Shopify do things a little differently when it comes to organising products on the platform as they have their own collection system rather than the traditional category system, but how does it work?
To show you, I have created this short Shopify tutorial that covers how to create an manual and automated collection and also how to create a sub collection.
How to Create a Manual Shopify Collection
The first and arguably easiest collection type to create is a manual collection and this is where you manually add products to the collection and this can either be done via the collection page or product creation/edit page.
To create a manual collection, go into your Shopify dashboard and go to Products → Collections → Create Collection. To create a new collection, all you need to do is enter the name for that collection and select manual in the Collection Type box.
You can also choose which sales channels this collection is going to be available on, add a description, upload an image for the collection and set the SEO meta data (page title, meta description & URL).
When you have entered the title and type of collection, just click save in the top right hand corner and your collection will be created.
How to Add Products to a Manual Shopify Collection
Once you have created your collection, you now need to add some products to it and there are two ways to do this.
This first is by going in and editing the collection that you have just created and you will see there is a section to select the products for the collection that has replaced the collection type section.
Clicking the Browse button will open a pop up window from which you can select which products you want to go into your collection.
Simply check the products that you want to add to the collection and click add and then these products will be automatically added to your collection.
You can also add products directly from the product creation/edit page.
Simply go on to the product page and in the right sidebar is a heading for collections. Click in the search box and it will show all of the manual collections you have created.
You can also start typing the name of the collection if you have created multiple ones and when you see the one you want to add the product to, click the checkbox to select that collection and then save the product to confirm the changes and this product will then have been added to your chosen collection.
Shopify Collections Video Tutorial
How to Create Automated Shopify Collections
The second option when it comes to collections on Shopify is Automated collections, which have a bit of a steeper learning curve but once you get the hang of it, they can be very useful.
What makes Automated Collections different, is that they are based off conditions, such as:
- Product Title – this is if you want to create a collection around words that appear in numerous product titles such as rings or watches
- Product Type – if you entered a product type when creating your products, then you can use this as a way to put them into a collection
- Product Vendor – if you have items from specific vendors or brands and want to put them into their own collection
- Product Price – this is used if you want to group items together based on their price, for examples products between £10 and £30
- Product Tag – if you created tags for your products, such as men’s ring or ladies watch, then you can create a collection around these tags
To create and Automated Collection, go to Products → Collections → Create Collection and choose Automated from the collection type and then it will ask you which conditions you want to be applied.
Once you have decided on what the collection is going to be based around, you then set the parameters for that rule, such as:
- is equal to
- is greater than
- is less than
You then enter in the data which Shopify will use to select the products. Sorry if this sounds confusing but it is a bit of a challenge to put it into words but I will give you couple of examples below to try and show you how it works.
If you wanted to create a collection of gift ideas for less than £25, you would set up the automated collection like this:
Shopify would then put all of your products that you are selling for less than £25 into this collection.
You can also create more than one rule for a collection and for this example, I am going to create a collection for Men’s Seiko Watches and it would look like this:
With a collection like this, you could easily replace the product title with Product Type or Tag as long as they contained those words.
Once you have created this Automated collection, any product that you create or have already created that fits the conditions will automatically be added to this collection.
How to Create Sub Collections in Shopify
One of the things that confuses many people in Shopify is sub collections, this is because there is no direct way to do this as there are no options for sub collections on the create/edit collections page.
This is because Shopify doesn’t actually allow you to create sub collections but there is a work around you can use so that you can create a collections hierarchy on the front end of your website.
This is done using your sites main navigation menu, to access this go to Online Store → Navigation → Main Menu (or whatever you have named your main menu).
You then want to create a menu item for the collection hierarchy that you want to create, to do this click Add Menu Item and a pop up will appear.
Create a name for the menu item and choose a link for it, this becomes redundant when you add the next steps as clicking the menu item will show a drop down menu instead of going to the selected link.
Once you have added your menu item, repeat the process but choose a collection that you want to be the parent collection, in this example I have created one called Men’s Rings.
The next step is to click on the six dots and drag this menu item to the right, this will then nestle this menu item under the previously created heading. In the image below, you can see that I created a main Rings menu item, followed by Men’s Rings, which I dragged across so that it is placed under the rings menu heading.
To create a sub collection of Men’s Rings, click on the Add Menu Item to Rings option to create a new menu item and then follow the process of clicking the six dots and dragging the menu item to the right.
In the image above, you can see that I have done this with the Signet Rings option and on the front end of your website, this makes it appear that Signet Rings is a sub collection of Men’s Rings as you can see in the image below:
The main Rings menu item now opens up a drop down menu, Men’s Rings appears as the main collection due to the bolding of the font and Signet Rings appears as a sub collection due to the normal font.
I hope this has made sense, if not, then check out the video I have included with this post as I explain and show the steps, which may make it easier to understand.
As I said at the start of this section, this is a work around to create sub collections on your site as there is no direct way of doing this within Shopify.
Collections are one of the elements that some users find quite confusing with Shopify and hopefully this short tutorial and video have helped you understand how you can use the system to its best effect.