Online product guides categorize and describe all of the items sold on an ecommerce site. Often called online catalogs, these resources provide simple navigation on ecommerce store websites. They provide shoppers with any and all information needed in order to make a solid purchasing decision.
There are many ways to display effective product guides on an ecommerce site. Strong, clear organization and navigability eliminate consumer confusion, increase usability and lead to higher sales. Customer decision-making is highly influenced by these online catalogs. Guides and catalog listings are the No. 1 tool used by shoppers when browsing product options and making choices.
From the ecommerce store's homepage, and every landing page on the site, ensure navigability to the product guide page. Separate all products into categories that clearly establish what the user will find should they click on that category's listing. For example, clothing ecommerce sites list products by type with terms like "pants," "shirts," "jackets" and "athletic wear." Each group gets its own unique landing page with a listing of all products that fall into it. Getting to a desired category page in no more than two clicks is ideal. If necessary, use graphics or illustrated images to further differentiate between categories.
There are three keys to building effective product guides:
Once a customer has reached their desired product page, ecommerce store owners must provide options for customization.
On the checkout page, link each item in a consumer's shopping cart back to its landing page in the product guide. This provides a convenient method of double-checking orders and reduces the amount of returns ecommerce owners receive.