New shopping site, DoorOne launched today a new comparison shopping site called DoorOne in the UK, France, Germany and Austrailia. It’s reported that this was due to the Shopping.X namespace being unavailable in all markets.

However this release is more than just a different URL as they have introduced a number of new features:

Why eBay Express is important

Monday’s launch of eBay Express marks an important milestone not just for eBay but for the larger Search design community. As many of you know, I believe that the faceted metadata search system introduced in eBay Express is very much the direction that all large collections should head and am pleased with the progress we’ve made with this launch.

Marti Hearst (UC Berkeley’s Flemenco), Corey Chandler (eBay) and I spoke at CHI2006, also on Monday, about lessons we’ve learned while designing faceted metadata systems. A theme emerged in the Q&A around the importance of merging browsing and searching that was encouraging.

  • Separate systems undermine confidence
    If different matches are found when you browse a category structure and another when you search using keywords—users aren’t ever sure they are seeing everything.
  • Augmenting keyword queries with browsable facets works
    In the discussion, there was agreement that while many users start with a keyword query they appreciate adding additional browsable facets to their query.
  • Augmenting browsing with keywords is powerful
    In a similar way enabling browsing from the homepage is a good starting point for people but then it can be helpful to add keywords to that query.
  • Faceted Metadata creates a common language
    If the searcher and the classifier are different people, faceted metadata can be a good common ground which can assist recall.

Time will tell whether faceted metadata will prove to be a success, but now I am pretty confident there are at least another 100 believers out there following my workshop. 🙂

Here are the course notes posted by Marti.
Update: Jessyca Frederick reviewed our course presented at CHI. Thanks Jessyca!

Yahoo’s Shoposphere

Yahoo! launched a new feature on its Shopping site Monday night similar to eBay’s Reviews & Guides and Amazon’s Listmania which allows their shopping community to share products with other shoppers. Called the Shoposphere it shoppers build lists on any topic for others to see or just themselves.

I think these shopping tools are a smart way to provide great content to your buyers and a valuable service to the shoppers themselves. They also are yet more examples of Tim O’Reilly’s Architecture of Participation. They allow people to be content creators and publishers.

What did surprise me was that given Yahoo!’s investments in tagging (My Web 2.0, Flickr) that they did not integrate tagging into these new Pick Lists.

Shoppers don’t convert on the first visit

This just in from SearchEngineGuide

Yahoo! and Compete, Inc. released a new study last week that aimed to track Internet search and transaction activity as it relates to the sales of retail apparel online. While the study was specific to apparel purchases, there are some interesting bits of take-away that could be handy for all types of sites.From the study:

  • Only 21% of conversions were directly from a search, while 79% were latent – 15% of which were more than one month after the last search. The “search to purchase” window shows 4% immediate, 17% same day, 64% same month and 15% at 1 to 2 months.
  • Search visitors spend a third more time on a site than non-search visitors did.
  • Search visitors were more likely than non-search visitors to view shipping information, register for newsletters, view product images, add items to a cart, view size charts and use store locators.
  • 20% of offline buyers who used search said that they’d used it to find out about sales events.

For the full results, check out the full study: Search and the Engaged Customer: An Apparel Study.

This goes to show that as we track our eCommerce and Search sites that it is unrealistic to assume that 100% of purchases can be made on the first visit. Folks need time to think about their purchase.