The Category pages of your online store are generating nearly 70 per cent of the online sales, which means every element of this page count towards the success of your store. Thus, we should know how to create a perfect Category page for maximum conversion and increased sales.
The category page is perhaps the most familiar page of a modern e-commerce store, hark as it does back to the days of post-order catalogues. It has a long list of products and may act as a demonstration of humans as creatures of habit and resilient to any possibility of new ways of doing things. However, still, if you want, you can do a lot of things digitally to make your category page stand out from other e-commerce stores that customers can’t ignore.
On this page, you have to give consideration to how the content is split and represented in the site’s navigational design. With this focus, we will go through several different things that you can consider while designing the category page of your e-commerce store.
1. Look and Feel of a Category Page Design:
The look and feel of your page will depend on what you are selling and on your brand, still, there are some useful practices that you can follow.
It should be clear to the users where they have landed. The category pages have well-optimized SEO and even paid traffic driven here. It essentially implies that a customer may land on the category page without going through the homepage.
Thus, you must give strong visual cues to this page. It includes inspirational banners running through the full width of the page. You can even highlight certain items to showcase your range of products yet keeping the page relevant. For e.g., if it is summer season, and you have a clothing fashion store, then you can showcase some of your best summer outfits. A descriptive header can also bolster imagery with the details of product types. It also helps in the SEO of your site.
Rows are widely used in the e-commerce industry with an undefined standard of 3 items per row. That said, it isn’t a case of one size fits all and should be decided on the basis of category.
Suppose, if you are selling products whose details are very important instead of its images, such as computers or certain electronic gadgets, then you can use just one column, and show the details in the list full width of the screen. Dell is using the same structure. It is also good if you have a small category with limited products which are mostly bought together.
2. Sorting of products on the basis of performance:
For achieving merchandising goals through the category page, sports goods retailer The WOD Life used category merchandising on their website for increasing the conversion rate and getting their site discovered.
3. Filters are inevitable:
One of the main issues on the category page is having a huge number of items that you can place there. An infinite list of products is neither useful for you nor the customers. They don’t have time to click on the Load more button multiple times. Thus filters are of key importance here. Here are a few tips to implement them right:
The filters’ location also matters a lot. To put them correctly, you can consider the two best places on the category page. Left-hand navigation is a usual standard. Following this standard will also eliminate any disruptive UX which can baffle the customer. And if the customers find it hard to use your site, they will abandon it. However, as per some studies, the tunnel vision and a habit of focusing the upper centre of the page means that sometimes the users may not use the filtering options at all, instead of confusing the sorting options (generally found in the upper center) as the primary of finding right products. If you choose to use the left-hand approach then make sure this doesn’t happen with a notable filter design.
The design of the filters will also depend on your offerings but there are certain things to keep in mind:
If there are multiple ways of filtering the products then use multiple filters, you must give your customers the options they need. If you are in the computer-selling business then the customers may be looking for a computer with a certain OS, hard drive or SSD, and a large screen. Allow them for these multiple configurations so they are left with their criteria.
Try to know your customers more than your competitors and use this knowledge for a better offering. For e.g., if you are a woman’s clothing brand, and you may know from your research that many women prefer full sleeves tops, then you can add an additional option of “Full Sleeves” in the category.
4. Sorting options:
We have already discussed a bit about sorting in the previous factor, as something which comes together with filtering. However, always remember, that with the left-hand navigation approach, that it is a must. Customers may have filtered the items but now they want to decide the order for e.g. from price low to high, or reviews high to low. The most common sorting options are price, rating, and popularity.
But for next-level customer experience, dynamic and personalized sorting is the holy grail. It means you are automatically sorting the products on the basis of their browsing history, cart content and merchandising rules.
5. Customer Segmentation:
Real-time segmentation can let you satiate multiple use cases: from influencing life cycle stages (e.g. displaying attractive offers for new customers and new arrivals for the returning customers) and improving relevancy on the basis of browsing history and previous engagement.
Here are a few ways to increase interaction by customer segmentation on category pages:
First impressions are highly important as the new customers don’t easily trust a new brand. Acquiring a new customer is always expensive and arduous than retaining an existing one. You can expose these visitors to your best offerings whenever they will visit those respective categories.
After the first purchase, it is the perfect moment for building a customer relationship that will go beyond the computer screen.
From unboxing experience with free samples to use social media content, brand hashtags, personalized notes, along with exciting rewards, there are many strategies to use. Here are some ways to serve loyal customers on your category pages:
- Use browsing history to recommend relevant products
- Sorting by a margin to increase profitability
- Optimizing the setup of your page to increase performance
If you are having online business in multiple countries and are operating through multiple e-commerce stores then you must modify the experience to be more localized. You can localize by language, offering preferred payment gateways of that region, currencies, and calculating localized shipping information.
6. Increasing Conversion on Your Category Pages:
As we mentioned above, nearly two-thirds of the sales happen on the category page. Thus, it should be properly optimized to convert your customers and prevent them from bouncing off the page. Here are a few ways to improve the experience on a category page:
For new customers facilitate product discovery:
Category pages just act like the aisle signs of a physical store. The signs help us to found which aisle or category is relevant for us. It saves time and effort of wandering through the store aimlessly.
However, in a physical store, a customer doesn’t easily leave the store. But in an online store, there are huge chances that customers will leave the store if unable to find their desired category.
E-commerce retailers invest a lot for the search functionality, product taxonomy, implementing filters and offering various sorting options. Still, it is almost impossible to get a product selection right for every single shopper at the first impression.
To increase the conversion chances, we recommend taking advantage of performance metrics and sorting products on their individual performance.
Leverage ratings and reviews for social media validation:
Social validation is playing a huge role in defining the customers’ choices. It is commonly seen as the reviews and ratings on e-commerce websites. Consequently, this makes ratings and reviews technologies (like Yotpo, Trustpilot, and Bazaarvoice) almost a must-have for any online retailer.
With AI, customers will not only know the most relevant products but also those which are highly popular in terms of rating and reviews.
We have already discussed that the number of items on a category page is a big issue that users face on the e-commerce site, and it is often resolved by filtering and sorting features.
But this is relevant when a customer knows what they want to buy. If a customer is in the mood of exploring new products or categories, then automated product recommendations are useful.
You can use a 1:1 personalization slot if you have huge data of browsing, it will let you show relevant products, making the shopping journey quicker and easier. Else Best Seller recommendations is a good option.
8. Infinite Scroll, Pagination, and “Load More”
How you are splitting the products into multiple pages is a tricky subject?
On the one hand, infinite scroll allows users to stay on a single page, encourages browsing, and users can discover more products without being paused, however, it has been shown that shoppers end up finding more products making them less focused on any particular product. This means they are less engaged with any item and when customers are less engaged, they are less likely to buy.
Pagination, on the other hand, make the whole process clunky and users get frustrated. Lazy-loading can be one solution. Lazy loading means elements are present but are not shown until they are needed. The products are on a single page but keep the customers engaged.
Note: If you opt for pagination, the customers should be able to select the number of products per page. This will reduce the frustration of the page loading delays.
In this article, we have gone through many different aspects of the category page user experience and design. A category page plays a huge role in the conversion rates, user experience, and total sales. At Ceymox Technologies, the best e-commerce development agency in India, we are having expertise in developing e-commerce stores from scratch. We are experts in implementing the best conversion practices on the websites we develop. Let us know your requirements.