An Intro to Subcategories for Ecommerce Sites

Subcategories play a big role in organizing your products in a way that makes sense to online shoppers of all types. Check out this quick article to learn the basics of effectively setting them up on your ecommerce site.

When creating your online store, you’re most likely focused on product uploads and website design. While these are indeed two big tasks to undertake, how you organize your products has a big impact on long-term user experience.

This is where categories and subcategories come in: their purpose is to logically organize your products so shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re selling women’s apparel, you could create categories for “Blouses,” “Pants,” “Shoes” and so on.

To guide shoppers even further, you could then create subcategories, such as “Jeans” and “Khakis” under the “Pants” category. Or, if you’re selling various brands of the same product, you could create subcategories to highlight these differences, much like this:

But why should you even bother with subcategories? Take a look at these high-level purposes:

Now that you understand why this extra layer of product hierarchy is so important to overall user experience, here are some decisions to make when it comes to displaying your subcategories:


While you may initially think of subcategories as a minor detail, they make a big impact on how shoppers navigate your site. In other words, the easier it is for shoppers to find something, the more likely they are to actually buy it.

Happy selling!
-Matt Winn, Volusion

Matt Winn

Matt Winn was Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helped oversee branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce.