We are starting a series of articles about main pain points of eCommerce websites. Online shopping is all about pleasing your customers on each step of their user flow. Today we’re studying what can go wrong with product catalog and how to avoid common mistakes for better conversion.
Unlike in a real shop, your online product listing is both your shop window and sales assistant. If you screw up here, there’s no way a customer will purchase something, or even return to your website again. Here’s how to organize a product catalog, so your customers love it.
It’s what helps people navigate among thousands of products. eCommerce directors should pay attention to make sure everything is clear and easily accessible to the users.
To achieve this, your filters must be:
Well-thought. You must think how you would really filter your product. Example: you sell screwdrivers. A brand is not that important as usage. Otherwise, it’s hard to use filters. Examples of user-oriented filters: for amateurs, magnetic, Phillips.
Dynamic. Filters in eCommerce can be of two types. First is when users select some of them an click Apply. Second is when users select at least one category, and the page instantly refreshes with the filter applied. Such types are called Dynamic. It’s a custom feature, but for your users, it’s more efficient than to select some filters and then realize no product fit them all.
Truncate. It’s when you display a selection of filtering options inside a filter category with ‘show more’ button. It’s useful when a category has over 10 options. Unless filters are truncating, users need to scroll down a lot before they see all available filtering options.
Not duplicated. When you use same filters on the left on the screen and at the top, users get confused. It’s unclear whether they’ve already applied some filters or maybe those filters differ somehow. The rule: one set of filters on a page.
Visible at the top. When your users apply filters, the categories they’ve used remain on the filter list. However, you can display the applied filters at the top of your product list, so the users see what they’ve chosen. Add there a ⊗ remove filter button for easier filter control.
Small product images and the lack of product info on the listing page makes your customers go to another page. When your customers browse through your products, and something catches their sight, it’s a matter of seconds till they change their mind. For that reason, when users hover over a product card, they must see the enlarged image, basic info about the product, and add to the cart button. Regarding the latter, before doing so, you should consider the market you work on. If your customers are likely to be buying from your regularly (e.g., eye drops for contact lenses), you should add it.
If your products are complex or need to be learnt about before the purchase, you should make users go to the product page. There you can give all relevant information about the product so your customers won’t get confused.
Number of products per page
If you have over 100 products per category, you must give your users an opportunity to choose how many products there will be on a single page. The number of items per page should be multiples of the number of products per row. The optimal minimum is 12 products per page, maximum – 100. If there’s more, it will make pages load longer. For businesses with fewer than a hundred products, a Show More button is enough.
Banners and ‘Contact Us’ forms
When your customers are browsing through your catalog, the last things they want to see are ad banners and chatbots that offer help. Nothing should ever cover product cards because the focus of any listing page is products.
Those are the elements of product listing that usually screw up users’ experience when browsing e-shops. Follow the tips I provided in the articles to have your users enjoy shopping on your website. If you implement them, you will reduce the bounce rate from your product listing page and increase conversion rate.
If you already have an eCommerce store with prepared catalog design, remember, it can always be improved. How? Here are 5 simple tips on how to optimize and improve an online store catalog.