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Power-User
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Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/06/2016 12:16 PM

I'd like to get some feedback on search filters used to refine results on E-commerce and shopping sites.

  1. Do you use filters, or just rely on keyword search?
  2. Are there any sites in particular that you think have really good search filters or really bad search filters, and why?
  3. What features do you really like or really dislike when it comes to filters? (e.g. sliders, fill-in-the-blank min/max boxes, checkboxes, multi-select, etc.)
  4. Do you feel that you should be able to filter on all specs or just the most common specs?

Thanks!

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Guru
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#1

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/06/2016 1:09 PM

1) I use both. I start with general key-words then use filters from there.

2) Never really paid attention to this.

3) I don't like fill-in-the-blank filters as any variance in how one words their query vs. the database could result in unintended exclusions. I like multi-select check boxes the most I suppose... faster.

4) Depends, for consumer goods... just common specs, I can read extended descriptions from there. Otherwise the search tool would get too large and cumbersome. Now, for industrial needs... I like some more detail and since a given supplier's offerings are generally within a similar product family, they can afford to get more detailed.

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Guru

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#2

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/06/2016 1:17 PM
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Power-User
United States - Member - NY Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - BSME Clarkson University '83 Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - First PC experience Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/07/2016 3:04 PM

Thanks Lyn. I have found similar articles through Google searches, and there is tons of stuff out there - lots of best practices and dos and don'ts. I was really looking for subjective feedback from technical and engineering professionals (i.e. CR4 users) to see if you agree with these "best practices" resources - or if there were any specific items features that resonate (or don't) with this community more than the general population. I'm sure you won't be surprised, but I often find that engineers don't necessarily agree with programmers or marketing people (who frequently have a hand in website design).

As an off-topic aside, writing "dos and don'ts" looked really odd to me, and got me looking into the correct spelling for it. Apparently, there is no right answer, and several different opinions on apostrophe usage - https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wc/dos-and-donts-or-dos-and-donts/.

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Guru

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#3

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/06/2016 3:11 PM

Just in my opinion, there are two companies that I regularly do business with on-line because their web sites are the best that I have found and easiest to use. They are McMaster-Carr and Automation Direct. They are both easy to search with minimum information and easy to drill down to specific specifications.

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Power-User
United States - Member - NY Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - BSME Clarkson University '83 Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - First PC experience Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/07/2016 2:52 PM

McMaster-Carr is really slick - one of the best that I've run across. When they first updated their website it was just a digital version of their paper catalog (like a pdf). They stopped sending out the paper catalog to any new customers right around the same time, to force new users (or anybody else who didn't have a catalog) to use their site. I'm sure they got a lot of negative feedback, as it was not easy to browse or find things online. They have really made this a nice site - the best transition form a paper catalog to a digital one that I've seen! A job very well done!

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Guru

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Search Filters on E-commerce and Shopping Sites

01/07/2016 7:54 PM

Another feature that McMaster-Carr has is many of their products have 2-D and 3-D models which I can down-load from their catalog, and insert into my designes

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