I too am quite surprised and disappointed that the leading ecommerce platform does not have the ability to list sub-categories! So far Shopify has been an amazing platform on which a small start-up has been able to rapidly grow and flourish. It seems a shame that there appears to be a ceiling whereby a business with a burgeoning product catalogue appears to out-grow the platform and is forced to look to migrate to another platform that is more capable of organising large product sets more effectively.
It would help to know that is even an acknowledged shortcoming and is being considered or is even on a roadmap.
I don't think you understand the platform. Shopify allows almost everything on the storefront to be customized in order to provide multiple themes and stores and ways of having shopping flows and so on. This provides huge flexibility and potential. But it also means that there isn't handcuffs on some things. The provide a flat playing field of all collections, because they don't really know how you will want to structure your site or how you will build links in the theme. So they can't just assume and force you to have to categorize things in a certain kind of hierarchy. Pretty much anything can point to anything which is part of the flexibility. That's actually MORE flexible than if, say, they forced everyone to have to stick to a rigid hierarchy of categories, which would cause people to then complain that they couldn't properly cross-link the sections they wanted to. It's actually more freedom and more flexibility not to tie your hands that way. It just means that now the theme developer has to device methods to create a hierarchy IF needed. Such as by using navigation lists for subcategories, or using a metafield to store a parent category. Having a site with a hierarchy of categories is perfectly possible on the platform. It's just not something handed you on a plate.
How rude! I apologise if I gave you the impression that I don't understand the platform. Thank you for the nursery-school-level explanation of it though....
"Shopify allows almost everything on the storefront to be customized in order to provide multiple themes and stores and ways of having shopping flows and so on. This provides huge flexibility and potential." - you don't say! hahaha - did you scrape that off the website? :P I don't believe I asked Shopify to "force you to have to categorize things in a certain kind of hierarchy" but to simply provide the ability for those with a more broad product portfolio to easily add sub-collections within the interface.
I don't require any further explanation of how the platform currently works and I'd prefer not to argue the toss with you about it either thank you.
but to simply provide the ability for those with a more broad product portfolio to easily add sub-collections within the interface.
You can always add your voice by making a future feature request https://help.shopify.com/en/questions#/contact
For now what @Paul_West is explaining in a roundabout way though, hypothetically if shopify built in subcollections them doing so automatically creates an opinionated way that everyones hierarchy would have to rigidly obey which is not the same as being guaranteed to work the way one merchant expects collection hierarchies to work "easily" , defeating the purpose.
And that's just in the admin it doesn't get any easier once themes and the api have to deal with such a hierarchy, not to mention channels like facebook,instagram,google.
The current standard for simple "sub"collections is using tag filtering or types, and/or customizing a theme for the business needs.
@Lizzy's answer has the link explaining this customization https://help.shopify.com/en/themes/customization/collections/featuring-collections-using-link-lists
Anything more complicated than that should be generally handled in a separate post to try and get some free help, or hire someone to aid in the information architecture.