I saw today where RGA and Nike have replaced NikeTown.com with the new NikeStore.com. The old NikeTown.com was a conventional e-commerce platform built in HTML but the new NikeStore.com is done completely in Adobe Flash. The NikeID.com was the first site for their brand to launch the concept of Flash based e-commerce.
When you experience the NikeID.com site you can see the advantages of using Flash as it simplifies the interface and makes the progress of customizing the objects engaging. However, finding the advantage of using Flash for NikeStore.com is not nearly as obvious. There is no great functionality that creates a distinctive online shopping experience and really justifies creating the store in Flash.
RGA justified the decision to AdWeek by saying “People are realizing that waiting around to have a lot of HTML pages refresh isn’t that great of an experience”. After reading that I am just confused. If you go through either NikeStore.com or NikeID.com will find loading bars as you move from section to section. That is the Flash version of a HTML refresh so how have they improved the user experience if consumers are still waiting for content to load or refresh? It ends up feeling like they did it because they could and not because they should since the doesn’t doesn’t move the user experience bar any higher.