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Canopy's curated commerce

Amazon's mission is to build the world's most customer-centric company, which has to lead them to be the leader in ecommerce convenience. They stock nearly everything you could need, delivery is super fast, and shopping can be completed with one click. All of this helps users get their jobs done fast. But Amazon misses a crucial element that's important in becoming a customer favorite, and that element is emotion.

This is where Canopy has decided to pick its battle with Amazon. Canopy is a website that uses a human community to curate the best products from Amazon. And their goal is to build a shopping experience that beats Amazon on the emotional experience. Being a fraction of the size of Amazon, Canopy can tailor its website to serve a niche of boutique shoppers better than Amazon can.

Why this is really good UX:

  • Amazon users can suffer from the paradox of choice, whereby too many options paralyze shoppers' ability to make a decision, leading to a stressful user experience. Canopy solves this by simplifying the shopping experience, limiting the choices on offer to a few curated products.
  • Canopy's UI maximizes negative space to make their UI simple and visually appealing. Known as the aesthetic-usability effect, people tend to prefer better-looking products (canopy) over usable-but-not-beautiful ones (Amazon) because of the positive emotions that better-looking products evoke.
  • Canopy leverages social proof to make its shopping experience persuasive. Social proof is a psychological effect where others' behavior influences a user's actions—otherwise known as herd mentality. By displaying the preferences of others with “these people like this” tooltip, Canopy's products are validated by the crowd and guide users to take action.