We recently published an article about the Target.com redesign. Target launched a new Web store after deciding to run its ecommerce operations independently of Amazon.com, which the US retailer had been using for some time as the ecommerce platform.
Amazon too is in the process of launching a new design for their massive online store, and our friends at Practical eCommerce just published an interesting article on what lessons can be learnt from the changes implemented by the ecommerce giant.
Among the things noted by Practical eCommerce:
- Clean design over cluttered layout
- Put search front and center
- Interface elements like content sliders can help
- Details make a difference (e.g. consider using CSS shadows, which are now supported in IE 9, FireFox 4, Chrome, and Opera)
- Focus on visual merchandising
For more, see lessons from the Amazon redesign.
One interesting fact about the Amazon – Target divorce: it appears that the folks at Target might have underestimated how difficult it is to scale operations to support huge traffic increases:
- The new Target ecommerce store experienced outages during the launch of a popular new clothing line (Missoni)
- A Target executive left the company as a result
Not easy to run massively scalable ecommerce Web sites! Amazon likely knows more about that than probably anybody else in this industry.
Smaller merchants should keep this in mind as well: as soon as you can afford it, invest in your hosting infrastructure. Ask your Web host what options you have for more reliability and higher scalability, how fast you can switch, and how much it will cost (and if they don’t reply with a quick, sensible answer, you know it’s time to look at a new Web hosting partner).