Create a structure that balances user desires and business needs, to simplify navigation and improve flow.
Determine whether you need a shallow or deep category hierarchy based on the number of products you sell.
Use a shallow category hierarchy with 1–2 levels of categories if you only sell a few products to allow users to easily find what they’re looking for and improve the browsing experience. For example, Parent Category > Subcategory.
Use a deep category hierarchy with multiple different category levels if you sell a wide variety of products to allow users to accurately navigate to different products. For example, Parent Category > Subcategory > Sub-subcategory
Add a maximum of 4 levels into the category hierarchy to achieve the most optimal information architecture on your website.
Use the same category hierarchy across all your landing pages for consistency and to prevent disrupting your users’ browsing experience.
Use card sorting and reverse card sorting to build and validate a category hierarchy that enables users to quickly find what they’re looking for.
Ask users for their opinions on logical category orders. Analyze their input and look for patterns to implement the best category hierarchy.
If there’s less than four products in a parent category, move them into another relevant category.
Give users more information without them actually having to navigate to the specific product or category to improve their overall shopping experience.
Use a tool like Hotjar to see which categories are more clicked, and display those in the more prominent locations, such as navigation or sidebar menus.
Alternatively, if you use Shopify, use a tool like Reveal to see which categories are more popular with your best customer segments; those with higher RFM scores.