What Are Shopify Collections? (And Why You Need Them)

Yuxin Zhu

Yuxin Zhu

What Are Shopify Collections

Platforms like Shopify have made it possible for more prospective business owners to develop their own digital storefronts and run their own online businesses. As with any business, there's a lot of work that goes into running an eCommerce business. But while many may be focused on their marketing strategy, communications, and more, it can be quite easy to overlook the user experience.

An online shopping experience should offer a similar experience to shopping in person. Products should be organized, easy to find, and in categories or collections made available to your customers. Fortunately, that's what Shopify collections are for. If you rely on Shopify for your eCommerce needs and are new to Shopify collections, this guide will cover what Shopify collections are, types of collections, and best practices.

What Are Shopify Collections?

As the name suggests, a Shopify collection is a collection of related products that you compile to make product suggestions more relevant to your customers (or easy to find). For example, let's imagine that you operate a fashion eCommerce store. You can create Shopify collections for your jeans, your tops, or even seasonal wear like jackets and coats.

No matter what type of store categories you have or if you just need a singular Shopify collection for your entire product line, creating collections for your products is something every store powered by Shopify should do.

Shopify Collections Vs Product Catalog

Shopify Collections vs. Product Catalog

So, what's the difference between something like Shopify collections and a product catalog? In essence, Shopify collections help you better organize your products so that customers can find exactly what they're looking for when they're navigating your store.

Product catalogs, on the other hand, are designed to give customers more information about product specifications and other vital information they need to know in order to make an educated purchase. Both are essential, so you can build out your product catalog while you're working on your Shopify collections.

Why You Need Shopify Collections

Shopify collections are critical to the overall user experience. Think about your online storefront in terms of a physical store. Would someone walk in and find that all of your products are disorganized and thrown around everywhere? If so, you wouldn't expect them to stay and look around for something they might not find. Shopify collections help you organize your products into collections so that customers can peruse your store based on their individual shopping needs. Without Shopify collections, your Shopify store may be driving away customers rather than encouraging them to finish a transaction.

Types Of Shopify Collections

It's important to know that there are different types of Shopify collections you can leverage in your digital store. Here are the main two options as well as the pros and cons of each.

Manual Collections

Manual Shopify collections are collections that you have to physically create and add products or alter over time. These product collections are typically used for seasonal items or even special promotions.

Pros: Manual collections are great for temporary sales or collections where it's not possible to automatically add items to said collection.

Cons: This can be a time-consuming process that won't apply to the bulk of your store's products. Trying to create manual collections for every broad category will ultimately mean continued work as you have to add or remove products constantly.

Automated Collections

Automated collections are Shopify collections that automatically add products to a collection that matches the specified conditions. For most stores, this will be extremely helpful if there's not a lot of variety in product types and very broad shopping categories.

Pros: Automated collections help store owners streamline the process of organizing their store so that they can focus on other areas of business.

Cons: As with manual collections, automated collections do have their drawbacks. For example, if you have a wide range of products that aren't quite similar, regular sales, or other category types that can't be automated, this type of Shopify collection won't be as much help for you.

Collection Types

Which Type Should I Choose?

It ultimately comes down to the type of support you need. Do you have a large number of products that fit inside the same category? If so, automating your Shopify collection makes it easier for you to group these products together and any future products you upload to your store.

Are you running a special promotion where it wouldn't make sense to automate your collection? Use a manual collection. Whichever works best for your specific needs, choose that one.

Best Practices When Making Shopify Collections

Now that we have a better understanding of what Shopify collections are and which are types available for digital storefronts, we need to evaluate some of the best practices you should be leveraging when creating Shopify collections.

Promote Collections In Other Platforms

Promoting your collections through social media or other platforms raises awareness of your brand and helps prospective customers find exactly what they're looking for immediately. Take to the internet and share your collections where you're going to reach the best audience!

Add Customer Reviews

Shopify collections make your store easy to navigate. However, it doesn't necessarily tell customers about your products. Let them know what others think about your products with customer reviews so they feel confident about buying products from your collections.

What Is A Breadcrumb

Make Your Collections Easy To Find

The point of Shopify collections is to make it easier for customers to browse your store by product category. If they can't find your collections, it defeats the point of establishing collections. Put your Shopify collections front and center so that customers can begin searching your store for what they want immediately.

Use Eye-Catching Photos And Videos For Your Products

Collections put all of your products on display. Make sure that they look appealing in collection categories by using aesthetically-pleasing photos and engaging videos for all of the products in your store.

Shopify Special Deals

Arrange Special Deals And Promos

Whether you're reaching existing customers looking for a deal or trying to develop customer relationships with leads, special deals and promos are always a hit. Make it easy for all of your visitors to find special deals and promo savings by putting these products into relevant Shopify collections.

Take Advantage Of Filters And Product Sorting

Collections group all of your similar items together. However, if you're a rather large online store, that's still a lot of products that customers have to sift through in order to find the perfect fit for their needs. Take advantage of filters and product sorting so that they can further filter through your collections to find a relevant match.

Optimize Your Store's Navigation

Shopify collections make it easier for customers to navigate your site. However, they're not the end-all and be-all of site navigation. Take some time to address elements of your site's navigation that need to be changed and optimize your site so that it contributes to a positive user experience.

What A Shopify Collection Should Always Have

There are certain elements of a Shopify collection that every collection should always have. Here's what you need to include in your manual and automated Shopify collections.

  • Category Names: Collections feature a wide range of related items, but it's important that customers know exactly what they're looking for. Use relevant category names that are concise but tell customers exactly what to expect from that collection.
  • Sort Menus: Sometimes, customers might be wanting to browse your collections by ascending price or by name. Sort menus make it easier for them to arrange your products in the way that they prefer.
  • Page Numbers: Have you ever been browsing an online store, only to find something that you can't navigate back to? This is why page numbers are a must. Make sure that there are page numbers in all of your Shopify collections.
  • “Browse By”: Some store collections are quite large, necessitating the use of subcategories to make them easier to browse. Having a "browse by" option helps your customers search through your larger collections with ease.
  • Filter Menu: Whether your customers are shopping for specific brands or they have a strict budget, a filter menu helps them look through products in your Shopify collections that meet their specific criteria.
  • Product Detail: It's essential to provide your customers with all of the information they need to know upfront. Highlighting main product details in your Shopify collections helps them determine whether or not they might want a certain product before they buy.
Website Elements That Annoy Buyers

Get Your Store In Order With Shopify Collections

Shopify collections are a seamless solution to disorganized online stores running Shopify. Whether automated or manual, you can easily group certain products together to improve the shopping experience for your customer base.

Leverage the guide above to dive deeper into Shopify collections and discover the most essential elements that will make your Shopify collections a hit with your customers.

And, for additional help with your next Shopify project, contact us at Replo and we’ll chat about how best to supercharge your store and collections to the next level.

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