If you want to make more money online – make it easy for your customers to buy from you by adding sorting and filtering functions to your online shop – especially when you offer lots of products for sale.
A substantial online shop which offers customers hundreds of different items in the product range will benefit from sort and filter features by giving purchasers the option to view only products which closely match the category or item they have in mind.
It’s so basic, so fundamental, it makes you wonder why so many online shops miss out on this function.
Here are some pointers for setting up sort & filter functions for your site so it becomes a “no-brainer” for customers to buy from you:
1. Allow the reader to customise their search towards their preferred product features by eliminating unsuitable ones.
For the reader who is browsing to find something they have in mind, filtering out goods that do not meet the reader’s criteria makes searching for that they do want much easier.
By filtering, the visitor can decrease the number of items within any product category.
Imagine a person is looking at the TV set category in an online electrical store. They might be interested in all the products in the 42 to 50-inch screen category and none of the other sizes you stock. Now the list is filtered, the customer can concentrate on making their minds up about the most relevant products in your shop.
2. Persuade the reader to purchase by using filtering.
For customers who have not made up their minds, use filters to up-sell and influence buying decisions.
Some shoppers are looking for some sort of “consultation” service, where you can make recommendations for them – the online equivalent to visiting a department store and using their personal shopper service.
For example, on special occasions (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas), featuring “for him” and “for her” filters significantly improve the chance of the visitor buying something, since their online shopping a personalized experience that will complement the their expectations, current needs and personal preferences.
3. Offer the reader “sort by” choices.
The “sort by” option allows the user to view product listings more effectively and more quickly, depending on the features or criteria they have selected, and makes online shopping much less complicated. Sites that are intuitive, quick and easy to use always sell more.
Since readers’ needs vary, depending on their personal circumstances at the time, the options you offer should satisfy those needs.
These include sort by price, delivery, colour, size, brand name, date added, best sellers, relevance, etc. or whatever feature the product calls for.
You can further enhance the “sort by” by offering the option of which products come first in the list. For example, sort by price high to low or low to high.
Use sorting and filtering to help customers easily locate and focus upon the most suitable items for their needs within your product or service range.
Ineffective searching and filtering is the equivalent of a grocery store organising their products by country of origin, not the usual, familiar ways of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy. If a grocery store did that, they would frustrate their customers very quickly indeed.
Make sure things are quick and easy to find on your site to boost your sales and make more money online for your business.