11 Ways to Use Faceted Filtering on Shopify
If you’re looking to improve your Shopify store’s revenue and conversion rates, then faceted filtering is the way to go.
Simply put, the easier you make your Shopify search for your shoppers, the more likely they are to find what they’re looking for – and buy it.
The stakes are high. 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
Faceted filtering allows your customers to search for products using specific criteria, which speeds up the selection and purchase process.
In this article, we’ll discuss 11 ways you can use faceted filtering to improve your store’s performance. You’ll get tips on how to set it all up (no coding required!), as well as some best practices to follow.
Let’s get started!
What is Faceted Filtering?
It all starts with a search bar.
Your shoppers use it to enter a product name or attribute, then they browse through the search results right below.
The first search result will not always be exactly what the users are looking for, so we help them with smart search options. This can include things like color, size, style, and more.
In short, faceted filtering is an intricate search feature that allows customers to search for products using a range of criteria not only on a store level but also on the category level.
If your Shopify store has a lot of products, you should definitely invest in faceted search to make it easier for your shoppers to find what they’re looking for.
Did you know? 💡
- The terms “faceted filtering” and “faceted search” are more or less interchangeable. The slight difference is that “faceted search” may include a keyword-based search field, too.
- You don’t need to do any custom coding to get faceted search functions on your Shopify store. Simply install a Shopify search app (see the next section).
How Can I Use Faceted Search on Shopify?
The out-of-the-box Shopify search is rather basic. However, having an advanced site search with all the bells and whistles is not reserved only for the big-name stores. Sure, you can put it together via custom coding (expensive, time-consuming), but if you want to avoid that, then simply install a Shopify app like Rapid Search.
Rapid Search is a powerful, AI-driven search engine that fully supports faceted filtering. It’s a “set it and forget it” kind of tool that can help you improve your store’s performance almost instantly.
How to install Rapid Search
- In the Shopify app store, open the search app, Rapid Search‘s page
- Click “Add app”
- In your Shopify admin area, click “Install app”
- Set up a new account
- Wait for Rapid Search to automatically index your entire store
- Create a collection based on your store products
How to setup Rapid Search
- Review the multiple filters and advanced search options available, such as facets, instant search, product sorting, stock availability, typo tolerance, and more
- Within Settings, go to the control panel, then customize the filters you want to display on your main Shopify search bar
- Next, optimize the search filters related to the most popular categories of your store, such as filter values, search results pages, and more
Great news: Rapid Search has an industry-leading free plan. Unlike competitor apps, with Rapid Search, you can expect to make $ without any product limitations.
11 Best Practices for Faceted Search on Shopify
Whether you’re going the app route or enhancing your online store with some custom code, it’s best to start with these eleven best practices:
1. Use the right filters
The whole point of faceted search is to be able to narrow down search results via multiple types of filters. Without them, the user will get lost in a sea of products.
Here’s what NOT to do:
The absence of filtering means the shopper will have to go through all 159 lipstick products to find the type and color they want. The hidden scrollbar is also not ideal, as it hinders seamless navigation for the user.
When setting up your faceted search, make sure to use the most relevant and useful filters. Not all filters are created equal. Imagine looking for shoes and having to wade through settings meant for groceries, or else.
It’s a good idea to review filters on both on-site search results pages and category pages. More on category-specific filters in a bit.
2. Optimize your price filter
People care about the price. If there ever was a “most important” product filter, then this is it.
Nowadays, most ecommerce stores offer this filter by default. However, the mode of implementation still matters.
Here are a few ways you can offer pricing settings for your users:
- A slider
- “From-to” fields
Formats and practices to avoid:
- A dropdown menu with the numbers
- A “picker” field (you increase the input number via the small up/down buttons in increments)
- Not making this area mobile-friendly
When setting up your price filter, add a range that makes sense for your products. For example, if you sell shoes that range in price from $30 to $300, you can display these digits as placeholders in the from-to fields.
You can also have two types of price filters at the same time (just make sure if one is modified by the user, the other one follows suit). See an example below.
3. Offer other categories
After displaying the search results, it’s a good idea to offer options from a sub-category.
For example, if a customer is looking for a black dress, you might want to show them other dresses in different styles (casual, formal, sporty, etc). This helps to increase the chances of making a sale by widening the product lineup for the user.
Take the below store as an example.
4. Add category-specific filters
Category-specific filters are faceted filters that usually appear when a search is made or when browsing through the site. Having them in place may mean that your filters look different from category to category.
And that’s okay! It’s a helpful, user-friendly feature that can help customers find what they’re looking for quicker.
However, implementing them requires deeper knowledge of your products and your customer’s needs.
What technical specifications do people look for when searching for a Solid State Drive?
What filters do they need for running shoes?
It could all look very different.
Here are some ways you can gather this information.
- Get advice from subject matter experts
- Review your site search data
- Run a poll among your customers
- Ask a question on a consumer forum
Once ready, implement these filters in your Shopify store. If you have the Rapid Search app, specify your facets in the Settings section. Rapid Search shows all filters automatically, but you can disable the ones you don’t need.
This addition will make it easy for customers to drill down into specific categories and find the products they’re looking for.
5. Optimize your "no results" page
No page should go wasted. If a customer searches for a term and there are no results, it’s important to show them other options right away.
This can be done by displaying related products, showing items from other categories, providing suggestions, or listing links to popular pages on your site.
It’s the perfect cross-sell opportunity!
You can also add a funny, self-aware picture to balance the shopper’s disappointment of ending up on a no results page.
6. Turn your “no results” page into a "Did you mean...?" page
This is an alternative solution to the above “no results page.”
If you want to keep the page conversational, you can do so by implementing a “Did you mean…?” search page.
This way you can handle customer searches that are close, but not quite right. For example, if someone types in “women’s red shoes” and your website doesn’t have any, it can suggest “women’s red flats” instead.
Here’s an example:
7. Have the AI do the heavy lifting
AI features can help make the search experience more seamless.
For example, Rapid Search’s main AI feature lies in its continuous self-learning capabilities. It closely follows and observes visitor behavior, such as:
- What keywords they use
- Which products they view
- Which products they ultimately buy
How does this help you?
In short, Rapid Search’s AI gets smarter every day for you.
Starting on Day 1 of your install, Rapid Search starts collecting data. It uses this data to provide better, more conversion-ready suggestions as your store matures. In just a couple of months, the app will be like a top-performing salesperson that’s working for you 24/7.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add AI functionalities to your online store, consider using a search app like Rapid Search.
8. Use breadcrumbs
Faceted search could include navigation elements, as well. Take the breadcrumbs on a product page as an example. This simple section allows customers to easily move between different levels of your Shopify store.
You can start your breadcrumb row with your store name, or with the word “Homepage”, or simply with the top-tier category. Then list all the consequent sub-categories, up until the product itself. Best practice is to go only 3-4 categories deep.
9. Add a color filter
Having color swatches can be an important visual guide for many shoppers, especially when buying clothing or home decor.
Depending on your site search solution, you may have to implement some custom code and assign the colors yourself one by one.
In short, adding a color filter can help customers find what they’re looking for faster.
10. Add a quick view option
Give customers a quick preview of a product without having to leave the search results page.
It can be as simple as displaying an image in a bigger size, rotating the first few images, or showing a video. A quick view can speed up the shopping process and lead to higher conversion rates.
11. Give an idea of the stock status
Displaying the low stock status of a product on the search page is a great way to instill some urgency in the customer and make them buy the product before it runs out of stock.
On the other hand, displaying an abundance of stock status can also work. It will evoke a sense of security in the customer that there are enough products to go around, and they don’t need to worry about product unavailability.
You can use a small badge or a label next to the product title (if viewing from the category page) or near the Add to Cart button to denote its availability.
+1: Do regular A/B testing
Before committing to any major changes, it’s important to test how they will affect your store.
You can use a tool like Google Optimize to run A/B tests on your Shopify store and see which faceted search configuration works best for you.
Start with a small change and work your way up. Test one element at a time so you can be sure that the results are accurate.
Bottom Line: Improve Your Bottom Line with Faceted Filtering
Shopify faceted search is a powerful tool that can help you improve the customer experience on your store and increase revenue. In this article, we’ve outlined a few ways you can start optimizing your faceted filtering right away.
Just remember to thoroughly test any new filters or configurations before you roll them out to your entire store. With a little bit of effort, you can see a big return on your investment.
It’s also important to keep in mind that faceted filtering is just one part of the puzzle. Make sure you’re also focusing on other areas of your store, such as product page optimization and customer service. By providing a great overall experience, you’ll be sure to see an increase in sales and loyal customers.
Finally, remember to check out Rapid Search, an AI-powered smart search bar for Shopify stores. It’s ready to make you $$$ even on the free plan!