Every day, customers on your Shopify store are trying to find the right product for their needs. They may be looking for a specific type of product or trying to find the best price for a particular item.
If they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’re likely to leave your site without making a purchase. Customers want it fast – 40% of eCommerce customers abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load, and they want precisely what they’re asking for.
Whatever their search goals are, it's essential that your Shopify store's design and UX are up to the task of helping them find what they need with ease.
That’s why having well-designed Shopify filters is so important. Even a simple product filter can lead to a 26% increase in conversions. But like any tool, they need to be used correctly in order to be effective.
In this blog, we’ll share some of the best practices for designing Shopify filters.
But first – What are Shopify Filters?
Shopify filters are essentially tools that customers use to narrow down their search results on an online store based on certain criteria. They are the search and navigation options that appear on your store.
In general, there are two ways of refining search results on a Shopify-based store – filters and facets.
Filters allow customers to broadly refine their search results based on specific criteria. For example, they might refine their search to only see products rated 4 stars and above, or they might combine multiple filters in their search to only see blue shirts that cost less than $50.
Facets: Facets are similar to filters, but are more specific and usually relevant only to specific categories. For example, after having searched for ‘phones’, store visitors might be able to further refine the displayed results by selecting particular brands (Apple, Samsung, etc.), the desired RAM or CPU speed, the camera resolution, and more by using facets.
Now that we know what Shopify filters are and how they work, let’s look at some of the best filter design practices.
4 Best Practices for Designing Shopify Filters
1. Think about Placement
The placement of your filters can have a massive impact on how effective they are.
There are three standard positions for filter bars:
- Sidebar: Positioned on the left-hand side of the screen. This is a popular placement for filters as it doesn't interfere with the product images.
- Horizontal filter bar: Positioned at the top of the screen. Placing your filters at the top of the screen can be effective as it allows customers to see them before they start scrolling down.
- Inline bar: This is a horizontal floating filter option that appears at the top of the screen as customers scroll down. An inline bar can be effective as it doesn't take up a lot of space plus allows users to access all filters all the time.
Generally, customers are used to seeing sidebars on the left side, but data from Baymard Institute shows that horizontal toolbars can significantly outperform sidebars.
Why? Because they’re more visible. The negatives of horizontal bars are they’re harder to scale and require a unique layout for different products.
Some companies experiment with a mixed design. For example, the Indian fashion e-retailer Myntra places broad filters on the sidebar and narrower filters and facets on the horizontal toolbar.
2. Real-Time filtering over batch
With real-time or interactive filtering, the search results appear as soon as users apply a filter instead of waiting until they’ve chosen all their options and pressed apply.
Batch filtering means that customers have to wait until the page refreshes and loads before they can start refining their search results. This can take a while, especially if your store has a lot of products.
The beauty of real-time filtering is that it makes the search process much faster and more intuitive for customers. They can see immediately if a particular combination of options will give them the results they’re looking for.
3. Design differently for Mobile and Desktop
Make sure that your filters are designed with both mobile and desktop users in mind.
On a desktop, customers have the luxury of seeing all of their options at once and taking their time to make a decision. On mobile, however, customers typically look for a quick and easy way to find what they need. They don’t want to have to scroll through a long list of options, and they may not be as patient when it comes to making a decision.
It’s important to remember that mobile traffic accounts for nearly 60% of all web traffic.
What does this mean for you? Prioritize the mobile site – You should design your mobile filters to be more concise and easier to use.
For example, on the desktop site, you might have a left-hand sidebar with all of your filter options, while on mobile, you might want to use drop-down options or an accordion menu.
4. Allow users to combine filters
Combined filters are two or more filters that work together to produce results. For example, a customer might want to see all of the products that are rated 4 stars and above AND that cost less than $50.
While this might seem obvious, more than 30% of eCommerce sites do not give their users this option. And certain Shopify filters do not have this capability, so be extra careful when choosing filters for your Shopify store.
You might think filters are a small detail, but in reality, they can significantly impact your conversions. Customers who shop online value speed and relevancy, and if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Optimizing Shopify filters and giving your customers the right products quickly can increase conversion rates and keep your customers happy.
To take the search capabilities on your Shopify store to the next level, you might want to consider an AI-powered site search engine like Zevi. In addition to being packed with features such as an understanding of search intent, impressive search relevance and a plethora of filters, Zevi’s Shopify App can also be integrated into your store in a straightforward way. Get the App now, or reach out to us for a free trial.