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The Fast Guide to Sorting Products on Shopify [2024]

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    Entaice Braintrust

Why sorting products on Shopify matters

Have you ever visited a Shopify store where the top row of products on every collection is sold out?

It's a terrible shopping experience.

And it kills conversions.

Sorting products is one of the most frequently overlooked conversion rate optimization techniques on Shopify.

Google spends hundreds of thousands of hours figuring out how to show you the right link at the top of a page.

And it's just as important for you to do the same with the products on your store.


Because products on the first page of your collection receive 10x the number of views as products on subsequent pages.

So what you show your shoppers first will ultimately decide whether they purchase - and whether or not they come back.

Shopify's stand product sorting options

Shopify offers two different built-in sorting methods: manual and automatic.

Manual sorting In general, sorting collections manually is the better option for scenarios where you want to achieve a specific aesthetic or have fine-tuned control over the exact order in which your products will appear. The only down side? You'll have to do it all by hand. Dragging and dropping one product at a time.

Automatic sorting Automatic sorting is a better option for large stores with a wide variety of products where you simply can't sort all of your collections by hand.

How to change your product order manually

  1. Navigate to Products > Collections in your Shopify admin.
  2. Choose a collection and select 'Sort: Manually' from the Products section.
  3. Arrange the products in your preferred order, highlighting featured items or best-sellers for maximum visibility.

How to use the different automatic sorting options

Shopify offers several different automatic sorting options.

2. Best Selling

  • Description: Sorts products based on their sales volume, prioritizing the most popular items.
  • Best For: Showcasing the store's top-selling products to encourage customer interest and purchases.
  • Drawbacks: You can't specify a lookback window to help identify trends.

3. Alphabetically (A-Z and Z-A)

  • Description: Orders products by their title in alphabetical order, either ascending (A-Z) or descending (Z-A).
  • Best For: Making it easier for customers to find specific products or brands they are looking for.
  • Drawback: This sort is effectively useless. No one wants to sort products alphabetically.

4. Price (Low to High and High to Low)

  • Description: Organizes products based on price, from the lowest to the highest or vice versa.
  • Best For: Assisting customers in finding products within their budget or showcasing premium products first.
  • Drawbacks: Sorting products by price can make you look either cheap... or expensive.

5. Date (Newest to Oldest and Oldest to Newest)

  • Description: Sorts products by the date they were added to the store, either showing the newest items first or highlighting older inventory.
  • Best For: Promoting the latest products or clearance items.
  • Drawbacks: Showing new products is great, but they can push down your best selling products.

Handling the limitations of Shopify's built-in sorting options

The biggest challenge store owners have with Shopify's built-in sorting options is that none of the standard platform options allows them to merchandise their store the way a merchandiser would want to.

For example, there's not even a built-in way to handle pushing out of stock products to the end of a collection.

What happens as a result?

Stores lose sales because their visitors can't find the items they want to buy.

So, once most business reach a certain scale, they decide to use an automated solution to sort their products.

These apps typically come in three different flavors:

Bare bones: the bare bones sorting apps will implement the next layer of sorting functionality (like handling out of stock products) but little else. Fully customizeable: these apps can be great, but they can also be overkill. They allow you to specify and build unique sorting rules for all of your collections. The downfall of that approach? You have to spend your time developing unique sorting rules for all your collections. Fully-featured, ready to go: these apps implement a baseline set of sorting best practices for you out of the box. They do most of the heavy lifting for you while still enabling you to tweak settings to your liking.

We've done a full breakdown of the best merchandising apps on Shopify.

Advanced product sorting strategies using Entaice

Entaice is an app that fits into that third bucket: a fully-featured app that's ready to go out of the box.

We worked with over 200 merchandising teams to understand all the common elements of their workflow. Then we built an app to automate that workflow and to support all the common merchandising goals teams have - whether that's promoting new products, clearing out sale items, or setting up product groups to make their collections look great.

With Entaice, you can:

  • Push out of stock products to the bottom of your collections
  • Automatically identify and promote trending products to drive sales
  • Continuously adjust product rankings based on inventory and availability
  • Pin, boost, group products, and drive discovery to achieve merchandising goals
  • Access detailed product performance data and export to csv

The power is in the app's ability to combine all of this functionality to generate an optimally-sorted page.

Shopify on it's own only lets you use one approach.

When are you reading for a product sorting app?

How do you know if you're ready to start using an app to automate your product sorting?

You're operating at scale: Your store has hundreds, if not thousands of orders per month

You have hundreds of collections: If you have hundreds of collections, there's no way to sort them all on your own.

Your collections have hundreds of products: There just isn't time in the day to sort hundreds of products with drag and drop.

Product sorting best practices

1. Optimize your most valuable real estate on collection pages. Did you know that products in the first 10 positions of a collection page get 10x the number of clicks as the products in positions 100+? Promote your best-selling or sale items in the top few rows of your collection page where conversion rates are highest. There is also space to promote products with a high sales efficiency — those that sell well when clicked on. They might not sell the most but they are the most efficient converters.

2. Don’t display out-of-stock items. If you want to frustrate your consumers, show them out-of-stock products. Enticing them with products that are not available makes for a poor shopping experience and sends customers to competitors. Make sure out-of-stock products are buried at the end of your collection pages until they’re back in stock.

3. Create a cohesive look. While you optimize top-selling positions, remember to view your collection page as a whole. Grouping products by color or product type makes for a more visually appealing page overall. For example, one row of products could be one color, then the next row can be another color. Such a cohesive look could get consumers coming back again and again.

4. Freshen up and optimize for promotions. It’s critical to keep your collection pages fresh. Of course, you want top sellers in valuable positions, but it’s important to change it up so consumers get a slightly different experience each time they come to your site. Don’t be afraid to experiment by putting previously buried products at the top of your collection page for a limited time. Also, if you’re running a flash sale or marketing campaign, make sure those promoted products are in top positions and easily discoverable. Don’t make people hunt for the products you are promoting.