Search and Browse have completely different applications when it comes to looking for products in the e-commerce world. Search is extremely useful when you know what you want. However, browsing is used when you're not quite sure what you want or as a fall back to when search does not return the right results. While the internet world has done a good job of cracking search, browse has not been explored as much.
As such I firmly believe that Browse is a whole new area that is waiting to explode with newer and more intuitive visual interfaces. One example of a new approach to browsing is Endless.com, Amazon's new shoe and handbag site.
I recently came across another example during one of my bouts of "extreme surfing." BrowseGoods.com, an Amazon Associate, has provided an innovative way to shop visually. Their site gives the shopper a visual map of all goods in a department, and then one can zoom into specific categories, brands, etc. The power of the interface is that it lets the visitor surf many items at the same time and make quick decisions. This is important for categories such as Shoes, Jewelry, and Apparel where the browsing experience really does matter. BrowseGoods currently offers the ability to browse Amazon.com products in the categories of Shoes, Sports, Toys, and Watches, and the site indicates that more categories are on the way.
We wish the best of luck to BrowseGoods and look forward to seeing what else they have in store!
- Anubhav, Amazon Associates Technical Program Manager