Online stores can be flashy, fast, beautiful, and well-designed, but shoppers will quickly move on to the next store if they don’t find what it is they need.
You won’t be able to sell more products if you don’t win the award for most beautiful storefront.
You can have both, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t. You should not get too preoccupied with the pretty things. Instead, focus on the customer experience.
Your online store design will naturally blossom if you understand how to take shoppers from homepage to checkout quickly and with minimal friction.
This is information architecture in the UX world. You can, in fact, be an architect.
Information architecture basically refers to creating an easy-to-use structure for your online shop. It includes logical hierarchies and helpful navigation.
This allows users to easily find the information they are looking for and helps you increase sales.
This pre-work will make your Shopify store more efficient. This post will cover the categorization and organization of your products. Shopify calls this ‘collections’.
What are Shopify Collections?
Shopify collections allow you to group products together to make it easier to show customers all products in a particular category. A fashion store might have a collection for men’s shirts. A Home Decor Shopify store might have a selection of lamps.
You can also create seasonal collections like the summer essentials or a collection of products that is all on sale. So that customers can quickly find the products they are interested in, you can give them a list of your collections.
You can also create an all products collection in Shopify. Shopify allows you to create an all products collection. This will allow your customers to view your entire catalog if they wish. If you have a small product catalogue, listing all products in a collection is a great idea.
Shopify Collections: Why use them?
Shopify collections are important because they allow you to shop in a brick-and-mortar environment. Customers will find products scattered around the store and not arranged in a random manner. It’s much easier to locate the section with women’s clothes, office furniture, or the sale rack.
Shopify’s collection list makes it easier to organize your online shop in the same way. This saves your customers time and allows you to direct them in the right direction.
What is the difference between Shopify product catalogues and Shopify collections?
It is important to differentiate between your Shopify collections and your product catalogue when using Shopify collections. Shopify stores all have a page listing all visible products within that store. This page is called the store’s product catalogue and typically has the file path/collections/all. Your product catalog includes all products in your store. However, your collections only contain certain products from your store. These products were chosen by you and placed in groups that make sense for your particular use case.
Shopify collections: Who should they be used?
Shopify collections are available to all merchants. However, it is important that you use them properly if your product catalogue is large. A beauty store might stock thousands of products, including eyeshadows in many shades, lipsticks in a variety of colors, and powder foundations for every skin tone.
It can be hard for customers to find the products they need if there are so many of them. Customers may become frustrated and decide to go with your competitor instead. Shopify collections pages allow Shopify merchants to not only organize their products but also control the browsing experience and how customers are exposed to their store.
Shopify makes it easy to add products and collections to your product catalog. This is a great way for you to make your product catalog more useful to your customers and yourself. After you have set up your collections you can start thinking about how to add them to your homepage. Also, think about which products you want to highlight or promote.
Manual vs automated collections
Shopify offers two options for creating collections: automated and manual.
You can create a manual collection by simply picking the products that you wish to include manually. These are great for creating specific collections that can’t be created with automation.
Manual collections have the drawback of being fixed lists that require more work and are therefore less efficient. Only products can be added or removed manually.
A automated collection can be more complicated and more versatile. These collections add products automatically based on one or several rules that you have set.
Rules based on
- Types of products
- Product title
- Product vendor
- Product price
- Product tag
- Stock of inventory
- Compare prices
- Variant’s title
Automated collections can pull in new products even if you are adding them to your store. It can be hard to exclude products that do not meet your base conditions.
Automated collections can be made more flexible by tagging your products so that you can create unique category structures that you are able to draw from.
How to create a Shopify collection
The first step in creating a collection for Shopify is to log into your admin dashboard.
Are you there? Perfect.
Step 1: Click “Create a collection” and go to Products > Collections.
Go to Products > Collections in the menu on the left. Here you’ll find all the collections you have created.
You may initially see a collection called “Home page” when you start creating collections. This can be deleted or ignored forever.
Click the Create collection link in the upper right corner.
You can now start putting together your new collection!
Step 2: Add the collection title, description and image
This page will allow you to add a title to your product collection, a description and an image. You can also change the way the page appears for search engines.
Your title is important as it will be the headline for your collection page. It will also show up everywhere you add your collection to your store.
This page will have a visual impact by adding a high-quality photo.
Although optional, the collection description can be used to help you identify the type of products in your collection.
Your collection page will display the description below the header. It is great for SEO if you include a description to further explain your products. Search engines love additional context.
Here’s a sample of my Stuff We’re Loving collection pages with no description or image.
This page looks great and also includes a block of SEO-friendly text that informs visitors about the page’s purpose.
Step 3: Edit the collection page SEO
SEO is where you can control exactly how your collection page appears on search engines.
Click Edit website SEO to make changes. As you make changes, searchers will see the results at the top.
The title and description can be changed in the SEO settings but it won’t affect the collection title or description. It will only change how it appears on Google and other search engines.
Step 4: Select your collection type, and save
There are two options: an automated or manual collection. We’ll discuss this in greater detail next.
After you have chosen the collection type, save your progress. Now it’s time to add products to your collection.
How to add products into Shopify collections
We now turn our attention to the real bread and butter of building collections-the products.
There are two options for adding products: manually or automatically through rules.
Your collection type can’t be changed once you have saved it. It’s simple to make a new one.
First, save your collection using the Manual radio buttons to create a manual collection.
Click the search box to locate specific products, or click browse for all products. Select the products that you wish to include and then click add.
This collection can be expanded at any time.
After you have added your products to the page, you can modify how they are organized by selecting from the Sort dropdown field.
You can sort alphabetically, best selling, oldest, newest, lowest, and most recently. Or manually.
Your first collection will be officially in the books when you click Save.
You cannot add or remove products manually.
An automated collection is the best option if you are looking for a collection that can be maintained.
A Conditions section appears when you click on the Automated radio buttons. Here you can set the rules for how products will be added to your new collection.
You can have the products match all of your conditions or just one.
These conditions can be based on the product type, product title and product tag, vendor price, weight, stock level or compare at price.
In my post on displaying products on your Shopify homepage I dive deeper into how automated collections can be used to capture your entire product catalog. This allows you to set the product price condition higher than $0.
Automated collections can be based on product type to show only earrings (as shown in the above example) or bedroom furniture. You can also use a price range of less than $50 with the product tag “gift” to create unique collections for bargain gift shoppers.
There are many options to make your collection unique. That’s up to you.
Whatever way you choose to do it, now you have your first collection. Great work.
Next, add the collections and link to them to your store’s collection pages.
How to add a collection on Shopify
Shopify allows you to add collections to your homepage as either a featured collection, or as a list.
Adding featured collections
Featured collection allows you to highlight products from specific collections on the most visited page of your store in a grid or a collage depending on your theme.
To showcase your product line, you can add multiple featured collections on your homepage.
The product limit for featured collections varies depending on which theme you use. These limits can be circumvented by using multiple collections if you wish to display your entire catalog on the homepage.
Shopify allows you to add collections lists
A collection list can be added to your homepage. This will display blocks linking to your collection pages, instead of showing individual products.
Step 1: Open the theme customization editor
Go to Online Shop > Themes, then click Customize for your current theme.
Step 2: Add section, and select “Collection List”
You’ll be automatically displayed on your homepage when you use the theme editor.
Go to the bottom of the section menu on the left and click add section. You’ll see a menu pop up. Select Collection.
Your page will be updated with a new section that includes a heading, three blocks and a heading.
Step 3: Click on a collection block to add your product collection
Click on any of the Collection options to the left to select the collection you wish to add.
Click Choose collection.
You’ll see the collections you have already made as options. Click to select your collection.
Step 4: Repeat for remaining collection blocks
This process can be repeated to fill all three blocks.
You’ve now created a collection page on your homepage which will direct visitors to your collection pages and then to your product pages.
Step 5: Modify your heading to include a collection list section
Click on the section to the left to edit the heading of your collection list. You can save your changes, and then you are done!