Friday, July 25, 2008

Innovative online shopping interfaces

Ever since the dot com bubble burst all over Miss Boo in the early noughties, online retailers have tended to steer clear of innovative interfaces in favour of a no-nonsense Amazon-style approach (browse categories, search, scan product description/images/reviews, add to shopping basket - you know the drill). However the advent of Web 2.0 and its associated technologies has encouraged developers to start pushing the envelope again in this area. Below is a round-up of some of the more innovative interfaces currently out there. Have you stumbled across others? Add them in the comments below.


Billing itself as the "real" online bookstore, Zoomii Books attempts to emulate the experience of browsing shelves in a bricks and mortar retailer, presenting book covers on virtual shelves and linking through to Amazon for those all important affiliate dollars.


Also piggy-packing on Amazon's extensive inventory, BrowseGoods gives you a floor plan view of a virtual department store and enables you to zoom in on departments Google Maps-style until you reach individual items.


The next step on from Zoomii and BrowseGoods, Kinset provides a fully immersive 3D shopping experience. Currently requires a download (PC only), although a Flash version is flagged as 'Coming Soon'.


Not new but still great; in addition to pioneering a new online market sector (everything handmade), Etsy also boasts a a number of interface innovations such as browsing by colour, time or location. invites visitors to "shop visually" with the aid of a 'detail search' and colour, shape and pattern matching tools.

Panic Goods

Panic is a Mac software developer with a nice sideline in designer tees. The apparel store employs a simple drag and drop mechanic for adding items to your shopping cart which makes me want to buy more t-shirts (not that I really need any encouragement).


KnickerPicker's Dressing Room takes the multiple product photos of rival sites like to the next level by providing interactive video of the garments being worn by a model who most closely resembles your bodyshape. Your chosen model saunters from stage right in black lingerie and heels, ready to 'come closer', 'walk back' or 'turn around'. May just attract some male visitors not necessarily looking to make a purchase methinks...


A cross between Startup Schwag and The Million Dollar Homepage, limitedCargo offers a numbered, limited edition run of a single product from a brand partner. Buy one and you get a square on the product page to upload an image and a link.


Not strictly speaking a shopping interface, Dutch department store HEMA deserves a mention for it's domino effect product page. That Honda Accord ad has a lot to answer for...


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Ruzanna said...

e-commerce is getting more and more popular. this creates the need of having good tools to help shoppers make right decisions while buying online. is a place where shoppers can recommend or bury a product, share experience and discuss shopping deals.

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