Back to Blog List

How to Add Shopify Sub Collections (2024 Guide)

GemPages Team
12 minutes read
How to Add Shopify Sub Collections (2024 Guide)

Sub collections are a simple but efficient addition to keep your product catalog organized and user-friendly. Instead of the endless scrolling to find that one product, customers can now pick and choose which collections to check out based on their needs. Your store is neatly arranged, their shopping experience is streamlined - it is a win-win situation in our book.

This blog post will put you onto the role of Shopify sub collections in an eCommerce store, how to add them using different methods, and helpful tips to give you the best results while using this tool. Without further ado, let’s get started.

What are Sub Collections in Shopify?

The term “sub collections” is pretty self-explanatory: they are a part of the main collection of an online store that contains specific products.

So, why do we bother separating the goods into different sections while putting them all on one page will do just fine? 

The answer lies in the way brick-and-mortar sellers have been doing business for centuries: grouping similar products on one shelf = easy browsing and better shopping.

The same goes for online shopping, while a one-page product list will suffice for small-scale businesses, it poses as a disaster for ones with a larger catalog. This is when sub collections come in. By using a hierarchical structure, numerous sub collections are present so that each customer can freely browse and purchase what they need more conveniently.

Screenshot of Chomps’ product collection page.

Chomps organized its products based on proteins to help buyers find what suits them the best.

Wanna see sub collections in practice? The Shopify-based store Chomps offers handy sub collections for different proteins of their meat sticks. This way, buyers with dietary restrictions or who are following a specific diet can purchase the exact items that fit their needs without excessive scrolling. By showing the titles clearly on the product list, Chomps received brownie points for a top-notch user interface.

That said, is there any other benefit of sub collections that truly pushes this tool to the top? The chapter below will give you all the answers.

Why Do You Need Sub Collections in Shopify?

Screenshot of Fashion Nova’s product collection page.

Fashion Nova implemented an intuitive sub collection system for a leveraged shopping experience.

The goal of using sub collections is apparent: boosting conversion rates by delivering a user-first layout. However, the sky's the limit with Shopify sub collections. Let’s explore what they can do in the long run for your business through these benefits.

  • Better Navigation

The hierarchical, AKA multi-level structure of a sub collection system allows products to be grouped into different categories, providing visitors a better navigation path. 

One item can also appear in different sub collections. e.g. a women’s hat can appear in both Women’s and Accessories collections. The product is discovered faster as a result.

Moreover, as seen on Fashion Nova’s product collection above, breadcrumb navigation is used to aid visitors in pinpointing their locations on your site, which all the more offers a well-rounded shopping experience.

  • Enhanced UI and UX

User interface (UI) and User experience (UX) are two important facets of web design, especially in the eCommerce sector.

With the addition of sub collections to your UI design, you will be able to achieve a clear-cut visual hierarchy, an intuitive shopping path for buyers, and a consistent layout across multiple devices.

For the UX aspect, sub-collections represent a more personalized customer experience: fewer clicks, focused product discovery, a quick checkout process, and an overall positive experience. In the long run, customer retention and loyalty will go up as well.

Learn more: The Best Mobile Website Design Examples to Learn in 2024

  • Improved SEO Rankings

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integrated factor in eCommerce, and sub collections are a gold mine to capitalize on this tool.

By offering various collections, you can take advantage of specific keyword targeting. Instead of generic product titles and descriptions, scoring the right keywords will give your website more exposure and enhance search engine rankings. With this tactic, your store will garner organic traffic, which in turn will grant you organic sales.

Learn more: Transforming Words into Wealth: 10 copywriting hacks for the best conversion

  • Cross-sell and Up-sell Opportunities

Picking which items to go together with is the key to cross-selling and up-selling your products with minimal effort.

A standalone product might seem unassuming, but receives its spotlight while being grouped with other products. For instance, a red-colored scented candle is normally your ordinary, slow-selling item, but could be the perfect addition to a Valentine’s Day gift basket. By creating sub collections that match each other well, you can learn how to ace the cross-selling and up-selling game.

Learn more: GemPages Sales Funnels - Ultimate Solution for Maximizing Your Shopify Store Profit

  • Targeted Marketing Campaigns

The magic of segmenting your products into sub collections is evident when it comes to marketing: now you can take your targeted marketing up a notch without making major changes.

How does this work? Instead of designing a marketing campaign around your whole catalog, you can simply tailor a specific campaign for one sub collection only. This enables sellers to run limited promotions and discounts for a certain customer group without making an impact on your whole customer base.

Start selling on Shopify for $1
Start with free trial, then get your first month for $1

How to Add Sub Collections on Shopify in 3 Ways

Method #1: Create Sub Collections with Navigation Menu

Step 1. Access the Navigation tab.

First, log into your Shopify account and go to Shopify admin. Proceed to click on Online Store > Navigation.

When the tab is opened, select Add menu.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Begin customizing your Shopify sub collections by going to your Shopify admin.

Step 2. Create the main menu.

Create menu collections by entering a suitable Title. Then click on Add menu item to start customizing.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Take the first step by adding a menu collection to your store.

A slide-out window will appear from the right side, proceed to choose Collections to continue.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Click on Collections to assign the proper tag to your new menu.

Step 3. Add sub collections to the parent collections.

Keep creating new menu items by clicking on Add menu item. Once you have gotten enough elements, proceed to drag the sub collection files to the parent collection until they appear as pictured below. 

Finally, click Save menu to lock in your settings.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Once you have created the correct hierarchy, click Save menu to apply your changes.

Method #2: Create Sub Collections with a New theme.liquid Template.

Step 1. Access the Themes option and select a theme to edit.

Log into your Shopify account and go to your Shopify admin. Proceed to choose Online Store > Themes.

Pick a theme then select Edit code.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Change your store’s layout through the use of coding, all in your Shopify admin.

Step 2. Add a new template.

Go to Templates > Add a new template. A window will pop up for you to adjust the parameters. Apply the changes below:

  • Template type: collection
  • liquid
  • File name: collection.sub-collections.liquid

Click Done to lock in your options.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Adjust the settings for your new template correctly to continue to the next step.

Step 3. Insert code and click Save.

A custom template is created with a proper code. In this case, you can start with this basic code:

{{ collection.title }}

{% assign collection_handle = “collection-” | append: collection.handle %}


{% for link in linklists[collection_handle].links %}

{% assign sub_collection = link.object %}

<li><a href=”{{ link.url }}”>{{ link.title }}</a></li>

{% endfor %}


Finally, click Save.

Screenshot of the Shopify admin dashboard.

Enter the code and save your changes to your Shopify store’s collection list.

Learn more about coding with Shopify through this official manual.

Step 4. Replace the default template with the sub collection template.

Depending on your chosen theme, there is a chance that you will have to replace the default template with the newly created sub collection template. This step can be accessed by going to Online Store > Theme template.

Ready to elevate your Shopify storefront?
Take your storefront to the next level with GemPages page builder. Free plan available. Upgrade as you scale.

Tips and Tricks to Create the Best Shopify Sub Collections

1. Design a clear-cut hierarchy

This is perhaps the most important facet in achieving a manageable Shopify sub collection system. A well-designed hierarchical structure guides buyers towards the product groups that suit their needs, while also building a logical purchase path to increase conversion rates.

For starters, start planning your hierarchy by going through your product catalog. Fewer items will be easier to handle, but a larger collection allows room for more niche grouping.

To ensure the sub collections fit nicely under the parent collection, automated features can be utilized to logically add products into groups based on types, price ranges, tags, etc.

2. Give the sub collections relevant and detailed names

Having the right products in their corresponding groups is excellent, but the titles will make or break the efficiency of this tool. This means descriptive, relevant names will do wonders, while vague ones could lead your visitors to an incorrect purchase path.

A common practice in eCommerce product organization is grouping products based on their most prominent characteristics. For instance, a pet food company could group products based on proteins or the pet’s age. Create a parent collection called “Shop by Age” and present sub collections such as “Puppies” or “Senior Dog”. This way, buyers will know exactly where to look when they land on your website.

3. Incorporate different navigation tools

For eCommerce, different navigation tools are a must. They inform your customers of their locations, compare similar products, and offer relevant items to promote cross-selling. Some of the most prized navigation tools to include in your sub collection system are breadcrumbs, product tags, smart filters, grid and list views, and autocomplete search bar.

Final Words

If you have managed to build your own eCommerce website, it is as easy as pie to create sub collections for your online store. No matter the size of your business, this feature is a surefire approach to optimize your product catalog. You are free to test out the methods listed above to utilize this feature to the fullest and achieve a well-designed Shopify store that keeps customers returning for more. Now let’s get to work!

Not ready to commit but still want to kick the tires?
No problem! Get started with GemPages' free plan. Explore wonderful features that can do wonders for your store.

FAQ about Shopify Sub Collections

What are Shopify sub collections?
Shopify sub collections are a part of a main collection in a store’s product catalog. They are built using a hierarchical structure, where customers are guided towards specific collections that contain the exact products they are looking for.
What are the benefits of sub collections in Shopify?
eCommerce stores of all sizes can benefit from the use of sub collections. Not only will they improve your website’s appearance, but they also provide the following benefits:
  • Better navigation
  • Enhanced UI and UX
  • Improved SEO Rankings
  • Cross-sell and Up-sell Opportunities
  • Targeted Marketing Campaigns
  • Tailored Shopping Experience
    Head to this chapter for more details on each benefit.
  • Topics: 

    Start selling on Shopify

    Start with free trial, then get your first month for $1.

    Start free trial
    Shopify Sign Up Shopify Sign Up