The Best Product Sorting Strategy for Shopify Stores

What are the best product sorting criteria for Shopify stores, and how can eCommerce retail managers maximize collection selections to boost conversions? 


We’ve got the answers. 

In this expert Shopify product sorting guide, we will highlight: 

  1. Why and how your brand’s product sorting strategy affects conversions and profitability
  2. Intermediate Shopify product sorting options 
  3. The optimum product sorting strategy for successful Shopify stores 


Let’s dive in! 

Why and How Your Brand’s Product Sorting Strategy Affects Conversions

We know that if we show the wrong product to the wrong shopper at the wrong time, conversion rates suffer. 


There is no doubt that how you sort a Shopify store’s products plays a significant role in both the way potential customers browse your products (UX) and what they buy (conversions). Ultimately, sorting ensures that retailers are able to show the most relevant product to the right potential customer at the right time. 


However, it can have a far bigger impact on your business’s overall performance and profitability.  


Advanced merchandising, sorting, and optimization strategies, when combined with inventory optimization, help retailers: 

  • Boost sales
  • Reduce overall costs and wastage
  • Optimize revenue potential while staying within margin goals 
  • Reduce non-moving stock levels considerably 
  • Increase customer retention 


In short: Optimizing your Shopify product sorting strategies can increase conversions while optimizing profits.  


Pro Tip: For larger or fast-growing Shopify retail brands, especially those with extensive product lists, you should invest in more advanced Shopify product sorting tools that offer automation as well as advanced merchandising and sorting capabilities. 


Kimonix Shopify app, for example, is the only app to offer advanced automated collections and AI collection sorting. This enables eCommerce brands to combine marketing and retail KPIs and adapt in real-time to market and business goal changes. 

Intermediate Shopify Product Sorting Options 

While type, vendor, and collections enable retailers to group similar products together, tags allow potential shoppers to use search terms within collections.  


Newbie Tip: Think of Shopify’s collection function as a way for sellers to group their products by characteristics or features, such as t-shirts, leggings, etc. Tags are a way for sellers to help their customers search for the right product in their store. Your theme and apps will also play a role in how customizable these product sorting features can be. You can access your collections here: 


Shopify Admin > Products > Collections 


Shopify offers three main types of collections: 

  1. Simple collections 
  2. Nested collections 
  3. Discounted collections (for promotions only) 

Simple Collections vs. Nested Collections 

In most cases, successful Shopify stores or growing eCommerce brands with more extensive product category lists should be using nested collections. 


Unlike simple collections, nested collections enable Shopify retailers to categorize more segmented, smaller-scale collections to fine-tune their product sorting. 


Example: Let’s say you’re a successful online jewelry retailer. Nested collections let you create multiple bracelet collections based on types and features such as style bundles, bracelet materials, etc. An excellent example of a Shopify brand doing just that is Pure Vida


pure video sorting strategy shopify



The problem with using simple product collection and sorting, especially if you have a larger inventory, is that it results in customers seeing too many products that fit more straightforward parameters. It also doesn’t allow for store owners and merchandising managers to optimize their product sorting strategies to meet their business goals. 


Bonus Content: 6 eCommerce Merchandising Tasks Successful Merchandising Managers Automate

Shopify Product Sorting Options 

By using and combining Shopify collections and tag strategies, stores can organize, filter, and sort products in a customizable way. 

But what is the most efficient way to customize them? 

Before we get to the how, let's review Shopify’s product sorting options. 


By default, Shopify displays products in the same order in which they are selected. Store managers  can select one of the following basic parameters: 

  1. Best Selling Products: These are based on a running count of the number of products sold (calculated over All-Time). They are then added to a Best Sellers collection manually, through store codes, or with the help of advanced product sorting apps and services.
  2. Product Title A-Z: Products are sorted alphabetically by their title in ascending order. 
  3. Product Title Z-A: Products are sorted alphabetically by their titles in descending order. 
  4. Highest Price: Products are sorted by the product’s price in descending order. 
  5. Lowest price: Products are sorted by the product’s price in ascending order.
  6. Newest: Products are sorted and displayed in ascending order from newest to oldest. 
  7. Oldest: Here, the oldest products are sorted to display first.  
  8. Manually: Sellers can manually select the order of their products.


However, the Collections feature enables more intermediate product sorting options for sellers when combined with a Shopify expert/coder and built-in product search functionality for your customers. 



[Source: Shopify Developers


(Note: For collections, sellers can only select one parameter/option at a time unless they use a third-party advanced merchandising app. But more on that later) 

Shopify Product Filtering Options 

Additional to back-send sorting and collections, Shopify stores allow customers to sort or filter products by tags to finetune their product searchers. 


Here is a complete list of front-end customer filter and/or sorting options for Shopify store customers. (How many choices you have here will depend on what theme or apps you’re using.)  

  1. Price: Shopify “sort by price” enables potential customers to choose based on price parameters. This is usually done with a “lowest to highest price” button. 
  2. In-Stock/Availability: The Shopify “In-Stock” or “sort by availability” sorting options both enable customers to view products that are definitely in stock. 
  3. Newest Products: These are products that are sorted by the date they were added to the Shopify store. 
  4. Product Type: Shopify’s “sort by type” allows store browsers and shoppers to search based on product types. 
  5. Size: Partially relevant to apparel Shopify brands, Shopify’s “sort by size” options enable potential customers to find a variety of product types for their size. 
  6. Product Options: Similar to “sort by type,” this Shopify sorting option gives shoppers more choices based on their type preference. To use this feature, sellers will need to manually sort products in collections. 
  7. Features: Another sorting option that enables customers to fine-turn their searches with manual tweaking is Shopify’s “sort by features.” Essentially, it allows potential shoppers to choose between a few sorting options to find the right style for their budget. 



Now the burning question: 

How to sort products on Shopify the right way? 

The Optimum Product Sorting Strategy for Successful Shopify Stores 

Finally, let’s get to advanced Shopify product sorting strategies and how to customize collections in the most efficient way. 


There are four main ways sellers can sort products on their Shopify stores: 

  1. Sort products using Shopify sorting rules as listed above 
  2. Sort products using product tags as listed above 
  3. Sort products using Shopify modified theme 
  4. Sort product using onsite personalization apps 


Unfortunately, when it comes to the best product sorting criteria, no single sorting option will be enough. Additionally, 


While each product sorting criteria has its merits, the secret is sorting products using advanced merchandising multi-parameter sorting strategies. 

In short: If you really want to compete in your niche, you need a robust strategy that takes all of these overall sorting options into account. Not only is it essential to combine strategies, but you will need to focus on which products are displayed first within these collections. 


The optimum product sorting strategy for successful Shopify stores looks beyond product sorting personalization and Shopify’s built-in sorting rules to create custom collections that take multiple parameters into account. These parameters should include your marketing and retail KPIs. 


How? 

You should sort products by organization efficiency, easy customer discoverability, and shifting business goals. This means sorting your products to ensure the right customer is seeing the right product at the right time to make a sale, and also to fit with specific retail KPIs such as margins, non-moving stock, inventory value, and more. 


Therefore, the best Shopify product sorting strategy should consider a variety of parameters. 

Advanced Product Sorting Strategy Parameters

  • Product reviews (ratings and total amount)
  • Product demand and price competitiveness in the market
  • Conversion rates
  • Margins
  • Real margins after discounts 
  • Sales quantities or revenue amount 
  • Pageviews
  • Discount
  • Inventory value
  • Days to finish inventory
  • Variants stock ratio  
  • Days in store
  • Days since back in stock

…To name a few.


The Good News? 

Advanced product sorting and merchandising strategies work. In one product sorting case study, an online jewelry retailer increased their profits by 8% and conversion rates by 18% with advanced merchandising in just four weeks.


case study shopify product sorting advanced


The bad news is that this is virtually impossible to do manually, even with a large merchandising team. This is because Shopify itself doesn’t allow for multi-parameter product sorting. However, the right product sorting tool can fix this. 

Advanced Product Sorting Shopify App 

There is only one app that enables Shopify stores to create multi-parameter sorting strategies that are optimized and tweaked in real-time, and that's Kimonix. It includes: 

  1. Advanced automated collections
  2. AI collection sorting
  3. Product grouping
  4. Built-in collection A/B testing
  5. AI personalized email marketing product collections 


advanced product sorting app shopify

The Kimonix app synchronizes sales data, inventory analytics, and insights on your customer preferences to create smart multi-segment collections that are tailor-made to boost sales, optimize inventory, and maximize margins. 


Additionally, unlike Shopify who calculates data based on ‘ All-Time,’ Kimonix calculates by the last 30 days (default) or a custom range between 1-90 days, depending on your preference.  


Request a demo or download the Shopify app here

Final Thoughts: Optimize and Tweak Your Product Sorting Strategies 


What are the best product sorting criteria for Shopify stores? 


The short answer: a combination! 


Ultimately, the best product sorting strategy should take multiple parameters into account, not just one sorting criterion. This means combining the following until the optimum conversion, and other important KPIs are met: 

  • Shopify sorting rules as listed above 
  • Product tags 
  • Product sorting personalization 
  • Advanced marketing and retail KPI parameters 


Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to eCommerce product sorting, marketing, and retail strategies. 

Whatever Shopify sorting or advanced merchandising strategy you choose, it is vital that you consciously test, tweak, and optimize your Shopify collections to find the perfect combination for your brand and niche. 


Still have Shopify product sorting questions? Post your questions below – our merchandising experts are standing by! 


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