When it comes to e-commerce, today’s consumers have limitless options at their fingertips – with a few clicks, they can browse thousands of items, compare features and prices, and even find similar products across multiple online retailers.
But the problem is that with so many options available, it can be overwhelming for consumers to find exactly what they want. This is especially true for businesses that stock hundreds of thousands of products, leading to a high cognitive load, and choice paralysis.
This is where search filters come in, as they allow customers to narrow down their options and find the products that best meet their needs.
Having a good filtering experience can make or break your online store's success.
Unfortunately, only 60% of websites offer a good filtering experience. And if you are not in this lot, then you have a lot to worry about.
Product filters are an essential tool for e-commerce businesses, as they allow customers to easily find what they're looking for, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
In this blog post, we'll be discussing 10 ways you can optimize your e-commerce store using search filters.
1. Offer category-focused product filters
One of the most important things to consider when optimizing your e-commerce store's search filters is to ensure that your filters are category-focused.
This means that the filters you offer should be specific to the products in the category that customers are browsing.
For example, if you're selling clothing, you might offer filters for size, color, and material. By offering category-focused product filters, you'll make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for, leading to increased sales.
2. Use natural language search in your product discovery
Another important way to optimize your e-commerce store's search filters is to use natural language search in your product discovery.
Natural language search uses advanced machine learning techniques like natural language processing (NLP) to understand the context and intent of the user's search query and then returns results that match the user's intent.
Advanced search engines with NLP capabilities like Zevi can easily decipher search queries and then deliver filtered results.
For example, instead of requiring customers to search for "blue dress," and then applying filters, users can specify attributes in searches like "show me blue dresses with flower prints" or "find me a maxi blue dress" and the search engine will understand and deliver the perfect results.
3. Leverage thematic filters for a friction-less search experience
Thematic filters are another important way to optimize your e-commerce store's search filters. Thematic filters are filters that are based on the theme or style of the products rather than their specific characteristics. For example, if you're selling clothing, you might offer a "casual" filter, a "formal" filter, and a "business" filter.
By leveraging thematic filters, you'll make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for, leading to a smoother search experience.
4. Boost important filters
Another way to optimize your e-commerce store's search filters is to boost important filters. This means that you'll make certain filters more prominent than others. For example, if you're selling clothing, you might make the "size" filter more prominent than the "color" filter. By boosting important filters, you'll make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for, leading to increased sales.
5. Think about the placement and design
An important aspect to consider when optimizing your e-commerce store's search filters is the placement and design.
This means that you'll need to think about where the filters are located on your website and how they're designed. For example, you'll want to make sure that the filters are located in an easily accessible location, such as the sidebar or the top of the page. You'll also want to make sure that the design of the filters is easy to use and understand.
It should be immediately apparent what a filter does, when a filter is applied, and how to remove it
6. Offer multiple filters or let users combine different filters
Combining multiple filters is a must-have. Your user doesn’t want to narrow down results from 12000 products to 5000, and then go through them one by one.
This means that you'll allow customers to use multiple filters at the same time, such as size and color. By offering multiple filters or letting users combine different filters, you'll make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for.
7. Make deselecting filters easy and accessible
It's also important to make deselecting filters easy and accessible. This means that you'll provide customers with a clear and easy way to remove filters that they no longer want to use.
This can be done by including a "clear all" button, or by allowing customers to easily remove individual filters. By making deselecting filters easy and accessible, you'll ensure that customers can quickly and easily modify their search results, which will lead to a better overall experience.
8. Mobile-optimize for filters
With more and more people shopping on their mobile devices, it's important to optimize your e-commerce store's search filters for mobile.
This means that you'll need to make sure that the filters are easy to use and understand on a smaller screen. This can be done by simplifying the design of the filters, or by using larger text. By mobile-optimizing your search filters, you'll ensure that customers can easily find what they're looking for, regardless of the device they're using.
9. Integrate personalized recommendations into product filtering
Another way to optimize your e-commerce store's search filters is to integrate personalized recommendations into product filtering.
This means that you'll use data about the customer's browsing and purchase history to recommend products that they're likely to be interested in. For example, if a customer frequently buys running shoes and shorts, you might recommend other athleisure items when they're browsing the clothing section of your store.
By integrating personalized recommendations into product filtering, you'll increase the chances that customers will find something they're interested in, leading to increased sales.
10. Stay away from ‘no-results’ page
The no-results page is the most dreaded in eCommerce. If your customers see this, its all but game over
So, what can you do about it? When a customer searches for something and there are no results, you'll provide them with alternative options rather than just telling them that there are no results.
For example, you might suggest similar products or provide them with a link to the contact page so they can ask for help. By staying away from the "no-results" page, you'll ensure that customers don't become frustrated and leave your site, which will lead to increased sales.
With e-commerce sales expected to reach 4.9 trillion in 2021, it's more important than ever to optimize your store's filters. Modern consumers have a vast amount of information and choices to make – so make it easy for them by reducing irrelevant options.
By optimizing the filtering experience, you’ll save your customers time, direct them to the right products, and in turn boost your sales.
At Zevi, our modern AI-powered search engine is designed to provide customers with an intuitive and efficient search experience. Try out a demo today.