by Jason Hotelling, OpenBazaar Front End Developer
Hello! We hope you’re having a great time selling and sharing on the OpenBazaar platform.
OpenBazaar stores boast the fastest setup time of any ecommerce platform. With very little effort, you can set up your store and add listings in minutes. Then, a little extra work can give buyers an exceptional experience to make them want to visit again and again.
Today we are going to talk about how to use tags and categories to help users find and browse your store with ease.
Before We Get Started
If you haven’t already, please follow our guides to getting started with OpenBazaar. They contain instructions and tutorials that span from Download through Browsing and Selling.
If you are new to OpenBazaar, we also recommend watching our OpenBazaar 2.0 Tutorial on YouTube.
Step 1: Tags Are for Search
Tags are one of the things search engines use to determine which listings to show to a potential buyer. Most users will discover your store through a listing that they find in search. For example, if a user is looking for t-shirts, they first navigate to the Discover tab in OpenBazaar. Then they will select a search provider and enter a search term such as “t-shirt” or “t shirt”. In order for potential buyers to find your shirts, you must enter any relevant tags on your listings.
In this example, we have entered tags that may match what users enter in Search in the OpenBazaar Discover view.
Tip: Make sure to add your store name as a tag too so when people search for your store name, your listings will show up.
Step 2: Categories and Filters in Your Store
Once users click on your listing, they have the opportunity to visit your store by clicking “Go To Store” in the top left corner. This is where you have an opportunity to hook them and encourage them to shop around more. Your Store View will show potential customers all your available listings.
It will make it easier for buyers to shop if you classify your listings. You should take time to become familiar with the Store View browsing experience. It will aid you later in planning and creating your store.
Classify Your Listings for Easy Store Browsing
A little planning and foresight can make listing creation much easier. Determine which categories and possible subcategories you’ll support in the beginning.
In our example store, Variety Bazaar, we have a wide variety of listings. We ensure a potential buyer can find what they want through useful categories.
Enter clear, concise and unique category names for your listings. For our example store, we sell clothing, antiques, comic books and fidget spinners. We decided to represent subcategories within clothing by applying more than one category. We also sell retro items within separate categories. These items are all given the extra category ‘retro’.
It is important not to confuse tags with categories. Categories are for organizing your store and providing a simple store browsing experience. They are only used for filtering on the store view.
Browsing Using Listing Filters
When potential buyers browse your store, they will see a few useful filters to aid them. Understanding these filters will help you plan your store well.
Text entered into this store search filters your listings based only on their titles.
The Ships to filter limits listings based on countries to which your listings ship.
The Free Shipping filter will toggle display of listings based on this option.
Note: This filter displays even if no listings offer free shipping. We encourage you to use it where you can! It makes a purchase more compelling for a buyer if they know they won’t also have to deal with extra shipping costs at checkout.
The category filter is the primary method for which buyers will hone in on specific types of items.
New Feature in OpenBazaar Desktop 2.2.5
The type filter allows buyers to view store listings based on the current supported types:
- Physical Good
- Digital Good
Over on the right side of your store users can toggle between list or grid view. Grid view shows a much larger image providing a better visual shopping experience. This is the default view.
In List view your listings are condensed so you can see more of them at one time. Each listing shows a small thumbnail of your product to the left and their prices on the right.
Note: It’s important for your listings to have descriptive titles as well as great photos to draw in buyers.
This dropdown menu allows users to sort your store listings based on price or title. Sorting can be by highest to lowest price or vice-versa; alphabetical or reverse-alphabetical.
Spend time browsing other stores and take notes on your experience. Once you’re comfortable, its time to ensure your listings reflect a positive experience.
Tip: Once you have a listing or two up, you can clone them to spare yourself from duplicating redundant listing information. Remember to make sure you don’t leave any incorrect fields from the original listing.
Taking a bit of extra time to plan and set up your store with care is important to drive its success. Achieving discoverability and browse-ability gets buyers in and keeps them around. Relevant tags added to your listings will increase discovery in search. Providing proper categories helps browsing users see what you offer. Finally, being familiar with your buyers’ experience will inform the best listing setup for your store.
This is the first in a series focused on getting the most out of your OpenBazaar store experience. Check back soon for the next installments!