There is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to eCommerce website navigation and performance.

These two factors are intricately connected because navigation impacts conversion rates and page views. Also, poor navigation may not lead customers to purchase products as often as they would if they were navigated properly. In this article, we’ll go over some of the eCommerce Navigation Best Practices or guidelines you may use to create a user-friendly website.

eCommerce Navigation Best Practices

When developing the structure for your primary and subcategories, make it as simple as possible for your clients to peruse the website. You should always assign this task to an expert or eCommerce development company with a proven track record for the successful creation of your eCommerce site.

Here are some basic e-commerce navigation strategies to consider while enhancing the user experience on your website.

eCommerce Navigation Best Practices

Also Read – Headless eCommerce Platforms: 10 of the Best to Help Grow Your Online Business

Start with a Site Map

Not sure how to build a website navigation structure? A sitemap for your website is a great place to start. The perfect blueprint for your advanced navigation-optimized web design is a sitemap that lists all the pages on your website. From an SEO perspective, sitemaps are also essential.

A sitemap can be created manually using a text editor, automatically using sitemap generators from third parties, or even automatically using your content management system. Follow a set of guiding principles while you accomplish this to thoroughly and effectively define your site’s structure.

Deploy Responsive Site Navigation

According to recent statistics, mobile traffic makes up at least half of all web traffic. Therefore, the case for responsive web design is simple to establish.

Further, Google accounts for about 94% of all organic search traffic and prioritizes websites optimized for mobile devices when ranking websites on the results page. As a result, it makes sense to optimize your website from a volume and SEO perspective.

It is advised to take a mobile-first strategy while developing a responsive navigation structure. Additionally, respond to queries about the best menu types to employ, the links to display, the font and icon sizes, user behaviour, and how it all converts to larger devices like desktops and tablets.

Limit Menu Levels and Options

eCommerce enterprises may have a wide range of product categories to showcase and sell. It’s crucial to prevent visitors from becoming overawed by the numerous choices offered. The rule must also be followed when designing the navigation structure of a website.

Limiting the number of options across all navigation menus is an industry practice. Additionally, big businesses that cannot help but show off many categories in the top navigation bar can employ menu levels but not more than two.

Make the Navigation Bar Sticky

A sticky navigation bar should be locked into position so that when the users scroll down to find your website, they do not need to scroll back up to access another website page. Sticky navigation bars greatly speed up and simplify surfing on an eCommerce website, especially when numerous options exist.

Some of the best practices while deploying sticky navigation bars include collapsible menus, not obscuring the search bar, and using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for straightforward yet effective coding of navigation bars.

Use Icons and Symbols

Symbols and Icons enhance and make information more visual on websites. Icons can help navigate useful aspects of a website, like a search bar, login page, contacts page, etc. They can also emphasize features, express metaphors and synonyms visually, and improve the appearance of unordered lists.

It’s best to choose traditional icons that consumers are familiar with and that convey a meaning when employing icons and symbols. A bad user experience and higher drop-offs can result from deviating from the use of universal iconography.

Make Clickable Elements Recognizable

When it comes to web design, this is a crucial principle that cannot be disregarded. If a user is unable to tell whether the text is clickable or not, even the most intuitively placed internal links to explore websites may become meaningless.

A good practice is to set a strong and consistent visual cue for clickability using borders, underlines, hyperlinks of various colours, buttons that imitate real buttons, and other techniques.

Make Logo Redirected to Home Page

It is one of the most important and widely used components of effective website navigation. Studies show that 95% of users know clicking on a logo will take them back to a website’s home page. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a logo that drives users to an eCommerce website’s home page.

Another important aspect to take into account in this situation is the placement of the logo. According to research, returning to the homepage is six times tougher when the logo is positioned in the centre of a page instead of the top-left corner. The same study also shows that when the logo is on the left instead of the right, brand memory rises by 89 percent.

Use Analytics & Heatmaps to Improve

There can be a slip between the cup and the lip regarding website design. Your navigation structure could not have the intended commercial impact, even if well-designed. Analytics and heat-map tracking can be helpful in this situation.

For instance, website owners may pinpoint exactly how visitors utilize their online storefront using analytics tools like Google Analytics and heatmap tracking tools like Hotjar or Smartlook, finding and removing bottlenecks that prevent visitors from becoming customers.

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eCommerce Navigation Examples

Some of the eCommerce navigation examples are as follows: 

eCommerce navigation examples

This eCommerce website doesn’t have a search bar. Except “Guys Tee” no other category has a drop-down. The 100% secure payments tag above is clickable – but failing on users’ expectations, it redirects back to the home page.

On the other hand, Walmart leverages semantic search with auto-suggest functionality, helps users find by category, and keeps the highlighted “See All Departments” throughout.

Benefits of Improving eCommerce Website’s Speed

It’s challenging for an e-commerce website store to stand out in today’s crowded market. Increasing the conversion rate demands a high-performing website with a quick page load time, a user-friendly layout, and a simple customer buying experience.

The significance of increasing page speed is strongly correlated with some of the primary disadvantages of not doing so immediately. Among the many negative effects of slow eCommerce page speed are:

Benefits of Improving eCommerce Website Speed

High Bounce Rate

Google claims that a website’s page speed drop from 1 second to 10 seconds results in a 123% rise in bounce rates. Due to slower eCommerce store speed, visitors quit an online store immediately and switch to one of its competitors. Such conduct raises your store’s bounce rate, which might lower the value of your brand.

Additionally, search engines won’t promote your store, which results in fewer sales and conversions.

Poor SERP Rankings

The major reason eCommerce companies don’t generate sales and conversions is that slow websites make it difficult for them to rank higher on Google. Google devalues a website’s SERP value when users leave it without waiting to make a purchase.

Shorter Sessions

Studies show that a 2-second delay can cut the time of a session in half for an eCommerce store, which can impact the store’s traffic, revenues, and conversion rates. For instance, the Amazon website slowed to a few milliseconds in 2020, costing $4 billion, or 1% of sales, in lost revenue.

Poor Conversion Rates

In a global study, 80% of users reported that a poor loading speed is more annoying than a brief outage. Customers like to spend more time browsing an eCommerce store page with a smooth checkout process.

If an eCommerce store has a lower speed, it directly affects sales. Hence, it’s crucial to optimize your eCommerce conversions.

Also Read – eCommerce Automation: Tools, Benefits, and Why You Need It

How Can You Increase Your eCommerce Website’s Speed?

Here are some definitive methods to increase the speed of your eCommerce Website.

Tips to Increase Your eCommerce Website Speed
Reduce the Size of Images

The most crucial aspect of eCommerce website speed is images. If you run an online store, high-resolution and high-quality photographs slow down the loading time of your store’s website.

Software like Adobe Photoshop or the WP Smush plugin can help you optimize and compress the size of all of your store’s images while maintaining the quality of the images.

Select a Fast Web Hosting

Choose a fast web hosting provider where you can get dedicated hosting for your eCommerce store to load the store’s page smoothly and improve clients’ purchasing experiences if you want to raise the speed at which your store loads.

Choose a web server that offers:

  • High-end cloud infrastructure
  • 24/7 technical support for problems
  • High rate of uptime
  • Provide server geographically to target audience
  • Provide SSD-based solution

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Naturally, there is a lot of content for your online store to display. Choose a CDN that enables you to host your store on servers worldwide in accordance with your target market to provide content (such as HTML files, photos, videos, etc.) more quickly based on the consumers’ location.

Browser Caching

Use browser caching, which enables browsers to save the most current web pages on the server for loading whenever users request to view the page easily, to improve the performance of your online business. With this method, customers can quickly load the store’s webpage with ease.

Reduce HTTP Requests

A delayed loading page can also result from having many HTTP requests. Numerous components and services are introduced to online stores in an effort to engage customers and persuade them to make purchases. All of these features cause the server to issue more HTTP requests, which reduces speed.

By eliminating any unneeded items and features from your store and deleting extensions and plugins for better improvement, you need to decrease the HTTP Requests to increase the page speed of your store.

Minify HTML, CSS & JavaScript

Large HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files are the reason of your eCommerce store’s poor loading times. Large files take longer to load, therefore it’s crucial to optimize them by removing extra lines of code, spaces, files, commas, and characters to reduce their size and make them simpler to load. It improves the customer experience while speeding up eCommerce stores.

Wrapping Up

Navigating an eCommerce site can be tricky, particularly if the user is on a mobile device. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. We hope this article has helped you understand the best practices for eCommerce navigation and performance improvement.

You can hire eCommerce developers for assistance in building a successful eCommerce website. 

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