5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2008 4:01 AM by gazmcghee

    Flash/Flex Shopping Carts - A flawed concept ?

      This is my first post around here. I'm a long time developer and have been using Flex part time for around 18 months. I'm in the process of setting up the Perth Flash Developers Group which got me into this site.

      Anyway, I'm in a shared office with 5 other web devs/designers and are pitching for a customer wanting an ecommerce site, and he stipulates liberal use of Flash. We have settled on Magento as a backend and I can imagine all sorts of creative Flash animation drawing on the web services of Magento.

      However the other guys are unanimously warning away from anything too funky and Flash based for the shopping interface, saying
      1) They don't work, citing loading times, broken functionality

      I get this to some degree. I've had at least a couple of Flash sites simply not work lately, perhaps due to running Flash Player 10 in Opera on a Mac. The reasons don't matter - the point being that Flash adds technical barriers to customers buying stuff. I still have the ideal that something well built in Flex can be at least as reliable as an AJAX
      solution, and definitely more powerful in a branding sense (important for our job at hand), but they aren't convinced.

      2) They don't sell product, just confuse customers

      They're arguing that the grid of products is tried and true, and deviating from that will result in loss of sales.
      I just played with http://www.crumpler.com.au and while it failed to load the first time, and when it did work it did too much loading for my attention span, I think it did make a brand impression on me and after the first minute or so I enjoyed the experience. One guy concedes that http://www.burton.com works well, but says it would have been very expensive, like $100K.

      So are there any good examples of Flex/Flash-heavy ecommerce sites that go beyond what AJAX can do these days ? And are there any good up to date components or services for building them ?

      Thanks for any reactions/comments.