Many people discover that just because they have an eCommerce website, doesn’t necessarily mean people will buy from them. There are many factors that influence a potential customer’s purchasing decisions, but let’s focus on navigation specifically; as it had a very big impact on this client’s site.
One of the first things we look at when assessing an existing site is its architecture or navigational structure. A good piece of advice we follow is to make sure a customer is never more than one click away from any page they want or need to visit. Renovated Hardware began their eCommerce site redesign with a developer on the BigCommerce platform. After many struggles and a re-launch of a barely functional site, their page views quickly declined, conversions dropped, and overall traffic was in a spiral downward.
When Renovated Hardware came to Pixel, they were understandably frustrated and angry – which is to be expected after spending a lot of money on a failed business upgrade. While Pixel was reviewing Renovated Hardware’s site, it was quickly apparent they had a complete lack of navigational structure; which ultimately killed their online business.
You can see in the following image that the category landing page only utilized a long list of top-tier categories. Clicking one would take you to another landing page with a long list of sub-categories before finally directing users to individual product pages. The truly unfortunate part of this was that there was no way to get back to the main category or sub-category pages without using the back button; this was tedious at best, and ultimately led to customers giving up and leaving the site. Most people didn’t even bother to drill down all the way to their desired product.
RH wanted to scrap everything and start from scratch with brand new concepts. After initial discussions with RH, we laid out a clear plan of attack for creating an easy to navigate website that would quickly funnel traffic to the appropriate landing page or product.
Starting with the home page, we set up slides for promotional items, image quick nav items for their main categories – memory, hardware and optics – and also included promotional banners. All of these items can be easily edited and managed from the main backend admin area of Big Commerce, their eCommerce cart platform.
For this site, the trickiest part of setting up a clean and intuitive navigation came into play at the category level due to the wide variety of memory variations. We needed to set up a multi-level top tier category and sub-category structure that could be easily viewed without jumping between different pages. This also needed to work dynamically, driven by categories in the admin area, otherwise the site would have been a hard-coded and unmanageable nightmare for the client, once again making it ineffective. We achieved both using a collapsible category listing structure, which enabled users to quickly browse to their desired products.
Again, you will notice that through the side navigation, top nav and category landing pages, users can navigate to any page of the website with just one click or even request a quote from any landing page. This functionality transitions seamlessly from desktop to mobile device.
In summary, the main cause of problems with the original site design and layout was the navigation. This is why creating a strategy and plan of attack when building a website so important. By focusing on creating an intuitive website structure we were able to increase page views over 70%, decrease bounce rate from 85% to 42% within the first two weeks of our re-design launch. “The Pixel team understood both my needs and concerns and then acted quickly with the design and implementation of the new site. The end result exceeded my expectations and I appreciate the fact that when I had questions they were always there to take my call.” ~ Robert