Cartfly: Flash Exportable E-commerce
This is the first application in our series of e-commerce reviews. For an introduction to this category, including a rundown of features common to all four applications reviewed this week, please see: Web 2.0 and E-commerce, Creating An Online Store.
At first glance Cartfly appears to be streamlined to oversimplicity; its administration is handled through the basic tabs of Products, Appearance, Payments, Sharing, and Orders, and no tab has more than a few options. Yet the basic e-commerce page that is created by Cartfly belies the real strength of the application – the embeddable Flash shopping widget.
You can see an example of a Flash shop in the above screenshot, but not the motion and interplay which makes it so effective. Each Flash shop is a self contained store, with a stack of products going back into space and controls that bring the products into view. The action between products is smooth, but most significantly, the Flash store is exportable to other sites. For casual sellers, this is a way to incorporate e-commerce on their level, and for users with an existing brand (such as retail businesses), the Cartfly Flash shop is a simple way to blend e-commerce with their websites. Shopping cart, products, and links for sharing are all included in the widget.
Cartfly is not without its problems, however. Promotion is not a strongsuit, though there is a short list of featured stores on the Cartfly website. Most users have to promote themselves via social network profiles, blogs, and websites, since there is currently no way to search for stores built with Cartfly. Also, shipping fees have to be a flat fee, and payment methods are limited to PayPal.
Users looking to sell items on the side, or have simple selling needs will find Cartfly fulfills their needs and presents a good looking and easy to use store, but retail and heavier users are likely to be frustrated by Cartfly’s limitations. if you would like to find out more Cartfly and applications like it, there is the Listio search: ecommerce+web2.0.
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Cartfly/
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