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October 18, 2021
Your collection pages play a key role in the customer experience. Customers spend the bulk of their visit at your store browsing collection pages, exploring your wares and finding the perfect products for their needs.
This means that just like your homepage and your product pages, your collection pages should be part of your conversion optimization plan. In this article, we’re going to show you some key ways to boost the effectiveness of your collection pages.
Just like your homepage and your product pages, your collection pages should be part of your conversion optimization plan.
The collection page (sometimes called a category page) is an ecommerce page with a group of products laid out for the customer to browse. Shoppers use these pages to browse your line of products and research potential purchases.
Collection pages sit somewhere in the middle of a customer’s typical journey. They usually don’t arrive on a collections page, but they travel through one before they land on a product to buy. Customers may browse several collection pages, or visit the same collection page several times, before making a purchase.
In Shopify (our preferred ecommerce platform), you can create two types of collections:
Like every other page in your eCommerce website, it's important to be thoughtful about your collection pages in order to optimize conversions. Here are some tips to make your collection pages effective.
A lot of stores make the mistake of designing collection pages that serve some sort of internal categorization. For instance, they might create collection pages that group products by part numbers or by the supplier's brand. These types of categorizations don't help the customer.
Think of your collection pages like road signs. Their goal is to help shoppers find what they need. So your job is to create collection pages that match the process your shoppers use to make decisions.
For instance, let's say you sell women's dresses. You know that women often buy dresses for specific occasions. It would make sense, therefore, to create collections around common occasions, like weddings, cocktail parties, birthdays, club nights, etc.
You also know that women often shop with a budget in mind, so it would make sense to have categories for "dresses under $100" or "dresses under $200."
These kinds of collections match how people shop, thereby creating a better shopping experience. Naturally, this requires a keen understanding of your audience. It's important to research carefully so you know exactly how they think and shop.
Your first step is to make sure your collection pages include all of the important elements.
If your product line is huge, it helps to break it down with sub-collections so customers can quickly focus on what they need. This type of shortcut allows them to skip much of the browsing and comparison process.
For instance, a shoe store naturally has collections for “men’s shoes” and “women’s shoes.” But under men’s shoes, there should also be a collection for “men’s running shoes” and “men’s formal shoes.” This way a man who needs shoes for a wedding doesn’t have to scroll past rows of sneakers to find what he needs.
To help your customers find the right sub-collections quickly, add links to them at the top of the main collection’s page. Notice how ASOS adds a simple table of links at the top of their main collection page.
A collection page with a lot of products can be overwhelming. Shoppers may be unwilling to browse through the entire collection to find something that suits their needs. So it's important to give them filtering and sorting options so they can narrow down their search. Product filtering and sorting options typically appear in a sidebar or across the top of the collection page.
Here are some common product filters that make sense on most e-commerce sites:
Keep in mind, however, that product filters are contextual. The filters you use will depend on your product catalog and shopper preferences. For instance, a guitar seller might have a filter for “string type” or “body style.”
That said, don't add too many filtering or sorting options to your collections page if you have a small product line. If your collection only includes a handful of products, there’s no need to distract the shopper with buttons and choices. Let them sort by eye.
Your customers aren't ready to buy when they browse your collection pages, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep conversions in mind. These are great pages to address your customers' purchase anxiety before it becomes a problem.
For instance, if you give your customers 30 days to return their purchase, it's a good idea to mention this on your collection pages. You could add a note or a small banner to your sidebar or to the page's header. This will encourage your customers to keep browsing because they know their money won't be lost if they decide to return their purchase.
The collection pages are great places to leverage the principles of scarcity and urgency as well. Configure your shopping cart to add labels to any products that are nearly out of stock. You should also add notices of promotions that are expiring soon.
Finally, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of copy to the collection header, especially if there is something customers need to know. These blurbs are good places to add SEO keywords so search engines can understand the page and display it higher when people search for those terms.