An Interactive Visual Interface for Online Product Catalogs

One of the key elements of e-commerce systems is the online product catalog. It provides sellers with a content management system that assembles, aggregates, normalizes, and distributes product information. It also provides potential buyers with an interactive interface that offers a multimedia representation of the product information as well as retrieval, classification and ordering services. In this paper, we discuss the interface aspect of online product catalogs, focusing on its ability to help shoppers navigate and analyze product information. Specifically, we present a new interactive interface for online product catalogs that effectively enables the shopper to navigate through the product information space and analytically select suitable products. The interface is useful especially when the shopper makes purchasing decisions based on multiple factors such as price, manufacturer, delivery time and cost, and warranty. For supporting the multi-attribute analysis, the interface uses a multi-dimensional visualization mechanism based on parallel coordinates, but it goes beyond the plain visualization; it adds a number of visual interactivity facilities for helping the shopping process in navigating product data and making a mental structure for analysis. To demonstrate the capabilities of the product catalog interface for online retail stores and marketplaces, we implemented a proof-of-concept prototype displaying a set of automobile data. We explain how the prototype visualizes the entire product information space in a single page and supports intuitive exploratory analysis with the visual facilities.

By: Juhnyoung Lee, Ho Soo Lee, Priscilla Wang

Published in: RC22729 in 2003


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