How-to Shopify, Shopify Theme Tweak Expert

Shopify theme tweaks: when to use a Mega Menu for Navigation

By HappyPoints on April 27, 2021 0 Comments

You are a big Shopify store with 1000 products in 25 different categories. A user will always find it difficult to navigate the choice of the product unless he accidentally reaches it. Try using the mega menu. Unlike a regular menu, Shopify mega menu can help you, and the customer saves ample time and effort. Most importantly, the user won’t consider checking out your competition.

So, what exactly is a mega menu? 

A Mega menu is a term to define an expandable menu that displays several choices in a two-dimensional drop-down layout. It allows for easy navigation through the website and is activated upon clicking, tapping, or hovering. 

Some of the most peculiar features of a mega menu include the following:

  • Two-dimensional panels are split into categories of navigation options.
  • Navigation options are designed using typography, layout, and icons.
  • When stimulated from top navigation bars, they appear as horizontal or vertical bars. When stimulated from the left-hand navigation, they may be seen as mega flyouts. 
  • No scrolling is required. 

After knowing its characteristics, you must be interested in knowing how it helps? Let’s study.

Mega menus and impact on the user experience

If you decide to add the Shopify mega menu, it will greatly influence the user experience (UX) and the web-usability. Here’s how. 

Mega menu and the navigation

Adding a mega menu should not be a compulsion just because your competitors are using it. You should make a wise decision and use it to improve your UX.  Only if it enhances the navigation, then use it or else leave it. In the latter scenario, a drop-down menu can solve the purpose. 

Mega menu and the website goal

Another reason for incorporating a mega menu is whether or not it helps you achieve your goal. It could be growing followers, selling products, asking people to use your services, gaining subscribers, or selling tickets for events. A mega menu, if incorporated correctly, should help you achieve your goal. 

As said earlier, if you have a large retail store and wish to sell products online, a mega menu can be a good option. However, if there is only one service or product, then do not use a mega menu. It can be a huge distraction for the users. 

Now the question arises, ‘when should one use a mega menu?’

Given below are some instances when mega menus prove highly beneficial to your website. Let’s roll them:

When to use Shopify mega menu?

Add a mega menu to your store:

When expectations are high

Customers who visit a retail site are well accustomed to the use of mega menus. This helps them navigate through the website easily and quickly.

People expect big websites to feature mega menus to help them navigate easily through the website. Let’s take an example.  The 49th Parallel Roasters uses a different mega menu for each main section of the store. The image below shows the mega menu for the section – coffee. 

Customers visiting the site above for coffee options can find a range of drinks to select their preference. 

To avoid a long drop-down menu.

Before understanding how a mega menu helps one avoid a lengthy drop-down menu, understand what a drop-down menu is. Visually, the drop-down menu is a graphical control element that helps a user choose a value. Some websites have long drop-down menus with a huge number of options distracting the user from its UX. 

No wonder then, a study stated drop-down menus as annoying elements, not only to the elderly and the disabled but also to the young.  A drop-down menu with large content is difficult to navigate, and scroll. It often rolls up unexpectedly, takes up ample time, and leaves a user confused. The easiest way out is mega menus. These improve UX many times than drop-down menus do. 

It is suggested that if you have a website with a sizable number of elements, a mega menu can resolve your problem easily. Even if you decide against it, design an intuitive architecture. You may use cues such as text effects, colors, fonts, making it easier to move through the website. 

Menu design can boost sales of the website.

Certain website designs can help you add not just the links but also some images. These act as bait for boosting sales.

The Luxy, in the image below, displays a mega menu with a twist. Not only does it have a hair collection, but there are also images with options in products as well. This undoubtedly compels a user to check out the linked pages and make a buyout. 

Menu design can boost sales

The above scenarios may suggest using a mega menu on a large scale; however, using it all the time can be bad for your business. Read below.

When not to use Shopify mega menu 

Do not use a mega menu when:

Your website does not have enough links.

You are a website with a limited number of products. Businesses like yours with a small website or a blog should not use a mega menu.  Adding a mega menu will only cause chaos. It can be overwhelming to a level where visitors will feel confused and move away from your competitors. A drop-down menu is perfect for you.

Drop-down menu

There are lots of links on your home page.

In case you have several links on your homepage taking your visitors to the subpages, you don’t need a mega menu. Note that mega menus are not a widely popular option on public sector websites. Their architecture doesn’t require one. An example is given below.

Homepage with many links

You want to send visitors to another page.

Suppose you are a website that sells a single product or a service. Then why would I need a mega menu? A banner on the homepage is enough to send your visitors to the intended landing page. Therefore, keep the navigation to a minimum. By adding a mega menu, you will provide too many options that are not needed. For example, Northwest Motorsport Inc redirects visitors to many landing pages according to their taste. 

The user often watches your website on a small screen (such as the mobile)

While designing a mega menu, it is essential to take notice of differently sized screens. For example, producing a mega menu for a mobile screen is difficult. To achieve this, you would be required to create tiny links, making it difficult for the users to click on them and scroll through. The user will also get confused as he won’t be able to decide the end of the mega menu and the start of the content. 

You may ask, if not a mega menu for mobile screens, then what?

Use a burger menu. This type of menu is invisible and stays so until a user taps on it. In case you are interested to know why it is called a burger menu. The reason lies in its shape; it has three vertical lines and resembles a hamburger? 

Take a look at Novo Watch mobile website. It has a menu on the left-hand side. As you tap on the three lines, the menu options dropdown. 

Burger menu

Ways to add Shopify mega menu

First off,  before adding a mega menu to your Shopify store, create a back up by duplicating. 

To duplicate a theme, visit Online Store > Themes > Actions > Duplicate

Define your Shopify mega menu structure

The first step in creating a mega menu is to define your Shopify store’s menu structure. To implement this, create navigation with submenus to display in the mega dropdown. 

  1. Go to your Shopify Online store > Navigation > Main Menu
  2. Select the menu to add the mega menu in.
  3. At the bottom, click ‘Add  Menu Item’ to create a sub-menu. Drag and drop under the selected menu item.

The simplest method to install Shopify mega menus is by using the Shopify app store directly. You can use apps such as Buddha Mega Menu, Mega Menu. Check all the applications and read the reviews before selecting the one that suits your needs and business. 

Or, there is another advanced method, which is “Edit code”. 

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how you can edit code to create your Shopify mega menu. You will find the video tutorial and code to add a mega menu in this article.

Conclusion 

The best thing about the Shopify mega menu is that you can set up as many mega menus as you like. These are easy to set up and serve a range of functions for both your business and the user. Above all, there are several applications ready to be used to help you reach your desired goal.

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