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Training Wheels: Using Product Filters to Sell More

What can customers search for if they don’t know the names of a product?

This is a different slant on searching that presents products based on the process of elimination.  It’s a fun and innovative addition to your new web store.  Welcome to Product Filters 101.  This cool new approach has been added to ClickCartPro and EuropaCart 8 and it will change the way your customers approach your site and should also make you more money.

First we’re going to go into ClickCartPro or EuropaCart 8 and navigate to the Store | Component | Settings menu.

From there, we’re going to click on the heading that says ‘Product Filters’.

This is where our journey begins.   Let’s say we’re selling computers to customers who really aren’t that familiar with our product line.  They sort of know what kind of computer they want, but they don’t really know names, specifications, etc.  Maybe they know if they want a notebook, tablet or desktop PC, they know if they want silver, black, white or red, they know if they want a CD burner, DVD burner or Blu-ray, perhaps they know if they want Windows 7 or 8 and finally, they likely know if they want Touchscreen support or a standard monitor with normal mouse setup.

Perfect!  This is where product filters can help an unsure client make up their mind on their final choice.  It’s the tiny salesman who lives in your online store and helps promote your products 24 hours a day.  At any hour of the day, it helps a customer pick and choose to make an educated choice, when they may know nothing about your product line or the products they’re buying.  We’re going to let the customer select the things they do know, in order to find the product they didn’t know until they arrived.  Simple process of elimination will do our work for us.

There is lots of stuff in the Product Filter menu, but here’s what you need to find… scroll down to where you start seeing Slot 1: Name, etc.  We’ll prepare our first filter.  We said our customer doesn’t know names, but knows if they want a notebook, tablet or a desktop PC.  So we’re going to make a product filter called Product Type under Slot 1: Name.  We’re also going to set Slot 1: Filter Activate to True so that filter is now on.  We also said our customer knows what color PC they want.  We’ll make a second filter called Color under the Slot 2: Name.  We’ll also take this time to set that filter to active by setting it to True.

Let’s keep going… we’ll set up and activate Slot 3 and call it Disk Burner Type.  Slot 4 we’ll call Operating System and activate it as well.  Slot 5 will be our final slot and we’ll call it Monitor Type.  After we’ve added all of those new slots, we’ll scroll back up to the top of this page and make sure the first entry called Activate Product Filter is set to True.

Now we’ve got our five filter headings setup, but we don’t have any choices for them.  We’re going open our Store | Catalog | Product Filters function.

Now we’ll program some choices for the filter.

Simply click on ‘Insert: Add a new row to this database table’.  Let’s start with our first filter.  You’ll remember it was called Product Type.  In this scenario, our customer didn’t know if they wanted a notebook, tablet or a desktop computer.  Fine.  We’ll now create 3 choices of filters that reflect those items.

Each new filter item should look like the image above… you’ll create an ID, in this case, assign this filter item to Slot 1 and give it a name.  You can also present the various filter options in a certain order if you want to.  First item would be 1, second, 2… etc.  If you don’t, ClickCartPro or EuropaCart 8 will choose whatever order strikes its fancy.  Create 3 new filter items to reflect notebooks, tablets or desktops computers.  Then read on.  Your filters section should now show your three Product Type filter items.

Note that we’ve assigned all of them to Slot 1 to reflect that they are Product Types.  Now, if you remember, we had Color as our 2nd Product filter, so let’s create 4 new color choices to reflect what we said above.   Silver, black, white or red were the choices we determined we needed.   Create those new items and assign them to Slot 2.  When you’re done, it should look like this:

Now let’s create items for Slot 3 which, if you recall was Disk Burner Type.  We’ll create 3 new filter items called CD Burner, DVD Burner, or Blu-ray Burner.

Don’t forget to assign them to Slot 3.  Now we’ll create 2 items for Operating System with the choices being Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Did you remember to assign it to Slot 4?  And finally, our Monitor Type for Slot 5.  We want 2 choices:  Touchscreen or Standard Monitor/Mouse.

Now we have choices for all of our filters… next, we have to go into our Categories to turn on the filtering.  To get into Categories, simply click on Store | Catalog | Categories.

Let’s find our Computer Category… this is called AudioCenter PCs.

Click on Update and we’ll edit this category.  If you’ll notice, the last item in the Category Menu says Product Filter.

You’ll notice that apparently Yoda programmed this with his unusual way of thinking, did he not?  So… rather than enabling the product filters, we’re going to set this to False and disable, disabling the filter… huh?  Just set it to False to turn on the product filters.  May the Force be with you. Okay… so now we’ve created a product filter heading and we’ve created the choices that will present when a customer uses these filters… the last step is assigning your products accordingly.  We’ll again go into the Store/Catalog/Product menu.

Click on any of your PC products and you’ll see a Product Filter Menu on the left in here as well.

Click on that and now you’ll see the filters you’ve created.

Just choose which features match the PC products you’re editing.  Select as many of these items as you can… the more thorough work you do on the filters… the better the little salesman who lives in your store will be.  Once you’ve selected all 5 slots, then click on Submit to save.  Proceed through all of the products that matter.  Now… when your customer goes into your Computer category, they’ll be presented with a filter menu that looks like this:

They can simply check the items they care about and ClickCartPro and EuropaCart 8 will update an eliminate products as necessary until a handful of thumbnail choices remain.  Every time you click on a checkbox, you’ll see items disappearing… it’s really cool.  It’s great customer service that you can provide from your bed.

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