Magento, initially released in 2008 and built on open-source technologies, provides a powerful, robust and flexible e-commerce platform for merchants to set-up and control their online store. Due to its growing popularity, Magento web development is becoming a rage among developers, actively involving in learning the same for e-commerce platform development.
And like any general e-commerce platform, there are some essential pages that you as a Magento website development services need to develop. One such page is the category page. Imagine walking into a brick and mortar store with everything laid at the right place and you searching for something feels effortless. Or perhaps an opposite experience wherein finding even the exact things becomes a task. So if a thoughtful layout of products is crucial in a physical store, it becomes all the more inevitable in an online store.
A category page serves as a bridge between the homepage and the product pages, helping the customers get a step closer to finding the right products. A category page forms an essential step of the path a customer takes from browsing the store for different product types, that is, categories to finally landing on the right product. Thus it also acts as the top page a customer lands on.
Magento category pages can be laid out in the following three ways:
- Intermediary/landing layout (for a static-block display only)
- Product listing layout (to display products only), and lastly
- Combination of intermediary and product listing layouts
Read on this Magento 2 development guide for an ideal and requisite Magento 2 category page design.
1. Sub-categories should always have the most important place on the page when designing an intermediary category page
If the user doesn’t know the right product they wish to buy or wants to be aware of different categories or chooses the top category over a sub-category, then developing an intermediary category page becomes necessary.
Sub-categories on the landing page give the user a broader and a much clearer view of options at their disposal. Just displaying the top-level category is of no use if there too many sub-categories. Imagine visiting an online apparel store with a top-level category of “Summer Collection” with almost 30-50k products of different types. Finding one skirt or dress of your choice would be such a tiring job.
The use of images and differently styled texts helps in the visual representation of sub-categories and their hierarchy.
2. Try incorporating a textual sidebar with textual links to sub-categories
Rather than having a graphics-loaded content page section as the sidebar, have a traditional sidebar with textual links. This is much faster to read through categories and sub-categories, with certain drawbacks being like not eye-catching as thumbnails and chances of misinterpretation. But the choice depends on the use-case. If there are fewer sub-categories, you can make your way around with graphic sidebars (that is, thumbnails), else go ahead with textual ones only.
3. Try including sub-subcategories for better visual display
To take things to another level, display sub-subcategories as well. It suits well for those customers who might not be sure as to what sub-sub category might be the right choice. It shortens the time for which the customer searches for the requisite product listing.
But ensure that there’s an indication of hierarchy and a parent-child relationship between sub-categories and sub-subcategories by indentations, lists, varying thumbnail sizes et al.
4. Apply proper and efficient filters and product attributes
In Magento web development, there’s a way to add product attributes. Think of a product attribute as the information that you might look at a product’s box to know some extra information about the product like its brand, price, etc.
While applying attributes on products via the Magento admin dashboard, you as a Magento development company or Magento developer want to ensure that a good filter list allows the users to narrow down their search results, but also don’t get overwhelmed by the list of options.
5. Custom user-defined input range
When applying filters, there’s a range filter as well. It is implemented so that the user can define their budget. But try not to hard-code it. Instead, let the user define their custom lower and upper range values.
6. Including ratings, reviews, product variations, and other attributes on the list item
Most often a user skips a product because they don’t find its variations. So don’t overlook that. User ratings, product-related micro information like its category or industry-related standard attributes, dimensions, etc. form an integral part of the decision-making process by the customer if they want to open a product page or not.
7. Make use of smart categories
A lot of thought goes behind defining attributes of the products to be displayed in the store and is thus a very time-consuming process. But what here comes as a bonus is that Magento includes a feature of smart categories wherein a category is pre-populated with products matching a definite set of rules. It not only makes your work easy on the backend side but also lets you explore more on the frontend side.
8. Don’t reinvent the entire UI/UX wheel
When on a big screen like a laptop, desktop, or middle-sized screen like tablets, users expect a sidebar for filtering products while sorting options at the top. But on small screens, they expect to see both at the top. While Magento offers endless options to customize, don’t deviate from the user’s expectations, and add an unnecessary learning curve to their existing shopping spree.
And this is it for the Magento 2 category page design guide. More and more pointers like these come up and evolve when Magento 2 developers work on tons of features provided by Magento and explore. But pay close attention to a visitor’s shopping behavior for proper utilization of categories and attributes to drive them to their desired product(s).
If you are also one such developer or a Magento website development service and believe that we missed out on something, don’t forget to mention that for others to consider when working!