If you run an ecommerce website, you probably already know the golden rule of online retail: make the path to checkout as quick and easy as possible. Search filters are an essential, if often underestimated, tool that help your customers find just the right item quickly.

When designing your product search tools, more filters are generally better than fewer. Sorting by price and popularity/rating are always good options. If you sell clothing, make sure you offer an option to filter by size. If you sell technology, you should add filters for what systems/products your items are compatible with. Depending on your product, you may want filters for color, season, material, and/or general product type.

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Having enough filters is only the start of a helpful filtering system. These filters should be arranged in a logical pattern. For example, a customer might choose to look at “women’s clothing.” From there, they should have the option to choose further categories such as dresses, blouses, pants, sleepwear, or outerwear. It’s also important that customers can easily add and remove filters. No one wants to completely reset their search in order to look at a different color or price point.

Creating a robust and smooth filtering system will help your customers find exactly the products they’re looking for, which is exactly what you want.

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