We’ve just made the first release of product filtering for our client Kiki James. When filtering is done well, it can give customers, particularly those unfamiliar with your catalogue, a much better idea of what’s available and help them work out they want to buy.
Our work for Kiki James demonstrates this pretty clearly. We targeted this work to the two most popular areas of the site. Previously, viewing a given page within these areas didn’t fully demonstrate the range of products available. Much of this information was hidden within a dense hierarchy of product types, colours and sizes. By including the filter on the category page customers should get a much clearer idea of the choices available. It also makes exploring the products a much simpler affair.
There were a number of interesting challenges – most notably making sense of the data on the site, in order to be able to sort in a way that would be accessible, particularly to new users, who make up the majority of Kiki’s customer base.
Creating the options
A good example would be the colour selector. To date, there are something like 77 different swatches available on the site overall. We chose to simplify the selection; a smaller series of generic colours were chosen, and all the swatches in the category were organised under those, giving us 10 colours to choose from. We followed a similar process with the shape and size selectors, organising the data into a smaller set of user-friendly choices.
What was most interesting is that once the data was shown in a more open fashion by the filter page, it made it much clearer to our client that they needed to change some of the existing product titles, as well as add some extra information to make the data work with the filter.
We focused on getting this released as quickly as possible; we were confident that this would be a real improvement over the existing site. But also, by releasing early over a limited part of the site, we have a chance see how our current implementation works, and tweak it before we roll it out further.