for S.E.E. & AspDotNetStoreFront 9.X / MSx

NOTE: Please review the attributes feature of S.E.E. to get a better understanding of how Power Search and Filtering work in S.E.E. Site Navigation is one of the most critical aspects of a website; in e-commerce it can make or break your online store.

Both Customers and Store Owners agree, good navigation elements such as menus, breadcrumbs, and quick links are the key to keeping customers happy and sales up. Most e-commerce sites will spend hours and hours perfecting the pathway most likely to be used by customers, however, the reality is, it’s impossible to have navigation that meets every customer’s requirement because every customer has their own style of shopping and navigating. This creates a dilemma for most stores; if you decide that the best way to setup you navigation is based on the style of products you are selling; some customers may appreciate it, while others will want to look at items by manufacturer, or size, or price. Since you can’t have 4 menus (that would create a big clutter) the best you can do is go with your gut and choose the navigation structure that you believe would be accepted by the majority of your shoppers. Even in this best case scenario, you will inevitably annoy and frustrate some of your customers that don't approve of your navigation style and will probably take their business elsewhere.

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At Simrun, we have found that 20th Century site navigation just isn’t up to par with what customers expect from an online store. In this day and age, online shoppers don’t want pathways predefined by store owners; they want to make their own paths, with their own preferences and rules. The solution we have come with is called Power Search (also known as Attribute Filtering). Power search allows customers to organize and break down your products at a “class” level; in other words if you are selling shoes, customers can now decide to view shoes that only match their criteria. Lets say your shoe category has 500 items; customers can now “filter” these shoes by selecting the manufacturer, price, size, material, color or any attribute that the product features. By filtering, instead of browsing 500 shoes, customers are now able to see the 20 or so shoes that meet their exact requirements. Think of it as creating a navigation menu for your customer in real-time. E.g.

  •  Price: $40.00 - $60.00
  •   Color: Red
  •   Material: Nylon
  •   Heel: Short

These filters when applied to your shoes category would result in 20 possible results (arbitrary numbers).

Here is an example displaying attributes in a easy to read tabular form. Image courtesy of benscycle.com

Imagine offering your customers the ability to build “categories” on the fly with pin-point detail. This type of flexibility is not possible with traditional navigation and can only be achieved with Power Search and attribute filtering. Research has shown that filtering is ranked as the No.1 feature in reducin a site’s bounce rate (the number of customers that leave the site after visiting the viewing only 1 page) and increase the average time a customer spends on an e-commerce site, which directly translates to a better chance you'll be closing the sale with your online shopper.


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