Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
While the extraordinary growth of touch tablets and smart phones has been a boon for consumers, it’s restarted something akin to the browser wars of the late 90’s for retailers. Instead of being able to rely on most consumers browsing the web using a mouse, using one of a handful of major browsers and running a fairly new version of Flash, the playing field is now wide open. Touch navigation vs. point-and-click and Flash video vs. HTML5 are just a couple of examples. With the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire this week, retailers have yet another device and proprietary browser, Amazon Silk, to add to the list.
Our mission for Fluid Experience has always been to make online shopping more engaging while decreasing production effort. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce enhancements that optimize product and brand imagery presentation, regardless of the device. We accomplish this using a number of methods:
Product Displays - Our interactive product displays (zoom, color changes, views, etc.) now perform browser detection and serve up a Flash-based presentation if available. If not, we assume the user is on a touch-based tablet or smart phone and serve up an HTML presentation specifically optimized for touch navigation. For zoom, instead of forcing click-and-pan or mouse-over zoom gestures on the user, we rely on native pinch-to-zoom gestures that they already know. Plus, we do some special work behind the scenes to ensure the image stays crisp, even at multiple levels of zoom.
Shoppable Imagery – For adding interactivity to brand-based imagery, we’ve built a completely new, HTML-based component from the ground up. And don’t worry — ditching Flash doesn’t mean a loss in richness or interactivity. Our new Shoppable Image component allows for graceful crossfade and scrolling transitions. Hotspots and tooltips can contain and mix images and text. Rich fonts work out-of-the-box courtesy of Typekit. Fonts.com support is available as well.
Shoppable Video – Our Shoppable Video component detects user’s system in a similar way to Product Displays and serves up either a Flash or HTML-based presentation as appropriate.
And this is just the beginning: we see huge potential in how tablets and smart phones can really elevate the shopping experience and intend to continue to further optimize our components going into 2012. What’s more, we’ve expanded browser support so retailers can continue to upload an image once and rest assured that Fluid Experience will keep pace with the proliferation of new devices. Now and in the future.