When Is a Topic “Big” Enough to Warrant a Book?
The Sales Rep’s Role

Amazon Pages – How Crowded Can It Get?

I hope my colleague Steve Hayes is right on his blog when he reports that Amazon is working on adjustments to their product page design. It seems that every time I visit Amazon there’s yet another new component on the page. Here’s a list of just a few of the elements of the current design: Book Information, Most Wished For Items, Join Amazon Prime, Ready to Buy?, More Buying Choices, Add to Wish List, Add to Wedding Registry, Recently Viewed, Better Together, etc., etc. These aren’t menu options from one box – they’re separate objects scattered all over the screen, and I didn’t even bother to scroll down to list the rest!

Amazon obviously knows what they’re doing. They continue to grow, and as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, even when new programs aren’t right for me, I applaud their innovation efforts. To me though, the typical page is starting to look like the bumper of an old car with loads of stickers and other messages plastered all over it. I admit that the page still works well for a quick in-and-out transaction, but with all the various bells and whistles on the page the elements start to blend together like wallpaper. The result is that I haven’t played around much with many of them. How many other consumers feel the same way? Should Amazon try and clean it up, only putting a few of these on the page at a time so that I’m more inclined to try one or two of them out every so often? They use dynamic page design in other ways (e.g., hit the refresh button a few times on any of their Subjects pages and see how they rotate various promotions in and out) – why not extend it to something like this?

On a related note, I love what they did awhile back with the pop-up Search Inside the Book window. Hover over the cover image of a book in the Search Inside program and you get a nice, clean box with links to things like Table of Contents, Excerpt, Index, and more. This is a great example of how they’ve cleaned things up in one area. It’s nice to have these options hidden away until you really want to use them. Maybe this is an approach they could/should use on some of their other product page elements…



Interesting. I use amazon.com pretty regularly -- well, it is my primary access for on-line purchasing of books and DVDs -- and I basically ignore the facade as it becomes increasingly cluttered. My real main entry is the search button, and I often get off the main page with barely a glance, mostly just to check whether they've remembered me or not. This clutter is beginning to remind me of the advertising-compilation rags that go from my mailbox straight to the recycle bin every week. The book listings are becoming a little more cluttered too, taking more clicks or scrolling to find out what I want to know when looking over the materials on a book.

Naba Barkakati

Joe, I used to rarely scroll down after glancing at a book's title and price, but lately I noticed that when I click the Back button I got an error message (instead of the search results). Then I scolled all the way down and there was a link to the search I had just done. When I click that, I return to the search results. Seems like an attempt to make sure I scroll through the entire page. BTW, did you notice today the "Amazon Prime" membership plan that says for $79 a year members can have "all you can eat" 2-day shipping? I wonder if the membership idea would work out for Amazon. I plan to stick to the "free shipping for totals over $25" until they discontinue that :-)

Joe Wikert

Despite all my family's annual Amazon transactions, we too have skipped the "Prime" deal and just look to create orders of $25 for the free standard shipping. I typically get orders within 3-5 days. There was one time where it took more than a week, but that's the only exception I can recall.

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