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Make the Navigation Menu a Selling Tool

A guest article written by Roxana Dascalescu of Buddha Apps team, developer of the Mega Menu app.

Imagine this: go to an online store and try to buy or hunt for a product. You abort your mission after a few seconds as you can’t find what you are looking for, the menus aren’t attractive, with too much clutter, the organisation is a hassle and you feel like you have to do the shop owners job.

This exercise can help us put ourselves in our clients shoes and ask this question: are we helping our client to buy from our store?

I deal with menus all day, as our team has created a Mega Menu app for Shopify. Since I’ve started working on this project it was a huge surprise for me to watch how the menu navigation is so ignored by so many of the store owners. The general concern is to have a good looking store with SEO in mind, which is all good, because getting traffic to your store is vital. But once the client gets to your store, are you helping him to navigate with ease through your products?

Studies show some very interesting numbers:

  • Most shoppers leave a website in the first 10-15 seconds if they don’t find what they are looking for (a very short time)
  • Up to 30% of your shoppers go straight to the products they want. This leaves up to 70% of your visitors to hunt for special offers and great products. And if they don’t find something interesting in the first 10-15 seconds they will leave, probably never to come back.

The navigation menu is like a map for your store. So, I find a few tips extremely important in creating a navigation menu:

Plan your menu structure in advance

A common mistake is to create the menu after you have finished creating the entire store. The menu is part of your store design so it should be thought through from the start. Make a structure on how you want to organise the products and categories in your menu.

Create the menu accordingly to your business type

If you have a store with a few products

Having a few products could be an advantage. Navigating through a simple menu helps your shopper to quickly find what he’s looking for.

Create a menu containing Featured products with great pictures, this attracts your client to buy. Also, you can create bundles and 1+1 special offers so that the menu doesn’t look empty

Make a main menu item with a page about your business story. You will create an emotional connection with your client and he will be interested in buying more.

If you have a business with a lot of products

Organise your collections logically and intuitively. The shopper needs to find an easy way to navigate through the menu and offers.

Arrange the menu into main menu items and sub-menus. Put a single row of Main Menu items (never 2 or 3 rows) and make sure that the sub-menus contain your collections, products, sub-collections are displayed in a beautiful way.

Create best Selling and newest collections - this shows a dynamic business. Create a few featured collections and products with pictures with the items you want to outline the most. 

Don’t put into your navigation too many pictures, the shopper will be lost with so many images and also they will slow down your website.

Make a great mobile menu 

Over 50 % of online sales are made on mobile. The mobile menu should be easy to navigate through. If you can, make two separate menus: one for desktop and one for mobile. Maybe the pictures look very good on desktop view in a horizontal menu but they will make the navigation boring on the mobile/side menu.

Create a contact form in your main navigation

It will look professional and allows clients to reach you with ease. Being in the main navigation it’s more visible for the clients as opposed from being in the footer for example.

In conclusion, having a well functioning menu will not do wonders for your store traffic but can give your business that professional, compact look and can convince your shopper to stay longer in hunting for products on your store. It’s worth it, isn’t it?

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