How to make the best category page: 8 steps to get inspired

How to make the best category page: 8 steps to get inspired

The Category pages account for 70% of all online sales. This means that every inch of real estate on these pages is important to your success. How to make the perfect Category page to convert customers and increase sales

The category page is perhaps the most well-known page on the modern ecommerce website. It harks back to the days when post-order catalogs were still available. It is based on long lists containing a variety of products and stands as a testimony to humans as creatures of habit, resilient to technology and open to new ways of doing business. There are many digital options that you can use to ensure your category page is not the same as your catalog, which has been ignored and abandoned.

This page is particularly important because it needs to be considered before it can be reached. It is due to the way that the content is divided and then presented in the site’s navigational design. We will spend some time looking at how to establish your categories, and how they should inform the navigation. Then we will focus on the features on the page.

1. The Ideal Look and Feel for a Category Page Design

Your brand and the products you sell will determine how your page should look. Here are some best practices.

Visual cues

Visually indicate where the visitor has landed. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a common feature of category pages. Customers may land on these pages without having to go back to the homepage.

It is important that visitors are able to clearly see where they are going. You can use inspirational banners that span the entire page. They should highlight multiple products to showcase range and keep the page current and relevant. If it’s summer, you might choose your most popular summer pieces. A descriptive header should be added to your image that describes the products you will find there. It should also count towards SEO and be optimized.

Eton Shirtsuses both an inspirational image and supporting text to indicate which page the shoppers have landed on in this example category page.


The most popular layout in ecommerce is the row, which has an average of three items per page. However, rows are not a one-size fits all solution and should be determined on a category by category basis.

You may choose to keep one column and give each product the full width of your screen. This is helpful when there are products that people need to know a lot about, e.g. computers, such as this Dell category page example:

This works well for small categories that contain a few simple, complementary products that are likely be purchased together. It allows users to browse the items together and then select what they want directly from the category page.

2. Perform metrics to automatically sort products

A sporting goods retailer implemented category marketing to help them achieve their merchandising goals. To increase their conversion and drive more discovery of new arrivals:

3. Displaying the most relevant filters

Category pages have a problem with the sheer number of products that can be stored there. For shoppers with limited time, a never-ending list is not appealing or helpful. Here are some tips to filter the products.


Let’s begin with where they should be placed. There are two options you might want to think about.

Left-hand navigation has been the norm for a long period. Keeping with this tradition will help avoid confusing shoppers by creating a UX that is too disruptive. As we all know, shoppers won’t use your site if they find it difficult to use. Studies have shown that shoppers can confuse the sorting options, which are normally found in the upper middle of the page, with the filtering options. You can reduce the likelihood of this happening by using left-hand filter navigation, such as checkboxes.

ASOS Keep with the traditional left-hand positioning of their filters, using checkboxes to make them more visible.

This horizontal toolbar combines the filters and the sort tools. It has been proven to be effective in combating the above issues and allows for larger product photos. However, due to the limitations of a page’s width vs. length, this approach is only suitable for store types with only a few filters.

Scarosso has both filters and the sort ability at the top.

Ecommerce filter design

The filters that you need will depend on the product you sell, but here are some things to remember:

Multiple ways to filter your products will result in multiple filters. It is all about giving your customers the choices they need to find what you want. They may be interested in computers with large screens and large hard drives. You can allow them to layer the options that you offer so that they only have the products that meet their needs. Selling relevant products to someone makes them more likely to purchase.

Currys offer a wide range of filtering options.

Your customers are your best resource. You can use this knowledge to help them find the right products and services that they need. Target market research may have shown that women don’t like wearing tops with no sleeves. Add a “long-sleeve” filter option on your style filters to the category page for tops.

Zalando has added some very precise filter types that fashion retailers don’t have.

Add seasonal filters to your business if it is susceptible to seasonal changes. If you’re a clothing company, for instance, and it’s summer, then you know that many people are buying for their holidays. Why not add a holiday option to the lookbook style filters?

TopShop Add filters such as “Festival”, and “Holiday Shop”, to their dress section.

4. Different Sorting Options

As an additional feature to filtering, sorting can be combined with filtering. We’ve already covered this. It is important to note that this is an essential feature, especially for left-hand navigation. Although customers may have narrowed down what they want to view, now it is important to decide the order they want. It will vary depending on your business but the most common factors are popularity, price and rating.

Puma can use multiple types of options, such as:

If you want to do more, dynamic and personalized sorting may be the way to go. You can adjust each user’s product order based on their shopping history, cart content, and merchandising rules. This allows you to provide a personalized and relevant experience.

If someone has previously purchased Nike shoes, highlight the latest models. When someone searches for a particular brand, highlight it on each category. This is both better for your customer as well as for you.

5. Customer Segmentation

Real time segmentation is useful for a variety of purposes, including influencing the life cycle stages (e.g. Showing more products for returning customers and offering more offers to new users, or improving relevancy based on past engagements or transaction history (e.g. showing more Adidas products to people who are interested in the Adidas brand).

These are just a few examples of how segmentation can be used on category pages to improve the quality of every interaction.

First-time visitors

It is important to make a first impression. First-time visitors still need to get to know you and vice versa. When they visit your website, expose them to the products that are most likely to convert. This strategy not only opens up the possibility of product discovery but also steers customers to products that are most likely to move the needle.

Are you unsure where to begin? To increase product discovery, you can create a sequence using Nosto’s category merchandising.

Loyal customers

The first purchase in online retail is the best moment to begin building a relationship beyond the screen.

There are many strategies to build loyalty, including unboxing experiences with free samples, social media content, brand hashtags and personalized notes. Here are some ways to build loyalty with customers through your category pages:

  • Recommendations based on past data
  • Profitability can be increased by sorting by margin
  • Optimize your page layout for maximum performance

These tips can be seen in action. You can pamper your loyal customers by using personalized category pages.

Segments of Affinity

Imagine that you are a multi-brand retailer of sports and want to target customers who love Nike products. It seems like a good idea to promote Nike products. Promoting Nike products may be a good idea, however, because it has been found that many of the same brands as Nike ACG, Hurley, and Jordan are also popular.

Affinity segments allow you to display the right products and campaigns where they will be most popular. To influence the placement of a brand on the category page, you can assign weight to it. Showing Nike first, followed closely by Hurley and Jordan.

Learn how it’s done: Take a look at our customer insights to Create segments based on customer affinities.

UTM tags

Ecommerce conversion rates hover around below 3%, while paid media costs are rising globally. This means that getting the most from each visit is crucial for increasing conversion.

UTM tags are used by many retailers (e.g. UTM tags are used by many retailers to track both organic and paid campaigns. These parameters can be found after the question mark in URLs. They’re great for providing more advanced experiences that can drive users to your category pages.

You can personalize your category pages to reflect the content your customers are most interested in, based on where you have them come from. You can do this by creating a segment that visits your site via a specific UTM Campaign.

Learn how it’s done. Follow our step-by_step guide to segment your customers using UTM tags.


Online retilers that expand to multiple continents or individual countries will eventually adapt their experience to make it more localized. This involves localizing the experience by using local languages, local currencies and local payment options, as well as calculating local shipping information.

Canadian fashion retailer Bluenotes sells its products to US customers. The difference between New York City and California is amazing.

This is an example of what a customer in New York might see in November. The trend towards winter clothing is evident with the addition of a few warm parka jackets to signal the onset of winter temperatures.

A customer in Los Angeles will find a mix of warm clothing and short-sleeved t-shirts.

Continue readingLearn to promote your top-selling products using geo-location.

6. Conversion Boosting on Your Category Pages

The category page is where 70% of all sales occur. You want to ensure that it works well to convert your customers and keep them on your site. These are just a few of the optimization tips you can use to make this page as useful and relevant as possible.

Facilitate product discovery for customers who are first time

Digital retail’s category listing pages are the supermarket aisle signs. These signs make it easy to identify the aisles that you should visit in order to find the products you are looking for. This saves you the hassle of wandering aimlessly around the supermarket.

Digital commerce presents similar challenges, but first-time visitors will likely leave your site if they can’t find the product they are looking for.

Although retailers invest heavily to create a search engine that is powerful and relevant to product taxonomy, implement intuitive filters and faceting, or offer various sorting options, it’s almost impossible to find the right product selection for every shopper from the very first impression.

Nosto suggests that you use performance metrics to maximize conversions for all customers who visit an online store for their first time.

Do you want to know how? Find out how to make product discovery easier for first-time customers with discounted and popular merchandise.

Optimize category pages with product recommendations

Nosto’s Onsite Products Recommendations is built around optimizing the category page experience to take into account previous behavior and interests. It reduces friction during product discovery and makes it easier to allow your customers to interact with the products that interest them most.

Utsav fashion, for example, uses a combination Browsing History Related or Best Sellers with a “Current Category” filter.

Do you want to know how? Learn how to Optimize your Category Pages with Product Recommendations.

Social validation through leverage ratings and reviews

Social validation, commonly seen as reviews and ratings on ecommerce websites, is an important factor in driving revenue.

Ratings and reviews technology (such as Yotpo and Trustpilot and Bazaarvoice), are therefore a must-have tool for online retailers. Side note: Stores with fast stock rotations, where ratings or reviews may not be as powerful, can and should use social photography to help strengthen their brand.

Combining AI-powered personalization with relevant products can help shoppers not only find the most relevant, but also the most popular, in terms of ratings, reviews, and reviews. This results in stronger social validation, which is a key ingredient for a memorable commerce experience.

Learn how. Learn how social validation can help you drive sales in your online store.

For the best performance, run A/B tests

While one retailer may be happy with increasing overall revenue from category pages, others might prefer improving margins. No matter what your business goal, testing can help you ensure that your category pages and overall eCommerce merchandising strategy are the most effective.

The ability to test native A/B allows retailers to validate well-informed hypotheses. This includes testing the revenue impact of items that convert well or promoting new arrivals. You can then deploy a live test within minutes, interpret the results, and optimize your category pages based on that information.

Skinnydip, a fashion accessories retailer, wanted to see if showcasing products on their Category Pages for Beauty, Clothing, and Accessories would have a positive impact on sales.

To maximize AOV and increase revenue, the priority was given to new, non-discounted items in this test. Discounted items were delisted. This variant was tested against Skinnydip’s default page layout, in which new and best-selling items are manually mixed together. “New” products are based upon the brand’s assumption about which products would perform best:

Read on: Find out how Skinnydip’s A/B testing affected their conversion rate, click-through rates across all non-sale categories.

7. Why Personalization is the Best Ecommerce Category Pages

As we know, the number of products on a category page is one of the biggest issues on an ecommerce site. This can be overcome with filtering and sorting options, as we have seen.

They are useful only if the customer is able to identify what they want. But what if the customer is still in the discovery phase of shopping? You might be able to get automated product recommendations or you can check out the other ecommerce personalization examples.

If you have sufficient data about the browsing habits of the individuals, consider a 1:1 personalization slot. This will allow them to see the most relevant products and make the shopping experience faster. Other than that, Best Seller recommendations can be a great option. These will highlight what products are most popular in the category and automatically highlight products that are likely to convert.

Sarah Raven best seller product recommendations on their category page:

8. Infinite Scroll, Pagination, and “Load More”

It can be tricky to figure out how to divide your products over multiple pages.

The infinite scroll, which allows users to see a whole category of products on one page, encourages browsing. However, shoppers are more likely to scan the entire page and become less focused on specific products. This results in shoppers being less interested in each item, and less likely to purchase.

However, pagination can cause frustration and make the process more complicated. According to Baymard Usability Tests, the answer is “Load More” buttons, and lazy-loading. Lazy loading refers to elements that are available but not loaded until they’re needed. It means the products may appear to be on one page but are loaded more quickly than they need. This is the best of both.

In this case, Missguided chose the “Load more”.

Notice: You can still offer pagination to shoppers if they wish. This gives them the ability to choose how many items they want to see on each page. It also helps to reduce page loading times and frustrations. It is also a good idea to include page numbers so they can easily return to a page.

9. Information about the product

While key product information is important in attracting interest from passing visitors, it can also be very helpful. However, the area of the category page is so crowded with so many products competing for your attention, there is no way to know where to start.

If you give too much information, your viewers may feel overwhelmed. If you give too little, they might not be attracted to your products. While it is your decision to determine what key information is relevant to your products, there are some general patterns that have proven to work.

Consumer electronics features like review stars, bulleted keys details, and promo ribbons are all very popular. Fashion icons make it easy to represent color and size options.

A pop-up box that is activated by hovering over an option will allow you to show key information while still giving the shoppers the ability to dig deeper without having to click through. You can add more information, a video or animated gif, or even an image of the product taken from a different angle or worn in a model.

Currys understands the needs of their target market, and has a lot of product information on their category page.

A Site Experience to Remember, One Page Down

This is it! Everything you need to know to create a category page that UX dreams can be realized. Let’s categorize!

After you have done that, consider how your products impact the shopping experience of your customers. Do you have the right products displayed on the pages that make sense? Are you doing all that you can to help your customers find new brands and products and buy (and interact with) those that are the most relevant?


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