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Should you add Cascading Menu’s to your Yahoo Store?

Posted on June 29th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

At Colorado Web Solutions, one of our most sought after add-on features for Yahoo! Stores is the Cascading Menu’s RTML enhancement. While expanding category navigation features can be nice and in some cases a must-have for client’s sites – not all stores need or should have them.

Cascading Menu’s or Navigation Drop-down Menu’s essentially allow customers to drill deep within a site’s category structure simply by hovering over a main category on the navigation. The Cascading Menu then reveals what’s “underneath” that category without the customer manually clicking through. As the category list expands the customer can click on any of the exposed links which will take them directly to that page. (look at the navigation on the Colorado Web Solutions site for an example)

The ideal Yahoo store candidate for Cascading Menu’s would be a store that is high in product selection, having deep category/sub-category structures. While there are arguments to be made for having customers click through sub-category pages, esecially if you have an extensive product line, generally the less number of clicks to get to a Product Detail page, the better chance your site will have for capturing the conversion.

An important consideration when choosing to have Cascading Menu’s or not – is whether or not your product line will be intuitively recognizable to your customers or if they’ll need detailed information on a category level which will help steer them to the correct product. For example – let’s say your Yahoo store is offering complex or technically challenging products which aren’t easily understood by the average customer. If that is your case, you might consider forgoing Cascading Menus and instead focus on detailed category page descriptions which if clicked through in succession from the homepage end up “informing” the customer as they move through the sub-category structure. The category page descriptions in essence can help the customer make an informed purchase and help drive the customer to the correct detail page.

For most clients however their product lines aren’t nearly so complex and customers will already know what category/product they’re looking for, or at least have a general idea. In that case, having expanding menus will make their search for the right product that much faster – and effective. If your store has over 100 products or at least one level of hierarchical categories underneath your top level categories, then considering this add-on feature would be highly recommended.

If you would like to see a few examples of Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Stores with Cascading Menu’s installed, here are a few to enjoy:

Left Side Navigation Examples:

Top Navigation Examples:

If you would like to learn more about our Cascading Menu’s for Yahoo Stores, please visit:

Have a great week everyone.

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