Here’s an excerpt from the original WSJ.com piece (subscription only, I’m afraid):
Why does buying stuff online still look so similar to buying offline?
First, Web sites still use the whole browsing-shopping basket-checkout metaphor, an approach that even real world shops are trying to get away from. Then you have in-your-face promotions, top 10s, on-sale items, buy-two-get-one-free offers, which to me don’t sound that different to your average supermarket gimmicks. Amazon has made some steps forward, such as pointing out that purchasers who bought a certain product have also bought other products, and allowing users to search for text inside books. But these are hardly huge leaps. After all, couldn’t we look inside books in a bookstore, or ask an assistant for suggestions about similar books?