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Web eCommerce Enhancements – Spring ‘23 🌷

At Mercatus, we know that every “bit” (no pun intended) of a customer shopping journey is important. Your customers are busy and anything that introduces friction into their shopping experience can impact cart building and conversions.

Since our last set of web enhancements in Fall ‘22, we’ve made even more improvements to our front-end experience. This update brings together UX and UI changes based on user testing and industry-leading eCommerce practice implemented by our Product team.

The theme of the Spring ‘23 enhancements is on Category Search functionality. Highlights include a refreshed Filter Panel with a re-arranged hierarchy that puts highest usage top-level categories and promotions at the top. A cleaner look and feel with the Category Breadcrumbs to make it easier to navigate your way through the category tree. Filter Chips have also been added to the top of searches for another layer of visibility to help customers easily remove filters that have been applied.

With an improved category search, we’re helping retailers improve product discoverability, extend catalog reach, and increase the percentage of unique products sold. Read on below for more on the above updates and other changes we’ve made for this release.

1. Refreshed Filter Panel

Refreshed filter panel on Mercatus platform

What’s new?
We’ve updated the hierarchy of the Filter Panel by placing the Category and Promotions filter at the top. We’ve also expanded both filters to make it easier for users to select filters for their search. Other filters such as Brand, Departments, Dietary Interests, etc. are collapsed by default to increase visibility above the fold.

Why the change?
Filters empower the user to narrow down a large generic list of products into a manageable selection of products uniquely relevant to their needs and interests. By organizing the filter panel hierarchy to suit customer needs, we’re able to create a positive feeling of control and choice in a sea of options.

2. Category Breadcrumbs

Category breadcrumbs for filtering on mercatus platform

What’s new?
Within the refreshed filter panel, we’ve improved the customer experience with the Category Breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a visual representation of which part of the category tree the customer is in. The new design simplifies the design elements and makes it easier to navigate up and down the tree.

Why the change?
The simplified navigation improves discoverability of related products in a category. In combination with the refreshed Filter Panel which moved the Category section to the top of the search, customers will feel more in control of where they are in the search – improving the overall customer experience.

3. Filter Chips

category filter chips on mercatus platform

What’s new?
Filters that have been applied to a product search now also appear as Filter Chips at the top of the search. Customers can now easily remove a filter by clicking the “x” on the chip.

Why the change?
By showing chips of what filters a user has chosen to refine their results will increase visibility, ease the user’s cognitive load, and improve their efficiency.

4. Filter Loading Indicator

filter loading indicator

What’s new?
When filters are applied, the loading indicator will now show a loading circle to ensure the customer knows selected filters are being applied.

Why the change?
On small/mobile and medium/tablet devices, filters and sorting are appalled in a separate overlay. The addition of a loading indicator helps to proactively communicate that the system is working and helps reassure customers that their choices have been registered.

5. Zero Results Page

zero results page on mercatus platform

What’s new?
Sometimes customers can misspell a product they’re looking for which prompts a “zero results page.” We’ve made a small tweak to how product suggestions on searches with no results show up. Instead of a “chip” style design, we’re changed the product suggestions to a “link” style.

Why the change?
Changing the chips into links will make it clear that the alternative suggestions are clickable so customers can find the original product they’re looking for or click through to an alternative. Links also help preserve space which is especially important for small viewports such as mobile.

And that’s all folks! Web eCommerce Enhancements for Spring ‘23 will be available with our v3.160 release. Please reach out to your Program Manager for an exploratory call to discuss configuration requirements.