Adaptive filters allow your customers to search for products and then see the list of filters updated according to the other filters they have activated. For example, if you set your categories to be adaptive, then when users select a colour or a size (or any other filter) the category list will update to only show matching categories for that colour or size.
Standard filters, as opposed to adaptive filters, will always show their full list of options and the full product counts. If one of your users clicks an item in a standard filter, other filters will be reset back to their defaults. For example, if they pick the colour red under what is our FWW Product Attribute filter, only the categories containing red products would show up with adaptive filters enabled whereas all categories would always display with standard filters.
I’ll show you a couple of examples about these on my demo website, for which I have the Grocery Store theme activated, and then another on an actual website.
First up is the Standard filters setting. If I want to find a red beanie and click on red, all items with red in the colour description will show up on my screen, but under the filters in the sidebar, it will still show me all available products. To see just red beanies I would have to go Categories > New Clothing > Accessories > Red. Clicking Red and then Accessories or New Clothing will just send me back to all the Accessories/New Clothing.
And now I click on Accessories:
If it wasn’t for the URL those two screenshots would look the same, so I’m just going to power through here to the Adaptive filter setting.
After I switch to the Adaptive filter, I’m now going to click red again from the shop page. Now if you look at the product count next to the products, it only displays how many red products there are. After switching to blue it will only the items that are available in blue.
Adaptive Filters in the Wild
Here is an example of Adaptive filters in action on Ebay. I’m looking for a red game console. After navigating to Videogame Consoles they display all their filters on the left, but once I click Red, some of the products will no longer show up, like the Xbox One. You can find it if you click on see all but if you add it to your filters and apply it that way it won’t show you any red ones as they don’t have it. I tried. I would like a red Xbox. However, with this colour selected I can only click through to a page full of red Playstation 4’s. Who wants that kind of behaviour!?
Using both Standard and Adaptive filters
You may want to have all categories constantly showing but have the children of those categories only show the filtered categories. By adding another FWW Product Categories widget to my demo site I can make sure that all my categories will stay visible whilst clicking through the various filters. I will set my first widget to only display Top Level products, with the Standard filters, and set the second widget to display Children, with the Adaptive filters so when I haven’t selected a specific category yet, the second category won’t even appear.
Here is what my first widget looks like:
And here is what my second widget looks like, with the result displayed of me selecting New Clothing and then blue. You will notice that the product count now stays the same under Categories but will change according to the filters under Children, so your customer can specify their search under the second category widget but if they select something from the first one all the filters will reset.
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