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How to add custom filters on Shopify & Shopify Plus

Last updated: May 24, 2023

It’s one thing launching a Shopify or Shopify Plus store with all of your incredible products, but one thing we see forgotten is the power of product discovery. By this we mean, allowing customers to find a product that’s best for them with ease through an intuitive website user experience.

Using a combination of both the UI design and powerful features on-site is vital to give your customers the best experience and allow them to locate products they are most likely to buy. Product discovery should be considered in 4 key areas. These 4 areas highlighted include the site navigation, search bar, collection page filtering and of page content that creates a journey for customers to follow to reach the most appealing product suggestions.

Following the launch of Shopify’s new search and discovery functionality, this article will explore the power of Shopify filtering and allow customers to find the most relevant product for them. So, let's dive into How to Add Custom Filters on Shopify & Shopify Plus!

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What is Shopify Filtering?

Shopify filtering refers to the ability for customers to view collection pages which displays a group of products which customers can then select specific attributes about products such as size, colour, price filter and more. The aims of filtering are to allow customers to reduce down the number of results of a collection of products to allow them find products that they are looking for specifically based on criteria of their choice.

What is Shopify’s search and discovery app?

The Shopify Search & Discovery app gives merchants complete control over how customers can discover products online through both search and filtering on Shopify themes. Shopify’s Search and Discovery app. The Shopify filtering app allows Shopify merchants to create custom filters to refine search by multiple categories, make and edit synonym groups so your product description matches the terms customers use and recommend related products on product detail pages. App offers an easy to use interface directly from the Shopify admin panel and the merchant account to access the wide range of customisable settings. This replaces the previous way of filtering that relied purely on Shopify tags. Allow you customers to filter products with ease and be wowed by images and content of the results. This app is available on the Shopify app store competiting with other filtering apps, giving you all the tools for ultimate collection page product filtering. The message is clear, allow customer to discover products with ease. What's more is the pricing is FREE and included with your Shopify plan. Shopify offers some of the best ecommerce features in the world alongside access to the best resources, reviews and features.

What are the default search filters?

Shopify’s Search and discovery app gives a way and steps for merchants access to 4 product filters that can enabled with the click of a button. These default collections search filters include: availability, primary price, product type and by vendor also known as brand. However the search filter options list definitely do not stop there. The functionality allows merchants to create entirely custom filtering options such as color and more to give the best search results for the appropriate section within Shopify. There are many ways to to allow customers to find the correct products but the lot of default options are a great start. Head to your search filters section today for maximise sales for your business and company.

What is the difference between filters and sorting?

A very common misconception is that filtering and sorting a collection page is the same thing when it is not. Filtering will actively remove results from a collection of products based on the selected criteria. For example if you select the filter “blue” then it removes products that are not “blue”. Sorting options refer to the ability to change the order of results within a collection page this include Bestsellers, price, alphabetical or manually ordered page. Shopify allows merchants to manually program the sort order of a collection page and process products in an admirable way.

How do I add custom filters on Shopify?

Customer filters refer to the options defined by existing product variants which are used within a store. For example, if you create a t-shirt product that have different colours you may create the option of colour - colour would then appear as a custom filter for shoppers to filter down the results within a collection page.

You may be thinking that this does not sound very custom and what if I want a filter product option to be different to the variant options. Rest assured, Shopify has an answer for truly custom filtering options with metafields and values. You can create a metafield filter using Shopify’s search nd discovery app, this will display products that have the chosen metafield value assigned to a variant to display when the metafield filter option has been chosen. For example, if you sell jumpers you may want to allow customers to filter products by the material - you could create a metafield for each product and type in the material used. Although it’s not a product option, it’s still a filterable value! It's important to think about the mind of a consumer on how they may want to explore products. Name and question what types of values customers would wish to filter by, it's a big advantage if customers can find products quickly. Filters can be customised so they appear within the menu or sidebar by manipulating the code to meet your specific requirements. We bring experience and knowledge of delivery for the very best filtering experience for your customers and Shopify store. Data suggests specific filters maximises the chances of an ecommerce sale.

Is the search and filtering limiting?

Shopify allows merchants to add up to 20 custom filters to a collection page in addition to the 4 default filters earlier discussed. If you need more filtering options than this then you may want to consider an entirely custom filtering solution or use a third-party provider. We think this is really wide especially when consumers are using to search and filtering across a wide variety of platforms even outside of Shopify such as social media and youtube. Use you 20 custom filters to give customers the filtering opportunitiy for the most valuable product options.

What if I need something more custom?

There are instances where the filtering requirements of a merchant exceed the capabilities of the native functionality of Shopify’s Search and Discovery app. For example let’s say you needed to filter by a very unique variable such as filtering by a date value for example. In these instances you can consider employing a Shopify Development Agency like Charle to build an entirely custom Shopify filtering solution. This would involve entirely bespoke Shopify frontend website design and an similar a custom development project to build a filtering solution from the ground up. We have a wealth of experience leveraging Shopify’s Storefront filtering API with both GraphQL and POST methodology to manipulate results to meet bespoke filtering needs. Get in touch today if you are interested in a custom Shopify filtering solution and save loosing customers with poor discovery.

Can I change the look and feel of the filtering customer experience?

The collection page filtering user-interface will be solely determined by the chosen Shopify theme of your store. However if you are looking for a customised look and feel or similarly and entirely custom Shopify theme and storefronts designed and built around your brand then get in touch with our team today.

Why does filtering improve sales on my Shopify store?

Delivering functionality that allows customers to sift through large numbers of products allows customers to reach the products they are looking for, besides if they can’t find a product they are looking for - then customers will not buy! Filters update and changes the results in real time for your customers. Maximise filtering to maximise orders. There are two principles that support this view. Firstly “What You Is All There Is” is the tendency to form impressions based on the information that is available to us an similarly “The Paradox of Choice” is the inability to make decisions when faced with excessive choice. So remember this, if your customers are presented with too many options and cannot narrow down their search or cannot find relevant products with ease then they might just think about abandoning their shopping session on your store. Get in touch today if you are interested in improving, implementing or discussing your filtering Shopify solution.
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