When it comes to making the ideal eCommerce site, it can be difficult to know what features you should and shouldn’t include for your customers. Of course, you want to make it user friendly, but it can be hard to decide what features help users and what features overwhelm users. Some top features used by eCommerce brands are filters and faceted search. But what’s the difference? And how do you know when to use one over the other? Understanding when to use filters and when to use a faceted search function can streamline your eCommerce site and encourage customers to want to return to your site for simple purchases.
What’s the Difference?
Both filters and facets help narrow down searches for users when they are navigating a site. In the case that your site includes many different products, having options for users to eliminate irrelevant criteria is ideal for a customer. By being able to customize their search to see what they only want to see makes it quick and simple for customers to purchase what they want. Without the ability to quickly find what they are looking for, oftentimes users leave sites and search on other sites that are more user friendly.
Filters are more general categories that help eliminate pages of products that users aren’t interested in. They don’t change even when search results are different, which is why it’s important to keep them general. Facets are more specific options that users can activate to help narrow down searches even more than general categories. The main difference is that with filters, you can only apply one at a time and it doesn’t change. In a faceted search, you can apply many facets at one time to create your own customized category that eliminates all other results that don’t match the criteria you chose. When there is a high volume of pages, a faceted search helps users easily search for what they are specifically looking for. In some cases, sites are using both filters and facets to give users a more defined search without spending all their time looking for the content they desire.
Why Should I Use Filters For My Site?
The benefit of having filters is that having more broad categories allows customers to see products they might be interested in that they didn’t think about before. For example, a user might be looking for black shoes, but in the broad category of “shoes” they come across a pair of white shoes they like and might also purchase them along with the black pair. It can also be cheaper to apply filters to your website because they are not as specific as facets, which require more resources to create and continuously maintain. The negative side of using filters is that they are general categories that have no customizing features for users. If your site offers several hundred pairs of shoes, then a filter for shoes would still leave users with an exhausting amount of content pages. However, filters work if the majority of your products can be lumped into general categories and still help customers narrow down search results.
Why Should I Use Facets For My Site?
Having a faceted search option for your site is most ideal for giving specific search results. Giving your users the ability to have tailored results makes their experience on your site worth their while. When it comes to a variety of different products that come in different shapes and sizes, filters just won’t make the cut. A faceted search gives customers exactly what they are looking for without mulling over pages of products and content. They also make navigating sites on mobile devices much easier. With small screens, only so many products can show up on a page, leaving users frustrated with how much time it takes for them to get to what they are looking for. It’s important to make sure your facets are relevant for your users. Having too many facets that go underutilized will create confusion on your site and not help narrow down search results. Facets can change upon searches whereas filters do not. If a user searches for laptops, then the facets for tv’s are not relevant to the user. With facets adjusting to the user’s typing, the overall experience for users finding what they need is improved.
Filters and Facets
Creating a user-friendly site is crucial for increasing conversion rates and the likelihood customers will return to your site. By understanding what filters and facets are and when you should use them, you can create a site that works best for your customers. Based on what you are offering, you can use filters or a faceted search to create more narrow searches. You can even use both to ensure users have the ability to get the search results they want. Use filters to create broad categories that do not change with searches or use facets to create tailored results for users.