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IA for Shopping & Shopping Carts Adrian Whatley INF 385e Fall 2005 Overview E-Commerce Consumer Purchase Factors Closing the deal with the shopping cart Simplify Support Secure Confirm Conclusion E-Commerce Is Big Business

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Ia for shopping shopping carts l.jpg

IA for Shopping & Shopping Carts

Adrian WhatleyINF 385e

Fall 2005

Overview l.jpg

  • E-Commerce

  • Consumer Purchase Factors

  • Closing the deal with the shopping cart

    • Simplify

    • Support

    • Secure

    • Confirm

  • Conclusion

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E-Commerce Is Big Business

  • 50% of US net users and 20% of non-US net users regularly buy online (2002)

  • “Click and Mortar” firms see an increase in visits to traditional sales outlets

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Uncontrollable Factors

Uncontrollable Factors

  • Consumer characteristics

    • Social

    • Economical

    • Cultural

    • Psychological

  • Beyond the the control and influence of marketers

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Controllable Factors

  • Product/Service Characteristics

  • Medium Characteristics

  • Merchant/Intermediary Characteristics

In other words: IA is essential for an enjoyable e-commerce experience!

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The Factors at Work

No Thanksgiving 

Web Ad


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What Is a “Shopping Cart?”

  • A metaphor employed by e-commerce sites to help customers better understand the online purchasing experience.

    • Shopping baskets

    • Shopping bags

    • And many more



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Design is Important…

  • Billions in sales are lost every year because customers become frustrated and leave an e-commerce site

  • Trust and usability are the two attributes most often cited by customers as the reasons for choosing a site

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A Quest!



Scandinavian movie about a girl whose homely sister has her banished to the frozen woods. She is saved by Jack Frost who helps to find her a dreamy husband..

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Overall Design is Important…



Clean, easy checkout

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…but the shopping cart can make or break a site.

  • 65% of buyers leave their shopping carts in mid-purchase (eMarketer 2003)

  • IA can help reduce cart abandonment rates

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Keys to Good Cart Design

  • “Programmers need to hear people call their baby ugly.” Terrell Jones, president of Travelocity

  • Simplify the process.

  • Explain the steps.

  • Secure the transaction.

  • Confirm the order.

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Simplify: Make the Cart & Its Contents Easy to Find


The shopping cart should:

  • Have multiple entry points

  • Be transparent

  • Give product information

    • Availability

    • Quantity

    • Price

  • Allow products to be stored for later purchase

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    Simplify: Break-Up the Ordering Process

    Page Numbers

    Where am I?

    Where am I going?



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    Simplify: Provide Clear Instructions

    Required fields

    Builds trust

    Saves space

    Next step

    Go back

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    Explain: Provide Rich Functionality

    Navigational Options

    Detailed Description


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    Explain: Provide Support During Checkout

    • Unanswered questions can translate into lost sales

    • Phone support is best for new customers or those uneasy with web purchases

    • Support via a chat window like eBay’s “Live Help” or UT Libraries’ “Ask a Librarian” is gaining favor

    • FAQs should be provided at the very least


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    Explain: Show All Costs

    Show taxes, shipping and any another purchase costs. No surprises!

    This cake better be $%&^ good.

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    Secure: Put Their Minds at Ease

    Williams Sonoma

    • In order to establish trust, the customer must be comfortable with you and your site’s security

    • Think about possible customer concerns at every step

    • Your security standards should be easily accessible and clearly written

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    Confirm: Make Sure the Order is Correct

    Right address?

    Right product?

    Right price?

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    Confirm: Send a Confirmation E-Mail

    • Include:

    • Confirmation date

    • Order number

    • Tracking (if possible)

    • Be brief!

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    • Organize a focus group to test the shopping cart before the site is launched.

    • Make sure your cart simplifies, explains, secures and confirms the online ordering process.

    • Remember, a successful Web site is built around customer-centered design.

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    • Taking the shopping centre online: new models in e-commerce. Timothy Dixon, Andrew MarstonProperty Management;Volume 23;Issue 2; 2005

    • Electronic commerce: A comparative study of organizational experiences.

      Majed Al-MashariBenchmarking: An International Journal;Volume 9;Issue 2; 2002

    • Product search in e-shopping: a review and research propositions.

      Jennifer RowleyJournal of Consumer Marketing;Volume 17;Issue 1; 2000

    • Influencing the online consumer's behavior: the Web experience

      Efthymios ConstantinidesInternet Research;Volume 14;Issue 2; 2004

    • Comfort your online customer: quality, trust and loyalty on the internet.

      Dina Ribbink, Allard C.R. van Riel, Veronica Liljander, Sandra StreukensManaging Service Quality;Volume 14;Issue 6; 2004

    • An integrated framework for recommendation systems in e-commerce. Timothy K. Shih, Chuan-Feng Chiu, Hui-huang Hsu, Fuhua LinIndustrial Management & Data Systems;Volume 102;Issue 8; 2002

    • One-stop-shop information mall – MTR’s experience.

      Y.K. Chan, Martin Brown, K. Neailey, W.H. IpManaging Service Quality;Volume 10;Issue 2; 2000

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    • Good information architecture increases online sales.Ivan Walshhttp://www.sitepoint.com/print/increases-online-sales

    • Ten ways to improve the usability of your ecommerce site.Webcredible consultancy.


    • Information architecture of the shopping cart: best practices for the information archtitectures of e-commerce ordering systems.Sarah Bidigare, Argus Center for Information Architecture, May 2000.http://argus-acia.com/white_papers/shopping_cart_ia.html

    • The Design of Sites: Patterns, Principles, and Processes for Crafting a Customer-Centered Web Experience.Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong.Addison-Wesley, 2003.