E-commerce sites need good information architecture to maximize holiday sales, says Argus Center for Information Architecture white paper

Ann Arbor, MI (Nov. 20, 2000) — The recent market correction has put more pressure on e-commerce sites to be profitable, making this holiday online shopping season more important. Sites looking to boost profits should follow the best-practice examples shown in the Argus Center of Information Architecture's white paper "Information Architecture of the Shopping Cart: Best Practices for the Information Architectures of E-Commerce Ordering Systems," which analyzes the shopping cart and checkout processes of four top-performing e-commerce sites: Amazon.com, CDNOW.com, eToys.com and LandsEnd.com.

These four sites provided excellent examples of how a planned information architecture provides a foundation for rich functionality. Based on this research, Sarah Bidigare, Managing Editor for the Argus Center for Information Architecture, developed eight principles for designing the information architecture of the shopping cart and checkout process:

     1.  Make the shopping cart easy to find.
2.  Provide clear ordering options.
3.  Provide for rich functionality of the shopping cart.
4.  Make related items available from the shopping cart.
5.  Provide for items in shopping cart to be saved for future purchase.
6.  Give advance notice of what the checkout process involves.
7.  Keep order forms simple.
8.  Ensure secure transactions.

To download the entire white paper, plus an information architecture blueprint for a simple shopping cart and check-out process, visit the ACIA web site at:


About the Argus Center for Information Architecture
The ACIA serves as a focal point for learning about the theory and practice of information architecture, hosting industry conferences and training seminars, publishing articles and white papers, managing a web site on information architecture topics, and participating in groundbreaking research. The ACIA is sponsored by Argus Associates, Inc.

About Argus Associates
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Argus Associates is a recognized pioneer in the field of information architecture. Argus organizes large Web sites and intranets so users can find what they need quickly and easily and clients can more easily manage their information. Argus principals Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville wrote the definitive book on Web architecture, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, published in 1998 by O'Reilly & Associates. It was named "Best Internet Book of 1998" by Amazon.com.

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