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Shopping search with filters

Author: James Brown

Here's a quick spotlight on a feature we've added to a few e-commerce sites recently. The filtered search lets users select product values with tick boxes to narrow down the results until they find what they need.

You may have seen similar features on websites like Amazon, B&Q and Staples. It's a popular feature across e-commerce site because it makes things easier for customers.

All of these websites let you filter your search results further by selecting from a list of values. This can include price range, average customer rating, colour or size.

Cheeseworks product filter

Getting a search tool right

Creating an easy way for customers to search for what they need can be very complicated. It's easy to get stuck on what you assume people want to find, and as you start to define the logic of a search, it's almost impossible to find a solution that is perfect for everyone.

Making search easier for customers

A search filter gets past a lot of these issues by putting the customer in control. Once they've put in an initial keyword, they can find their way through the results by choosing the filters that matter to them. If price is important, they can just look at the cheapest options. Or if they only want one colour of tile, they can eliminate all the results that aren't relevant.

Showing a list of filters in a shopping catalogue also gives customers a better sense of what's available. They can see things like brands, sizes and descriptions that explain the type of products. This is enhanced if you add the number of products next to each filter (e.g. "black (7)" if there are 7 black products).

Green Buying product filter

How does it work for you?

While your customers will find this filter easier, it also puts you in control through your content management. Our system allows you to add these filters yourself in any combination you wish, so it's up to you how you let customers search. You may think colours and styles are more important than price, or that finding specific sizes matters most. All you need to do is add these filters and allocate the products to them, and you can add new ones any time you like.

See the search filter in action on our websites:

Or get in touch to find out how we can do it for you.