Enable efficient shop browsing and searching (sub-cats?)

Problem statement

Too many parent level categories to make searching functional. Customers have difficulty finding products they want to buy in shops with lots of products - they need better ways to 1. browse all products available and/or 2. search for specific products. At present the tree structure in spree is not operational, so all taxons are at the same ‘level’, making large, unusable category lists appear in the shopfront

Different hubs manage different products, and some need more filtering options for products. For instance a shop is selling only meat but have super large choices like 500 different meat items for sales. The default instance categories offer the category “meat” but it’s not enough for them, they need their users to be able to filter “Beef”, “Lamb”, “Pork”, etc.

Affected users / customers

  • Customers who want to browse - have to either scroll through hundreds of products, or browse category by category (often over 30 categories in a shopfront)
  • Customers who know what item they want are a bit better off - they just have to find the category first and then they can search it. Are ‘beets’ a root vegetable? or a vegetable? Either category SHOULD show them beets. Now they have to reveal and go through a list of often 30 categories to find the one they want.
  • All hubs are concerned, lots of them want to have a bit more flexibility over the categories they propose in their shop

Problem impact

  • Customers get frustrated because they can’t find what they are looking for. They abandon OFN, or they don’t take the time to see all the products and the hub looses sales.

Benefit in focusing on this

  • Customers will be able to easily filter and search, and then find, the products they want, so it will make their shopping experience better and they will buy more easily / more, and hubs will be happy, so OFN instance will be happy :slight_smile:

As we proceed to better UX (as being implemented now for mobile for example), the UX can only be as good as the taxon structure allows. Right now the tree structure does not function in Spree. By making the tree structure for taxons functional, we will be able to take full advantage of the improved user experience being designed for mobile.

Links to more details

Potential solutions

Option 1 - make the tree structure in Spree functional - ie: a ‘child’ category (root vegetables, leafy greens…) will show up (in a search or a dropdown or whatever) under their ‘parent’ category (vegetables).
Option 2 - abandon the idea of categories and enable key word searching in some fashion (but this doesn’t really help the customer who just wants to start by browsing)
Option 3 - Maybe the metatag solution ?
Option 4 - Or another solution woud be to allow the hub to set up himself his own product categories / sub categories and “map” them to platform product categories so that we don’t loose the general research possibilities.

I added here things from a duplicate wishlist. it needs to be curated to understand what we want to prioritize, so I put it back to in curation before we can vote on it, let’s discuss. I didn’t work on it at all, just copied / paste things from the other wishlist to aggregate as was the same need. I bookmark it to remember we need to spend some time on this one.

Migrated to wishlist: Enable efficient shop browsing and searching (sub-cats?) · Issue #77 · openfoodfoundation/wishlist · GitHub