April 30, 2024

Better Item Sorting: Improve eCommerce Product Filtering & Product List Design

Nadya Bakhur

Researcher, Technical Writer


How to Improve Ecommerce Item Sorting: Best Tips and Tools

Nadya Bakhur

Researcher, Technical Writer


How to Improve Ecommerce Item Sorting: Best Tips and Tools

Most content management systems offer a default product sorting order. However, what if you need to change it?I n this article, you will discover why a default website filter design is not the best idea for your online store. Moreover, ecommerce experts from our custom software development company provide a practical solution to help change the default order of product sorting Magento suggests.

Introduction: Why Product Filtering Is Important

Every time a customer purchases from you it means that your product findability is OK and it works. Poor product findability means the following: what can’t be found can’t be bought. No matter how high the demand is, customer patience won’t last long. People come online to buy things quickly, not to solve searching puzzles.Product sorting in ecommerce marketing is the way products are organized in the catalogue or the way they are displayed in search results. Product sorting is one of the marketing tools that you can customize and use to improve the findability of products in your online store.

Why does product listing page design really matter for your online store?The reasons are obvious:

  • Poor products website design won’t benefit the revenue. Lack of order and sorting in the catalogue results in frustration and a negative customer experience. Customers, if they feel that they lost their time and found nothing, are less likely to return to that online store;
  • It’s a good way to show your customers that what they see is what they need actually. Your customers do the research themselves. You will want to offer them what you are pretty sure they will like or be interested to view.

Below you will discover the product sorting mechanisms for ecommerce stores, the best UX practices for filtering goods, the tools to improve Magento inventory management, as well as find Magento extensions to help enhance product findability in your ecommerce store.

How Does Category Sorting Work? Why?

There are two ways for the customer to find what they need in an online store:

  • Browsing the catalogue;
  • Using site filters.

Either way, the customer ends up with an ecommerce list that should fall within their search intent. The simpler and more intuitive your products web design is, the easier it is for the user to navigate your website and take targeted actions. Thanks to the many filters and sorting options, search for desired products is accelerated, which, in turn, affects the statistics of page viewing depth and the average session time.Why filter design of your ecommerce store is not the thing to underestimate?

Firstly, it determines how fast your customers find what they need and how satisfied they are with their search process. If your customers can’t find what suits their needs, they switch to your competitor;

Secondly, customers are not redirected to another page while the products are displayed in a different (specific) order based on custom parameters. Convenient structure positively affects the speed of ordering.

So, why category specific sorting works?

1. Because sorting by default simply doesn’t

Having the basic categories and catalog filters such as price, popularity, and name is a must. However, all of these options are often not enough to desply a good portion of products to the customer. Ecommerce products sorted by sales numbers might not work because the most sold products are usually the cheaper ones. As for the number of reviews, quantity isn’t always equal to the product quality as for example a recently added product with a positive review will be still placed lower than the one with less positive reviews.

2. It helps your best-value-products not to be left out

If you put price or popularity sorting as default, there is a possibility that some of your best-selling and best-rated products are going to be pushed to the end of your ecommerce product catalog. Offering popular or the cheapest products first consistently benefits the revenue, but your TOP 100 products will constantly be pushing the new arrivals away from higher positions.

3. It protects from product sorting reviews/ratings cheating

If you sell goods from various manufacturers, there might be competition. There is no guaranteed protection from manipulating the ratings and reviews. This means that the ranking system needs to be constantly supervised, which is hard or nearly impossible with large numbers of items.Category-specific product sorting allows you to quickly show to the customers their desired page where products are selected according to their requests. As a result, the risk of your ecommerce store abandonment decreases, while the likelihood of conversions rises.

How To Apply Category-Specific Sorting: Successful Filtering Examples

Of course, leaving the product list as it is, without uploading it, isn’t a good idea. To create eye-catching product research, ecommerce business owners usually use their experience with the audience combined with practical knowledge about their goods.We suggest 4 useful tips to help make the most from the category-specific sorting and enhance user experience of your website. First, analyze the demand, then put only the necessary information in your products lists, pay attention to your product offer, and avoid choice overload.

Analyze the demand

Figure out what your customers view first based on your sales numbers and customer behaviour. Use your dedicated analytics tools. The type of products you sell might also become a factor here. For example, clothing online stores usually place new arrivals first, while electronic ecommerce retailers prefer promoting the best deals. See the examples below.

Product Sorting tips: place new arrivals and popular goods first.

New-in-stock items are put on top of the page | Screenshot by NEKLO LLC

Product Listing Page tips: new-in-stock items are on tp of the page.

Best deals are displayed first | Screenshot by NEKLO LLC

Put only the necessary information in your products lists

No matter which sorting method you choose, make sure customers get all the necessary information in your product lists and don’t need to take additional steps to find information like price and availability. Clear grid and lists that say enough for your customers to estimate if the product they see fits their budget or general expectations.

eCommerce Product Catalog tips: put only necessary information in your product lists

Basic information is available before viewing the product | Screenshot by NEKLO LLC

Pay attention to your product offer

Customers come to you with different purposes. Some of them search for the best price or specific feature, while others might just wander waiting for the store display to come up with suggestions. Paying attention to the front category page contents and structure is worth it. Make sure the products customers see are the ones that match the category definition.

Avoid choice overload

A rich variety of goods presupposes that more people will find what they need. But is it really so? Since customers see only a part of the selected category they expect to see a limited number of goods that they can easily analyze and compare.In this case, less is more.You can stuff ten products in a row and combine them with long descriptions in small print, but that will confuse those who want to compare and choose right away. The looks of the product matter.

Product Filtering tips: avoid choice overload

Imagery matters for selling apparel | Screenshot by NEKLO LLC

Tools and Magento 2.0 Extensions Used for Product Sorting

As a Magento development company, we are often asked on how to sort specific products in Magento-based web stores. Store owners are afraid of applying product sorting tools as they realize that it requires additional investments while can’t see clearly the outcome. For all those who are interested in improving their websites’ user experience and increasing conversion rates in their online stores, our Magento ecommerce development experts build useful Magento modules that make item sorting in an ecommerce store easy and quick.

Visual Product Sorting by Drag and Drop

This extension allows for configuring product order by dragging and dropping products from one position to another. Moreover, it helps to configure product cards and adjust the way customers see them on the category page.

Why does it stand out?

  • It improves product sorting

Our Magento module provides for Magento sort by position and helps build an engaging product layout, tailor it to your customers’ demands, and move your customers forward to buying from you.

  • It provides full control over the content

With our Magento module, you get full control over your website’s product page content and an opportunity to arrange the best visual presentation of your goods.

  • It offers convenient product placement

This Magento extension is your tool providing handy items relocation in your web store by dragging and dropping them at any place within the catalogue.

Search by Category

This Magento extension will help you to simplify the searching process in your online store’s product catalogue as it provides the possibility for customers to quickly find any product by specifying its category in the search bar.Our module adds a drop-down list to the search bar of your website and specifies the categories you have. Additionally, this Magento 2 search plugin includes unlimited subcategories.

Why does it stand out?

  • It offers easy catalogue navigation

This extension facilitates the search process in your product catalogue with an advanced search bar. It helps your customers to find a necessary item quicker. Moreover, it reduces the number of customers’ steps to purchase and helps to push overall sales.

  • It helps to improve your website’s UX

This Magento module helps your customers to avoid endless browsing of the catalogue. All they will need is to enter a search request while the drop-down list will show all the available categories and subcategories.

  • It brings detailed customizations

Our Magento extension is flexible. You decide which categories to show in the drop-down list, specify the category tree depth, set the characters to indicate tree levels, and you can do a lot more actually.

In conclusion

There’s no one-fits-all custom software solution that will work for every online store. Your sorting preferences should be based on what you sell and what your audience is looking for. The key is to be flexible and update your online store according to the changes in the ecommerce market and trends. After learning what matters most for your customers and what influences your revenue positively, you can customize product layouts and change them whenever such a necessity arises.

Our software development agency will gladly help you with custom extension development or solution building in case you need to update your web store or are only planning to launch one. Through our custom software development services, we help to bring new ideas and enhance ecommerce. Contact us through the form on our website and get a professional consultation on bespoke software development for your ecommerce activity.