How Filtering and Sorting Enhance Product Discoverability on Shopify Stores

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Having a large selection of products that meets various needs of consumers is a desirable place to be for eCommerce merchants. However, with a wide offering, the chance for consumers to find products that may pique their interest becomes smaller.

The ability for products to be found is known as product discoverability. As eCommerce stores grow, the discoverability can take a hit and become the key differentiator. For optimal product discoverability on your Shopify store, a deep understanding of how consumers shop on your store is key. Moreover, having an effective filter and sort solution will go hand-in-hand to help you achieve this.

What Are Filter & Sort?

Filter and sort work together to help visitors to eCommerce sites browse through products and find the ones that are a better fit to their needs.

When a consumer filters during search or browsing, they select specific criteria in order to eliminate irrelevant products and only view what matches their requirements. Products can be filtered by virtually anything, with common options being size, color, brand, and reviews.

Sorting refers to the order in which products are displayed with the aim of viewing the most preferable first. According to  Baymard, price, user rating, best selling, and newest are the most sought-after sorting types.

Surprisingly, despite the clear usefulness of having filters and sorting options available on eCommerce websites, 84% of sites give a poor filtering experience whilst 64% do not even provide the four essential sort types.

In case you’re not completely sold on investing in robust filtering and sorting functionality for your Shopify store, we’ll dig into how this can enhance product discoverability.

How Filters & Sort Can Enhance Product Discoverability

With effective filtering and sort features, you can ensure that relevant products reach visitors to your store with ease.

A key ingredient in making product filters that enhance discoverability is an understanding of how consumers search for the different types of items in your store. What specific attributes or features are they looking for in each of the collection pages of your store? What information is of value to your customers when they are conducting a search? With such knowledge, you can attune your filters so that shoppers can discover highly relevant products in bite-sized chunks.

Adequately narrowing down the number of products displayed to consumers while browsing is vital. If you fail to do that, visitors to your store will likely be faced with choice paralysis. Research has shown that presenting people with too many options impedes decision-making. An excess of choice will in fact cause shoppers to stop in their tracks and abandon browsing all together. Furthermore, a Baymard study revealed that a lack of category-specific filter options resulted in visitors giving up on browsing. Hence, should the filters present on your Shopify store only superficially lessen the products shown, you will actually damage discoverability.

Equipping your store with multi-select filters is definitely something to contemplate if you are aiming for top-notch discoverability. By providing this, visitors can find exactly what they want in one fell swoop. Forcing consumers to conduct multiple queries makes for quite a tedious task. Remember, shoppers want convenience so you should be doing your utmost to ensure this.

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A good understanding of the attributes audiobook listeners are after is clear on the Libro.fm store. Customers may be looking for a short audiobook, for example, without a particular length in mind. Hence, Sort by Length would be an efficient way for them to discover such audiobooks. (Source: Libro.fm)

Sorting is also a principal consideration in heightening and aiding the discoverability of products in your store. Sort allows shoppers to organize the items on a collections page or search results page in a way that makes sense to them. Moreover, just 50% of digital consumers make it to 1000 pixels when scrolling. Therefore, you’d better make sure that there are effective sort options to reduce the friction when it comes to your customers finding the precise products they desire.

Reviews and ratings are another important method of contracting and also sorting results for shoppers. A whopping 89% of consumers are actively seeking reviews as part of their search process. So it would make sense to offer this as a way of helping shoppers discover products that could be of interest to them, right? Unfortunately, a third of online retail stores do not provide this function. Consumers prioritize high average ratings as a starting point for browsing, thus, allowing them to do so is a sure-fire way to optimize product discoverability.

Now that the ways in which filter and sort can propel the discoverability of your products are apparent, let’s take a look at some real-life examples of Shopify stores that are leading the way with this functionality.

The Best Examples of Filter & Sort by Shopify Stores

Nine West

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(Source: Nine West)

Nine West hits the nail on the head when it comes to their filter options. Not only does their website include the coveted Reviews filter, they also take into account attributes specific to footwear that consumers care about.

Feet come in all shapes and sizes, which can make it extremely difficult to ascertain virtually how well particular shoes will fit on an individual. The opportunity to not just filter by size, but also by width does a lot to alleviate any worries their customer might have about finding shoes that are right for their foot shape. Moreover, particular styles of footwear are easier to come by via their filters, making discovering the right types of shoes for you a breeze.

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