Shopify Collections Guide: Types, Pros & Cons, Best Practices

Introduction to Shopify

Shopify is an incredibly popular e-commerce platform that enables entrepreneurs to create and manage their online stores with ease. One essential aspect of organizing a Shopify store is the use of collections, which help categorize products and make browsing simpler for customers. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the different types of Shopify collections, their differences, merits, and demerits, and guide you towards choosing the best collection type for your store.

Understanding Shopify Collections

In Shopify, collections are groups of products that share a common theme or characteristic, making it easier for customers to find and purchase items. There are two primary types of collections in Shopify: manual collections and automated collections. Let’s explore each type in more detail.

1. Manual Collections

Manual collections are created by adding products to a collection manually, one by one. This approach provides the store owner with complete control over which products are included in a collection and their order.

  • Full control over product inclusion and order
  • Ideal for small-scale stores or limited product ranges
  • Allows for custom curation of products
  • Time-consuming, especially for large product catalogs
  • Requires ongoing maintenance when adding or removing products
  • Difficult to scale for growing businesses

2. Automated Collections

Automated collections, also known as “smart collections,” use predefined rules or conditions to automatically include or exclude products. These conditions can be based on product attributes such as price, tags, type, or vendor.

  • Time-efficient, as products are added or removed automatically based on conditions
  • Ideal for stores with large product catalogs
  • Easily scalable for growing businesses
  • Ensures consistent product organization
  • Limited control over product order
  • Relies on accurate product attributes to function effectively
  • Less suitable for custom curation of products

Choosing the Best Collection Type for Your Store

The optimal collection type depends on various factors, such as the size of your product catalog, your desired level of control over product organization, and the time you can dedicate to managing collections. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best collection type for your store:

  1. Store Size and Product Catalog: If you have a small store with a limited product range, manual collections may be more suitable. However, for larger stores with extensive product catalogs, automated collections will save time and effort.
  2. Desired Level of Control: If you prefer having complete control over product inclusion and order, manual collections are the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re comfortable with predefined rules governing product organization, automated collections are more appropriate.
  3. Time and Maintenance: Manual collections demand more time and effort to manage, especially as your store grows. Automated collections offer a more hands-off approach, automatically updating based on product attributes.


Shopify collections are crucial for organizing your online store and enhancing the customer experience. By understanding the differences, merits, and demerits of manual and automated collections, you can make an informed decision about the best collection type for your store.

Keep in mind that the choice ultimately depends on your store size, the desired level of control, and the time you can commit to managing collections. As your store evolves, you may need to reevaluate your collection strategy and adapt to your changing needs. By staying informed and flexible, you’ll ensure that your Shopify store remains organized and customer-friendly.