New Shopify merchants often find it challenging to get to know the platform’s unique language and terminology. Terms are often tossed out with little context, and things can get confused easily.

This can frustrate new merchants, as understanding the terminology is crucial to creating a viable product strategy and putting together a well-organized online store.

We will explore two Shopify terminology areas that often confuse Shopify merchants, clarify them, and learn how to use them.

Shopify Collections

Shopify Collections are groups of products. Grouping them into collections helps customers find them by topic. Merchants may find creating collections confusing: There is no way to create a hierarchy of collections and a subcategory or sub-collection in Shopify.

However, Shopify’s navigation system is simple and easy to use, so new merchants can create tiered relationships between collections.

For example, a store owner can insert links to specific collections under a menu of links to create a sub-collection or subcategory. Owners can also filter a collection by tag and direct shoppers to what is a subgroup of a larger group. A menu link to a “Jewelry” collection could link to a more general “Accessories” collection that has been filtered to show only products that have a “jewelry” tag.

The lack of a hierarchical organization for Shopify collections can confuse store owners. Owners would see that all collections would appear in the same master list of collections in the Shopify admin.

Keep in mind that many users think of collections as folders on your computer’s hard drive. This doesn’t seem right, however. A product may belong to one or more collections – unlike directories, which only require a file or object to be in a single folder at any one time.

Merchants can organize products into collections in a non-hierarchical manner. Some Shopify themes use collections to decide which products appear on the homepage or in another part of the shop, such as a more customized version of the “related photos” section for a product.

Shopify Collections

Shopify tags are unique in that a product may have one or more tags. Tags have many purposes. Merchants can use tags for various uses, such as grouping and checking the items. Many themes use tags for the related product functions or for filtering and sorting like other labels such as type or vendor. Tags are ideal for seasonal products, best-selling products, or products sold only by phone so that merchants can find them quickly. One example is that seasonal products can have multiple tags “cozy” and “winter” and “street.” At the end of winter, merchants can search for them and hide them.

There is no way to group tags though. For instance, “yellow” or “green” tags can’t be tagged as colors, while “boots” and “sneakers” tags are shoes.

When creating tags, note that Shopify’s search tool is highly tag-based. Customers cannot see the tags. Online store searches depend on them to classify items and arrange search results for customers.

When to Use Tags and Collections

You can manually put your items in a collection, or you can automate your collections. Many merchants prefer automatic collections as they save time and effort in grouping products together into a collection. An automatized collection has rules that will use tags to add future products. If you are selling tea and tag products with “oolong tea,” all the items are automatically added to the corresponding collection.

Tags are useful when using automatically generated collections. They can be used as criteria for products to be included or excluded from a collection. If you need to build particular sets, the EPICA Commerce for Shopify widget will help you make better predictions for your collections’ products. They sift through customer browsing and purchase data to create personalized recommendations that your customers may enjoy. Take advantage of this widget, and see more traffic come into your online store.

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