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Optimization eCommerce menus

How To Optimize Your Site’s Menus for More Sales

Every business wants more sales. Sure, you could sink more money into PPC ads to get more people through your (virtual) shop door. Or you could focus on CRO and get your current visitors to stick around longer and ultimately, spend more. This is where optimizing your menus comes in.

Key internet website statistics you need to know:

  • 68% of consumers say that they have much higher expectations for businesses’ digital capabilities following COVID-19 (source)
  • eCommerce’s share of global retail trade increased from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020 (source)
  • when it comes to conversion optimization rate statistics, one study showed that call-to-actions that are surrounded by more negative space and less clutter had an increase in conversion rate of 232% 

Most people think that menus are simply a way to organize the content on their site. But if you want to optimize your online sales, you need to make sure your menus are pulling their weight. By optimizing your menus for more sales, you can improve the usability of your website and encourage web visitors to stick around and make a purchase. Here are our top tips for optimizing your site’s menus for more sales:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Organize your menus by type of product
  3. Use hover effects to provide additional information
  4. Use color to highlight important menu items
  5. Test your menus
  6. Keep your menus updated



1. Keep it simple


When it comes to menus, less is more. If your menus are too complex, with too many options, visitors will be overwhelmed and may not be able to find what they’re looking for. This can lead to frustration and a higher bounce rate. 

Keep your menus simple and focused on the most important items. Place the most important categories at the top of the menu, and use clear and concise labels (rather than ambiguous words or phrases). 

When it comes to working out which items to include, think about what’s most important to your customers and focus on those. For example, if you run an eCommerce shop that sells clothes, you’ll watch key clothing categories near the top. Save things like blog post pages for the drop-downs, or your page footer. 

Yoox menu
Example from Yoox

Case study: if you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, you’ll want to drive to a landing page with no menu, as you want users to click on the CTAs on the page directly. When Melbourne-based accountant firm Accountancy Experts redesigned their site, they found that menus gave clients too many options and distracted customers from contacting them quickly and simply. It’s the age-old saying of less is more in action. The best way is to A/B test on custom landing pages to see which one works best for you. 


2. Organize your menus by type of product


When it comes to online stores, visitors can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of choices they have. With so many competing marketing strategies and tactics online, this is especially true if your store offers a wide range of products. 

If you want to make it easier for your people to find what they’re looking for, you need to organize your menus by type of product. For example, if you sell clothes, you could organize your menus by type of clothing (e.g. dresses, tops, skirts). This will make it easier for shoppers to zoom in on what they need, plus it’ll help them to get a sense of the range of products that you offer.

When it comes to organizing menus by type of product, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the menu items are easy to find. Place the most important categories at the top of the menu
  • Use clear and concise labels
  • Group similar items together
  • Use drop-down menus to save space 


3. Use hover effects to provide additional information


Hover effects can be a great way to provide additional information about your menu items. 

When visitors hover their mouse over a menu item, they will see a pop-up with additional information. This can be a great way to provide more detail about your products, signpost shoppers to the page they need, and keep your menus and homepage looking uncluttered. 


4. Use color to highlight important menu items


If you want to call attention to certain menu items, you can use color to highlight them. This will help visitors to quickly and easily identify the most important menu options.

When it comes to using color in your menus, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Use complementary colors for maximum impact
  • Avoid using too many colors on your menus: pick two or three, maximum 
  • Red, green and orange are best for CTAs – so avoid these in your menu where possible. Unless one of your menu items is for the SALE page – in which case, red is the best choice. 


5. Test your menus



ecommerce menu a|b test

When it comes to creating and optimizing your website’s menus, testing is an essential step. By testing your menus, you can fine-tune them so your user experience is top-notch. You can also use testing to determine which design choices are the most popular with visitors.

There are a few ways you can test your site’s menus:

  • Use A/B testing to compare different menu versions
  • Use eye tracking to see how visitors interact with your menus
  • Use click tracking to see which menu items are being clicked on the most

Remember: testing is a process that should be continuous, rather than a one-off done-and-dusted thing. For this reason, it’s not a quick win (generally speaking) – but a gradual one. 

Case study: testing menus isn’t just about text changes or word positioning, but also about accessibility and style. As an example, Maxfit Plumbing found a better website result by pushing people to the contact form by using an anchor text link from the menu that pushed to the footer as opposed to separate contact pages because it made the user transition natural. The bottom line? Be open-minded in what you test. Any small improvement can make a huge conversion result.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when running A/B tests:

a. Choose the right metric

When it comes to determining success, not all metrics are created equal. You need to choose the right metric to track in order to get the most accurate results from your A/B tests.

For example, if you’re testing two versions of a landing page, you might track the number of sign-ups each version generates. However, if you’re testing two versions of a menu, you might track the number of clicks each version receives. Choose and manage your data wisely, and you’ll stay on the right course.

b. Make sure your test is statistically significant

In order for your A/B test to be valid, it needs to be statistically significant. This means that the results need to be reliable and accurate enough to be used as evidence.

There are a few ways to calculate statistical significance, but the most common way is to use a p-value. The p-value tells you how likely it is that the results of your test were due to chance. In order for your test to be valid, the p-value needs to be below 5%.

c. Don’t change too many things at once

If you want to get accurate results from your A/B tests, you need to make sure you’re only changing one thing at a time. If you change too many things, it’ll be difficult to determine which change had an impact on the results. In fact, too many variable changes without ample time to test each result is the same as not testing at all. Each variable requires a minimum 3-6 months to get an accurate reading.

d. Be patient

And finally, when it comes to running A/B tests, patience is key. You won’t see results overnight – it can often take weeks or even months for significant changes to occur. Remember to give your tests enough time to produce accurate results. 


6. Keep your menus updated


As your website and products change, so too should your menus. This ensures that visitors always have access to the most up-to-date information and that they’re not being directed to pages that are no longer relevant.

It’s also a good idea to regularly test your menus to make sure they’re still providing a great user experience and lead your visitors to the most important pages. 

Pro-tip: Updates to menus are important to ensure a good user journey and flow. But this should always be done in consultation with your local SEO agency to ensure you don’t lose any link juice and that proper 301 redirects are completed as well”, says lead SEO specialist, Abrar Patel, from AP Web Solutions.

Final thoughts

When it comes to website design, the menu is one of the most important elements. For this reason, they need to be easy to use and they should provide a great user experience. They should also be conversion-friendly, which means that they should be designed to help you generate more sales.

By following these tips, you can create menus that both appeal to your visitors and lead them to the pages you want them to see. And that’s a win-win for your shoppers and your business.

To find out more about streamlining your sales process, get in touch with Qapla’ today.

Author Bio:

Irwin Hau is the Founder and Director of Chromatix—eCommerce web design agency, based in Australia. With an advertising agency background at 2 of the top agencies in Melbourne, he has analyzed over 60,000+ websites and led his digital agency to amass over 80+ industry awards and mentions over the last 12+ years. Additionally, he runs Irwin Hau—a digital business coaching consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium businesses with full digital transformations by adopting custom designed web tools and cloud integration solutions.


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