How many products do you sell on your WooCommerce website?
If you can’t think of an exact number, it’s probably because there are too many for you to remember. And that’s great because consumers looking for a product of a particular size, brand, style or color, are going to shop at the store with the widest selection first.
However, having a large selection of products can be problematic if your customers can’t easily find what they are looking for on your site.
Now, we need to bear in mind that search, sorting, and filtering are 3 different ways of helping your customers find the products that they are looking for – quickly and easily.
Using WooCommerce’s Default Sorting Options
WooCommerce shows your products chronologically by default. In other words, the last added product is displayed as the first product.
This, however, can be changed. WooCommerce allows you to make use of additional sorting options, and list products based on price, date-published, popularity, or rating to help your users quickly access products that they would be more likely to purchase.
To Modify the Default Product Sorting on Your WooCommerce Store:
The drop-down will allow you to choose from the available sorting options.
Additionally, you can also make use of ‘Related Products’, to display products in the same category, along with a particular product.
What is a WooCommerce Product Filter?
An effective search option is an essential part of your WooStore. But the odds of a customer using the search feature are higher, when he knows the exact product name.
A filtering functionality would allow a user to search for products based on product ‘attributes’ and list only the relevant products based on these attributes.
For example, if you sell gadgets, the filters for such products are ‘Make’, ‘Color’, ‘OS’, etc. If you sell apparel, filters can be, ‘Brand’, ‘Color’, ‘Size’, etc. I’m certain, you must have come across such a functionality (usually present in a sidebar) on other eCommerce websites or even marketplaces like Amazon.
Customers can effectively use these filters to search for a product. Such a filtered search functionality is also known as a faceted search.
So, how do you add such a filter in your WooCommerce store?
If you’ve surfed around the internet a little, you already know that there are WooCommerce product filter plugins available to help you out with this. But before you go ahead and install one of them, there are a couple of things you need to take care of first.
To filter products based on attributes, you need to begin by adding attributes to your store Products.
Setting Up the WooCommerce Product Filter Functionality
Let’s take the example of a store that sells smartphones.
Consider that you want to allow visitors to sort products based on ‘Make’, ‘Screen Size’, ‘Weight’ and ‘Camera’. These are basically specifications or features of your products.
Facets to Filter Gadgets
With a faceted search feature, a visitor can use these attributes (or facets) to filter products based on their liking. A WooCommerce Product Filter solution would provide you an option to define such custom attributes for the products in your store, and then add filters to refine product search.
Define Custom Product Attributes
Step 1: Define Custom Product Attributes
WooCommerce has an option to define and add attributes to products.
Since products in every WooCommerce store are different, there aren’t any default attributes. Rather, you can add your own custom attributes. These filters are defined at a single place, and can be added to every product in your store.
- Go to Products -> Attributes. Here, you have the option to create custom filters. Add a new attribute and set the Type as ‘Select’
- Once you add a new attribute, for example ‘Make’, you need to add values (known as terms)
- Under Settings for each attribute add associated values. For example, for ‘Make’ add ‘Apple’, ‘Samsung’, ‘Sony’, etc. These values are the specifications of your products.
Step 2: Set Attributes for WooCommerce Products
Once you have created these filters, you can proceed with adding them to every WooCommerce product.
- Under Product Data, you should notice the ‘Attributes‘ tab. Using this option, you can then set the attributes for each product, from the list of expected values
- Remember to update your product once the changes have been made
Step 3: Install and Activate Your Ideal WooCommerce Product Filter Plugin
You can then display these filters on your WooCommerce shop page (or in a sidebar widget), to allow visitors to easily shortlist products.
For this, you could use any of the below plugins:
These plugins essentially are WooCommerce extensions that make use of product attributes to filter products.
Each of these plugins provides a widget or shortcode that can be used to display the user-interface to filter products.
When a customer uses the product filter, and selects a particular attribute, the products which have the attribute value are displayed. A visitor can select multiple filter attributes to refine his/her search.
The Advanced AJAX Product Filters plugin also provides filters as sliders (to define a range), color swatches, checkboxes, etc.
I’m aware that I’ve referred to the offerings on your website as ‘products’, but you can follow all of the same steps mentioned in case you’re dealing with ‘services’.
The WooCommerce Product Filter solution can be the difference between a potential customer and a buyer. It definitely provides a faster, user-friendly option for visitors to search for a product they are interested in, thus increasing conversions.
If you have numerous products in your WooCommerce store, and are looking to improve the product search functionality, the advanced product filter is just what you need.