Once landed on your webpage, many consumer go through a process of discovery of your catalogue range. Filtered navigation, may help them narrow down the search listings, discover the most suitable products and considerably improve their shopping experience. Thus, filtering is what allows your visitors to acknowledge and appreciate your large catalogue and hence boost considerably your online sales. However, helping the customers navigate and find the right product can be a challenge. It has been discovered that only 16% of major e-commerce websites provide frictionless filtering experience. This is surprising, since the role of the filter is to help consumers finding most suitable products effortless, not leave them with painful experience of navigating through thousands of records. These are due to common misconceptions regarding how filters should work and also poor filtering logic and user interface design.
How to enhance your website’s navigational experience
It is important to consider that since consumers are allowed to manipulate your catalogue and personalise experience, they should be treated not as a warehouse managers. Instead think about what are the product features that would be the most likely selection criteria for them?
It was established that apart from common type of filters such as price, colour, size and others, customers would benefit greatly from category-specific filters, thematic filters and compatibility filters. For example, if a consumer requires a dress made from silk she needs to look up all the dresses and check their specification details whether or not they are from silk. Or when no compatibility filtering options are given for the phone model and its accessories. No consumer would like to look through all your records to match the make of the model to an accessory. Deploy and promote filters that are genuinely useful. These will often need to be category-specific. Common oversights are style, usage context and purchase-selection parameters, for compatibility filters model name and number, capacity and power.
The way filters are posited and displayed also plays a vital role in enhancing user experience. Locate the filters on the left-hand side. Help your consumer by identifying the initial selection filters that would be relevant and useful for the majority of your visitors. You could promote some of these filters right on the home page, starting with the top selling categories which account for the vast majority of sales. Also, consider ordering filters by their importance and not alphabetically.
When specific filters are applied, indicate the product quantities available, also update and display the catalogue range automatically, hence giving a visual confirmation to the user that the applied filters are working.
Allow multiple filter selections that do not restrict your visitor of customising your product catalogue by across different options. Removing filters should be as easy as adding them.
For the long specification lists, do not use scrolling in filters, just truncate and provide an expansion option that a user can expand if required.
Filtering based on customer reviews could be a powerful tool that displays product approval based on past history of purchases and recommendations. This alone can lead for a successful transaction.
In a nutshell, for retailers who have large product ranges, filters are an essential part of improving online experiences. The more choice you offer, the better filters you need to provide. Used correctly, filters can not only contribute to the successful product purchase, but they can become a powerful marketing assets, through which customer can discover more products that they were not aware of.