Mobile Product Findability: Missed Opportunities

Aug 16, 2016

e-commerce mobile

Mobile will continue to be one of the hottest web design and usability topics for a long time to come. Especially within e-commerce, where the traffic from mobile devices continues to grow. Product findablity is one of the most challenging aspects of mobile usability.

Let's take a look at four of the most frequently missed opportunities within mobile navigation, according to a recent Baymard Institute benchmark study:
  1. 42% of mobile e-commerce sites have a home page design that doesn't feature a sufficiently diverse collection of their primary product categories, leading to misconceptions about the breadth of the site's online catalog and site abandonment. 
    Quick Tip: As a rule of thumb, the best practice recommendation is to represent 30-40% of your top-level categories on the home page.
  2. 34% of mobile e-commerce sites do not offer “thematic” product browsing making it difficult for shoppers with common thematic purchase patterns like usage type, style, season etc.
    Quick Tip: Make sure that your thematic filters are relevant within a specific category or don't display them. 
  3. 38% of mobile sites have a category hierarchy that makes it nearly impossible to understand what the site sells and universal search results overwhelm the user. The category structure is either too shallow, too deep, or has too much overlap between categories.
    Quick Tip: Suggest highly relevant categories to search within in your autocomplete recommendations.
  4. 30% use auto-rotating carousels on their mobile home page in spite of the fact that they cause major mobile usability issues.
    Quick Tip: Display the most important slides as static content on the mobile homepage.

These same tips may also be applicable to your desktop experience—yes, even the auto-rotating carousels. They may seem like a great way to expose additional products and solve the never-ending debate over what should be featured on the homepage, but in many cases, they only serve to confuse the customer... which is always an e-commerce Don't.