Categories are the sections of your website that are broken down into related topics that you can place relevant products into. Think back to the times that you have shopped online and it becomes immediately apparent how important they were to your overall experience, but are you aware of just how important it is and their potential to increase eCommerce sales? What categories will be presented on the home page? How many will there be? How many sub-categories will this one have? What about that one? It can be a long and arduous process to get your categories set up exactly how they need to be, but once you realize what an effective category tree can do for your online sales, you will definitely want to take the time to do it. Categories help customers by narrowing down the amount of products or items they have to choose between. A rule in retail has always been to give the customer 2 or 3 choices, because if you give them 50 choices they will rarely be able to make a decision. This is where deep categories in eCommerce websites can drastically increase eCommerce sales, they effectively act as the “salesman” for your website; guiding visitors through the site until they’re where they want to be.
Categories also effectively act as the organizational system for your website. They turn your website into a neatly arranged filing cabinet in which each of your site pages is a document inside of it. Whereas if you had no categories, it would be kind of like giving your site visitor a huge messy pile of documents with no rhyme or reason to how they are arranged. Nobody wants to deal with that, which is exactly why effective categories have the power to keep people on your site instead of looking elsewhere. Having properly organized categories even makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site pages and index them!
The way you set up the categories on your eCommerce website is extremely important for a variety of reasons. Not only does it help search engine spiders comb through the layout of your site and get it indexed properly, it is also one of the main factors in the kind of experience visitors will have on it! These two reasons alone should be more than enough to inspire you to review your categories and ensure that they are set up as efficiently and intuitively as possible. While there is much more that you can do to improve categories, follow the above 3 tips and you will be well on your way to “WOWing” customers with awesome categories!By: Dana Nevins
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