What Exactly Is Layered Navigation?
Navigation is the process or activity of accurately ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route. The same definition fits good with Layered navigation. The Layered Navigation feature in Magento 2.0 gives customers a comforting advantage in discovering the store catalog by offering filters in the form of product tags and attributes.
Understanding The Working Principle Of Layered Navigation
It is extremely vital to understand the working principle of layered navigation.
Unraveling The Concept Of Filter Counting
A lot has been talked about Layered Navigation filtering capabilities but let me tell you it is not just a chunk of codes which only allows the product discoverability. The filters in Layered Navigation are very dynamic and are dependent on the products mentioned in the categories.
Each filter which you select as discovering attribute in the selected list (backend of the store) is reflected on the storefront. Each filter ticked by the user is counted adjacent to every item available in the category. There can be a case where selected filters don’t have any products. In this case, products are not reflected on the storefront. The store would project a “no result” option.
Case 1: Consider that there is a single item in the layered category. Let’s say a “Black” shirt. If your store has attribute color options such as Green, Blue, and Black at the backend. In this extension Black will only reflect as a color filter to the customer i.e., from the customer’s view, layered navigation will show that the item is available in only black color.
Case 2: Consider that there is no product in the category. From the user’s view, a color filter will not be shown. Hence, layered navigation is a smart code summary which allows dynamic setting for the site manager.
Unraveling The Concept Of Component Types
The second most important thing before configuring the layered navigation extension is to decide what you want your components type to be. Adding too many components may make your website look intricate.
It can be drop-down components, flyout menus, multiple select, numeric filters, and price sliders. It is advisable to use a standard set of components to design your website because using unconventional one may sound a brave move but might backfire terribly.
How Many Attributes Should I Put?
Most of the eCommerce merchants are doubt-stricken by the question “how many attributes should I put?” and answers vary from different sources based on the difference in magnitude of experiences. It is an important question because the success of attribute filtering relies on how relevant the filters are.
But the key to its answer is based on your conviction. You will have to identify what sort of attributes make better sense. It is good to have multiple-attributes to shrink down the filtering funnel but you will have to ask yourself whether the assigned attribute is relevant to the product.
Consider that you have haberdasheries in your store. What all properties make one of the clothes unique? You can use color, brand, price, and chest size to make that cloth distinct from the other ones. Is there a need to use shoe size to filter your clothes? Absolutely no. Similarly, you will have to pinpoint the required attributes for your items and display them as per discernment.
Dazzling Features: Hallmark Of Layered Navigation
You desire, it offers. Yes, multiple-filtering options and several combinations of attributes allow the customers to reach to the most refined product. It would be an impossible task to roll eyes on millions of products just to purchase one item. Multiple filters dampen this misery and make product search as simple as producing a snapping sound from the fingers. Layered Navigation makes the user experience seamless without gaps.
Once multiple-attributes are selected, layered navigation presents its customers with a button. As soon as the button is clicked, the search result is loaded on the page with an easy visual transition and no long waits. This makes the complete visual experience smooth without noticing page redirection.
This feature is extensively build to appeal price-conscious customers. Often our minds get price-ridden and we desperately seek for those products which fall into our radar. A customer can flag the lower and upper range to refine the products. This layered navigation saves tremendous time from the customers and lets them filter the products based on their requisites. The extension helps site administrator to customize the price from backend easily. This extension funnels down with Ajax loading effect. Hence, filtration gets very easy.
Horizontal & Vertical Filter Bar
These are the components of Layered navigation. Based on the merchant’s need, this module allows the merchant to set the bars in an attractive manner. According to the standard practice (call it a conventional designing), these bars are not used at the center of the page. Using them at center would mean that it would occupy the main space. Agreeing to the eCommerce standards, setting readable bars on a horizontal header or left to the height of the page can make navigation very instinctive.
The biggest shortcoming of Magento 1 layered navigation was that it affected the SEO ranking drastically. This Layered Navigation Magento 2 extension is an improved version of the previous one. It facilitates the product discovery processes, reduces the product locating time, and also helps in developing SEO-friendly URL. Here is how it helps your user navigate the website without compromising your SEO position:
- Allows you to block all the web pages developed by Layered Navigation from indexing.
- Helps you to add brand pages indexing.
- Empowers you to filter the results using an index but by presenting them in an appealing version.
Out Of Stock
One of the strong features of Layered navigation is that it allows merchants to control the display of products based on their availability. Site manager can hide the products if there is no stock in the inventory.
Deletion Of Filters
On several occasions, a user doesn’t get the desired result even after filtering. One important feature of a dynamic navigating website is that a user should be able to undo and redo the filters i.e., add or remove the filtering attributes. This navigation feature helps to remove the filters one by one or all at once.
The Final Call
You first and the foremost aim should be to enhance the user experience. Every business starts with it and every business finishes “due” to it. Layered Navigation should be in such a way that users feel that they are traveling on a road without ridges and valleys.
Guest article written by: Darshit Parmar is a dedicated eCommerce consultant at M-Connect Media, a sales oriented e-business development company. Darshit’s 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry has assisted him in boosting sales for multitudinous eCommerce brands. He shares his in-depth insights on how to build a successful eCommerce store not only with his clients personally, but also makes sure to put up on various platforms in the form of blogs and e-books. Certified with Google Analytics and Oracle 9i, His technical streak is as strong as his business skills.