When Written: Feb 2013
Sometime ago the British company Actinic who produced arguably the most successful UK based ‘shop-in-a-box’ split its product range. The fully on-line version which used a French system retained the name Actinic and the original Windows based application that creates and maintains ecommerce web sites became a new company called ‘SellerDeck’ with many of the original team working within it.
At the time I expressed concern that the abandonment of the name ‘Actinic’ in these times of brand being all important could possibly be the worst move the founders had made and might even spell the end of this particular product. So I was very interested when the first product from this new company appeared on my desk. SellerDeck 2013 as it is known is immediately recognisable as Actinic, as was. No total re-vamp or makeover, but a continued enhancement of the already very flexible product. With a large installed user-base of over five thousand users it is of vital importance not to upset these by dramatically changing the product and introducing a wide variety of ‘new and exciting bugs’ for them to deal with.
Most of the new enhancements are focused on features that should help optimise sales which are, after all, probably what their users are interested in. Dynamic pricing, product filtering, pagination and better searching as well as AJAX functionality all have been added to improve the shopping experience by making it easier for your customers to find the items they want and hopefully to buy them.
My previous reservations about the age of the core code and in particular the server-side code still hold, but as one who does use this product on a small but important e-commerce site it is still one to recommend.
In fact if you are involved in any way or considering starting with e-commerce then I would recommend reading “The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce – 440 business insights for the ambitious online retailer” by Chris Barling who is one of the founder members of Actinic. This book is not a piece of marketing ‘fluff’ designed to promote a particular product, but rather it is a concise assemblage of knowledge gleaned over many years in the ecommerce business by someone who has made it their carer since 1996.
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton