To boost their sales, eCommerce brands strive to create a unique shopping experience that resonates with their target audience. A buyer’s journey can make or break the success of an online store. One of the most crucial ways to make it helpful for customers to find the products they want quickly is to use Shopify sidebar navigation.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s start at the beginning.
Should you consider adding a sidebar to your Shopify store?
A sidebar menu on your Shopify store is an effortless UI tweak that significantly improves navigation and usability on your website or product collections.
Customers can find what they need quickly and efficiently, taking the stress out of the purchasing process for both them AND you!
Although the sidebar menu feature is not always present in Shopify, many themes support this option.
Even if your theme does not include this feature, you can still incorporate it into your store. And if your current theme can be modified, you can tailor its navigational components for a more personalized experience.
Ever wanted to level up your Shopify pages with a sidebar menu? Let’s discuss how you can use it and make the most of this fantastic asset.
What is a Shopify sidebar menu?
Sidebar menus on websites are handy, serving many purposes for eCommerce and other sites.
For numerous sites, taking advantage of space helps visitors quickly and effortlessly traverse through the site. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance user experience and make navigating easier for everyone.
You will likely come across navigation menu links, social media icons, and product filters when shopping on a Shopify store.
The definition of a sidebar may vary, yet one underlying factor remains consistent – it is a panel placed along the margin of your page.
Amazon doesn’t hold back regarding product filters in their sidebar. You can sort through delivery options, star ratings, brands, departments, pricing structures, and more–all while taking advantage of the additional promotional offers included!
Depending on the purpose of your sidebar, you would need to take different steps when setting up your Shopify store and theme.
Some themes are equipped with sidebars only for facilitating navigation, while others provide the capacity to filter products. On the other hand, some don’t include a sidebar at all.
If you have a sidebar, we’ll show you how to customize it to fit your unique needs. If not, no worries! We’ll also provide instructions on how to make sidebars where they’re needed most.
List of free themes with Shopify sidebar menu
While most themes offer sidebar functionality, two of the most popular options – Debut and Dawn – do not include this feature.
Interestingly, none of the Online Store 2.0 themes provide a sidebar. Instead, they have a straightforward product filtering system located at the top of their collection page; an example is demonstrated in the Sense theme below.
Themes are designed to optimize the user experience and visual appeal in every possible way, so it may not be necessary to include a sidebar. This decision ultimately depends on how well it fits into the overall design elements that have been implemented.
If you absolutely need the sidebar feature, here are a few free themes that offer it.
Shopify’s Boundless theme is equipped with a side menu for easy access. To open the sidebar menu, click on the hamburger icon in your page’s top left corner!
Utilize two menus and add any of your desired social media links to your sidebar. Streamline the navigation on your site with a few simple steps.
Accessing your theme editor and editing existing code allows you to personalize your sidebar menu easily and quickly from any page. Subsequently, it will be displayed seamlessly over your website’s pages.
With Supply’s theme, the sidebar menu is an ideal addition to collection pages. You’ll appreciate that you can customize it with a few simple changes!
You can turn on the sidebar and utilize tags or categories for product filtering. This will not, however, provide you with main navigation features.
The Simple theme is aptly named, and the sidebar menu provides a modern twist to the traditional header menu by pushing products into quick view upon loading.
Through the theme editor, you have endless options to customize your menu. It stays on every page as a sidebar navigation tool that can be easily adjusted and tailored for any purpose.
This feature is perfect if you’re looking for an effortless solution to create simple navigational links!
How to edit the Shopify sidebar in your theme
Depending on the Shopify theme you’ve chosen, customizing its sidebar feature will vary. As previously mentioned, many themes don’t even contain a sidebar and those who do use it differently.
Despite the type of theme you opt for, editing your sidebar is a similar process.
Step 1: Navigate to the Shopify dashboard, and then choose Online Store > Themes.
Get started by exploring your themes at the Online Store > Themes tab. You will find your current live theme and a comprehensive list of saved themes there.
Step 2: Click Customize on your theme
Search for the theme that needs altering and press on the Customize button. This will lead you to your Shopify Theme Editor, where all changes can be made.
Step 3: Navigate to your preferred page template from the theme editor.
Quickly access different page templates on your theme editor in a flash by selecting the dropdown menu at the top of your screen.
With the default Supply theme, shoppers can filter through collections of products utilizing a sidebar exclusive to this particular theme. This feature allows customers to narrow their search by product tags in each Collection.
You can go to the “Collections” tab and select the “Default collection” page template to make any necessary adjustments.
This theme offers an embedded sidebar that can be navigated within its page section.
By comparison, the Simple and Boundless themes use the sidebar as a navigational tool.
These themes are incredibly versatile, allowing you to edit the sidebar within any page template and apply it throughout your store.
Step 4: Customize your Shopify sidebar section
When you enter the page template, click on the Sidebar section located to your left – it’s a sidebar too!
Please note that a few themes, like Supply may have sidebar settings in a separate portion, such as Collection.
To the right lies the personalization options for customizing your sidebar menu.
Within the theme editor, you have command over which navigation menus to include and what social media icons to add in your sidebar. Unfortunately, though, there are only a handful of customization choices available.
How to add a sidebar in Shopify
If your Shopify theme does not feature a sidebar, you won’t locate it in the theme editor.
Utilizing a theme with sidebar functionality is undoubtedly the most straightforward way to add a sidebar to your Shopify store.
But what if you want to preserve the layout of your current theme and add a sidebar to boot?
Wanting to preserve your design but add a sidebar? You can do so by making alterations and editing the theme’s template files. This is a relatively complicated process. However, it is worth the effort.
To begin, you’ll have to edit the template section file linked with your chosen page. This involves tweaking current code and adding new lines of it and Liquid code that will let you assign sections to a sidebar so they can be effortlessly customized when managing them in Shopify’s dashboard.
As the code is distinctive from theme to template, we can’t provide example codes that will work for everyone.
Rather, it would help if you become adept in the coding language of Shopify themes such as HTML, CSS, and Liquid.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I add a sidebar to my Shopify store pages?
To add a sidebar to your Shopify store pages, you can use the theme editor to access the HTML and liquid code, and add a sidebar section to the template files. You can also use a third-party app like Sidebar Manager to add and customize sidebars on your store pages.
How can I customize the content of my Shopify store sidebar?
To customize the content of your Shopify store sidebar, you can use the theme editor to access the HTML and liquid code and add or edit the content of the sidebar section. You can also use a third-party app like Sidebar Manager to easily add and edit sidebar content, such as text, images, and links.
How can I make my Shopify store sidebar sticky?
To make your Shopify store sidebar sticky, you can use the theme editor to access the CSS code and add the position: sticky property to the sidebar element. You can also use a third-party app like Sticky Sidebar to easily make your sidebar sticky.
Customizing your store to perfectly reflect your vision is critical for yourself and your customers.
Adding a Shopify sidebar navigation element in your store will enhance the user experience, making it effortless for visitors to navigate through each page and find the products they are looking for faster than ever.