Web design

Advanced Navigation in eCommerce Stores

e-commerceEcommerce stores need to pay attention to the customer experience. If a customer has a poor experience in your store, they aren't going to come back for more. Advanced navigation can make it easier for customers to find out how to find something and where they are in the purchasing process.

To take stock of advanced navigation, we're also going to take a look at extensions to your site and how analytics can help you observe the effects of your new navigational systems.


Breadcrumbs won't change the purchasing the process. Instead, they'll tell people where they are in the process. A site which uses breadcrumbs will automatically indicate what step of the purchasing process you're on.

They appear in the form of menus above each page. You'll have the main category, which will be the name of your website, followed by all the subcategories. The final breadcrumb will be the page you're on now. It shows you where you've come from, and they are clickable.


You have to have a filtering system. Once you start to house a high number of products on your website, your customers will have trouble finding what they're looking for. Filtering makes your internal search engine more accurate, because it has fewer results to choose from.

Furthermore, what we have to remember is you aren't just catering to customers who're looking for something. You're trying to take advantage of impulse buys. Filters enable customers to search by specific themes for something they may or may not want.

You'll notice your revenues rocket if you start to take advantage of the urge to place an impulse buy.

Search Bar

Every ecommerce store must have some sort of search bar. You can't have advanced navigation without it. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. A simple bar in the top corner of the screen is enough.

Ideally, you'll have an advanced search system as well. This will allow you to search by theme and category. It makes it easy for customers, because it can be combined with related products system.

All the customer has to do is search and hop from product to product through the related products feature.

Related Products

Related products can increase your sales may fold, if for instance the customer is buying a dog bed it would be beneficial to show off your collection of feeding bowls, collars and leads. If the customer has just bought a new puppy they will be looking for the complete package and If you carry a wide selection of related products, you can make a customer's complete purchase easier and more profitable for your store.

An Extension

It sounds like a lot to take in. Consider installing an extension or plugin which works with your website's framework. Make sure it has all these options available, so all you have to do is snap it on and get to work.

Layered Navigation Extension is an example of an extension which works with Magento. Take note of the principles of such a section. It allows for flexibility and takes into account things like SEO.

With any advanced navigation system, you always need to take into account what Google thinks of your changes. If you inadvertently break any rules, your site will fall down the rankings.


Ecommerce analytics are essential to help you observe how well your new navigation system is doing. You should notice an increase in the number of pages visited, an increase in visitors, and a decrease in abandoned carts. A specialised ecommerce analytics service such as AheadMetrics will enable you to do this more effectively than standard analytic tools such as Google analytics.

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