Filters are a way to help customers narrow their focus when searching for products. A search filter utilizes specific attributes given to a product to make it easier to find on a site - think keywords like red, tea, etc.
Ever walked by an item in a store that you loved but decided—against your best judgement—to not purchase it, then to only go home and try desperately searching for the item online because you can't live without it? Been there, done that! Maybe you remembered the brand but can't remember other details about the item. A search filter could help you—and your customers—find that item a bit more easily.
A good set of filters ensures an improved user experience. By helping users narrow their focus with ease, you'll eliminate the need for numerous search queries just to find something specific. Resulting in improved brand loyalty and customer retention. That's a win, win!
In this article, we'll help you get started with using filters on your website. We've broken this down into three areas: 1) Prepare Your Product Data, 2) Modify Your Product File, and 3) Re-Upload Your Product File.
1. Prepare Your Product Data
If filters are new for you, but you have product already loaded into WebManager, start with #1 below. If you are a new customer and have no data loaded into WebManager, start with #2 below. You'll need the Import Product Template with your product information filled in to get you going.
- Export your product file from WebManager
- WebManager > Manage Data > Export Data > Export Products.
- Determine what types of filters will help your customers find products on your website.
- Examples may include: Designer, Color, Fabric, In-stock Item, Type, Screen size, etc. Figuring out what filters you want to have will take the most of your time. Everything else is a 🎂 (cake) 🚶♂️ (walk).
If you are having difficulties with narrowing down what to include, try to think about how you might shop for a TV for example. You go to the store, go online, use a search engine, ask your best friend what kind she has at home, call up your techy neighbor guy for some advice - like "do I really need a tv?" or "what tv requires the least amount of effort to set up?" and so on.
At first, you may think it would be so easy to buy a tv, but with all of the options out there, it can be a bit overwhelming. Creating filters, like the ones shown below, help your customers narrow it down faster without becoming overwhelmed with all of the options available.
|Type: LED, OLED, QLED, Curved, etc.
|Brand: Sony, LG, Panasonic, etc.
|Smart Platform: Android TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, etc.
|App Compatibility: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV+, HBO Max, etc.
|Price: Under $100, $101-250, $250-500, $501-999, $1000+, etc.
|Condition: New, Refurbished, Vintage, etc.
|Includes: DVD player, Wall-mount, HDMI cables, etc.
|Resolution: HD, Ultra HD, etc.
☑ Don't overthink it with overly complex filters. If you do, you may just filter everything out completely. That would be counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve.
☑ Remember too that the website uses your information as keywords. For example, if an item name, item ID, or product description has the word pumpkin in the name, you may not need a filter. Simply typing pumpkin in the search bar will pull up items.
In B2B, we also recommend that you enable "Use Advanced Product Search" on your website. This will enable better search functionality whilst not searching within a category. Go to B2B > Settings > Site Configuration.
☑ Prioritize filters as best possible. What's really important? What could you do without? By strategically putting key filters first, you will help drive your customers shopping habits, spending more money with less headache.
☑ On the Import Product File, reserve udf16-udf20 for filters. You do not have to use them all, but you have five filter buckets to use if you need them. You can upload a product template with only ItemID, filter headers, and IsDeleted filled if you prefer.
☑ If an ItemID does not have data entered in a filter, the item will be left out of the search when a customer selects that filter.
2. Modify Your Product File
In the below example, we set up only 3/5 filters on our Import Product Template file. Remember: You don't have to use them all, but if you need them, you have five slots that you can enter information into for filters. We'll show you how to enter the filter names within WebManager later in this article.
For WebManager's purposes, we need to name the filter buckets. Jot your filter names down until you are ready to enter them into WebManager. We'll show you how to enter the filter names within WebManager later in this article. The filter names will appear in the RepZio app and on B2B Direct. For our example purposes, we used the following filter names: Designer, Color, and Fabric.
- udf16 - Designer
- udf17 - Color*
- udf18 - Fabric
- udf19 - Open
- udf20 - Open
*When setting up filters with multiple attributes, you need to use a delimiter to separate the values. We used a comma as the delimiter as you can see in Table 2 above. We'll discuss delimiters shortly, but keep these options in mind when entering in your data. See Table 3 for delimiter options.
|Allowed Filter Delimiters
|Space " "
|Pipe Symbol "|"
When you are ready to enter your filter names into WebManager, head over to WebManager > Settings > Global Settings > Text Inputs > UDF Labels. Enter the filter names that you created in the open-text box, separated by a comma, see Image 2.
Visual Learner? No problem.
What is a delimiter?
A delimiter is a character or symbol that indicates the beginning or end of a character string, word, or data item. Essentially, a delimiter tells the system to separate attributes within filters. See Table 3 for delimiter options that you can use when setting up your data.
3. Re-Upload Your Product File
Once you've entered your filter headers into WebManager and have your product file ready to import, go to WebManager > Manage Data > Upload Data Sheets > For 1. Choose a Type, leave Products selected > 2. Choose Your Products, click Browse > Locate your file > Submit > Process File > . Then, remember to "Push Data Live".
For customers using the RepZio app, there are no additional steps you need to take. 🥂
For B2B Direct customers, there are a couple of additional steps that you need to enable/take via your B2B Direct Admin Portal.
In the B2B Direct Admin Portal, Click Settings > Site Configuration > Filter Settings.
In the Filter Settings menu, you can enable "Strict Matching" if you want the system to enforce a strict match for the filter options. By default, this is left unchecked. Then, select the filer delimiter from the dropdown menu. See Table 3 for the delimiter options. Make sure to click "Update" to save your changes to the site.
At this point, you may be saying "well, what does it look like already?" We hear you! Take a look below to see the fruits of your labor, or in this case "our" labor but you get the point.
Image 3 - RepZio App
Image 4 - B2B Direct
As you can see in the screenshots above, filters appear in the order in which you set them up within JuniperData and your product file. For our example, we wanted Designer to appear first, Color to appear second, and Material to appear third. Remember, we only used 3 out of the 5 filters available too so if you have more than three filters, then your screen would continue onward.
Product filters are a great way to help improve your user experience. Not overly thinking or overly complicating filters will help your customers find what they are looking for faster and be on their way.
We hope you've enjoyed learning about filters and feel confident in utilizing them on your site(s). If you have any questions about filters, please reach out to our support team below.