Jul 19, 2017

Faceted search, also known as faceted navigation or faceted browsing, is a technique used by eCommerce brands to help users analyze, organize, and filter large sets of product inventory based on filters such as size, color, price, and brand.

Customers expect to find what they are looking for as fast as possible. In fact, 80% of visitors search for a product once they hit a retailer’s site. This classification system aims to increase product discoverability and conversions by excluding any objects that don’t meet the user’s selected criteria.

What are some best practices for using faceted search on my eCommerce site?

Because users typically perform simple searches when landing on an eCommerce homepage, it’s incredibly important to match their expectations when it comes to providing the results they are looking for.

More often than not, though, as users begin to refine these results, they can become low in quality when sorted at a site-wide level.

Faceted Search Example

Faceted Search Example

Sadly, search benchmarks from the Baymard Institute reveals only 10% of e-commerce sites actively address this issue.

To avoid these common technical nuances while ensuring the most relevant search results for visitors, retailers can implement a few best practices:

  1. Suggest/force scope selection or category before allowing users to sort, disabling site-wide sorting options entirely
  2. Encouraging scope selection or category while still allowing users to sort across multiple category scopes when truly needed
  3. Suggesting a list of category-specific sorting options for any highly relevant subset of the search results

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