Simplicity raises consumer responsiveness to e-commerce, online catalogs

Whether or not consumers enjoy having many product choices has been a question businesses, especially in the e-commerce market, have struggled with. Businesses refer to this as the “paradox of choice” and “choice overload” — the relationship between consumers and the amount of choices they’re presented with. It has been under scrutiny in recent years. Studies from the Harvard Business ReviewNPR and Stanford have alluded to a connection between the two in which the less likely a consumer is to be overwhelmed, the more likely they are to build loyalty with a brand or company.

Studies from the Harvard Business Reviewdeveloped a metric for determining the effectiveness of consumer engagement and how that translates into how “sticky” a consumer is (how likely they are to remain loyal to a particular brand, product or company). The metric is a “decision simplicity index” and gauges how easy it is for consumers to navigate and understand information about a company or product, how much a consumer can trust the information they find and the readiness of comparable options. The higher the decision simplicity index, the more effective the brand is at making a consumer connection. The studies concluded that brands ranking in the top quarter of the study were 86 percent more likely to be purchased, 9 percent more likely to be repurchased and 115 percent more likely to be recommended to others.

“The next thing we looked at is in which case were people more likely to buy a jar of jam? Now we see the opposite effect. Of the people who stopped when there were 24, only 3 percent of them actually bought a jar of jam. Of the people who stopped when there were six, well, now we saw that 30 percent of them actually bought a jar of jam.” — Sheena Iyengar, NPR 2017

Sheena Iyengar, in an NPR TED Radio Hour, explored the paradox of choice in an experiment involving different types of jam and consumer choices. The experiment looked at two different scenarios: a display with 24 types of jam and a display with six different types of jam. It took into consideration two different variables: how many people stop at a display and how many people purchase jam. The studies discovered the two variables were inversely related to each other. More people stopped at the displays when there were 24 types of jam (60 percent as compared with 30 percent) but more people bought jam when there were six types of jam (30 percent as compared to six percent).

While large amounts of content and information might attract larger audiences and drive more traffic to a company’s e-commerce website, conversion rates lower at a marginal rate because of that. However, Dirxion online catalogs can deliver content in a simple, easy-to-use format that doesn’t overwhelm users, especially when developed around Dirxion’s Minimal UI. The interface was designed with online catalogs in mind, giving an emphasis on the pages and information and eliminating potentially distracting factors.

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New minimal user interface offers online catalogs a clean look

Online catalogs publishers looking for a simple but complete interface can switch to Dirxion’s new minimal UI. The interface design stores its tools and features within a menu that opens and closes with one click.

The interface was designed with online catalogs in mind, in order to give greater focus on the catalog pages and the product images published within. Publishers with an emphasis on image quality and art direction have shown the greatest interest.

A recent example is retail apparel company American Giant. Its online catalog interface uses Dirxion’s new minimal UI with a menu in the bottom-left corner. When the online catalog loads, only the catalog pages, side-panel page arrows and bottom-left menu can be seen. Products throughout the catalog are linked to American Giant’s corresponding e-commerce pages, in order to drive sales.

American Giant Online Catalog


Once the menu button is clicked, American Giant’s custom interface design is displayed. They chose to have a toolbar set at the bottom of the interface — for basic navigation features, a high-res thumbnail strip and a link out to the consumer’s shopping cart. American Giant also has three tabs on the left panel of the interface, where users can access previous catalogs, a table of contents and search results that can be requested through the search field below.

Dirxion is currently showcasing its minimal UI to new and existing customers to accommodate a variety of preferences. In addition to the minimal UI, customers can explore other custom designs, like Restoration Hardware’s modern look, Brady Corporation’s content library or Uline’s toolbar header.

Dirxion’s goal is to provide unique branding and interface design to all of its customers, through the manipulation and addition of templates that are built with HTML5, CSS and Javascript. No two online catalogs interfaces should look exactly the same.

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