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Rich Internet Application-based Carts – any difference?

In a prior role (in a prior company) I had the great fortune to be able to analyze the performance of two shopping cart implementations, on the same store – one a traditional HTML 4-page step-by-step checkout; and the other, a single integrated app. built in Flash.

Given that the products, pricing, promotion and place (global reach) were the same, the only significant difference was the underlying technology enabling a richer experience. The results were startling.

Visitor-to-order conversion rates on the store with the HTML cart were 2.6%, over an 18 month period. However, the Flash-based cart lifted that conversion to over 5%. Same customer base, same products, same pricing … you get the picture.

The message to eCommerce managers is that the smoother the experience and the more integrated the checkout process, the fewer opportunities there are for vistors to abandon their purchase. This is relatively easy money, given the rapid proliferation of RIA development tools, such as Adobe Flex.

Adobe has recently redone their entire store experience using Flex.  For developers now looking into using Flex for interface design, you might want to check out Mogens Enevoldsen‘s post How to get started with Adobe FLEX – part I.

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