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Flex in E-commerce

Posted by Sravan | July 21, 2008 .

Towards the end of last year, Charles wondered how RIA technologies can enhance usability in E-commerce sites. His main ideas were rotatable and magnifiable images, and an easily browsable gallery. I have come across very few websites that use RIAs not just for the main pages but also the stores.

Coyote Store is one such website, designed using Flex, which sells uniquely designed eco-friendly wrist watches. There are hardly twenty watches in the store now (perhaps newly opened), but they give us a clear idea of the impressive style and make.

Interestingly, it does have a slider to browse the gallery

Coyote Store Flex E-commerce Site Slider Snapshot

and three different angles of each watch along with one snap of how it looks on a wrist.

Coyote Store Flex E-commerce Site Item Closeup Snapshot

(Click images for higher resolution.)

Agreed, the latter is not the same as rotatable and magnifiable images, but I felt that this was sufficient to give a better picture. Also, these features do make visiting the site a better experience.

I have two suggestions for the folks behind this website. The drop-down box for “Select Quantity” clearly serves no purpose here. And a need to register to buy a single watch can put off customers more than slightly. Clearly, a small watch store isn’t the same as eBay for buyers to visit, much less buy, periodically. It can do away with the registration process and instead have a simple form, unless Coyote Store plans to expand into a store for other products as well.

Are there any other cool e-commerce websites using any RIA technologies that you have visited? They surely are making an appearance.

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11 Comments so far
  1. barclay  July 21, 2008 2:09 pm

    i will throw our site in the ring: http://lightingconcepts.com

    we put code – before design and usability (which is a common flex app. mistake)

    but if someone is looking for a cf/flex/lcds store check it out. also, every facet of the

    store management (vendor products, paypal, google checkout, yellow freight, ups,

    etc.) is managed by a single .air app.

  2. David  July 21, 2008 2:58 pm

    FYI, good article on RIA in eCommerce at Anthropology in today’s Boston Globe:

    http://tinyurl.com/6j9bn6

    Cheers,
    David

  3. david  July 21, 2008 3:00 pm

    FYI, good article on RIA in eCommerce at Anthropology in today\’s Boston Globe:

    http://tinyurl.com/6j9bn6

    Cheers,
    David

  4. barry.b  July 21, 2008 7:27 pm

    “And a need to register to buy a single watch can put off customers more than slightly”

    here here!

    if direct marketing data is to be collected, save it for the end of the checkout process as an opt in. as it is, they won’t get my sale.

    don’t forget, e-Commerce isn’t just selling of items (a la Amazon, eBay). it can also be services and intangibles: airline tickets, quotes (based on features selected), etc. Hopefully we’ve come a long way from iHotellier.

  5. Sravan  July 22, 2008 7:36 am

    David, thank you for that nice link.

    Barclay, that is a wonderful website there. Congratulations! The Boston Globe article mentions catalogues similar to yours.

    I agree, Barry. But I’m afraid I don’t know about iHotellier

  6. Gen  July 22, 2008 7:51 am

    Check out ruehl.com, also in flex.

  7. Peter De Ranter  February 12, 2009 3:19 pm

    a very succesfull flex e-commerce shop : http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com

  8. Rajiv Totlani  April 13, 2010 8:29 am

    Product visualization is one aspect of Flex’s ecommerce capabilities. The ability to write components or widgets that integrate directly with payments processing is pretty comprehensive too.

    There is a Flex 4 Paypal Shopping Cart at FlexDownloads.com that uses the Paypal Upload cart api and a Flex Google checkout component as well illustrating ecommerce integration components.

  9. michael Coyne  May 26, 2010 2:37 pm

    This website is slow at loading which is not good for eccomerce also how good is the optimisation?

    You can have rotatable and zooming images using flash – I have built them for a project – you could then upload these flash files to a php based eccomerce platform to achieve this and have the added advantage of quick load time and optimisation.

    I am just currently researching flex and the posibilities of a dynamic eccomerce system, I have tried Zen cart and built websites with it http://www.bike-force.co.uk and fastener-force.co.uk. It is however fairly limited in what it can do but is good for the more ordinary applications, and has a good community. I would like to come accross this in the flex community so am beggining my research.

    With regards to rotatable objects – this could easilly be encorporated into this php system along with javascripts to create similar effects to what you like.

  10. Aladin  June 18, 2010 3:06 pm

    A plug, but I’ve developed this site in Flex for a Dutch client:

    http://www.pianissimokado.nl/

    It’s quite HTML like in feel, but pretty snappy in use. Also lots of data binding going on. Could have been done with Ajax (I’ll leave HTML5 alone for now!) but probably would have sent me over the edge.

    It has a Flex built CMS, and the backend is in PHP. The content (but not the functionality) is also available as HTML for SEO/limited browsers. These pages are served up directly from the same data source so changes made in the CMS are immediate on both the Flash and the HTML. I’ve been pleased to see the hundreds of keywords that have found it.

    Might not have a revolutionary interface, but shows that Flex can be a pretty tight platform for this type of project.

    Hope it might be a useful point of reference for someone – I actually visited this blog before I started the build!

  11. Shan  March 4, 2011 3:36 pm

    @Aladin

    Pretty neat application!!. I am also trying to build a Flex e-commerce site with CMS. Tried integrating with Opencart CMS, but its getting complex than i thought it would be. It would be a great help to lot of people like me, if you can tell us on what technologies you have used and some code snippets if possible!

    Thanks,
    Shan

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