[MUSIC PLAYING] If your customers can't easily find the products that interest them, their journey on your site will come to an end pretty quickly. In a brick and mortar store, if something is tucked out of sight, very few people will find it. The same is true on your online store. You can't buy what you can't find. In this lesson, we're going to look at your store header as a main source of navigation, as well as other ways customers can find their way around your shop.
Your header will contain your menu and search feature. Both of which are crucial in kicking off the shopping process. Making products easy to find through simple search and navigation was the most important attribute of the online shopping experience for 61% of shoppers. Navigation needs vary depending on catalog size a.k.a the number of products you carry.
Think of a brick and mortar department store. At Macy's, for example, you see a ton of signage directing you to various departments. On the flip side, in a small boutique, you'll see very little signage. The lesson here is the more products you have, the more navigation you'll need. If you have a smaller catalog, your navigation is an opportunity to offer a more guided, curated experience on par with your customers' wants and needs.
You can link to blogs, pages, flipbooks, basically any content that can replace the in-person sales associate by offering tips, styling advice, and a more customized service. Think of your search box as a sales associate that would answer a question for your customer or find a specific product for them. The more products you have, the more your customers will rely on search to narrow down the options, making this an important feature for your online customer experience.
Your search and menu are the highlights for navigation but your customers will inevitably take different paths to find the same products. By giving your customers multiple ways to reach the same product or collection, you can have a well-rounded customer journey that accounts for different shopping preferences. This is easily done by adding a homepage section to draw customers' attention to new collections or products that are on sale.
This way, you can use features that are more visual to encourage browsing. Now that you have an idea of how to leverage your navigation, it's time to take stock of your own catalog size and the many different ways your customers can find products. It's a good idea to test your customer journey to proactively catch inconsistencies or issues that could negatively affect your customers' experience.
Test the path to purchase. Go to your homepage and try to find a specific product. Is it a smooth process? Are there multiple ways to find the product? Is there anything you can add or change to improve the experience? Don't be afraid to ask for feedback. Have a friend or colleague try to find that same product from the homepage and see what happens. If either of you hit a roadblock, chances are your customers will too.
Regularly testing your customer journey will help you catch roadblocks and clear the path to purchase.