Structure of the online store: the main features
What should be the structure of the online store? Online store allows you to translate sales of goods directly to the online space, and many companies today use this type of sites for profit through the Internet. The success of an online store depends, of course, on a very large number of different factors, one of which is its structure. Let’s look at what the structure of an online store should be in today’s context.
If the structure of an online store is inconvenient for visitors and not yet optimized for search engine promotion, then the store loses almost half its chances of success, if not more. Therefore, it is important to think carefully about the future structure in the early stages of developing an online store.
Of course, depending on the theme of online stores and the characteristics of their target audience, the optimal structure in each case will be individual. But there are some of its elements that today can be called standard and without which online stores are virtually impossible to create.
This element of the structure of the online store is a kind of “face” of the project and is designed to provide visitors with a comfortable and enjoyable familiarity with the products offered. Typically, the homepage of an online store is a summary of all its content: visitors here can see some of the featured items (such as the latest or most popular ones), a summary of the store, and any particularly interesting promotional offers or discounts, and contact information.
Catalog of goods online store
If the homepage of an online store is its “face”, then the catalog is, of course, the “heart”. A well-designed directory structure is simply necessary for a convenient and, importantly, effective work with an online store. Usually in online stores product catalogs are designed on a hierarchical basis.
When designing an online store directory structure, it is imperative that you correctly determine the required depth of nesting. So, on the one hand, it is important that the potential buyer can reach no more than 2-3 clicks on the page, and on the other, it is important that the number of products combined into one category or section is not too large for convenient search.
Buyer’s cart and ordering page
Without an online shopping cart and ordering page, no online store will be able to work, so they will not be without structure. But what kind of information to put on these pages? The answer to this question will be individual in each situation, but in the general case it is possible to say that the short information about the ordered goods (name, quantity, the price), the offer to return to purchases, the tips for filling in fields of the order form is required.
Pages with information about the store, payment and delivery, guarantees, returns, contacts
Online store users will not be able to make a purchase unless they receive accurate and complete information about what this store is, which offers payment and delivery terms, which guarantees the quality of the goods presented and on what terms it returns. Therefore, pages (or at least pages) with such information should be included in the structure of the online store. The level of nesting, as a rule, in such pages is the highest – the first.
From the point of view of the benefits to potential buyers, and in terms of search engine optimization, it is important that a regular content section is present in the structure of the online store. This section may include, for example, news, helpful tips for using or selecting store items, new product reviews, and more. In the navigation structure of an online store, such a section is usually named according to its main content – “Useful Tips”, “Articles and Reviews”, “News”, “Blog”.
Personal cabinets of buyers
If the online store is intended to use a cumulative discount system or to implement some other loyalty program for regular customers, then the store should include, among other things, the personal cabinets of customers, which could store information with order history, data about accumulated bonuses, selected products and more. Access to personal cabinets is open only to registered buyers, and the online store provides, respectively, forms of registration and authorization.
Of course, the sections and pages listed do not describe the complete structure of an online store, but they give you an idea of what to consider when considering the optimal structure for your store.