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"5 product filters customers expect when shopping online"

Excerpt: The use of product filters in e-commerce is crucial to help customers navigate through your products and ultimately make a purchase decision. In this article, we show which filters you need for an intelligent and effective filtering system.

Product filters are one of the most important factors in designing the customer experience. They allow products to be conveniently narrowed down in the online store and on marketplaces, so that the most relevant products are quickly suggested to customers.

"More than 60% of respondents say product search and navigation, and the ease with which products can be found as a result, are among the most important factors in their online shopping experience."

Source: Statista, The most important factors in online shopping (2020)

Why are product filters important?

Good product filters in e-commerce support buyers (both in the B2C and B2B environment) enormously in their product research, which significantly improves the performance in online marketing. Simple and intuitive product filters have a positive effect on user behavior in the online store or marketplace. Dwell times and add-to-cart conversions increase, while purchase decision processes are shortened. 

"In usability testing of 19 randomly selected online stores and benchmarking 50 major e-commerce platforms on the usability of product listings and filters, we found that 84% of sites provide a mediocre or poor filter experience. The most common reasons for this are a lack of important filtering options, poor filter design, and filter logic that doesn't align with user expectations."

Source: Baymard, Filtering Experience Research

Only 16% of the big e-commerce websites offer their customers a good filter experience. To make sure you are one of them in the future, we present the most important product filters below.

Indispensable product filters for e-commerce

  • Price filter: When making a purchase decision, price is one of the most important factors. In a stationary retail store, customers can get advice from a salesperson and ultimately be presented with products that fit their budget. In the online store or marketplace, this advice is not possible. Product and price filters are necessary here to pre-select the most relevant products from several hundred or thousand products. Price filters allow customers to search online for a specific product range that fits their budget and make comparisons between similarly priced products. Most commonly used in practice are price selection filters or customizable price range filters, as well as filters for selecting from the lowest to the highest price.
  • Product attribute filters: The importance of product attribute filters (size, color, material, weight, country of origin, etc.) depends on the product and the industry. End consumers (B2C) may be interested in different attributes than business customers (B2B). Therefore, retailers should be able to customize filters for the different e-commerce platforms according to the target group. The color filter is particularly popular in the area of fashion, furnishings and others. When a customer searches for a product in a specific color, such as “black jeans,” he does not want to have countless colorful pants suggested. Unwanted search results lead to a frustrating situation for the customer. In the worst case, the customer bounces and switches to the competitor’s offer, which takes better account of his preferences through more relevant search results. Size filtering, on the other hand, is helpful not only for clothing, but also for furniture, industrial tools, electronics, etc.
  • Product type filter: Adding a product type filter makes the search process simpler and easier. Regardless of how many product categories you carry in your e-commerce system, this filter is essential for a better shopping experience. Even if you only carry one category, such as “shoes,” adding product type filters for “running, outdoor, basketball, hiking, etc.” will help your customers find what they are looking for faster.
  • User reviews: Product descriptions and digital assets (images, videos, 360° visualizations, etc.) provide important basic information for online shopping. However, these are often not sufficient to make an in-depth purchase decision. That’s why a large number of online shoppers regularly rely on customer reviews. Product reviews help customers to get a better idea of the product without actually holding the product in their hands. At this point, it should be noted that only genuine, authentic customer testimonials strengthen customer trust. As obvious as this sounds, the greater the discrepancy in practice. According to the European Commission, 55% of websites violate EU law through manipulated and misleading reviews. Companies should therefore make sure to integrate only certified rating systems, such as Trusted Shops or Trustpilot, in their product filters.

"One in two reads online reviews before buying."

Source: Baymard, Filtering Experience Research
  • Brand filter: Since many customers are tied to specific brands or make brand-conscious purchases, it is important to perform brand filtering in the online store or marketplace. Especially for cross-selling and up-selling products, customers start their search with the industry-leading brands.

Conclusion

The relevance of certain selection criteria such as size, color, price, etc. varies from product to product. Depending on the article, availability and product group, product filters must deliver the appropriate results for each search query. Product filters are an important lever for optimizing the customer experience in e-commerce and accelerating the purchase decision process.

Learn how prodexa’s Product Information Management (PIM) system helps you organize your product data and implement relevant product filters in a free online demo.

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