Keeping Ecommerce Filters Relevant to the Products

I always encourage ecommerce sites to provide shoppers with great refinement options. The ability to sort and filter categories of products can be very helpful for a user who is browsing and wants to narrow down their options to find the item they want to buy. However, tacking on a bunch of filters without putting the thought into it isn’t a solution. Here’s a great example from a retailer called Gardner’s Supply Company.

From the home page of the site, I used the top navigation menu, opening the Gardening tab and clicking on the Vegetable Fertilizers category. On this category page, there are some filters in the left navigation to help shoppers narrow down the selection. Choosing from options such as price, rating, and new or exclusive are all pretty helpful. But what’s with this color filter?

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When it comes to fertilizer, I don’t see why the color of the product would matter. Customers will just be putting this in the soil in their garden, or spraying it on their plants. There are only 4 color options anyway, and it doesn’t seem like this would really affect a shopper’s purchase decision. It seems out of place.

Just to test it out, I clicked on the black swatch. Only one product remained, and I really doubt that this bottle of Blossom Set Spray is actually black. It’s probably clear. So what is this color filter even based on?┬áNot only does the color filter not matter, it also doesn’t appear to work.

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This color filtering option doesn’t need to be included in the vegetable filters category. At the end of the day, that’s the lesson here: keep the filters in your ecommerce store relevant to the products! Think about what will actually help your customers find the right product, whether it’s fertilizer or something else entirely. It’s all about giving the user the best experience possible and eliminating anything that gets in the way (like unnecessary filters).


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