To increase conversions in your Shopify store, you need to ensure that your potential customers find what they want as smoothly as possible. Creating an effective product category is one way to attract customers towards the products. After all, the most significant pull of online shopping is the fact that everything is so convenient.
You wouldn’t want to have people rummaging through your online store, looking for what they need, and eventually failing to find it. And if they fail, they’ll log off and visit your competitors who have a well-organized layout.
Therefore, you need to ensure that everything is in a logical place, somewhere your customers can instinctively check to find what they want.
This process of organizing your product range into categories, also known as product taxonomy, is vital to bringing your brand over the top.
Picture this, you walk into a grocery store, looking for grass-fed beef steaks. However, there’s no order to the items on the shelves. The first shelf you see has oranges, quarts of milk, boxes of cereal, and wine bottles. You have no idea where to look to find your steaks. One solution would be to ask an attendant to help you find what you’re looking for. However, they might be new to the job; they don’t yet know where everything is.
You’ll walk around for a few minutes, get frustrated, and then move out and try the store around the corner. This other store has an entire aisle for meat products. Additionally, the aisle is divided into regular and organic beef, where you can find your grass-fed steaks.
This same scenario can play out in your online store if you don’t have dedicated sections for different products. Labeled sections show the customer where everything is, enabling them to find it before entertaining any thoughts of heading to another brand.
In this article, we’ll show you how to categorize your products, the importance of doing so, and how you can tweak the features to get effective product category pages.
The Debutify theme has an intuitive layout that efficiently directs your customers to the various sections they want to visit. Download the free Shopify theme Debutify now to increase conversions in your online store.
How To Categorize Products In Your Online Store
Before you can optimize the important eCommerce product category features, you need to sort your products into the various categories.
When you have different sections, you can then tweak the various aspects to increase conversions across the entire store.
Here a few tips you should have in mind when dividing your product range into categories.
Put Yourself In The Customers’ Shoes
When starting up an online business, you need to do market research to find out just what your target audience requires from you. As you set up your Shopify store, you should base everything on the customers’ requirements.
When designing the product categories, you need to call on the buyer persona you crafted during your market research.
With the buyer persona in mind, imagine what your ideal customer would do when they land on your site’s homepage.
If you run a fashion and clothing store, you need to know how your perfect buyer would shop. Using these habits, you can then move on to selecting the first categories.
Divide Products Into General Categories
Now that you know what your ideal customer would look for when they land in your online store, you can divide the products into those categories.
Let’s keep with our fashion online store example.
If a person follows a link to the shop and lands on the site, the first thing they’ll look for is clothes for their gender.
Drawing from this, your general categories would be Men, Women, Kids. This allows the potential buyer to directly choose the section with the clothes they’re interested in for themselves.
This saves them the hassle of sorting through several other items they can’t even dress up in.
Under each of these general sections, you need to add subcategories to make it even easier for your clients to find what they’re looking for.
Add Subsections To The General Categories
The goal here is to make sure that potential customers can find their product of interest as soon and hassle-free as possible. By doing so, you can get them that much quicker to add the item to their cart and checkout.
Therefore, you should still call on your buyer persona to determine what subcategories your clients would like to see under the different overall sections.
For example, if your customer chooses the Men section on your online store, you need to provide other options to guide them.
If they click on the Men tab, a dropdown menu could provide options like Formal, Casual, or Sports.
Divide each subcategory into even smaller sections to guide the customer to the exact item they want.
So, if the customer is looking for chino shorts, they know they’ll have to look in the Casual section and then in Shorts. These shorts would definitely look out of place in the Formal section. In fact, the customer wouldn’t even think of finding them there.
Tag Each Product With A Category
Now that you know the categories and subcategories, go through your entire product range, tagging each item.
Some items might fall in more than one category or subcategory. Regardless, tag them.
For example, one customer might want chino shorts to wear on a casual Sunday afternoon, out at brunch with the boys. On the other hand, another customer wants chino shorts to play golf.
Therefore, it would be prudent to put these shorts in both categories. Otherwise, you risk losing out on sales if either of those customers doesn’t find the shorts in the section they believe them to be.
Whenever you add new products to the range, tag them in all the logical categories.
The Debutify theme allows you to do this seamlessly. You don’t need any coding knowledge to structure your Shopify store.
Sorting your products into different categories doesn’t mean that customers will automatically find what they want.
You need to tweak and test various important eCommerce product category features to increase conversions on the site.
How To Make Your Product Category Pages Boost Conversions
When you divide your product range into logical sections, you’re one step closer to making buyers of visitors to your site.
Below, we get into the various methods you can use to refine the categorization process, making it easier for you to increase your Shopify store conversions.
Here’s how you can create effective product category pages.
Provide Different Viewing Formats
Even when customers know that you have presented your products in their respective categories, they might have difficulty following the breadcrumbs to their desired items.
Therefore, you have to provide them with a different perspective. And we mean this LITERALLY.
Some customers are comfortable seeing the categories in a list. In contrast, others need more visual aids to make sense of the sections.
Therefore, you should give customers the chance to see both the list view and grid view.
The grid view lays out the items in a specific category as image thumbnails, focusing more on the product’s looks.
On the other hand, the list view depicts the items in a top-to-bottom in a checklist manner, detailing more information.
The grid view engages prospective customers more because it draws all the customers’ attention to the products’ appearance. This way, the customers can see more items on the page.
However, the list view makes it so that the potential buyer can easily compare different items because of the detailed information next to each other.
Giving customers these two options shows them that you care about their shopping experience in your store. This dramatically increases your chances of converting them from mere browsers to actual buyers.
Make Use Of Detailed Headers
When customers open a category, they’re mostly using their intuition, following the logical steps to find the item they want.
However, this can also result in a situation where the customer lands on a wrong product category page, believing that their preferred product is listed there.
To prevent the customer from wasting precious time browsing through the wrong section, you can add a detailed header at the top of the page.
The header clearly describes the products in this section, ensuring that the potential buyer knows what they’ll find in that category.
Additionally, you can use the header section of the product category page to convince the customer to add those products to their cart. For example, you can write about the benefits of that specific product category.
Furthermore, you can guide customers by showing the following categories in the header sections.
Speaking of subcategories…
Show Off The Featured Subcategories
Featured categories don’t include all the different product subsections that you have to offer.
What makes these subcategories unique is their appeal to the customers. In other words, categories such as best-sellers, most bought, most frequently viewed or recently added.
When buyers see something that others have bought a lot, they might also be tempted to give it a shot. After all, if that many people have bought it, it might provide plenty of value.
Featured categories are also a nifty way of increasing your average order value. You can bundle many items together under one subcategory, tempting potential buyers to add them to their carts.
Use Hi-Res Images For Thumbnails
One of the important eCommerce product category features is photography. The product images catch the customers’ attention, enabling them to make a buying decision.
Therefore, you should ensure that you use high-quality photographs to show off your products.
Another thing to keep in mind is that customers make comparisons when looking through the different products in a category.
To make this decision-making easier, you need to keep a consistent background format throughout the page. Effective product category pages maintain the same or a similar motif so that the customers only focus on the items.
If their eyes have to adjust to other page elements, they might get distracted and give up on the product selection process.
Additionally, a consistent background also makes the product photos pop, encouraging buyers to add items to their carts.
Show Product Colors
Customers might be motivated to buy a product but hesitate to add it to their cart because they’re not sure what it looks like.
You can convert them into a buyer by showing them what the item looks like in different colors and shades.
For example, a customer might be interested in a particular sundress design. However, they might not be really impressed because your product image displays it as a black dress.
However, you can include color tabs showing various colors you have in stock. When the potential customer clicks on one of the colors, the product image changes to that color.
The customer who would have skipped the black sundress is now interested in the same dress because it’s now an appealing yellow.
Include Price Ranges
When you have an extensive product range, your prices are also likely to cover an extended scale. This means that members of your target market fall on different parts of the scale. Some items are affordable to specific customers, whereas others are out of their range.
Therefore, you need to make it easier for customers to find what they can afford on your site.
There are two ways you can do this.
The first involves setting price ranges that potential customers can use to sort through the products they want. While this can be helpful, it also poses a significant drawback.
You’re estimating what the client has to spend. Within your preset ranges, you might alienate some potential customers.
This brings us to the second method of allowing customers to search product category pages by using pricing.
Instead of setting predetermined ranges, you can let customers type in their own figures. This increases your chances of converting because the customer gets what they’re looking for.
Add A Filter Feature
Sometimes customers don’t have the patience to rummage through the entire category looking for what they want. Even if your Shopify store has precise category levels, there’s always the chance that a potential customer might leave because they can’t seem to find the product they want.
To make it easier for them, you need to add a filter feature to your product category page.
Filters provide options that the customer can take advantage of to only show the products they’re interested in.
For example, customers can filter products by color, price range, size or any other metric you provide.
Increase Product Page Load Times
Page load time is one of the important eCommerce product page features. When customers land on a product page, they expect it to return several results almost instantaneously.
Sometimes the customer will apply several filters so that they can view the products they want. However, the website will take longer than usual to show the sorted results.
Slow page load times are a nuisance, annoying your customers. A quarter of your potential customers will leave if your site takes more than 4 seconds to load. Furthermore, 6 in 10 of those visitors won’t return to your Shopify store.
Worse still, if your site has slow page load speeds, your SEO ranking suffers. Google won’t recommend a website where its users get frustrated by the slow speeds.
Good thing the Debutify theme is tuned up to ensure your store’s pages load very fast regardless of the content type you upload.
Check our guide on "How to Easily Optimize Your Shopify Website Speed for More Conversions" to get tips on increasing product Page load time.
Include A Functional Search Bar
Earlier on, we said it’s important to properly tag all your products to get effective product category pages on your Shopify store.
If you have an extensive product range, you’ll have product pages that have too many items for the customers to properly browse.
To make navigation through the page less complicated, you can provide visitors with the option to search for the exact item they want.
Install a search bar at the top of the page where visitors can quickly see it.
Additionally, make the search function intuitive by enabling autofill so that the customer doesn’t have to type their entire query.
Sorting your product range into categories and subcategories enables your customers to easily find their way around your Shopify store. If your customers find no problem when browsing your site, they’re more likely to find items to add to their carts.
To create the categories, you need to empathize with your customers and design the site in the way you think they’ll move around it. This allows you to create effective product category pages.
However, to get the most out of the important eCommerce product category features, you need to optimize them to boost conversions. Therefore, you need to keep testing and refining the different elements.
With Debutify, you don’t need to go into all the technical bits of ensuring that your product pages run smoothly. The free Shopify theme is finely-tuned to ensure that you focus on running your online business. Download Debutify now for free!