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How to Enhance Magento eCommerce Website Product Searching or Filtering Experience

Recently on my visit to Singapore, I wandered like a stray animal on the streets. I felt strange among the crowd of unknown faces and unfamiliar places until I used Google maps to heal my misery. I feel the same misery when I visit an unfamiliar store, with improper navigational options. After searching for 100s of products, ranging from 1 to 1000s of dollars, all I could do was to abandon it. Trust me, a weakly optimized site is a big turn off. And this is why you need an optimized eCommerce store.

The bottom line is- a user should be able to search the products. What do we do when we go to a brick and mortar superstore and couldn’t find a product? We ask the sales team to help us locate the products. What if we don’t find any sales team? We obviously walk out of the store. Similarly, navigating tools and filtering extensions like Product Part Finder for Magento 2  act as the sales team for your eCommerce which not only let your customers extract the optimized products but also magnify your sales.

Here is a list of problems which users face and all the necessary steps required to dilute such problems from the merchant’s side:

PROBLEM: Customer loses the control of site’s hierarchy. Nested hyperlinks and redirections make customers forget the path. Why is it a problem? It propels users to start their search from the scratch which may likely add negative shade to their shopping experiences.

SOLUTION: Spread Breadcrumbs, Let Your Store Mark the Flag

Breadcrumb Navigation is a kind of site navigation which shows the site’s hierarchy to the customers. What does it mean? It means that customers get the exact route and get aware of their whereabouts. This navigation helps them to get back to the home page safely, just by a click. It enables users to easily navigate to a category of products to search related products.

PROBLEM: Abundance of products, each with multiple attributes create a complex situation for the users. What does it lead to? Filtering while shopping becomes a convoluted plot.

SOLUTION: Make These Attributes Your Weapon, Let Users Filter The Products Using These Attributes

Every entity is known to have some attributes. If you let your users filter the products based on the attributes of the product, it could make their job a cakewalk. Letting users filter would reduce the number of results, narrowing by selected properties. Multiple the attributes, narrower the results, better the shopping experience.

PROBLEM: Despite adding the filter functionalities, sometimes their execution is carried out in an improper manner. What does it result in? It results in a disastrous shopping experience, utmost frustration for the users, and a waste of your money as a merchant.

SOLUTION: Allow Users to Select More than One Filters. Rely On CheckBoxes, Not on Radio Buttons.

Adding filters to your store is not enough. Your users should be able to select more than one filters at the same time. If you allow the search only by one brand, that would not let the customers compare the prices with other brands. These sort of filtering procedures make no sense and might usher users to desert your store. There are some stores which surprisingly rely on radio buttons and not on checkboxes. Nothing could be as bizarre as this.

PROBLEM: One of the many problems which users face while filtering a page is the complexity to add and remove the filters. What will the complexities cause? The answer is plain to see. It would thrust back the users.

SOLUTION: Simplify the Addition and Removal of Filters

If a customer is not satisfied with the product options which they selected, then they will want to modify the filter attributes quickly. Thus, it becomes very vital for you to introduce such extensions which add and remove the filters just by a click. This basically means that customers should be able to undo the applied filters without leaping back to the home page.

PROBLEM: Filters, Filters all around. But not a precise filter to choose from. Having a lot of filters is a good choice, but that would certainly cover a lot of area of shopping page. What harm do a lot of filters pose? No harm at all. They only make the site intricate.

SOLUTION: Put Filters in Expandable/Collapsible Menus

This section not only covers the filtering options but also the UI of your website. In most of the cases, users would not want to apply more than two to three filters. Make sure that screen remains free of a mess by showing only the relevant filters and removing the rest of them. Expandable menus allow the users to click the relevant filters only.

PROBLEM: Uncommon products like automobiles and their parts demand a different kind of filtering strategy as they have different attributes. General haberdasheries and shoes can be filtered using various dimensions of chest size and foot size. What about automobiles?

SOLUTION: Assigning Dynamic Attributes to Each Product

Since different categories of products have different attributes, it is recommended to offer the filtering options based on the respective attributes i.e., customers should be able to find spare components and parts based on the year-make-model or similar filters they choose in your website. You can’t go live with putting all the attributes of cloths on your website and ignoring the properties of uncommon products. Creating product filters based on primary criteria can be extremely helpful for your website.

Here is how you can use a set of codes also called as Part Finder Extension which helps to discover the right product very quickly:

PROBLEM: When I get appealed by the choices of my friends, I try to look for the same products. How do I find the exact products, especially when there is a myriad of products? I am clueless. HELP. And that’s where you need to help them.

SOLUTION: Auto search By Certain Keywords

Make your search bar smart, smart like Google. Let it autocomplete the search and offer several options by which a user can select the desired products. For example, if a user types Nike, your search bar should automatically reflect the products related to it.

You should also provide synonym results. On most of the occasions, it is difficult for a customer to describe the products in exactly the same strings as you want. Making an intelligent search bar and embedding synonym tool in your website would search the synonyms of the word. For example, if a user writes men’s underpants, your search bar should be able to map the keyword and reflect the synonym products like knickers, pants, etc in a drop-down menu which should ease the searching process of the users.

PROBLEM: Mentioned a lot of attributes? Ticked! Have a lot of filtering options? Ticked! Have clarity in describing the filtering options? Well what? This is one of the major problems.

SOLUTION: Clarity in Mentioning the Options Make Filtering Beneficial

Adding a lot of filtering extensions is good. But what’s more important is to make attributes understandable by general mass. Unclear attributes, vague mentioning can do no good to your store. Make sure that your filters don’t create confusion.

The Inference

You can improve conversions drastically by adding minute filtering details and paying great attention to product searching in your website/store. Putting all the strategic flavours mentioned above into your store would definitely enhance the customer’s experience.

Darshit Parmar
Darshit Parmar
Darshit is a dedicated eCommerce consultant at M-Connect Media, a sales-oriented e-business development company. Darshit’s 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry has assisted him in boosting sales for multitudinous eCommerce brands. He shares his in-depth insights on how to build a successful eCommerce store not only with his clients personally but also makes sure to put up on various platforms in the form of blogs and e-books. Certified with Google Analytics and Oracle 9i, His technical streak is as strong as his business skills.

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