How to design the navigation of an online store?

Published in Website Design2022-05-276 min read
Online Store

Professional development of online store navigation will become the foundations of sales growth, relieve the support service and reduce the percentage of abandoned carts

The popularity of online trading is constantly growing. It is not surprising that there are more and more sites thanks to which we can make any purchases without leaving home. Are you thinking about creating an online store or are you already working on a project? Then it is important to plan the appearance of the menu and the ways to categorize products.

If you direct a user to a page of interest, they are likely to become your buyer. That's why you need good navigation, no matter what kind of business you have. How do I do this? Read the article and you will learn how to design the navigation of an online store and what to look for when creating it.

Plan the development of an online store in detail

Don't start building a store until you've planned all of its elements. Think about what exactly and in what place should be located. Order is important. Remember that the items at the top and bottom of the list attract the most attention. What inscriptions you put in the menu also matters. The right titles will have a positive impact on SEO, and your products will be more visible to users in search engines.

When you and the representatives of the web studio have made a clear plan that completely suits you and does not cause objections from professionals, it's time to start working!

Start with the site menu

Before proceeding to the categorization of products in the online store, it is worth stopping at the menu. This is where your users will meet you for the first time. You can use several options. Familiarize yourself with them and choose the best one for yourself.


This type of menu is usually used in small shops. Remember that due to its location, you will not be able to place an infinite number of tabs there. Use it when you don't have many pages. It is worth noting that this type of menu is currently the most popular not only among online stores.


In the case of a large number of products and categories, it is worth choosing the vertical arrangement of the menu. This will allow us to classify the pages more accurately and open up more opportunities for us to market. However, if you still don't know what type of menus to use, you can always combine them and place the main categories in the horizontal menu and the subcategories in the vertical menu.

Hamburger menu

This is a popular solution in the form of three bars – a drop-down menu that is not visible on the page from the very beginning. The "hamburger" menu is very often used on mobile e-commerce sites because of its compactness and quick response.

Most often, these are three rows located next to each other, located in a square. The user will see the expanded menu items only after clicking on the icon.

Looks simple, huh? However, in this case, it is worth thinking about who represents the target audience of the online store. Most Internet users are well aware of this icon, but there will still be people (for example, pensioners who are not familiar with the Internet) who will not understand this decision. Then you should add the word "MENU".

Consider using a sticky menu. This is a "stuck" horizontal bar that the user will always see regardless of the display of the page.

This solution will certainly simplify access to the menu and improve the navigation of the site. Currently, this is a very popular solution that is used by the owners of many sites and online stores.

The reverse side is the place that will be occupied by a sticky menu on the page. In this case, you can customize the menu to appear when you scroll up the page instead of down. Then the user will only see the products and content at the bottom, but when he decides to go back, after scrolling up, the menu will appear again and he can easily select another category.

Create an online store structure

At this point, it's worth spending more time. Appropriate categorization of products is very important and will lead to their sale, so the following questions should be considered.

Category names

Names should be popular, clear, understandable and uncomplicated. That's where simplicity comes in. The user has seconds to make a decision, so he must immediately find what he is looking for. Also, try not to use too general nomenclature, such as "Outerwear" or "Home".

Product Category Tree

Moving on to categorization, we can build a so-called category tree. To do this, you can use Excel or a regular sheet of paper. Remember , the fewer categories, the better. Don't distract the user with too many options.

The structure of the online store should consist of several levels: categories, subcategories of several levels and the product itself (depending on the range).

For a large store, an example might look like this:

> Garden> Garden furniture> Relaxation kits> Garden umbrellas

Another category, in addition to garden furniture, can be, for example, plants, which we will also divide into other subcategories. But remember that you should not grind categories, dividing headsets into microcategories (wooden, plastic, small, large).

Make the path to the goods as easy as possible

It is important to provide the user with the easiest and fastest way to buy the product he is currently looking for. To do this, it is advisable to go through all the subcategories and imagine how our potential client thinks. Finally, do the testing.

Depending on the target audience of the site, this process may be different. As a "gold standard" you can use the most popular stores designed for this audience, but be unique and do not copy all 1: 1.

Keep SEO in mind

So, in front of you is a clearly structured online store with an amazing menu and easy navigation. It remains to ensure that this miracle is seen by users.

When naming categories and articles, always analyze the potential of your keywords from an SEO perspective. Thanks to this, your articles will be more visible in search engines, and the likelihood that a potential buyer will find your site will increase.

It is very important what phrases you use. If you direct a user to furniture, you'll start competing with a huge number of pages. If it's garden furniture, it will target a specific group of recipients, and so it will be easier for you to contact them.

If you need a suitable tool for keyword research, you can use the free Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends or, for example, Ubersuggest (the basic version). With these SEO tools, you'll understand exactly what you need to do to get a website to rank high in Google's search results.

If you need help in developing an online store, including professional design, navigation design, search engine promotion and technical support - Contact Us.