I have been looking at my product categories and I am wondering if I carry too many items per category - it is not possible to break them down much further.
Lets say there is a certain type or style of widget and you have 50 of them in a category, is 50 items of a similiar product too many, does it confuse people and offer them too much choice, and by offering them too many choices to procrastinate and end up not buying anything.
Is there mileage in just listing the top 10 items per category that have the best reviews or sell the most?
I have the same problem with my site, my product categories are huge. unfortunately we have yet to make a decision on what the best course of action.
Id say on average we have 10 to 20 products per page. I'm sure it does confuse people with the vast amount of choices so personally I'm for chopping all the dead weight, products that have not sold for a while for example.
I've been looking at some of my own larger product categories lately, also. The way I've been diagnosing whether to break them up or not is by bounce rate and popularity according to my analytics program. Any product page that has a high bounce rate, I've been either adding notes at the top, ("For *such and such, specific product*, check page 8", etc) or breaking that category down into more subcategories. It's too soon to see if this helps my customers or not, but I feel better about these pages when I look at them.