Ecommerce Navigation Optimization: Best Practices and Benefits

Learn About Crucial Role of Ecommerce Navigation Optimization in Improving Website Performance!

Navigation acts like a guide for the driver to take the best route and reach the destination. Similarly, it plays the same role when it comes to website navigation. If your e-commerce website has a smooth navigation menu, it will improve the customer’s experience and produce profitable results for the business. Ecommerce navigation refers to the customer journey that they take through the website from page to page. To earn rewards from smooth navigation, optimization is the key to get the best results.

Hook to the article to learn the best practices about e-commerce navigation optimization.

What is Ecommerce Navigation Optimization?

Ecommerce navigation refers to the process of accessing a website’s different pages. To improve this process, we optimize the website design, including fonts, drop down menu, sidebars, the copy and more. If you want to ensure smooth navigation on your website, make it responsive to multiple devices. Sometimes, the same website is unable to perform equally well on a smartphone as on a laptop or desktop. It causes interruptions in navigation, and they can’t access the site properly when they need it most. It promotes cart abandonment and increases the churn rate.

Ecommerce Navigation Optimization: Importance

The purpose of the website navigation is to help users find the information they need on the website easily. Navigation menus are important in escorting users from one page to another, and this increases engagement. If the website has a good navigation menu, it improves the shopper’s user experience and reduces the churn rate. Also, it helps businesses achieve their goals of selling products or services while encouraging customers to take action.

A well-designed navigation menu enhances shopping experience (Source: Prismic Images)

Ecommerce Navigation Optimization: Essentials

One of the primary navigational elements you need to include in your strategy is a structured header. This is the place where most of the information about business products and services is located. It could be on the front or top horizontal space of the website or in a vertical drop-down menu form. Your website’s web page design helps you choose the best option so that it aligns with multiple devices. 

Structure Categories

Label your categories in a proper and clear way so that a visitor clicks on the right option for what they are looking for. Decide on product categories. For example, in the main makeup category, you can offer its sub-categories, e.g., face, lip, and eye. So, if the customer is looking for flavored lip balm, they will navigate to the lip category directly without going through different pages.

You can choose to show your product categories in two different formats:

Tiered Menus

In this type of menu, you can list only the main categories. You need to click on these categories to show sub-options.

Mega Menus

This type of menu offers all parent and sub-categories in a single drop-down menu. It is preferable and convenient for a visitor to navigate easily.


Giving labels to the categories improves navigation and is a must-have to attract shoppers. This is considered an essential element of web design. Common examples of labels include “home, “payment, “newly arrived, “sales, “contact,” and others. 

To understand it deeper, take the example of your kitchen jar or your working desk. You label kitchen jars so that you can easily get your hands on the item you are looking for. Similarly, you label your office supplies to make it easier to approach them quickly when you need them. This is how labeling works in the same way for e-commerce websites.

Structure Visuals 

Another element of great navigation is using high-quality images and videos of your products on your website. Icons are an ideal way to get the attention of visitors, and they quickly get them where they want to go. Ideally, you must use visuals to improve navigation on your e-commerce website, as it’s more about shopping, so images and videos will work for you.

Best Practices of Ecommerce Navigation Optimization

Following are some of the best practices for e-commerce navigation optimization:

Evaluate Your Current Navigation System

Before you opt to overhaul your website design to improve navigation, you must first evaluate if it will work. Sometimes, changes to web design trigger website performance. To evaluate your existing navigation, you can monitor your employee’s journey on your website. Either they are reaching their goals in just a few steps in minimum time or investing more time to reach the checkout page. This will show you how customers are navigating your site.

To learn more about it, you can simply leave an email or message to the customer, asking about their experience on your website. You can also use customer mapping tools to get deeper insights into your customers time on your website. 

Improve Your Search Navigation

If you want to improve your ecommerce navigation optimization, you need to add a good search tab. The ideal location for adding a search navigation is in the header so that visitors can easily access it at the beginning of the page. Prior to moving to the drop-down menu, people looking for specific products will move to the search bar. They will write about the product and get results instantly. This is how it improves navigation on an e-commerce website.

  • If the search bar is right in front of the user’s eyes, they will tend to stay longer than usual.
  • Also, you will learn about your audience’s preferences and behavior through their search intent.
  • Additionally, the number of searches will help you determine the performance of your navigation on the website.

“Latest Arrivals” Can Make a Difference

Compelling offers and the latest arrivals always fascinate customers when shopping online. To help them discover newbies in your store, you must add a tab for “New Arrivals”. This tab works well for existing or repeat customers to explore new stuff. They might look for the latest pieces to arrive in your store; keep that kind of customer in mind too.Besides that, you will also need to sell your new collection, so this tab will help drive more traffic to your new inventory.

Create a Responsive Website

More than half of website traffic comes from mobile phones, and you must consider this while establishing your web design. Google approves organic traffic and encourages website owners to optimize their sites for mobile. Besides that, your website must have all the responsive plugins that smoothly work on multiple devices. So, when you plan to develop your e-commerce website, add a mobile device strategy to earn more rewards.

When your site is responsive to mobile devices, it improves navigation. To enhance your e-commerce navigation optimization, you need to align your icon sizes, images, videos, and copy that convert to the larger screen sizes efficiently.

One of the aspects of good website navigation is having your logo redirect to the “Home Page”. Clicking the “back” button icon 10 times is a wholesome feeling, and it bothers a visitor. You must make your logo clickable so that it redirects to the home page instead of pushing the back button. 

Another thing you need to note is the placement of the logo on the website. It will majorly affect your website’s navigation if done right. If your logo is located in the center of the page instead of the upper left corner, it takes longer to reach the home page. 

For best results, you need to place your website logo in the upper left corner of the page; this is the common location that most people are familiar with. They automatically move their cursor to the location to get back to the home page.

Place logo in the upper left corner for better navigation (Source: Ecommerce Platforms)

Use Icons and Symbols

Going visual allows your navigation to run smoothly on the website. If your information is more visual, e.g., more icons and symbols instead of texts, people will quickly reach their goal. Icons and symbols help visitors navigate through your website, as they don’t need to type in the search bar to locate products and services. Some of the common icons and symbols seen on e-commerce websites are of clothes, makeup, accessories, and others.

It is always a good idea to add icons to your website so that people can quickly reach their target product.

Add Autocomplete Feature

The best relief that a visitor receives from the website is its autocomplete feature. It increases the satisfaction of the visitor by not using their fingers to type long queries. This helps narrow down your search and gives all the relevant suggestions in the drop-down list in the search bar. The best thing about the autocomplete feature is that it speeds up the search process. 

On the other hand, it improves navigation on the website and helps users reach their desired product quickly. To improve your e-commerce navigation optimization, you must add an autocomplete feature to your website.

Autocomplete feature on websites for the convenience of visitors (Source: Add Search)

Use the Same Layouts

 Navigation triggers when you use different layouts for different pages. For the best results, make sure to use the same layouts and conventions throughout your website. It will not distract users from their original goal and will help them understand the flow of the website. For example, a common layout on most e-commerce websites is a horizontal menu at the top accompanied by a vertical left-side drop-down menu. Stick to consistent labels and design to reduce customer churn and increase engagement.

Benefits of Ecommerce Navigation Optimization

A clear navigation system on your e-commerce website comes with many benefits for your business. The bottom line of every business is to generate revenue and increase customer engagement. This is where navigation plays a major role, and you need to work on your web design to achieve the best results.

What can a good navigation menu do for your business? Learn below:

A Good Impression of the Website 

The first thing that a visitor looks for on the website is its menu to browse products or services. The drop-down menu must be visible and clear so that visitors will be able to quickly find what they are looking for. If the website has a well-thought-out and structured navigation menu, users will likely reach their goals quickly, which will hook them to the website. If everything is messed up with the menu and information on the website, it will only promote a bounce rate. Also, visitors will likely not choose your website for shopping in the future. So, for an e-commerce website, navigation is a major aspect that needs more attention.

Translates Lead Into Conversions

Considering the fact that customers have millions of options to choose from, it is important that your website navigation be in place in order to attract more visitors. If your navigation menu and information are well aligned with your website, it will drive more traffic to your store. A good navigation system makes a great impression on the user and builds a positive image of the business. This will ultimately result in conversion, which is the goal of every business.

Adds More Functionality

Some might prefer a good-looking website, while others focus on its functionality and usability. But, the fact belongs to both approaches we take for the website. The website should be good-looking as well as easy to use so that shoppers can roam around your store.smoothly. A refined website navigation allows users to jump to their desired products and services in real-time. On the contrary, if the information is all jumbled up and overlapping, it will trigger the customer’s attention. Optimized navigation is a must-have to improve the functionality of your e-commerce business.

Improves Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate is defined as the rate at which visitors stay on or leave your website before navigating to other webpages. A good bounce rate is when fewer people leave your website and move from page to page. A bad bounce rate is an indicator that your website is not helpful to visitors. Navigation affects your website bounce rate; if a visitor finds the information quickly and easily, it makes them spend more time on the website, which reduces the bounce rate. A lower bounce rate helps your business rank high on search engines, which is the bottom line of an e-commerce business.

To improve the bounce rate, you must bold words that are your business’ key selling points and what customers look for on your website. Place CTA clearly on eye-level so that it can be seen at the top. 

Increase Credibility and Accessibility

A well-thought-out e-commerce website navigation increases the trust of the customers as it looks more professional. If users find products or services on a website without spending enough time scrolling, it creates a positive image of the website. Similarly a good navigation system promotes easy access, and users with disabilities can swiftly arrive at the page they are searching for. To do that, labeling categories and creating the right order can make a difference. It will help visitors navigate the site and access the information easily.

Amplify Your Ecommerce Navigation Optimization in 2023

Improving a website’s performance is the bottom line for every e-commerce business owner. It must have all the spices and elements that connect users with the business and ultimately lead to conversions. You can achieve this by optimizing your website’s navigation in the first place. The more user-friendly your website will be, the more people will remember your store for their future online shopping. To increase conversions, you need to put more focus on its navigation menu, as it plays a crucial role in improving performance as well as the user experience on your website. For specialized navigation optimization, you may seek assistance from e-commerce navigation optimization tools.

Featured Image: Shopify

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