With more and more people accessing content on the go, the popularity of mobile-friendly e-commerce sites has increased dramatically over the past decade. This has led to developers trying to squeeze entire desktop webpages onto handheld devices, which obviously presents certain logistical problems.

One solution that has become incredibly popular in recent years is the inclusion of a side menu, sometimes known as a navigation drawer, but most commonly referred to as a hamburger due to the resemblance the three menu lines bear to one of the world’s favourite fast food snacks.

While hamburgers can certainly serve a purpose in increasing functionality and saving screen space, they also come with a number of drawbacks. Should you feature a hamburger menu on your e-commerce store? Before you decide, read our list of pros and cons.

The case for the hamburger

• Space efficiency: The number one objective of the hamburger menu is to group together all of your hot links under one icon to save space on a mobile screen – and it does this excellently.

• Ease of transition: By bunching large batches of content together under the burger, you make the transition from a fully-fledged web site to a more mobile-friendly site fairly easy, with minimal cutting of content required.

Aestheticism: The burger effectively sweeps away clutter and makes your site easy to navigate and easy on the eye.

Recognisability: Since the trusty burger has been around for a while now and has adopted on a significant number of mobile sites, it has become even more distinctive and recognisable than the ‘link’ or ‘share’ icon.

The case against the burger

Despite its increasing popularity, analytics show that the hamburger is not always beneficial for websites looking to increase traffic or encourage navigation around their pages. Here is why:

• Out of sight, out of mind: Browsers on e-commerce sites are lead around your site with help from your menu. Unfortunately, potential customers are far less likely to navigate to other pages if they aren’t clearly pointed out. Because of this, the hamburger has decreased the traffic for many sites that have switched from the traditional – and clear – tab bar approach.

• User efficiency: While hamburgers might allow for more space on the page, they create more work for the user to reach their preferred destination.

• Less visuals: Notifications, offers and messages are less visible when hidden behind a hamburger.

• Navigational clashing: Many pre-existing applications have specific navigational patterns, which are upset by the inclusion of the burger icon, making navigation even more of a chore for e-commerce customers.

Every site is different

Ultimately, you must take into consideration your e-commerce store’s unique circumstances and requirements before you can decide decide whether the hamburger is right for you. One clever way you can use to determine whether or not it’s a good idea to move to a hamburger menu is to check the bounce rate on your landing page with and without the burger.

Get in touch with Fluid Digital today

If all of that sounds a little technical, professional help is never far away. At Fluid Digital, our dedicated team of e-commerce experts are available to provide you with the in-depth e-commerce advice you need to keep your business running smoothly.

Simply give us a call on 0161 762 4920 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Posted in Magento on 04th Apr 2016