In e-commerce, shoppers might come in without fully made up minds on the exact product they want to buy. Many have a rough idea but whether or not they act on it depends entirely on the purchasing options available.
Let’s take clothes shopping as an example. We can use a customer named Jane to further drive this home. Jane walks into a physical store seeking to purchase a dress, some pants, and one or two additional items that might catch her eye. She has $300 to spend.
No physical store worth its salt would just arrange its clothes haphazardly. If Jane walked into a store and found women’s underwear sitting next to men’s shoes while leotards alternate with pantsuits on the racks, she’d walk right out and find a store that has its act together.
Yet this is exactly what some online stores do. Jane logs in to buy women’s clothing, heads to the main navigation, you prompt her to choose between the men’s and women’s category, she selects the women’s category, and boom! You show her a product list consisting of your entire inventory. 2,000+ plus products. She can’t even filter it for size since dresses, pants, blouses, and t-shirts all use entirely different sizing standards.
Introduce your sub-categories
This is a problem that can be easily solved by an intermediary category page. Once Jane selects women’s clothing. You take her to a page containing sub-categories. This is where you introduce your subcategories: pants (under pants you can have slacks, jeans, sweatpants, yoga pants and the like), jackets, dresses, pantsuits, skirts, underwear, blouses, t-shirts, hats, stockings, and so on.
The intermediary category is meant to give an overview of your subcategories so choose very representative thumbnails that show the full range of products featured in a sub-category.
Intermediary category pages can also contain content such as:
- Image galleries
- Featured products
- Links to wizards, finders, configurators
- Popular brands
- Cross-navigation (links to other relevant categories)
You can also add a traditional category sidebar with text links to sub-categories.