The key to any good ecommerce experience is leading the user to the apt product and of course seamless fulfillment. This post deals with product discovery in ecommerce. The overall objective is to reach a single screen of appropriate products, typically 10 to 20, through a minimum set of clicks.

A typical stage area promotion where the brand consistency and quality of design can be stronger
Homepage promotional portlets have to be compelling and not intimidating

Even if there are more than one gateway to enter an ecommerce catalogue we designers should meticulously think through the categories, search model, multiple portlets within portal pages and related (up/cross) selling These are compelling reasons for users to reach to a specific product easily. The elements of discovery in ecommerce are:

  • An information model and a catalogue tree that is intuitive and appropriate: Product groups should be put through rigorous questioning to tuck them under appropriate category headers. Category header labels should be easy to understand and offer quick segue to the products. A good practice is to put the category tree through a small focus group to understand flaws.
  • The basic search: Ecommerce search should start free form – a simple field and dropdown of categories. However filtering, sorting and comparing products from the search result is a key ingredient to a satiating shopping experience.
  • Sort and filter: The column headers of these search results to sort should be thought of intelligently. Typically these are values that can ascend or descend. For example – price. Sort rearranges the order and does not exclude like filter does. The parameters used for filter should be the ones that you will use as a buyer and these filters are contextual to your wares in a category.
  • Promotions and portlets: On the homepage or a similar page with multiple boxes that include house ads, the campaign plan and the content plan should help the user reach a product very quickly. The promotions should be calendar sensitive and the team should do a yearly plan that accommodates changes and inserts. The leader lists should be intuitive top tens on social parameters like popularity or rating. The lead stage promotional banners should contain the chief promotional messages well designed with striking imagery and typography.

With these there is all possibility that all users will efficiently reach their product and if convinced can be converted too.