Tag filtering can still be used by building navigation menus to those collections tag urls.
Like it or not with OS2 merchants can expect going forward for shopify theme store developers to prefer developing against the new filter system as a standard practice; as the new faceted filtering uses more intrinsic properties on products instead of administrative tags.
Before filtering with tags was a more contrived process in both setup and development often with themes having conventions to "group" tags or other overly specific needs requiring confusing setups and making it hard to customize.
Now for a lot of merchants that means tags can be relegated back to a backend admin convenience to organize collections or admin searches, instead of always by default exposing admin information(tag content) to customers unless themes are customized to hide certain tags.
And by building navigations menus using collection tag urls you can be more precise without leaking that backend info.
Beyond that if that theme developer doesn't intend to support the specific feature getting collection tag filtering needs an advanced customization.
For themes updated to be OS2 if you still have an older version of the theme that could simplify having customizing the OS2 theme to once again have tag filtering by manually migrating the code as a customization.
The new faceted filtering would be great if you could tell it what to filter by, but currently the only options for filtering with this new system are
But other than product type, those are not the things I need to filter by in most of the stores I have worked on. And building nav menus is NOT the same as being able to set up something like filtering by tag group which is what I have always used.
For example. I sell party supplies. I have hundreds of products and am adding new designs all the time. From my main nav menu, the customer chooses from a list of occasions - Christmas, Birthday, Halloween, etc which takes them to the collection for that occasion. Once they are in the birthday category, they can then use the filter menu to filter by product type, party theme (ballet, karate, etc), and age range (kid, adult, teen). Alternately, if from the main nav menu they decide to shop by product type, such as "invitations", it bring them to that collection where they can again filter by party theme, age range, and occasion. When setting up a new product that has a new theme or other option, all that has to be done is to tag it with the appropriate group tags such as Occasion_birthday, Theme_ballet, Age_Child, etc and because of how I have set it up, it will automatically appear on the menus in all the different departments.
That type of system simply doesn't work with having to build individual nav menus instead. Every time a new theme or product type is added you would have to go in and create a collection for it and manually add it to a bunch of different nav menus in the different departments. That makes no sense at all. Plus with nav menus they cannot filter down to get to the items that are for example, only for gymnastics girls in the teen age range etc.
Maybe there is a way to work it that I am just not understanding because I am not an actual coder/developer. I am a web designer who knows HTML and CSS and has managed to do a lot of pretty fancy customizations by editing a little bit of liquid code from the existing free themes. My clients are artists and small businesses who cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for a "real" developer and with my limited knowledge I have always been able to customize shopify themes to work well for them for a reasonable price. But a lot of that was because of the flexibility of the tag system for being able to get creative with how to present unique categories of items.
There are some good things about 2.0. I just don't understand why they have completely taken out the tagging system that was to me, a really core part of what made Shopify really great for clients with complicated products.
This is a big change that is going to affect a lot of my clients, who are all fashion based. The other big issue for me is that partners had no communication about these changes and there was nothing in the change log or as far as I can see anywhere else. Fundamental changes to the way stores are managed like this should be communicated out better.
I agree this is a HUGE deal breaker for my store, which sells fine art, sculptures to be exact, and thousands of them. Basically it is one product type, but I was using the tags to filter by subject matter like, polar bear, seal, walrus, fisherman, hunter, etc. I have dozens of tags like that and can't be expected to make a collection for each one.
Also, I don't recall seeing this mentioned here, but the filtering system they DO have for 2.0 doesn't work if the collection has over 1000 products, which mine does. I mean, I do have smaller collections but sometimes a client wants to look at ALL the sculptures we have and then filter it down. Wouldn't it make more sense to allow filtering the larger your collection is??
I do hope they have people working on it. Until this feature is re-added, I won't bother customizing a 2.0 store any further as it could be a waste of time.
The frustrating part with this type of thing is that there is a massive amount of on-the-ground experience out there that they could be consulting in user groups before changes like this go ahead. I've worked in both retail management and IT and was employed for 7 years to bridge the gap between the two to stop exactly this type of situation. From my experience, as much as techies think they know the impact of a change operationally, they normally don't. That's normally because users end up using your software in a way that you hadn't intended them to, but you don't realise they do. Equally, operational people don't understand the reasons for changes being made by the techies.
COMMUNICATION is the key in all of this, exploit the passion your users have for your product and your company and involve them. It can save lots of headaches and save you a massive amount of support resource in the process. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!!! Shopify is a massive machine who strive to deliver new features and changes because it looks progressive, and normally it is, but we all need to be a passenger on the same journey not the victim of it.
So here is one knock on effect of the changes to filtering. As I deal with mostly fashion boutiques we have lots of weird and wonderful names for colours which need to be on the label, so for example you might have 'Moonshine'. So we include this in the title as a customer may search for it but as there is only one colour we wouldn't normally use a variant for colour.
To keep the filtering list simple, we would use a tag 'Grey' so we don't end up with a list of colours as long as your arm. We would stick to main colour groups e.g. red, blue, pink. Of course, we could use the variant of grey for the new variant/filter, but you then add ambiguity for the customer who may see a colour name 'Moonshine' in the title and then a different variant colour and wonder if they are ordering the same thing.
Not sure how I am going to get round this one part from not having a filter for colour any more.
Of course, in addition to this we also have the changes to product types which seek to Americanise our product type names by calling trousers and jeans 'pants'. Unlike Google categories, there is no option for a GB English version of the product types. Thankfully you can have a custom product type to get over this and I have discovered that the custom product type overrides the standard type in the filtering. I'm sure I didn't see any reference to this in the help pages, but perhaps I missed it. That sure does make life a lot easier though, or that would be another major problem.
Please share any tips or discoveries you make with the function changes, so we can all benefit.