Best practices for structuring an online shop

Website structureIt's important to plan ahead how the structure and navigation of your online shop will be. Think from the perspective of your visitors: what is the easiest, the least confusing and the shortest route to your products?

  • Keep it simple!
  • Ensure that your visitors can find your products with 3 clicks or less
  • Limit categories to 7 items per level, more navigation items do not fit on a smartphone screen

Your visitors are very impatient! This is even more the case for mobile users. If your visitors find your navigation confusing, if they have to search in a long list of items or if they need to click too many times they will leave your website.

Easy: categories and subcategories

Category IconThe advised method is to create a maximum of 7 main categories having each a maximum of 7 subcategories.

This way your shop stays organized and user friendly for your visitors to navigate, even on a mobile phone.

Responsive layout

Avoid adding products to a category that also has subcategories. This is possible with our software, but it can be confusing for your visitors. You can create categories up to 9 levels deep, but we advise to have no more than 3 levels. The less, the better!

Easy: categories and product variations

ProductsProducts can have variations: these can be sizes of clothing or an extra service associated with the product. That's why they are attached to their main product and not to a category.

By using product variations you create an extra level without the need of having your visitors to navigate deeper in the category structure.

Product properties

To each product related products can be attached.

Although it's possible to create sub variations with our software, it's certainly not advised. Too many levels deep and/or too many clicks will make your navigation confusing.

Advanced: putting products in multiple categories

Products can be attached to up to 5 categories. This way a product can be found by several routes.

You can set this by editing the product in the section Advanced options. Here you can attach category 2 up to 5.

Expert: product filters

Product filterOnline shops with big product lists can make use of product filters. This way your visitors can select a property at the top of the product list, filtering the list so only the products with that property are displayed.

Product filters is an expert module, both for you as for your visitors. Only use this module if you know your visitors have sufficient technical skills.

Use product filters on a sole category and do not combine them with sub categories. This will make it confusing and error prone.

What to do with my most important products?

HomepageIt's advised to display important products on your homepage or in the slideshow.

What to do with many products in different branches and/or niches?

Our shops can contain up to 250.000 products. This is however not realistic: for your visitors this is looking for a needle in a haystack if they want to find a certain product.

It's advisable if you have a lot of products to spread them over multiple shops. This has a number of advantages:

  • Transparent for your visitors
  • Shops can link and complement to each other
  • Several targeted or specific niche shops provide more targeted visitors
  • More visibility in search engines
  • You receive an extra discount if you create multiple shops using our Tell-A-Friend program

Frequently Asked Questions

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