We Were ‘Inspired’ By Amazon.com

I know Amazon.com owns a patent on “1-Click ordering” but what about their site design itself? Obviously Amazon.com serves as a great design inspiration for any ecommerce site but can I legally rip off their design?

This morning I came across an online store delphiglass.com.  This is not some small under the radar etailer, delphiglass.com is a vastly popular online store and according to Compete their site gets over 89,000 unique monthly visitors.  Here is where the story turns bizarre—

Amazon.com homepage:

Delphiglass.com homepage:

Amazon.com left navigation:

Delphiglass.com left navigation:

Amazon.com home button (mouse over):

Delphiglass.com home button (mouse over):

I tried to do some background work to see if this store is connected with Amazon but found no evidence.

And speaking of copy, check out:


Doesn’t humidi-pak.com look suspiciously similar to Apple’s older homepage? here, refresh your memory:


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ShopPBS.com — Redesigned But Still Sucky

— They still don’t let customers review products.
— Generic filter options – price, title and new.  What about – most popular, biggest discount, most gifted, VHS, etc?  They do have a Best Seller list but that sorts all titles, one can’t search best sellers within a category.

They have adopted the lowest common denominator with their eCommerce strategy.  Here is what I would have asked before undertaking the 18 month redesign

– Why do people shop at ShopPBS.com? Why should they?

– Is it fair to charge $30 for a DVD? And if we can’t control price how do we create rich experiences to offset price?

– For someone who bought previously do we provide an incentive to shop again? Do we guide this customer to a product related to their purchase history?

– Why not let customers watch DVD trailers?

– Should we create subcategories for the “Business Management” section? example – Strategy, Change, Inspirational leaders, etc.

– Does the same architecture make sense for every section? No.  Business interviews are time sensitive – There is a video on “Winning Customers Through Savvy Sports Marketing” with Gary D. Forsee
 (CEO – Sprint Nextel).  Only problem is that Mr. Forsee has  been ousted from the company.

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Same Product, Totally Different Brand Experience

I wanted to see how different retailers sold the same product, and so, for the sake of this study, randomly picked the Alpine CDE-9870 car CD system and compared it with 2 retailers specializing in car stereo systems:

– Crutchfield
– Car Toys

Both Crutchfield and Car Toys are established multi-channel players. Crutchfield mails out 6 million catalogs (Source: Hoovers.com) and Car Toys has 50 retail locations (Source: Hoovers.com).

But when it comes to shopping experience the sites could not be more divergent.

Continue reading “Same Product, Totally Different Brand Experience”

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Does Design Have A Quantifiable Impact?

CNBC started promoting their new website in the October – November timeframe and launched it on Dec 05, 2006 (according to archive.org). In the next 10 months traffic jumped 139%. 334,000 new readers have been added to their previous installed base of 200,000 readers.


So what does this mean?

CNBC is a news portal where content is expected to be king. Yet new design has given them access to more customers than what they originally had. If a design insensitive demographic has reacted this overwhelmingly to a free news portal imagine how they’d react to bad design coming from a commercial eCommerce site?





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