E-commerce Revolution as FluxaShop joins PinnacleApp

At the tail end of last year we shared our roadmap with you for the first quarter of 2016. Our first task was to improve integration with Ascend, supplier stock feeds and BikeCatalogue. Our initial work was positive with a considerable reduction in the time taken to match products from your Ascend feed. As we proceeded further with our enhancements it became apparent that the sheer flexibility of PinnacleApp would significantly increase the complexity of our solution which could, in turn, impede the overall quality. At this point, based on the feedback you had already shared with us from working with PinnacleApp, we started on a completely new foundation for our e-commerce solution, FluxaShop.

We think you will really like FluxaShop. There are so many new features and improvements. The key enhancements over PinnacleApp are as follows:

  • Fast

    Interaction with the system is responsive and page load times feel instant. Synchronisation with Ascend and BikeCatalogue takes minutes rather than days.
  • Transparent

    Transparency is key to FluxaShop; every automated task is shown as a job and any changes made are documented and easily accessible. FluxaShop explains how it handles each scenario, so you can be sure you know what FluxaShop has automated.
  • Easy

    So much has been simplified compared with PinnacleApp. Ease of use was paramount in our design decisions and we have created an intuitive interface that lets you administer your site with ease.
  • Optimised integration

    PinnacleApp has separate processes to handle the integration with Ascend, retrieving data from BikeCatalogue and grouping products which are performed throughout the day. FluxaShop combines these three processes into one which is triggered when there are changes to your Ascend feed, greatly speeding up the process.
  • Instant product data

    FluxaShop gathers data from your Ascend inventory and BikeCatalogue to decide on what action to take when synchronising with Ascend. BikeCatalogue products are automatically created from similar SKUs and variants sensibly ordered. Only relevant changes are acted upon allowing the synchronisation with Ascend to be completed in seconds.
  • Your changes are preserved

    We have reinstated the original system so that products no longer in your Ascend feed are not deleted. They are instead made inactive in order to preserve any changes you have made such as adding images or categorising. If the product returns to your feed the existing product is made active.
  • Synchronise on demand

    Once you have performed a manual e-commerce export from within Ascend you can update FluxaShop within minutes - no need to wait for overnight changes.
  • Visually rich product management

    Browse and find products and categories as a customer would on the front end; large product images and intuitive filters make catalogue management easy.
  • Products and variants

    We’ve simplified grouped and single products - products now contain variants which are managed together in one place. Warnings are shown against fields that are synchronised with Ascend so you don’t find your hard work has been replaced overnight. Price ranges are shown where variant pricing differs.
  • Ordering variants

    BikeCatalogue products are automatically added in a logical order and you can reorder your variants easily from the administration area.
  • Variants are unique to a product

    FluxaShop takes into account the changes you have made to your catalogue and since variants are unique to a product it is no longer possible to create duplicated grouped products.
  • Drag and drop image upload

    Easily add and replace images without leaving the page.
  • Simplified categories

    Categories not in the hierarchy are automatically hidden.
  • Easy visual categorisation

    “Load More” buttons keep you on the same page as you load additional products so you can categorise more at once. Add and remove categories in bulk from a single window which shows only relevant categories to remove products from.
  • Show stock at multiple warehouses

    Stock levels from Trek UK are updated every hour compared to a daily update using PinnacleApp. FluxaShop can handle multiple suppliers and also imports data from Trek NCI and Specialized with more suppliers to come.
  • Supplier stock insights

    Graphs detailing supplier stock over time can be viewed from within FluxaShop helping you predict demand.
  • Integrated BikeCatalogue

    BikeCatalogue can be searched from within FluxaShop.

The approach we took when we started investigating how to improve PinnacleApp’s e-commerce features would have had too many compromises and we think this would be the same if we tried to customise an off the shelf solution. By starting with a blank page we have been able to produce a system that is unique in solving the problems faced by independent bike dealers selling online. It is a powerful solution and we have worked hard to present a system that distances you from the problems we have had to solve, providing an innovative and intuitive interface so you can get things done. We think it gives the right balance of automation for when you do not have the time or resources to manage your catalogue and having a strong feature set for when you can be more proactive with your online presence.

We feel PinnacleApp excels at content management. It facilitates the utmost flexibility in page design and customisation with its modular approach, but when it comes to e-commerce many of PinnacleApp’s features are superfluous; taking a pragmatic approach to e-commerce functionality is our preferred solution as it ensures your customers interact with a system that is familiar to them and gives them the confidence to buy online. We feel our best solution for you is to use FluxaShop for your online shop and to continue utilising PinnacleApp for your content, especially in promoting your physical shop as it allows for a richer experience compared with generic page editors you might find with other solutions. We are always on hand to support you by configuring PinnacleApp to meet your needs. Do not worry about having to work with two separate systems, we have implemented a single sign on mechanism so when you sign into one system you are signed into them all and can easily switch between them.

This is only the start; the architecture we have employed gives us an amazing foundation for continuous delivery whereby we will be able to add new features and improvements regularly and by removing some of the flexibility offered by PinnacleApp we have been able to accelerate our development. The product filters we demonstrated before will be amongst the first new features we will add.

We are already working with a panel of beta testers to ensure FluxaShop is robust and ready for release. We have a system in place to migrate your data from PinnacleApp which will also include providing you with a mobile-friendly responsive design, however we will require that you have migrated to HTTPS, so if you have not already made the switch please get in touch so we can set this up for you.