A wise man once said, “a good website begins with good navigation.” You can have a stunning design and all the latest bells-and-whistles, but if your navigation is complex, cumbersome and doesn’t allow your customer to find the information or product they need quickly, your site won’t convert.
When a customer visits your website, they expect good navigation that gets them to what they’re looking for in the least amount of clicks. The last thing a shopper wants to do is waste time clicking all over the place trying to find the item they’re looking for.
Over the years, not much has changed as far as navigation bars are concerned. When I started my first online store in 1994, it had a left nav bar. The majority of sites today still follow that format, mainly because we read from left to right. The second most popular form of navigation is a top nav bar, used mainly on sites with a few sections where a left nav bar wouldn’t be feasible.
Recently, the top nav bar has become a popular form of secondary navigation on sites that employ a left nav. Store owners looking to feature their more popular sections are using a top nav to call attention and make it easier for shoppers to find them right away.
Today, I’m excited to announce the latest Yahoo! Store feature to come out of our development lab – Mega Top Nav. Over the past few weeks our team has worked with a select group of eCommerce store owners to develop and fine-tune what we feel is the best form of top navigation available.
Mega Top Nav is more than just a navigation bar, it’s also a marketing tool. It allows the store owner to provide shoppers with an easy-to-use form of navigation along with the ability to feature products and special promotions to help drive sales and information to help drive customer satisfaction.
There are several key areas of the Mega Top Nav that I’d like to point out. The first is the navigation area itself which is the top portion. This area can accommodate up to five sub sections and each is identified by a name and a graphic making it easy for the customer to tell exactly what that section contains.
The second consists of two text areas that can be used to provide shoppers with key information or guides to help them make an informed purchase. In this example, we have a “Helpful Guides” section that contains links to pages on our store that shoppers may want to visit to help them select the right item (and also minimize the risk of a return!). The second text area is where we put our “Shopping Assistance” links to give customers one-click access to customer service information right from the nav bar.
You can choose the titles for these two text areas, as well as what pages from within your store you want to display, by populating variables. If the variables are not populated, the areas will not be displayed.
The third area is designed to showcase featured products. This is great for giving exposure to items you may be overstocked on and want to promote, or items that you recently added to your store that you want customers to see. The title of the area can be changed and all it takes to populate is to simply enter the item IDs into a variable. If the variable isn’t populated, the section will not display.
The final area is a free form HTML area where you can insert your own graphics, stylized text, banner ads… whatever! In this example, we put in a graphic promoting a free shipping offer to help stimulate sales. To activate this area, all you need to do is enter HTML into the variable. If nothing is entered, the area will not display.
I’m excited about Mega Top Nav because it can be used on any site! It’s an obvious choice for store owners who already employ a top navigation structure and want to get rid of their boring, text-only nav bar. For the store owner with a left nav, this is an excellent form of secondary navigation to promote special sections I mentioned earlier.
Take a few minutes to watch the short video I put together highlighting the features of Mega Top Nav and if you’re ready to take your navigation to the next level, give us a call at 1.888.361.9814 to discuss how we can install this on your Yahoo! Store.
If you have any questions or comments about Mega Top Nav, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear what you think! I’m also “all ears” when it comes to learning about what features we can develop to better enhance your store and your customer’s shopping experience.