Magento Layered Navigation is a helpful feature that Magento supports for users so that they can search the product they need faster based on filtered attributes. Filtering product by category, price range, size, type, color, brand and any other attributes, Magento Layered Navigation helps customers find out their desired product comfortably and efficiently.
Magento layered navigation menu will be displayed when customers open a product category. In default, the layered navigation block appears in the left column of the frontend. It contains links that customers can click on to filter products in this category based on various criteria until they find out the most suitable items.
Admins can set up product attributes which are displayed as filters in layered navigation instead of links to subcategories as default. To do this, they need to edit the settings of category as well as the setting of a particular attribute
Magento Layered Navigation only can be displayed on anchor category and search result pages. An important thing to remember is that an attribute is visible in Magento layered navigation block only when the category containing the product with this attribute is anchored ( set up “Is Anchor” = Yes). So, what are the anchor and non-anchor category?
+) Non-Anchor Category – contains only products directly assigned to it. By default, the only block of categories is displayed, and products in these categories cannot be filtered with Magento Layered Navigation.
+) Anchor category – contains products assigned to it and all subcategories. Products in these categories can be filtered in Layered Navigation.
To set up for a category to be anchored, go to Catalog → Manage Category. Then, choose a category and select Display setting. In “Is Anchor,” choose “Yes.”
You should take some configuration for attributes so that they can be filterable in Magento Layered Navigation. It is not much but important.
Go to Catalog → Attributes → Manage Attributes. If you want to edit an attribute, click on its row in the table. If you want to create a new one click on the Add New Attribute button above the upper right corner of the table.
There are 3 options that are related to layered navigation are Catalog Input Type for Store Owner, Use in Layered Navigation and Use in Search Results Layered Navigation.
The first important thing you should remember is that not all attribute types can be used in Magento Layered Navigation. So setting up attribute type must be taken into consideration. The only dropdown, multiple select and price types are accepted.
The second thing is setting Use in Layered Navigation to Filterable (with results) or Filterable (no results). The difference is that in the first case the value will be shown in the layered navigation menu only if there are products that match that value, while with Filterable (no results) the value will be displayed even if no products are matching the value.
In conclusion, Magento Layered Navigation will give your customers a useful way of filtering the product to find out their desired product faster. However, you even can optimize default Magento Layered Navigation with extension to providing your customers with more amazing experience in searching products in Magento site.
Magento SEO Layered Navigation Extension from BSSCommerce is one prime example for you to see how Magento Layered Navigation can be excellent!