Product Filtering: Lessons From Top Brands to Enhance User Experience

Product Filtering: Lessons From Top Brands to Enhance User Experience


It is undeniable that effective product filters are the fastest way to lead your customers to their desired product pages. Although eCommerce filters play a central part in product browsing, most online stores lack a user-friendly filtering system. Consequently, poorly designed eCommerce filters will drive consumers away instead of turning them into buyers. 

In today’s article, we will take a look at and learn from the product filtering strategies of leading brands to optimize your current filters. But first, let’s see which are the most common product filter types for eCommerce stores. 

Common Product Filter Types 

Filters are a key component of product discoverability, giving visitors the ability to browse, investigate, and select products in a seamless, frictionless manner.

Thanks to a good filtering experience, shoppers can discover products they had no idea they were interested in as well as find what they are seeking. (Source: Miss Amara)

How should store owners configure product filters? 

According to The Good, there are 9 filter options that are suitable for most eCommerce stores: 

  • Brand 
  • Price 
  • Color
  • User Ratings
  • Material
  • Size 
  • Theme
  • Popularity 
  • Promotion

Remember that product filtering is contextual, so you do not have to include them all. Your product catalog, visitor preferences, and other variables determine the best filter combination. Your filter mix will be unique to your store. For example, if your products are from only one vendor, it will not make sense to have a brand filter option. 

Product Filtering Strategies From Top Shopify Brands

Whether prospects visiting your eCommerce site know exactly what they are looking for, or need some direction, paying attention to these tactics will ensure that their experience on your site is tailored toward helping them buy. Let’s take a look at some real examples from big brands to show you how they set up their filters.

Dermalogica – Avoid Using Jargon

If you want your customers to find their favorite products quickly, you should name filter options by using the language that describes your items. Never bombard them with branding terms or industry jargon that are absolutely not practical at all. 

(Souce: Dermalogica

Founded in 1986, Dermalogica is an American personal care brand, headquartered in California. Cleansers, exfoliants, toners, masques, eye treatments, and moisturizers are among its items, aside from treatment lines. Therefore, the company has a wide range of skincare products. They need a filter that is helpful to their customers, so they came up with a skin concern filter. Customers just need to click on their skin condition (acne, dryness, oiliness, uneven skin tone…), then they will quickly get options that are suitable for their skin without needing to know  product names, active ingredients, or technology brand uses. 

Cook Woods – Confirm Active Filters Visually

Cook Woods, located amid the lovely forests of Klamath Falls, Oregon, has been assisting woodworkers and crafters from all over the world. They’ve been helping them find the exotic woods they require for art gallery pieces, exquisite furniture, guitars, and other projects since 1997. They import the best lumber and exotic hardwoods from across the world, as well as stunning hardwood logs, slabs, and boards farmed in the Pacific Northwest.

On their online store, the brand always makes sure that visitors are well aware of active filters. Cook Woods clearly displays filter options and option values that are currently being applied. 

(Source: Cook Woods

Also, if a consumer is dissatisfied with the results of their filter combination, they may choose to remove some filters in order to “open up” the results. Thus, you should allow visitors to your site  to easily remove individual product filters as Cook Woods is doing. To be more specific, they make each active filter option into a button and customers can toggle them off by clicking the ‘X’ next to them. 

Northern Brewer – Indicate Product Quantity On The Filter 

The amount of products displayed in a filter helps shoppers determine the size of that category and whether they should apply further filters to narrow their search. Let’s see how Northern Brewer is doing with their filter settings. 

Northern Brewer first opened its doors as a homebrew supply in 1993 by Chris Farley. 

(Source: Northern Brewer)

Each of Northern Brewer’s filters includes a quantity. When you select a filter, the new page shows updated quantities based on the current filters you have selected. This is a very effective tactic to limit over-filtering. 

You might also like: eCommerce Site UI Testing Guide Ensures Customer Experience

Equal Exchange – Allow Customers to Apply Multiple Filter Option Values of The Same Type

Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange is the largest and oldest Fair Trade coffee company in the US. They sell organic and gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, and chocolate bars made by farmer cooperatives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

The brand clearly understands that visitors simply using a filter does not mean they know exactly what they want. Therefore, the team allows them to examine both the ‘French’ and ‘Full City’ roasts instead of forcing shoppers to choose between the two, for example.

(Source: Equal Exchange)

Yummy Bazaar – Hide Filter Options That Return No Results 

You definitely do not want consumers to land on blank pages. If a filter produces no results, it should  be hidden. This means that your product filtering system should work alongside the inventory management system. Yummy Bazaar is a classic example here. 

(Source: Yummy Bazaar)

Located in the USA, Yummy Bazaar is an eCommerce store that offers the most authentic specialty delicacies from around the world since 2015. As you can see, there is a filter option called ‘Availability’, which will display in-stock items only after clicking. Thus, Yummy Bazaar keeps its consumers away from frustration when they accidentally choose to buy sold-out products. 

Urban Natural – Different Items Needs Different Filter Options

Your product filters should be tailored to the items visitors are filtering. On a clock category page, for instance, you would not need a filter for ‘thickness’. The best filters are developed in groups based on product categories. This ensures that only relevant filters are presented.

Urban Natural is a one-stop shop that has provided consumers with collections of handcrafted and heirloom-quality furniture free from harmful chemicals since 2014. As you can guess, they sell a wide range of products including organic mattresses, lighting, rugs, decor items, and so on. 

(Source: Urban Natural)

As each product category has unique features, the brand has made different filter configurations based on each group. While the sofa collection allows customers to filter by shipping availability and by size, shoppers can narrow down the results by the material when it comes to floor lamps. 

Test As You Develop

Keep in mind that filtering settings that make sense to you may not seem appropriate for your consumers’ needs. Hence, keep testing frequently and early. The earlier you detect problems, the easier they are solved, making it a little simpler for your customers to purchase from you. 

Not sure where to begin? With the Product Filter & Search app by Boost Commerce, we will support businesses like yours to enhance faceted navigation as well as remove conversion barriers. Enjoy your 14-free day trial to apply useful filtering strategies to your online store now!

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