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Mastering Shopify Collections—The Nested Way

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    Entaice Braintrust

Hey! So, you’ve been digging around trying to understand how to manage those nested collections in Shopify, right? Well, whether you’re setting up your store or thinking about reorganizing your existing product line, this guide is tailored just for you. Let's crack the code on creating a collection within a collection on Shopify and why this could be a game-changer for your online store.

Why Nested Collections?

Imagine walking into a giant, bustling bookstore looking for a cookbook about low-carb recipes. If every single book was just piled into one massive section, you’d probably walk out, right? That’s where organization swoops in as your unsung hero. Just as bookstores categorize books to ease your hunt, your online store needs that level of organization.

Shopify collections are like those sections in a bookstore. They help categorize products to enhance the browsing experience. Sometimes, though, you need a shelf within a shelf—for instance, a 'Cookbook' section could have sub-shelves for 'Low-carb', 'Vegetarian', or '30-minute recipes'.

However, here’s the Shopify twist—Shopify doesn’t natively support creating a collection within a collection directly. But, don’t worry, there are smart workarounds and tools that can help you achieve this structure, indirectly boosting user experience and potentially your sales.

Planning Your Collections

Before diving into the "how," let's think about the "why" and "what." Why do you need nested collections, and what structure makes the most sense for your store?

Sketch out a map of your products. Starting broad, then digging deeper. For instance:

  • Clothing
    • Men's
      • Shirts
      • Pants
      • Accessories
    • Women's
      • Dresses
      • Tops
      • Accessories

This visual can help you decide the level of nesting needed and understand how deep the categories should go without overwhelming your customers or yourself.

The Magic of Menus

One straightforward method to create the illusion of nested collections in Shopify is through menus. Essentially, you use the navigation menu to guide customers through layers of collections. Here’s how:

Creating Collection Pages

  1. Start Simple: Make each main category a collection. For example, 'Men’s Clothing', 'Women’s Clothing'.

  2. Create Sub-categories: Within these collections, create additional collections like 'Men’s Shirts', 'Women’s Dresses'.

Linking Collections Through Menus

  1. Navigate to Shopify Admin: Go to 'Online Store' > 'Navigation' to access the menu options.

  2. Edit Menus: You’ll want to add menu items that reflect your collections and their hierarchy. For example, you can have a main menu item 'Clothing', with sub-menu items 'Men’s Clothing' and 'Women’s Clothing', which break down further based on your categories.

  3. Connect the Dots: Ensure each menu item points to the correct collection, crafting a path through your site that feels natural and intuitive.

Leveraging Tags and Filters

Another clever approach is using tags within collections. Here's the step-by-step:

Tag Wisely

  1. Tag Your Products: When adding or editing products, you can add tags. Tags can describe attributes like 'low-carb' for food items or 'cotton' for apparel.

  2. Create Collections Based on Tags: You can set up collections that automatically include products with certain tags. This setup allows for dynamic updating whenever new products are tagged appropriately.

Customer-Side Filtering

  1. Enhance the Shopping Experience: By implementing tools or customizations that allow shoppers to filter products based on tags, you empower customers to drill down categories themselves actively.

Apps to the Rescue

If coding isn’t your thing or if you're looking for more dynamic solutions, the Shopify App Store is like a treasure chest. Apps like 'Smart Collections' or 'Collection Filter' can handle much of the heavy lifting for setting up nested collections. These apps come with various features, including multiple filtering options which mimic the nested collection structure through user-friendly interfaces.

The Human Aspect

While setting up, keep revisiting the user’s shoes. Navigate your store as if you’re a customer. Is finding products logical and effortless, or does it feel like solving a puzzle? Continuous tweaking based on real user feedback plays a crucial role in refining the structure.


Although Shopify doesn’t directly offer nested collections, your store can still enjoy the benefits of detailed organization through smart menu structures, tagging strategies, or handy apps. Remember, the goal is not just to organize your products but to create a smooth and enjoyable shopping journey.

Feel free to revisit your structure as your store grows or as customer feedback rolls in. What works today might need adjustment tomorrow. Stay flexible and keep iterating. Just like in "Atomic Habits," small and consistent adjustments lead to remarkable results. Happy organizing!