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Customer-Centered Design: A New Approach to Web Usability by Karen Hyatt, Kreta Chandler

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Catalog Lessons for E-commerce Sales

Is the Internet merely a distribution channel for catalogs? So many e-commerce sites are nothing more than line or alphabetical product listings on a page. But as we have seen here, that's not what constitutes a catalog. That's why the web, in order to gain parity with catalogs, needs to add sophistication in presentation and efficiency in delivery.

Today, customers are fluid. They will shop in a store, online, and through a catalog all in the same week. While they purchase “safe” products on the web—those that they are sure will materialize exactly as they envision them—such as books, CDs, and tickets—they are also somewhat willing to experiment as long as the result is in their favor.

Convenience is the ...

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