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Thread: CTA ecommerce category pages

  1. #1
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    CTA ecommerce category pages

    Hello,
    I'm seeking opinions on putting call-to-action buttons on ecommerce category pages like add to cart or learn more buttons. It seems most major retailers do NOT do this. For example, when shopping for "little black dresses" on amazon, I click the appropriate categories and am presented a list of little black dress products, but there is no clear calls to action at this point. Since I have used the internet for more than one day, I know to click the image or name to get to the details page, where I would then add to cart from there. Obviously, Amazon is doing ok without them, but I wonder why they made this decision. They aren't the only ones who don't either. I'm struggling to find a major retailer that DOES use them. Not having a button of some sort at that stage also adds a click to the process if someone could just add to cart from there, rather than going to the product detail page. Any opinions?

    The reason I'm asking is I made an ecommerce site in a similar fashion, I didn't use buttons on the category pages but used clickable images and product names. Sales people immediately threw a fit saying it wasn't clear what to do from there. As much as I wanted to ignore them, sure enough some customers started calling with the same question.

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  3. #2
    Member p.preston's Avatar
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    This is a really good question. Never thought of that myself.

    In my opinion, the believe here must be that consumers want to learn more about the product before actually buying them. Like for the little black dresses, shoppers might want to check the sizes, fabric, and other features of the product. Maybe that's why ecommerce sites don't add CTA to category pages. Still we need some expert opinion on this one.

    However, this gives me another though. For some products or in some situations, consumers might not have to check more information on the product or does not want to click on individual pages to buy the products. Like, I was browsing PC games on Amazon (tho I actually buy from Steam), I noticed if I wanted to buy a PC game I don't have to know additional information about any game. The price and platform are all mentioned in the category page.

    Also, if there is discounted sales going on on Amazon, this is just my assumption, people might want to add products to the cart without wanting to know more about the product or visiting the individual pages.
    Last edited by p.preston; Dec 05th, 2014 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Some typos

  4. #3
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    I tried to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Using no button looks better (in my opinion) but it adds a click to the process and apparently creates confusion for some people. Using a button on every product clutters the page up a bit but would hopefully eliminate the confusion.

    I decided sales are ultimately what matters and went with a button, but then I had to decide what it should say. Add to cart is the obvious choice, so that's was my first remedy attempt. For products like you mentioned that require size,color, etc, after clicking the button, it would take them to a product detail page with a prompt saying "you must select .... ". My boss thought that it looked like an error of some sort and that might scare people away. I also wondered if there was someone so paranoid that seeing an "add to cart" without selecting their options first would just freak them out for fear of ordering something in an incorrect size. The other option was replace "add to cart" with "learn more", but some products didn't have any extra detail on the next page that they didn't already see on the previous page so it didn't really make sense.

    Anyway, I could go on and on but ultimately ended up with this crazy mix of "add to cart" for simple products "see pricing options" for complex/size select products, as well as a small text link of "learn more" in the product description where applicable. I don't like it because I want everything to look the same, but the questions stopped coming in so I am dealing with it. I still think this was a matter of "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and that for 99% of people it wasn't an issue to begin with...but that 1% could be my million dollar sale lol. Ugh. I hate it when bad design works. Thanks for the response p.preston!
    Last edited by skishyfish; Dec 05th, 2014 at 05:34 PM. Reason: formatting

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I've done it in certain circumstances, not in others, and I even have built a cart with an entire page "add to cart" button earlier this year for one specific product line, since the products have no details and are just charms.

    Charms - The Quiet Witness

    The reason I generally don't do it is quite simple: people generally want more information before they add a product to the cart; most of the carts I have built are also non-standard products and people will be more likely to want the information before they buy something.

    "Bad" design is also highly subjective if you're dealing strictly from an artistic point of view. The only logical good/bad design evaluation is the one you just mentioned...does it work? In your case, I suggest it would because what you did was exactly what I would have done in the same situation...you customized the buttons on your cart to match the products. Consistency is great, but it doesn't always work. Mind you, it's early on the 6th and you just did it, so you'll probably need some time to really evaluate whether or not the changes you made worked.

    Just in case you're still wondering, here's a major Canadian (and I think a minor US) retailer that uses "Add to Cart" on the category pages.

    https://www.ebgames.ca/SearchResult/...7&rootGenre=64

    EDIT: I didn't build the second page.
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  6. #5
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    Actually, I implemented that solution earlier this year and those questions rarely come in now so I know that solution works for us, I'm mostly just curious as to why most major retailers don't. I was just revisiting the topic because I'm working on a new site design.Well, thanks for your responses!


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