August 02, 2012

TheFind Retail Catalogs Show Power of HTML5 Firsthand

A new project recently unveiled by the TheFind and Microsoft (News Alert) is giving users a look at just what HTML5 can do. It’s called Glimpse Catalogs, and it works with Facebook accounts to find what users and their friends would like that’s available from the catalog. Naturally, other items can be searched, and the use of HTML5 means that any browser will be able to work with Glimpse Catalogs.

The use of HTML5 is a significant step, as many online catalogs like those of Nordstrom depend heavily on Flash. Flash isn’t accepted on some browsers, especially those of mobile devices and tablets, where many users are migrating to following the wide acceptance of the iPad line. As tablets increase in popularity–as evidenced by the growing numbers of tablets sold and the equally growing numbers of tablet brands available, suggested TheFind’s co-founder and CEO Siva V. Kumar–having a catalog that’s accessible by tablet users is a smart idea.

Kumar further suggests that small retailers who want an edge over their competitors, especially those who want their ecommerce sites to work on all kinds of browsers on all kinds of machines should look into using HTML5 in their online catalogs. The use of HTML5 will, in turn, offer up some useful features like pan and zoom capability for images and weekly circular display that may prove helpful for retailers.

By extension, since many of the major sites aren’t using this technology, it’s an opportunity for smaller vendors to get ahead by getting first access to the growing numbers of mobile device users out there. Many of the major retailers like eBay (News Alert) and Amazon are either already moving to HTML5 or are working on doing so, according to Kumar, so for those who want the advantage, they’d better strike while the iron is hot.

Some believe, however, that HTML5 isn’t necessarily the future after all, with some believing the hybrid app is more the route to take. Though Kumar certainly has a point with all the advantages that HTML5 can bring, smaller retailers may want to think twice before committing to a still comparatively new operating platform. Still, HTML5 does have a lot of potential advantages for its users, and may well make a catalog stand out, which is a downright necessity in a slumping economy where customers are much less inclined in general to spend.

Want to learn more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend HTML5 Summit- a DEVCON5 Event, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. HTML5 has the potential to revolutionize user interfaces, challenge the status quo and change the future of both desktop and mobile web experiences. Join fellow web developers, designers, and architects, as well as technology leaders and business strategists who will gather in Austin to learn strategies and tactics to implement and execute HTML5. For more information on registering for the HTML5 Summit click here.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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