The 4 Ways Users Navigate Your Shopify eCommerce Website | Strafe Creative

The 4 Ways Users Navigate Your Shopify eCommerce Website


When navigating a Shopify ecommerce website, we need to think about each user’s journey through your site being unique, influenced by their preferences, shopping habits, and the design of your website. This blog looks at the importance of understanding how users interact with your site and how you can help optimise their experiences, potentially leading to increased engagement and sales.

We did an in-depth look at four primary search strategies that shoppers use on platforms like Shopify and how these methods affect both desktop and mobile users.

You can watch the full video using the link at the bottom of this page.

Menu Navigation, The Direct Approach

Many users prefer a straightforward approach when they know exactly what they are looking for. Instead of scrolling through the homepage or lots of product pages, they go directly to the main menu. This behaviour highlights the importance of having a well-structured and intuitive menu system. Menus are crucial for successful site navigation as they guide users to their correct categories or products quickly.


Varieties of Menu Designs

  • Dropdown Menus: The classic dropdown menu organises products under broad categories, providing a straightforward path to specific items. This is particularly effective on desktops where hovering reveals sub-categories.
  • Mega Menus: More complex than drop-downs, mega menus display multiple categories and sub-categories, often using images and promotions. These are useful for sites with extensive product ranges, allowing users to see the scope of available items at a quick glance.
  • Hamburger Menus: Predominantly used on mobile sites, these menus consolidate navigation links behind a button, maximising screen space without losing accessibility.

Optimising Menus for User Intent

Understanding your users’ intent is key in designing menus that make for better, more efficient navigation. For example, categorising products under user-friendly terms and using common language can significantly reduce information overload, making the shopping experience more intuitive.



Scrolling and Discovery

Another popular navigation strategy is exploratory scrolling, where users leisurely browse through the website. This method is especially common with users who are not sure what they want or simply enjoy scrolling.

Designing for Discovery

  • Home Page Layout: A well-designed home page acts as almost a portal to various areas of your site. Featuring new arrivals, bestsellers, and special offers can attract users to certain products.
  • Endless Scrolling: For sites with extensive product lists, scrolling can keep users engaged without interruptions. However, this needs to be implemented carefully to avoid overwhelming users with too much information.
  • Interactive Elements: Tools like carousels or “Shop the Look” features can enhance the exploratory experience by providing new ways to discover products.



Guided Searches and the Precision Tool

For users looking for a specific product or prefer not to browse, the search function is very important. An effective search tool enhances user experience by quickly finding relevant results.

Enhancing the Search Function

  • Auto-complete suggestions: As users type, suggestions pop up, guiding them to potential products or categories that might interest them. This not only speeds up the search process but also improves the overall user experience.
  • Filters and sort options: Advanced searches allow users to refine their search results based on various categories such as price, size, colour, and customer ratings, making it easier to find products that meet their specific criteria.
  • Error tolerance: A smart search engine will recognise and correct common typos and provide results for synonyms, ensuring users find what they are looking for, even if they make a mistake in their search.




Interactive Recommendations

In our experience at Strafe, some users prefer a personalised shopping experience. Interactive tools like quizzes or sophisticated algorithms that recommend products based on browsing and purchase history, can significantly enhance this type of user navigation.


Implementing Interactive Tools

  • Quizzes and questionnaires: By asking a series of questions about preferences and needs, these tools can recommend products that the user is more likely to purchase. This is particularly effective for new visitors who have not yet established a browsing history on your site.
  • AI-powered recommendations: Using artificial intelligence to analyse user behaviour and predict what products they might be interested in can improve the effectiveness of recommendations, making them more relevant and increasing the chances of a sale.
  • Reviews and ratings: Integrating user-generated content like reviews and ratings in product recommendations can help build trust and influence purchasing decisions.



By understanding these four navigation strategies, you can design a Shopify e-commerce website that meets your users needs. Whether your customers prefer a direct, exploratory, precision-based, or personalised approach, your site can provide an intuitive and satisfying shopping experience. Implementing these strategies not only enhances user engagement but also drives conversions.

You can watch the full video below:

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