An important of making sales is making it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. Here’s where filtering comes in. It’s helpful for all catalog numbers to provide additional information to customers, but especially with large catalogs where customers have to filter through a lot of products to find the best one for them.
Shopify has made creating filters on the collection page easy for us with the Shopify Search & Discovery app. This app allows you to easily create advanced product filters and to customize which products are recommended to customers when they’re on different product pages. The app is divided into 4 sections: Filters, Search, Recommendations, and Settings. Let’s look into how to create a better shopping experience in these 4 categories.
Advanced Product Filtering on Shopify
By default, your filters will include: Availability and Price.
Additionally, you may create filters based on:
- Product Type
- Product Options (any variant option names such as color or size)
- Product Metafields (any metafield you have created)
If you’re not seeing all of the options above, it is because you haven’t created these product options in your store. Once you create them, they will appear.
Being able to create filters with metafields creates basically limitless options for categorizing products.
You create the custom list of filters you want available to your store. The good thing is that only the relavant filters will be shown for any given collection page. For example, if you have “size” as a product option because of the t-shirts being sold, this filter will not show on the “books” collection page if none of the book products contain that product option.
When you create a filter based on tags, you will be asked to choose the logic to be used:
- OR condition (Includes products that match at least one buyer selection)
- AND condition (Includes products that match all buyer selections)
I recommend choosing OR. As a shopper, I select the filter options of what I want to see. I don’t want to exclude products because I have selected more than one option, and this will result in me having to return to the filter multiple times to see all the options I want. That would be annoying to me as a shopper.
When you select a filtering group, all the available values will be shown. This can result in synonym duplicates. Most commonly this would happen with colors. For example, "blue", "light blue" and "dark blue" are all blues, and you wouldn’t want these to all show as different values. So you can create a synonym group to group these all together under one name, "blue".
You can add settings that work with your theme’s search bar.
Product boosts allow you to choose products to promote in the store’s search results. This means that boosted products will rank higher in search results, which is great for promoting new or seasonal products.
For example, if you are a skincare company and you have seasonal products such as a candy cane scented soap for the Christmas season, you will want these products to be "boosted" in the search results. Create a product boost for the peppermint soap when "soap" is used as a search term, effectively bringing the seasonal product to the top of the search results. This will allow you to promote specific products at any time, and make sure that seasonal products don't get overlooked (leaving you with extra seasonal inventory).
To do this, choose a product to boost. Then add the search terms that you want the product to appear on when customers have searched for these terms. You can add up to 100 terms that will result in the product appearing.
Add synonym groups for products, pages and articles to help customers find what they’re looking for. For example, your blog may be named “Chronicles” but you want it to show up in the search results when customers search for “blog”, “news” or “events”. Then you can create these synonym groups to make sure people are finding what they need.
If you’re not sure what customers are searching for in your store, the Shopify Admin provides some insight that will help you configure your synonyms. Go to Analytics > Reports > Top online store searches (there are 3 options here). Look at these results and use them to help you determine what the synonyms should be. If you have any results under “Top online store searches with no results”, then make sure to either create a synonym group for these, or consider adding a product like this to your catalog.
You can add product recommendations to lead customers from one product to the next.
In the past, when using a “recommended products” section at the bottom of a product page, it wasn’t possible to select which products were shown. It was based on an algorithm from Shopify. Now you are able to customize these options within the app.
Now you can use “related products” to customize which products are being shown in the product page’s “recommended products” section.
Premium themes often have a product upsell block that can be added to the product section on the product page. In the past, you would use specific product tags to create these upsell links which is a bit tedious and error prone. Now you can link products easier with the “complementary products” feature. Whether or not this feature is useful to you will depend on if the theme has a “complementary products” block to add to the product section on the product template.
Note that for both of the above features, related and complementary products need to be in stock and set to active in order to be shown. I get the question a lot: “Why aren’t my products showing?”… that’s why.
Lastly, you can adjust the search relevance settings to configure how the search engine behaves in the store. Adjust which of these will appear for customers:
- Search results: products, pages, blog posts. Which of these results should show?
- Predictive search results: Queries, products, collections, pages and blog posts.
- Out of stock products: Show them at the end, not at all, or mixed with all other results.
Although you've set what items you wish to appear in the search results here, make sure to also configure this in the theme settings.
I absolutely love all the new search and discovery options that will help customers find what they’re looking for and discover new products, and it’s so easy to set up in just a few minutes.