Dropdowns, Checkboxes or Radio Buttons? A Quick Guide to Displaying Product Options

There are three common ways to display product options on an ecommerce site. Check out this basic guide to help decide which format is best for you.

When it comes to displaying your product options, you’ve got several options. In fact, this decision makes a big impact on your site’s usability, as it helps reduce customer confusion as they add products to their cart.

While there are several formats to choose from, the three most common display types include: dropdown lists, checkboxes and radio buttons. Here are some quick tips to help select the most effective method for your needs:

Dropdown Lists

Dropdown lists are a popular format for showing product options, particularly for apparel retailers and sites that sell products in various colors, shapes and sizes. (This is also the default display option for Volusion sites.)

Before deciding on dropdown lists, ask the following questions:


Outlining product options with the checkbox display type is ideal if your customers need to select multiple items from the same option list, such as pizza toppings, or if there’s only one option to choose.

Before deciding on dropdown lists, ask the following questions:

Radio Buttons 

Radio buttons are useful when shoppers can only choose one option from a short list – Microsoft recommends using radio buttons for lists that consist of 2-7 options.

Before deciding on radio buttons, ask the following questions:


At the end of the day, the most important consideration is your customer. The end goal is to help efficiently guide them through your options without causing any confusion. By doing so, your product pages are much more likely to convert. And that, after all, is the best option anyone can hope for.

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.