You know I like online and mobile shopping and I know you, the retailers, want me to do more of it. I’m more than willing to oblige, but I want to ask you for one little favor:
Let me filter.
When I see a results list of over 100 items and no ability to filter, I walk away. I’m not about to wade through a list of items where I’m not interested in over 90% of them. This is even more crucial on mobile. I really cannot wade through hundreds of products on a 5″ screen.
Here are a few ideas:
Prices: Most retailers allow filtering by price already but it needs to be said. Don’t show me anything that’s way over my price range.
Sizes in Stock: I really don’t want to find my dream t-shirt only to realize my size is out of stock. Several retailers do this well: Gap, REI and Nordstrom, to name a few.
Categories that I can understand. Frankly, if you have to explain what your terms mean, it means they’re not clear enough. For example, Amazon divides dresses into Contemporary, Timeless and Trend. Pray tell, what’s the difference between Contemporary and Trend?
Colors: If I’m looking for a red boot, I want to look at only red boots, not black or green. Zappos and Nordstrom do this well.
Reviews: both absolute number rankings and more vague “sentiments” like Yelp is doing with its “review highlights” section.
Product specific traits. Something that, again, Zappos and Nordstrom do well is recognize a trait that applies only to a certain product group and allow you to sort by it. For example, heel size. Both allow me to filter shoes by heel sizes which is an important criteria for me. This requires more creative thinking as really every category has its own special traits. REI does this well for almost every category. For example, you can filter skis by camber, design and terrain, all which let me quickly narrow down my choices. Furniture companies can try sorting by material and finish. Art and poster sites by the size of the print. Lighting companies by light intensity. As a guideline, see what you’re listing in the product details and add that to the filtering criteria.
Thanks for making it easier for me to buy things on your site.