What is the best basic structure for selling multiple (very similar) items from within a single product range?
Our eCommerce site sells widgets, and each model within a particular range which has 5 or so options. Whilst the options doesn't change the fundamental purpose of the widget, they do change the application and market niche.
So my question is whether to create a single product page per widget range and have let the user choose each option (potentially not good/confusing UX), or to create 100's of individual product pages (like Amazon) all with very similar descriptions (and risk flooding the user with too much choice)?
Hard to say without knowing exactly what it is. But I have similar items that cross over for multiple technical uses. I have found that segregation works best. Especially if it's something where one use would be known by one crowd, but that same crowd would not know anything about the other use. Most people don't like having to figure something out. They want it spelled out. There also seems to be a psychological advantage to offering something that appears to have a singular purpose. I think people tend to think that it must be "the best" if it is only made for ____. But as an example...
If I had an animal feeder, I would break it down by animal, or at least break it down by size and list the animals. But I would not go so far as to break it down into colors of the animals that can use it. If that makes any sense. Like if you had a small pet water bottle. I would bet you that a water bottle that says it is specifically for hamsters, would sell better than one that just says it's for small rodents.
But once again, it comes down to the item. If it's a technical thing that many people will not know much about, then definitely segregate. If it's something that is ridiculously simple, then probably not.
Msg#: 4612031 posted 8:13 am on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)
@lorax 30-50 product ranges for each of our principle's products. We're a distributor for 5 manufacturers, so we're looking at ~200 base products, each with 5 or so varieties/options = 1000(ish) individual items.
While I can segment them by application/niche, the widgets are of a technical nature and my concern is flooding the user with too much (uneducated) choice.
My current set-up is to create a single page per model range and have a number of drop-down menus to select the options - while this is sufficient in most cases, it does present overly-complicated experience for the user.
So I'm trying to find a happy medium - one that doesn't present the category pages with too many almost identical widgets (and almost identical copy) and isn't a single page stuffed with a confusing array of options.
Think of buying a new car - is the LE a higher spec than the GS? does it have electric windows? are they an option? Can I have the ejector seat fitted without the sunroof... etc.
<slightly o/t> In our niche the term [widget] is *extremely* general, and could apply to products of a different type/function/purpose than those we sell. Customers will refer to them only as a [widget] and not see the distinction, let alone care about the 5 varieties of each model within each widget range. </slightly o/t>
@jamesMP - I'd keep to a listing of the base products as the primary navigation BUT I'd also consider including an option for the user to find what they're looking for via the application (or other bucket).
If you are a clever programmer (or know one) you could setup predefined search queries to pull together products that match an application search term so the "Search By Application" page would have links that call the predefined search query.
I'm not feeling very articulate so I hope this makes sense... :(
Msg#: 4612031 posted 10:52 am on Sep 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
Thanks, lorax - makes perfect sense!
I think I'll stick to having a categories page which lists each model range and then let the user choose options on the product page, plus a form which mimics the boilerplate (the actual model/serial number label) on the product which searches for matching products.