Marketing Tips for Building a Solid Category Page
Category pages account for the biggest chunk of organic traffic (beyond the homepage) and are regarded as the backbone of e-commerce websites. Constructing structurally strong category pages leads to a seamless user experience that boosts conversions and better rankings.
In this article, we are going to deep-dive into key category page marketing strategies and best methods for A/B testing to attain and engage consumers:
1.Incentives for first-time users: To increase conversions, you must identify whether a particular consumer is a first time user or a recurring user. A recurring visitor is most likely informed about the products available on your category page and usually has a higher conversion possibility. However, a new visitor is harder to acquire, and providing an incentive for first-time visitors is essential. Such incentives should be exclusive, time-sensitive, and generate an urge to register.
A discount on the first purchase is one of the ways to do so. Even if this discount does not result in a purchase, you can still get relevant information and tap them for future sales. Their data can be employed to determine their buying behavior and send email alerts about collections or offers.
2. Promotional pricing: Purchase decisions are highly influenced by customer psychology and pricing holds the topmost spot here. Usage of odd prices that end in numbers such as 5, 7, 8, or 9 is usually done by brands. Odd prices seem to represent bargains or savings and hence promote buying. One of the other most commonly used features is slash pricing. In this, brands increase the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) and offer the product at a lower price by using a slash on the original price.
Users usually respond positively to such pricing procedures. For brands operating in the premium category, a loyalty program is another feature that can be used, wherein virtual points are given to the consumers that could be redeemed upon future purchases.
3.Retargeting ads: To direct users who are in the middle of the sales funnel towards making a purchase, retargeting ads can be very useful. At this point, awareness amongst the users has been built, their interest in a product heightened but because of several reasons, these consumers might have bounced off your category page.
A variety of retargeting ads can be used to target these users such as:
- Top product retargeting: Displaying products that a consumer has already viewed but not bought along with other top products from the same category. There is a tremendous opportunity for re-capturing the intent with a final nudge.
- Incentive-based retargeting: To bring the users back to the website, you need to target those users who have checked out a category having an exclusive discount. Ads can also be employed to target those consumers who viewed a particular category page which now has a discount going on.
- New product targeting: This can prove to be extremely effective for regular customers. Based on a user’s preference identified through cookie tracking, you can display ads targeting the latest launches in a category that interests a particular set of customers.
4. Traffic generating ads: Determining the right advertising platform along with utilizing its maximum potential can lead to a huge number of clicks on your category pages. However, not all ad platforms are designed equal. Google search ads take into account your page structure and all the top categories are advertised on the result page.
Whereas ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram enable you to design educative category-specific campaigns that help in driving high intent traffic. A combination of different types of advertising based on your budget and goals helps in the creation of a successful ad strategy
5. Seasonal marketing: Customizing the category pages according to the seasonal changes is a remarkably beneficial yet overlooked strategy.
This includes modifying the theme of the category page, building season-specific categories, altering images and content, displaying similar products on top of the category page. For instance, during the Diwali season, you can create separate sections for gifting, decorations, clothing, and accessories. You can also rearrange the items in regular categories to highlight season-specific items, like below the snacks category, chocolate boxes could be presented at the top of the list.
Effective A/B Testing
A/B testing is a data-based approach to understand the influence of modifications made on your website. In this case, it becomes important to determine and illustrate what makes the category pages unique. Metrics such as conversion rate, dwell time, bounce rate, exit rate, engagement with sort and filter tools, add to cart rate and CTA engagement, helps you identify the best solution for every aspect. Employing a formalized hypothesis and pre-defined metrics you can test out numerous aspects of a category page such as:
- Page Layout: Queries like- Should the best sellers be displayed on top or just one hero product? Should the view be grid or list? Multiple tests can be run which includes various types of layouts, product combinations, and comprehend the aforementioned metrics to determine the layout and arrangement that is most suited for your consumers.
- Images: Conversions can be improved significantly by identifying the right display and product images. Tests can be run between multiple primary images, images supporting text, or no text. Scrutinize what generates the most clicks on your products.
- Specifications: Identifying the most appropriate specifications and the detail that should be provided alongside a product on the category page helps the users in finding suitable products easily. For instance, if your category is energy drinks you can experiment between giving different information such as the amount of energy boost, ingredients used, information such as gluten-free, vegan, to identify what combination of specifications generates the maximum clicks, and conversions.
- Pricing and discounting style: Experiment between showcasing the price or not, presenting a range of prices if the item has added size/color variations, applying slash pricing, or emphasizing discount offered to decide what gives you better conversion.
- CTAs: To figure out what helps in driving up your engagement and dwell time, you can experiment among multiple designs, color palettes, copy, and positions for your CTAs.
- Filters and facets: Determine the most regularly searched attributes for your products and experiment between various combinations of filters and facets to assist your consumers in finding the right product.
Producing enough ideas and framework to work with is the primary step towards building optimized and high converting category pages. The next step involves executing this framework and setting what works best for your e-commerce website.
To remain successful you must ensure that your category pages are useful and relevant by providing a supreme over-all experience, as they are crucial to the growth of your website. Keep experimenting and restating changes according to consumer behavior to further optimize your marketing funnel.
About the Author:
Kiran Patil is the founder and CEO of Growisto, an E-commerce marketing and technology company based out of Navi Mumbai. He has 16+ years of experience in e-commerce, phone commerce, and digital marketing. Growisto helps brands & private labels to grow their businesses on platforms such as Amazon and their own website. Kiran is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and has worked with companies like Evalueserve and Future group before starting his entrepreneurial venture.