They might sound basic, but when combined with AI-powered personalization, you’re looking at an eCommerce experience that will keep customers coming back for more.

We’re honing in on the sporting goods product discovery essentials: product filtering and facets. These might sound like eCommerce 101, and you’re right, they are—foundational yet often overlooked. But we’re going to show you how these fundamental tools, when infused with the magic of AI-powered personalization technology, can elevate sales and even improve brand agility. 

A quick overview of the basics

According to information from The Forrester Wave™: Commerce Search And Product Discovery, Q3 2023, Surfaces The Challenges Of AI Unchecked: “over half of US online adults tell us that they rely more on search than menus when shopping on a brand or retailer’s site, and 57% often use filters to narrow their search results.” This is fairly standard practice – filters and facets are the bread and butter of any online sporting goods shop, but we reckon they’ve been taken for granted, doing a lot more than you might realize for your customer experience (and your bottom line) when combined with the right tech. We’ll get to that shortly, but first, a quick refresher: 

  • Product filtering lets shoppers refine searches by key criteria like sport type, brand, gender, price range and color. It’s a direct path to narrowing down choices. 
     
  • Facets dive deeper, offering specificity within these categories—detailing sizes for footwear, tech features in apparel, or popularity in equipment. This targeted approach turns a broad search into a precise selection. 

If you want a bit more info about these tools and how FactFinder does them, check out our guide.

Elevating product filtering and facets with personalization

Elevating the core components of filters and facets with a layer of personalization not only sharpens the shopping experience but could supercharge revenue by up to 40%. Imagine a customer navigating through these fundamental product discovery tools, thinking they’ve got the best of your onsite search capabilities. Then, as they finalize their choices, your eCommerce platform steps in with a personalized touch, refining their results page with an ideal selection of sporting goods tailored to their preferences. It creates that feeling of having in-store consultation, which is critical as we continue to favor digital shopping. 

But it’s important to understand the distinction between the two types of personalization: segmentation and AI-driven. Segmentation groups customers based on broad characteristics, like demographic data, but this rarely achieves the desired success. Information such as age, gender or location says little about an individual’s purchasing intent – for instance, two online shoppers with similar demographic profiles can have completely different preferences and expectations for a search result. 

AI-driven personalization, however, can identify and recall their preferences, such as favorite brands, colors, price ranges or categories. It then refines the search results, promoting products that match these preferences. For more insights into its workings and integration, you can find everything you need to know right here. 

How filters, facets and personalization boost a brand’s agility 

This trio goes beyond just streamlining shopping, it transforms your sporting goods site into a dynamic marketplace, responsive to the shifting landscapes of demand and preference. Here’s how: 

Real-time insights for swift adaptation 
Analyzing filter and facet interactions shines a light on consumer preferences, enabling brands to nimbly adjust their offerings and strategies in real-time. This capability ensures that you’re always aligned with the latest trends, keeping your brand dynamic and responsive. 

Personalized engagement for agile marketing 
Personalization allows for marketing that’s not just rapid but also relevant. Using up-to-the-minute customer data, brands can refine their promotional strategies to ensure they resonate deeply with current consumer behaviors and preferences, making every interaction count. 

Enhancing operations through predictive analytics 
Let’s say, for example, you collect data from personalized interactions via FactFinder’s product discovery platform, then funnel these insights into external inventory management systems, CRMs and marketing tools. This integration not only transforms data into actionable strategies but also ensures a smooth flow of information. It’s a seamless way to boost everything from inventory adjustments to crafting personalized marketing campaigns.

Product filtering and facets in action: a Fitstore24 story

Fitstore24, a leader in the fitness and sports equipment online arena, engages 200,000 unique visitors each month, managing around 30,000 on-site search queries. This bustling platform faced a significant challenge due to its vast array of filters and combinations. The brand’s eCommerce Founder Mario Zanier highlights, “The old search didn’t have the capacity to map all of them correctly.” 

The integration of FactFinder’s product discovery platform marked a turning point. “Despite the fast and easy integration, we still had full control over the layout and design. We were able to control the after-search navigation and filters very efficiently via the shop templates,” explains Mario. This critical advantage, as he points out, sets FactFinder apart from other search providers, blending automation with authentic intelligence to meet user needs precisely. 

As a result, the brand unlocked: 

  • +29% AOV  
  • +55.6% AOV mobile  
  • Quicker loading times  
  • Automatic search engine optimization  
  • Less burden on the eCommerce server 

Get the full story. 

Looking ahead and wrapping up

There it is: the simple genius of elevating eCommerce essentials with AI, a trend that is shaping the future of nearly all digital disciplines. We’ve got plenty to say about that too, especially with the recent launch of our very own Atlas AI. You can check that out here.
   
And if you’re keen to harness everything we’ve discussed in the article and more, our experts await. Click the button below to get in touch.