What do you do if your business has a lot of products to showcase on your website? How do you display all your wares and make it easy for customers to find specific items? This is the problem we faced recently with a client who rents a wide variety of curated rental items for the DIY bride, event planner or private party host.
Early on in the concept stage we realized a simple slide show of items was just not going to cut it. Who’s going to take the time to look for a blue vase with an antique look to match the theme of a wedding? Or how many people will click through pages and pages just to find the perfect hanging votive for a backyard party? How would anyone even know those items were buried somewhere on the site?
From the beginning, we realized that design and tech would have to work closely together to devise and implement a solution. Working with the valuable input from the client we came up with a multi-prong solution.
Divide and Conquer
First we divided all items into broad categories, by style and material, such as Classic Garden, Contemporary Glass or Rustic. The broad category page was then subdivided according to style and material. Each item included a thumbnail view and a large pop up image.
Captions on large images gave in-depth descriptions of items, including material, style, size, number available. A slide show made navigation from item to item throughout the category easy for customers to view a wide range of products.
This met the need of those wanting to browse, but what about the person who was looking for something specific.
Finding the Perfect Item
Next we turned to the customer who was looking for a particular type of vase or prop for an event. We wanted to make it easy for customers whether they were seeking a specific color, material or style. The solution was to create a robust, but easy to use, search engine specifically designed for the website.
The search portal was available from all pages and searches could be created by choosing color, shape, material or particular type of item. A client could create their own unique search by clicking checkboxes of the preferred attributes. The listing of all the attributes in the search area not only made finding specific products easier, but customers also became aware of the diversity of items available, which they might not have noticed through just browsing the site.
It took many discussions between the client, myself and tech to figure out what categories this particular client base would be looking for and how best to deliver that information using simple navigation and ease of use. The team felt that the solution implemented was a success.