Category pages are an essential part of any ecommerce site. A well-designed category page will build engagement and drive conversions, encouraging visitors to click through to individual product pages and buy.
But at Growcode, we often find that category landing pages are underperforming on our clients’ sites.
Retailers tend to focus on optimizing checkout funnels, marginalizing their category pages in the process.
And this is a big mistake. Category pages are major contributors to your overall conversion rate.
The average US ecommerce conversion rate hovers at around 2.6%.The average US ecommerce conversion rate hovers at around 2.6%. #ecommerce #EcommerceTips #EcommerceStats Click To Tweet
If you’re eager to boost the conversion rate for your ecommerce store, then I recommend you pay close attention to your category pages!
In this article, we’re going to outline some simple optimization tips to get the most out of them, along with an array of practical category page examples.
A product listing page or category page is a page that lists multiple products within a category, with each product represented by a photo, a price, and product name. These pages are usually linked to from the category navigation bar and include filter options.
In terms of ecommerce site pages, category pages are among the most important. Customers with general buyer intent – who know they want a product but are unsure of the exact type or brand – use them to browse and evaluate items.In terms of #ecommerce site pages, category pages are among the most important. Customers who know they want a product but are unsure of the exact type or brand - use them to browse and evaluate items. #EcommerceTips Click To Tweet
They also often act as important landing pages. If, for example, you’re promoting “new arrivals” in an email, visitors will land on a category landing page. Many search engine results – such as for general queries like “buy bikes” or “buy handbags” – are focused on category pages.
Here’s a quick list of the questions you should ask to create the best experience on category pages so you can jump straight to your most urgent issue:
Ready to optimize? Let’s dive in.
Visitors use category pages to browse, so provide information that confirms they’re in the right place, like a category header. Also, make sure that products are already visible above the fold without the need to scroll down. You may try including best-selling products above the fold to reduce the bounce rate.
Category pages are all about images. Ideally, you should provide the maximum number of images per row without sacrificing on quality and size. Are features clearly visible? Three to four images per row is a good category page best practice to follow (on mobile it’s two – find out how to design the best mobile product detail page).
Reduce friction by showing alternative product shots whenever a visitor hovers over an image. A potential customer may engage with a second image if they are not convinced by the first.
Amazon includes this feature on all of their listing pages, whether it’s a category page or a search results page. It helps visitors that are browsing to narrow down their search.
Along with filters, it’s important to allow visitors to rank products by a number of variables, like price, relevance, new arrivals etc. Doing so builds engagement by adding variety to the browsing experience, while also catering to visitors that have feature requirements in mind but for whom filters are too specific.
There are five pieces of information it’s absolutely essential to include on your listing page. At Growcode, we’ve found the conversion consequences of not including just one can be significant.
These pieces of information are:
Telling visitors that a product is out-of-stock on the product page as opposed to the category page can result in them leaving the site without considering other options. If possible, include stock information beneath category page images.
There’s little point showcasing unavailable products at the top of the page. It is likely to ruin the product listing page user experience (UX) for many visitors and negatively impact conversions. Show unavailable products near the bottom of the page, if at all.
At its heart, category page optimization is a simple process. It involves adding and tweaking small elements of your category page design and testing to see if the changes positively impact overall conversions.
The real key is to commit to consistent and long-term testing. This checklist is a fantastic starting point. It will help you overcome many of the common issues faced by online retailers in regards to product listing pages and boost your conversions. But ultimately, it’s up to you to drive improvements over the long-term.
Drawing on eight years of experience, we gathered all our top insights into one book: The Ecommerce Optimization Checklist of a 7+ Figure Online Store. If you want to increase the performance of all your pages – from the homepage to checkout, grab your copy here: