Which navigation menu for a good user experience?

E-commerce navigation menu

An e-commerce site can have a homepage and efficient product pages: if the visitor gets lost in them, all these efforts are in vain. To facilitate the navigation of the Internet user on an e-commerce site, a readable and accessible navigation menu is therefore necessary. There are, however, different types of menus: the "top menu" at the top of the page, the sidebar or the sandwich menu. Depending on the shape chosen, these can be river menus, as is often the case with the side bars, or fairly restrictive versions, such as the sandwich menu. Which type of menu is best suited to which e-commerce strategy? What rules apply to all navigation menus? How can we ensure, in all cases, that we offer a pleasant user experience to our visitors?

Three types of navigation menus for three strategies

The choice of navigation menu applied to an e-commerce site is much less insignificant than it seems. The menu is indeed one of the pivotal elements of a brand's marketing and e-commerce strategy. A top menu, for example, does not have the same virtues as a sandwich menu. Moreover, it is not always suitable for large brands, which have many product categories.

The top menu: the comfort of habits

Most e-commerce sites opt for a top menu, also known as a "top menu".top menu”. It must be said that this type of navigation menu is now part of the habits of e-consumers. By adopting it, the merchant's site thus ensures thatprovide a comfortable user experience.

example of an effective top menu with Stolen Goods
Stolen Goods succeeds in its top menu with a limited number of headings, evocative headings and a graphic highlighting of the product category being browsed.

The various entries of the top menu allow to make the product categories visible as soon as the homepage. The Internet user can see the offer at a glance. Attention, however, to be effective the headings should be limited to 7 or 8. Beyond that, the top menu loses its simplicity, and therefore its relevance. The words used also gain from being simple, and sticking to the offer. This is one of the best ways to help visitors find their way around while improving their natural referencing.

Read also : E-commerce, 4 examples of sites that use UX to convert

The sidebaror the perfect navigation menu for large product catalogues.

A neglected time, the menu sidebar, also known as the vertical menu, or sidebar....is making a comeback in the big leagues. This is because it has a significant advantage: it compiles a large number of product categories.

The Sidebar menu or sidebar, e.g. Auchan
The sidebar menu is often used for large signs that have many different product and service sections.

Another major asset: the vertical menu frees up space for a search bar. The e-commerce sites that use it capitalize on a recent habit of mobile users: browsing via the "...". search bar "rather than from the menu. Indeed, mobile versions of merchant sites often ignore the menu, which is summarized in a single button. Smartphonauts have therefore opted to find products by typing them directly into the search bar.

See also : How to make a difference in e-commerce in 2020?

The sandwich, or the fetish solution of mobile e-commerce

Benchmarking sandwich menu, also sometimes called "hamburger menu."is a direct legacy of mobile uses. Smartphone versions of e-commerce sites often condense their sections into a three-line icon, reminiscent of a burger. The ergonomics of this mobile browsing has influenced the versions desktop e-commerce sites.

Example of Auchan sandwich menu
Auchan's e-commerce site embodies the classic operation of a hamburger menu. The brand is well-known enough to allow itself not to make its offer visible at first glance. Sa homepage is organized more around the promotions that the header. The brand relies on the visitor's tendency to go through the search bar to achieve its objective.

Even though he's sometimes criticized, the burger menu has many advantages:

  • Avoid displaying an extended menu, which makes navigation more complex;
  • stick to the uses of the moped;
  • considerably lighten the homepage, which loads faster ;
  • Divert attention to current promotional offers.

Read also : How to generate traffic in 2020?

Benchmarking must have from any self-respecting menu

In order to improve the visitor's navigation, the menu must be easy to understand at a glance. This is the interest of the top menus with 5 or 6 headings maximum. It must also use entries with evocative headings. A section "About us", or "Our services" does not tell the visitor anything. Yet the visitor needs descriptive headings to be reassured that he will find what he is looking for. Informative headings also allow search engines to quickly identify the keywords on which the e-commerce site is positioned.

Example of a hyper-readable navigation menu with Lush
Lush pushes the logic of the visible menu to the extreme, with a top menu that extends to the entire page when you click on it.

The other imperative of a navigation menu that maximizes the chances of conversion is that it remains visible. With a visible menu, the navigation remains visible, the bounce rates drop and therefore the chances of conversion increase. Several tips exist for maintain menu readability throughout the navigation experience :

  • highlight the menu by contrast, thanks to a overlay for example;
  • apply a breadcrumb trail to all the pages of the site;
  • Highlight the current section while browsing ;
  • use a menu sticky This "fixed" or "floating" menu follows the user through the entire web page, even when he "scrolls".

Read also : Knowing the basics for a good Google referencing

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