Improve your sub-category page

Some eCommerce businesses have a gut feel that their sub-category page is not quite right but don’t know how to improve on their current layout. What most don’t realise is there are best practice approaches to eCommerce page layouts, including the sub-category page.

Why getting the sub-category page right is vital

40% to 70% of consumers typically leave a website on or before they get to a third page. As consumers are leaving, this is effectively a lost sale. The highest point of exit usually occurs on sub-category pages.

Consumers who remain, may fall victim to a common behaviour known as pogo-sticking; moving back and forth between sub-category and product detail pages. Pogo-sticking is a result of sub-category pages not being able to provide satisfactory content and functional elements.

Ultimately it’s about providing consumers with control over how they search, sort, refine and engage with content on sub-category pages.

More product content is not necessarily better

The purpose of the sub-category page is to present enough content to give the consumer confidence to click on a product. Don’t attempt to show all product information on the sub-category pages.

The content will vary between retailers, however common elements include: product title, pricing including promotion and discounts, customer review rating (if available), and visual signals if there are variations. E.g. More colours available.

The importance of filters

eCommerce sites usually have many products. The inclusion of filters on sub-category pages are helpful.

Consumers prefer the ability to refine a product category option by their own preferences. Some retailers conduct research to determine what’s important to their consumers, which can be translated into filter options.

Best practice suggests that filters need to be easily engageable. This includes filter placement, presentation, and a simple selection/de-selection process with visual validation.

Research has found that a truncated approach – presenting a shortened list with a ‘view more’ link to show the full list, delivers the highest engagement. This approach allows consumers to view multiple filtering options on their screen at once. E.g. A consumer can see brand, price, size etc options without having to scroll.

Sorting is different to filtering

Sorting takes the categories full range and reorganises it.

Sorting reorganises product, opposed to excluding like filtering does. It satisfies and adds value to consumers in the early stage of buying who don’t like to miss out. E.g. online electronics retailers can sort their TVs by screen size, online bike retailers can sort their bikes by the amount of gears and/or bike frame size.

The purpose and value of pagination

Pagination is when products are displayed across multiple pages. This contributes to setting consumer expectation around the effort involved viewing products.

Pagination assists with a consumer’s next step in searching for their desired product(s), and enables consumers to easily move forward and backward.

Pagination empowers the consumer to interact with the product content on their own terms. It also provides them a clear frame of reference when they come back from product detail pages (pogo-sticking behaviour). This frame of reference is important for those in early stage buying.

Build it and they will stay

By incorporating best practice approaches on content, filters, sorting and pagination to your sub-category pages, you will encourage your visitors to interact with your content and therfore reduce early exiting, pogo-sticking and ultimately increase the rate of sales.


Purchase sub-category page best practice

This book delves deep into the crucial structure and organisation of sub-category pages on both desktop and mobile devices. Many would argue that the sub-category page is the one consumers engage with the most, therefore an understanding of the best practice is crucial to retailers.

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