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Breadcrumbs for e-commerce – why use and how to implement?

Breadcrumbs for e-commerce – why use and how to implement?

Every website has a navigation system and it is an integral part of any online store. The breadcrumbs are the little trail that you leave behind as you move through your site. They can be found at the top or bottom of your screen and point the way back to the home page.

The fact is it is not an obligation to use breadcrumbs navigation, but everybody knows that breadcrumb link extremely enhances the usability of the site and user experience on eCommerce sites enabling them to go forward and backward to the previous page using the breadcrumb path.

Breadcrumbs navigation role

E-commerce stores often have their own set of breadcrumb trails that guide shoppers from one product to another. In this article, we will discuss how breadcrumbs work on e-commerce sites and what they do for both search engine SEO and UX user experience.

We will also present the implementation of Magento breadcrumbs as a support for the main navigation menu and page hierarchy created for user’s ability to navigate properly through the main category page, product mage and main page.

What are navigation breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are a navigational tool that helps users find their way around a website with the breadcrumb trail. They are typically found at the top or bottom of the screen and consist of a list of links that show the path based breadcrumbs back to the home page.

The breadcrumbs for e-commerce sites usually look different from those on other websites. Most e-commerce sites have a lot of products and categories to choose from. Customers may be confused about where they are, so breadcrumbs help them with this problem.

How e-commerce user navigates during online shopping

The E-commerce site is usually more complex than a one-page landing page and a simple page with just a few pages. Users can navigate through menus, search pages and breadcrumbs links. Thus, eCommerce navigation consists of the main navigation menu, secondary navigation bars and breadcrumbs.

Mobile devices and omnichannel in e-commerce

In Covid times e-commerce has more and more omnichannel structure which means a unique experience through all channels. Customers expect to experience the same level of shopping experience no matter which way they decide to purchase. They shop using mobile devices and navigation when using a small screen is even more important than on the bigger ones.

E-commerce menu navigation and a breadcrumb trail

The primary navigation menu is usually located at the top of the page and contains all the links to the main sections of the website. The secondary navigation bar is placed below or on the side of the primary menu, and it provides more specific links to subsections within each main section.

Breadcrumb structure

There are mainly two types of breadcrumb menu structure you might find on websites:

  • horizontal 
  • vertical

Horizontal breadcrumbs are the most common type. They are usually located at the top of the page and show a list of links that represent the path from the home page to the current page.

Vertical breadcrumbs are less common but can be very helpful for sites with a lot of content. They are located at the bottom of the page and show where you are currently in the site structure. Vertical breadcrumbs can be difficult to read, so they aren’t used as often as horizontal ones.

In general, horizontal breadcrumbs are more common and easier to use, so they are a good choice for most websites.

What are the main types of breadcrumbs?

Hierarchy-Based Breadcrumbs (Location-Based Breadcrumbs)

The breadcrumbs are based on the site’s hierarchy and reflect the path a user took to get to the current page. They are also called location-based breadcrumbs because they show the physical location of the product in the store.

Example of a hierarchy-based breadcrumb:

Home page > Category page > Subcategory page > Product page

Attribute-Based Breadcrumbs

Using attribute-based breadcrumbs on eCommerce sites will show users what attributes they clicked on, making it easier for them to find the product or service they are looking at.

Example of attribute-based breadcrumb:

Feature / Feature / Feature / Feature / Feature 

History-Based Breadcrumbs (Path-based Breadcrumbs)

History-based or path-based breadcrumbs are not just limited to the past. They also provide site visitors with an easy way of see where they have been before on your website.

This type of breadcrumbs is the least popular as it has no real value in navigation and can be easily replaced by the back and forward buttons.

Example of a history-based breadcrumb:

Home page > Prior page visited > Prior page visited > Current page

Combined breadcrumbs

There is also a combination of the two types of breadcrumbs, which can be very helpful for users. This type will show the path that was taken to get to the current page, as well as what product or service the user is looking at.

Which type of breadcrumb should you use?

At Panda Group, we recommend for e-commerce implement breadcrumbs with a horizontal structure rather than vertical. As well as hierarchy-based or category-based breadcrumbs. They help to present the site hierarchy together with visualising clearly higher-level pages and previous pages.

They not only visualise user’s navigation paths but also appeal to search engine bots by allowing the site to appear in Google search results. Informative and effective navigation menus help increase a site’s search results.

How do breadcrumbs support Search Engines Optimization (SEO)?

Breadcrumbs are a great way to improve your site’s SEO and support organic search. They help search engines understand the hierarchy of your pages and how they relate to each other. This makes it easier for them to index your pages and gives your site a better chance of ranking higher in search results.

What are the benefits of breadcrumb SEO for eCommerce sites:

  • Internal link building – primary and secondary navigation support on-page link building.
  • Providing data for Google – breadcrumbs are visible in search results and give search engine bots easy access to the page structure and logical hierarchy.
  • Customer engagement on the site – when people are not confused, they stay on the page longer and perform more actions improving your page conversion rate, lowering the rejection rate.

Breadcrumbs and on-site content management

Breadcrumbs support SEO very well because they help users quickly scan through and find content that is relevant to them. If your site has a lot of categories or products, it is important to have breadcrumb navigation so that people can easily browse the site and find what they are looking for.

The best part of Breadcrumbs is that you can quickly change the URL or add new content, but it will not affect how the breadcrumbs look on the website.

What is the impact of breadcrumbs on User Experience UX?

Breadcrumbs also help with UX by providing users with a clear, one-line only path back to the home page. They can be especially helpful for sites that have a lot of content and complex structure. Implementing Breadcrumbs in the Magento e-commerce platform?

Why is breadcrumb navigation important for e-commerce?

Breadcrumbs provide a way for customers to easily navigate your site and find the products they are looking for. They also help with SEO and UX. If you want to improve your e-commerce website, using breadcrumbs is a good place to start.

Best practices for-commerce breadcrumbs?

There are a few things you should keep in mind when using breadcrumbs:

  • Show the whole path starting from the main page.
  • Use arrows to separate the steps to make the direction visible.
  • Using breadcrumbs on the main page is useless.
  • To ensure that your users are able to easily navigate through the site, you should use clear and concise language.
  • Use full page titles in breadcrumbs. It makes sense to include full-page titles in the breadcrumbs, so users will know where each hyperlink leads.
  • The page URL should mirror the breadcrumbs to give users a sense of where they are in relation to your website’s architecture. Otherwise, people may get inconsistent messages from both and end up feeling lost in what you’re trying to say or do!
  • The breadcrumb links on your site don’t have to be difficult or complicated in any way; they just serve an important role in making it easier to navigate for visitors who come from different areas within your website’s domain.
  • Make sure these standards-based landmarks stand out by using the right colours while keeping their size down so as not to turn potential customers away from what is being offered online!
  • When creating a hierarchy, try to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. Too many levels of command can make things difficult for people working under you—in other words: three or four is usually enough!
  • To help your visitors find their way around the site, you should update any breadcrumb links that appear on each page.
  • Breadcrumbs should be mobile friendly – not too large and visible on small screens.

Breadcrumbs implementation for Magento e-commerce platform

Magento has a built-in breadcrumbs functionality that can be implemented in many ways.

Source: https://docs.magento.com/user-guide/catalog/navigation-breadcrumb-trail.html>

Adding breadcrumb to your Magento theme is very easy and simple for all levels of developers, even beginners will find it easier than they expected. Especially with Panda Group’s Tutorial on Breadcrumbs for Magento e-commerce step by step


Adding breadcrumbs to your website is a good way to improve your SEO, UX, and site navigation. Magento has built-in breadcrumbs functionality that can be implemented in multiple ways. Adding breadcrumbs to your theme is very easy and straightforward for all levels of developers. For more information on how to add breadcrumbs to your Magento website, please visit our blog:

Breadcrumbs for Magento e-commerce step by step.

or Contact us, we are here to help you!

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