E-commerce Insights: The Online Retail 2.0 Ideas Tour
Consider your last two clicks: You stayed on the same Web page, but what was on that page changed. It’s fast, convenient and slick. Such pages use the magic of Ajax.
Great examples of Ajax sites include Google Maps, Google Docs and Spreadsheets (formerly Writely and XL2Web, respectively), Wufoo, and Windows Live. If you haven’t tried these sites yet, check them out.
Downside of Ajax
A downside of Ajax is that such applications can thwart current Web analytics software. Because on-page actions happen without full browser fetches, your analytics program “sees” only one page view, missing the richness of user activities within the page. Omniture and other analytics vendors now are starting to offer software hooks that allow you to track visitor actions in rich Flash and Ajax applications.
Text search plays a central role in online retailing today. Visual search will command a similar role in the future. Visit Riya.com and try its visual product search. Riya offers search by image similarity, sketch and cameraphone functionality. By the 2007 holiday season, consumers in a retail store will be able to snap a picture of a handbag with their cell phone, upload the image to Riya and receive back listings of similar-looking bags online, all available to purchase through their PDA or Web-enabled phone.
Of most interest to catalogers — Ajax will transform online shopping. Soon online shoppers will shop by dragging items into their cart, either from static product displays or online videos.