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What is a Collection?

Simply put, on Shopify, a collection is a grouping of certain related products. Collections offer store owners much flexibility in how they organize and present products to shoppers. Today, we’ll discuss the details of Shopify collections so you can better utilize this key organizational component.

For What is a Shopify Collection Used?

By organizing your products into collections, you help focused shoppers find what they’re looking for at a faster, more effective pace. On the other hand, collections help browsing visitors to discover and explore products related to their interests.

Here are a few product criteria (and examples) that you can use when creating collections:

  • Style Type (dedicated collections for t-shirts, tank tops, and long-sleeved shirts)
  • Color (separate home decor items into collections by color)
  • Material (set up collections for furniture made of real wood, particleboard, glass, and metal)
  • Price (devote a collection to all of your discounted or sale items)
  • Season (create a collection for items related to seasonal events or holidays)

Plus, keep in mind that products are not limited to only one collection. For example, in June, a gardening and lawn care site might add a sunglasses-clad gnome into three separate collections: one for new summer items, another for yard decorations under $30, and also a collection exclusively for gnomes. As summer fades into fall, the same site may choose to remove the new summer category from its homepage and add the out-of-season gnome to an "end-of-summer" clearance collection. The options are virtually endless.

Collection Types

Shopify allows users to create two different types of collections, both of which have value, depending upon the needs of your store. You can set up, edit, and view both manual and automated collections from the Products tab on your Shopify dashboard.

1. Automated Collection

An automated collection automatically populates based upon selected conditions that you apply to products. In other words, you can “tag” a product with a certain variable, and Shopify will add it to any collection that matches. You can create collections to populate with as many or as few variables as you’d like.

For example, you could set up a hat collection to populate from any product tagged with the labels "beanie," "cap," or "fedora." On the other hand, in line with that example, a store owner could set up a collection for women’s hats. In order to be added to the collection, the product must meet multiple tagged conditions: “women” and “beanie,” “cap,” or “fedora.”

One benefit to automated collections is that the process simplifies organization when you add future products to your inventory. You can easily add new items to collections simply by tagging them with a chosen label when filling out the product information.

2. Manual Collection

Opposite of an automated collection, a manual collection is composed of products that you select individually. Unless you add or remove a product directly to or from the collection, any tags or properties applied to the product don’t affect its organization.

If you prefer to create small, specialized groupings for limited or one-time usage, a manual collection would likely suit you better than an automated one.

Viewing Shopify Collections

Depending on your theme, the layout and appearance of collections may differ. However, all store owners can display collections as galleries or links featured on the home page, menu, or product pages. Based on your business strategy, you may choose to display as few or as many collections as you need to help customers navigate your store effectively.

Once customers view a collection, they can click a product image to visit that product’s page for more details and to add it to their cart. Some store owners choose to add a section on a product page to display recommended items. This automatically-generated list displays products frequently purchased with the item in view - or, products in the related collection.

Collections - Just Another Way Shopify Makes eCommerce Simple & Smart

By effectively utilizing Shopify collections, you can help customers more easily find and discover the products they need and want. Plus, collections help you easily rotate through and display featured items in order to move browsing shoppers through the sales funnel.

If you require some assistance setting up your collections, or have more questions on how you can use this feature of Shopify, feel free to reach out to our consultants.