locate what he wants. Directing them to a relevant product page as quickly as possible is key to keep them hooked.
1. If a customer lands on your website knowing what he is looking for, then your on-site search box should do the job. Giving him relevant search results will take him to the product page. But, only a few people does use the website search boxes. Majority of the visitors typically use the navigation bar to look & browse by categories.
2. Using Auto complete for a search box is a great way to improve your website search’s effectiveness. Using auto complete also minimizes the risk of misspellings which often results in inaccurate search results. An auto-suggest tool provides a real boost to search conversion rates. The results displayed are more relevant as compared to the query users input. In a usability test it was found that the users actually rely on the website search’s auto complete / auto-correct tool to know the correct spelling.
3. Advanced or rich autocomplete is another intelligent way to prompt suggestions to a customer searching a product through search box. It works similar to the other auto complete tool but the suggestions and results are much better than that.
4. Filtered Navigation is another essential element for a flawless website navigation. Filtered navigation allow customers to narrow down their search results depending on the product attributes they choose. Filtered results eliminates all irrelevant results.
5. Product reviews and user recommended products as a navigation aid. When a customer is searching for a product, you can display the products which are reviewed & recommended by other users. Displaying customer recommended products on a page will help you build trust and improve conversion rates.
6. Searching products department wise is another way to improve eCommerce navigation. This function allow visitors to filter results from the beginning. Allowing customers to browse through a department will offer them better & relevant search results. It is recommended for stores with a variety of product range.
7. Remember the three-click-rule, many designers follow this rule religiously which says that if a person cannot find the thing they are looking for within three clicks on the website, then the user will leave the website. Although its not a mandatory rule and it doesn’t always apply because every individual uses a website very differently. But yes, its a good reminder that an eCommerce navigation must efficient & easy enough for a visitor to quickly find what he is looking for.