Below is a guest post by Dewey Halden, the Director of Sales at SearchSpring.
The results are in: The giants of the E-Commerce industry: Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Lowes.com, Dell.com..you name it, have all proven that attribute-driven, dynamic, faceted navigation is the best navigation method for maximizing conversion rates of users who browse.
Make it easy and intuitive to find the right product, and the shoppers will purchase more often.
Makes exploring intuitive It enables Shoppers to navigate whats important to them (price, color, brand, size, ratings anything) in the order that makes sense to the customer. One shopper may select price range first, then a rating, then a color and end up at the same products as another shopper who clicks the same refinements in the opposite order. Shoppers are completely free from constraints of the pre-determined paths.
Enables a shopper to visualize their navigation path. Refinement choices update quickly after each click, making remaining choices crystal clear. The dreaded “No Results” literally never appears because faceted navigation never misleads the shopper into selecting an incorrect combination of attributes.
Makes it easy to “back out” of refinement selections. With Faceted Navigation, a user can 'back out' without affecting previously selected refinements. Stores find that they receive more multi-item orders because shoppers have an easier time navigating to accessories after purchasing primary products.
Allows for customization. Faced Navigation offers strategic placement of color paletes, pick grids, price sliders, and shopper-provided social navigation (ratings, pros, cons) extend faceted navigation’s effectiveness even further.
SearchSpring's faceted navigation can yield an astonishing 20% increase in conversion rates, A/B tests have shown, when compared to heirarchy style and pull-down refinement style navigation systems.
Faceted Navigation can be added to existing category pages without affecting SEO. Using AJAX to insert faceted navigation into a category page from a hosted service, shoppers benefit from improved navigation while spiders experience the same page, including all the same links to other pages on your site. Spiders largely ignore AJAX, and therefore generally don’t follow faceted navigation links.
Dewey Halden is the Director of Sales at SearchSpring. SearchSpring offers advanced site search, faceted category navigation, Facebook product search, mobile site search, and automated SEO of site search terms for 3dcart stores.