Black Friday/Cyber Monday, then Christmas, and year-end sales are approaching, which makes store owners feel extra daunting as to how to leverage sales. We are here to help. Recently, we had a sip with George Greenhill, the founder of Protein Package - a successful British start-up in foodstuff. We had a wonderful conversation with him about how to utilize Product Filter & Search app by Boost Commerce to grow holiday sales.
So far, Protein Package with the help of the Boost app has witnessed an increase from 2.5% to 3.2% in conversion rate, equivalently around a £250,000 increase in sales over a year. Let's explore George's secrets on building a winning online store with our app.
The story of Protein Package
I started Protein Package whilst still at school aged 17 in the United Kingdom. We’re on a mission to revolutionize the famous ‘pick and mix’ you enjoyed as a kid but, instead, for the healthy snacks that everyone loves today.
We’re based online and allow visitors to mix and match their favorite protein snacks and the best nutritional supplements that we import from the world’s most popular brands. The reason for starting Protein Package was due to an issue I personally faced when I started regularly training at the gym.
I wanted to improve my nutrition and diet to help me reach my fitness goals but all of the products I enjoyed like Grenade and Fulfil Protein Bars came either in large boxes that left me with the same flavor for weeks on end or expensive individual wrappers - a real nightmare.
After building the website myself, £300 of birthday money to my name, I invested it all in our first batch of stock allowing customers to order a pick and mix with great value solving the issue I’d faced in the past. New customers enjoyed the unique idea and we quickly gained traction on social media through happy buyers sharing their experiences.
As the number of orders grew, so did our product range. We began to stock vegan options like the Misfits Bars and even expanded into zero-sugar energy drink markets offering Bang Energy and NOCCO. We needed a solution so our customers could easily filter our offerings and search our entire catalog quickly.
We came across the Product Filter and Search application by Boost Commerce in Shopify’s App Store due to its amazing reviews and testimonials. We decided to give it a go and have been using it since early 2017 (not long after we launched our current updated store). It’s helped us provide an awesome interface for our customers to narrow their search and discover their perfect products.
I’m now 21, we’ve just moved into our new UK warehouse which will enable us to reduce prices so our customers get the very best value, improve efficiency levels and grow our close-knit team with new awesome people.
We see our future heavily based around bringing new exclusive international brands from outside of the domestic market into the UK as well as working with current brands on our new feature called ‘Behind The Brand’ where we talk to the people behind the world's biggest health food brands and gain insider information.
Why the Product Filter & Search (PFS) app?
What made you decide to use PFS in the first place?
We decided initially to try Boost Commerce’s Filter and Search App due to the brilliant reviews it had, albeit, at the time, fewer than the current 1,100+ reviews averaging a high 4.8 of 5 stars. (Boost is now reaching an average of 4.9/5 rating on Shopify App Store. The quality is getting better and better 👍👍👍)
With the quick theme set-up, the 14-day free trial provided us plenty of time to fully test out all the features before deciding whether to go ahead with the paid monthly plan (not the smallest investment back then). Just before installing the app, we also reached out to the customer service team to double-check that all the features we required from the software were available, within a matter of hours we had a comprehensive response outlining all the features we required were available at our disposal.
About other filter & search solutions on the Shopify app store
One of the biggest challenges was finding an app that integrated directly with our Blockshop Shopify theme. Because our theme’s made by a third-party developer, not every filter and search app fully supported it, however, Boost Commerce’s app offered full theme support and automatic theme installation. A win-win.
We used different search apps in the past but they lacked the ability to offer smart search suggestions, detailed analytics, and the frontend didn’t look very clean or professional. As it wasn’t a new app type to us, getting one that we could easily transfer our old filters using Shopify’s tag system was preferential so we didn't have to retag around 1,000 products. As Boost’s filters supported tags and more, all our previous work was easily transferable and adaptable, saving our small team countless hours of repetitive work.
Another glaring omission in other applications available was that on collection pages with filters installed, the pages were hosted on the app’s servers and URLs but not ours which would have negatively impacted our search engine rankings (SEO) but this was not the case with Boost’s app.
How to make the most out of PFS features for sales season
What’s your favorite PFS feature and how do you use it?
Due to stocking hundreds of brands on our website, other apps would only allow our customers to select one option at a time. Not only was this restriction confusing but really annoying if you’re browsing and only wish to view your favorite brands and products with certain dietary features.
An awesome advantage of Boost's filters is the multi-selection option enabling website visitors to choose multiple brands at one time. Pairing this with the ability to add search bars inside the actual specific filters makes for super-efficient and speedy searches.
As we sell health food products and nutritional supplements, many of our products have various unique dietary requirements like being certified vegan and free from gluten. For smaller and less frequently used features such as GMO-free and ketogenic for the Misfits Protein Bars, we didn't want to create new collections for every combination possible as Google would see this as duplicated content (not great for our online reputation). By using tags, customers could still filter these features without requiring multiple unneeded collection pages to be generated.
We’d like to give an honorable mention to the ‘top search terms with no result’ that you can find within the analytics tab. As a business offering hundreds of brands, we’re always on the lookout for the next big brand or new release. The chances are if customers are searching for a particular product but get no results, it might be a good idea to consider stocking it.
After looking at the data for the past few months we were able to identify Per4m, GFuel, and C4 as new brands to take on and begin stocking which are all planned to launch in the coming months. These tools are also useful to spot searches you could introduce synonyms for and maybe products discontinued that customers still want to purchase from you if they could.
Top secrets: Special in-app settings to boost sales for this holiday sale
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching and redirects are always the first thing we set up for big events like this. Most people simply search “Black Friday” so we create redirects for this and any synonyms such as “BF” to push customers directly to our Black Friday promotion collection so there is no confusion on where to get all our limited-time offers. Taking this one step further, adding the “Black Friday Sale” as high priority in the Suggestion dictionary will funnel more customers to this page even if their initial search idea started as something different.
With the recent release of the new Sort by option to order by the percentage discount size, we will be adding this to the website as the default sort for the sale period so that all our best offers will be displayed closer to the top of the page and gain the most visibility and clicks.
- Set up redirects and synonyms for relevant searched phrases like “BF", “Black Friday"
- Use Suggestion dictionary to set high priority for related keywords like “Black Friday Sale"
- Add the percentage discount as the default sorting option on the website
How do you feel about the features’ update?
The constant new updates to the app bring more and more possibilities for us at Protein Package to explore and grow our average daily sales. Two of the new features we’ve started to use and love are search synonyms and the extra sort by options.
With the recent widespread introduction of Metafields in Shopify's platform ecosystem and the introduction of Online Store 2.0, we can’t wait to reap the benefits of these groundbreaking updates and see how Boost Commerce integrates more with them in the future. We regularly keep an eye on the “What’s new” page on the Boost website to get insights on how to best use new feature launches and stay in the know on the application’s general change log.
How do you rate the support from Boost team?
Boost’s support is second to none.
We’d love to specifically mention Will who’s helped us on many occasions when we’ve had little bugs or conflicts with other apps installed on our Shopify store which is what we mostly contact support for. All matters are handled quickly with genuine fixes instead of half-hearted workarounds you get from many other businesses that list Shopify apps. If anyone struggles with coding or bugs, you can rely every time on the team to get it sorted for you as soon as possible. All of the little queries we have about the app and display settings are generally well covered in the help center, knowledge base, and technical guides.
Glamorous results of Protein Package after using PFS app
Comparing the time before and after installing Boost’s application, our conversion rate went from 2.5% to 3.2% which over a year equates to around a £250,000 increase in sales. For a small family business like us, this increase in conversion rate is huge, albeit, not all of this uplift is attributed to the Boost Filter and Search app solely but it definitely accounted for a large chunk of that growth.
Using the built-in analytics tool offered within the app, we’re able to look at the total number of searches, of which, you can see that we average 40,000 total searches that focus heavily on brand names, popular products, and requirements such as healthy vegan options. By adapting the data timeframe ranges in the settings, you can easily spot trends or spikes in certain areas you can exploit in your upcoming marketing campaigns.
Finally, looking at our filter clicks, we can see users are selecting dietary requirements, product types, and the stock status so that any products out of stock are hidden from view. This might be because within our pick and mix, due to the sheer number of products, we can get various flavors out of stock so this feature is an easy way to exclude any items they can’t order currently. Unsurprisingly, from the 9,000 clicks, our pick and mix accounts for the vast majority of filters due to most users following the Homepage > Pick and Mix (build your Protein Package) flow and then starting to refine their search.
This is the end of our little yet helpful chit-chat with George. Hope that you can gain valuable lessons for using Product Filter & Search app. If you haven't installed it yet, do it now and enjoy a 14-day free trial. You’ll love using it like George and his team.
Big thanks to George for the detailed sharing. We wish Protein Package a wonderful BFCM and year-end sales!