The potential power of an effective product filtering system
Although filtering may seem a relatively insignificant function, product filtering options in an online store play a central role in improving the overall shopping experience. When this function is designed and implemented correctly, it can optimize the discoverability of products, respond to the specific needs of different customers, and ultimately increase sales volume. On the other hand, an ineffective filtering system can confuse and frustrate users, potentially leading to cart abandonment and site exit.
4 essential components of the filtering system
When developing the filtering system on your site, it's important to consider various factors. Here are four key elements that should be considered:
Search process - put yourself in the customer's shoes
When designing your filtering system, always consider the viewpoint of your customers - what conditions or features they associate with your products and how they search for them on the website. Regularly review customer and surfer search queries to understand what products they are looking for and the terms they use. This information will allow you to fine-tune the filter options for a more convenient and effective system usage.
Besides basic filter categories such as size or color, consider adding a layer to display meta fields as filters. For example, in the footwear field, the primary classification is usually based on shoe types (sports, formal, sandals, etc.). However, an extra layer can be added to focus on filtering based on the technology provided by the shoes or specific features. Another example is adding sleeve length as a filter option for shirts when a wide range of SKUs is available - this filtering can significantly enhance user experience.
The classic filtering design focuses on a sidebar and checkboxes, but recently, advanced ecommerce sites have started adopting visual elements for a more intuitive user experience. The Shopify platform offers a way to integrate visual banners into category pages. For example, if a user selects the dress category, they are directed to a visually appealing page displaying different dress types. They can then use additional filtering options by type or size using checkboxes.
Website performance: prioritizing products in stock
Ensure that your filters only display products that are available for purchase. Displaying out-of-stock items can lead to customer dissatisfaction and may cause them to turn to other sites to search for similar products. The Shopify Plus platform provides many other features, allowing you to design all the category pages according to your vision and site goals while creating an intuitive and user-friendly environment that provides customers with all the tools they need for a successful purchase.
Implementing an advanced filtering system on your website may seem like a niche and unimportant task, but with a future-oriented and strategic thinking that also focuses on the user experience, it is achievable and beneficial for any store aiming to improve the user experience - making the customer journey on their website from product review to purchase as smooth as possible. The goal is to enable users to enjoy the browsing experience on the site and encourage them to make purchases without abandoning their shopping carts. Investing in a friendly and advanced filtering system will make it easier for them to buy products from you. Enjoy filtering!