Fashion Photoshoot – Hunter Dixon August 2011

Hunter Dixon had their fashion photoshoot for the Fall 2011 line for a ‘picture is as picture does’ representation for their collection’s sales sheet.

On Monday, August 1st, Hara Partners made the photo shoot possible with creative direction and shoot production, direction, and management.  Hara Partners’ Vernon Fong and Michael Tai photographed the beautiful clothes in the West Chelsea Building’s art lofts.

Another successful shoot with the Hara Partners team!  Keep up the good work!

Skirt from Hunter Dixon
Blouse from Hunter Dixon
The Studio set up for Hunter Dixon

Cafe Commerce – Some things are better left to CSS Ninjas

Any online store looks to obtain two things: functional simplicity and visual aesthetics.  With these two features, any store can draw their customers in and guide them through the shopping experience with ease.  There are times in which shortcuts are made, attempting to make these goals as easy as possible to obtain.  Unfortunately shortcuts don’t always prove to be the best method.

Example A: Cafe Commerce; a “simple-to-use” e-store factory that takes very little time or effort to establish for $30 a month.  A free 14 day trial is available, if one was curious about trying their hand at the program.  However, the overall experience is nothing less than disappointing.

cafe commerce theme
Cafe Commerce Theme

The general organization of the system is neat, but far too basic.  It is easy to navigate through the background structure of your store, simple to add or remove items, and quick to check the statistics on your sales.  Everything is properly labeled and explained on its function, but it limits the possibilities on how to design your online store.

cafe commerce
Cafe Commerce – Admin Panel

The themes available for the store websites are generic, plain, extraordinarily basic.  Nothing about these templates is exciting or grabbing, and would most likely lose a shopper’s intrigue quickly.  And what’s worse, the availability to go above and beyond what Cafe Commerce has to offer is not entirely out of reach.

There is the possibility to preform personal coding (Design > Advanced) with a red warning that this part of the design is for “CSS Ninjas only!”  Meaning: the potential to build your website using CSS coding is still very limited and basic while using Cafe Commerce.

Overall, Cafe Commerce only offers a small window of opportunity to create a fully-functioning and appealing online store.  When online stores first began to make an appearance, these website designs would have been considered advanced and top-notch.  Now, there is much more possibilities to make your store look interesting and navigational without the need for these simplistic templates.

Some things are just better left to the CSS Ninjas.

7/13/11 Magento Group Meetup – Flexible Checkout

On July 13th, 2011 the NY Magento Meetup Group gathered together at Hara Partners’ office to talk about Flexible Checkout system.

In case if you missed our last meetup, here is a quick synopsis of what we discussed:

Flexible Checkout

Issues with Magento checkout:

Too tightly packaged

Time consuming to make changes

With our new Flexible Checkout system:

Each checkout step is separate

More flexible

Hours not wasted

Keeps security intact

Example Benefits:

Add coupon/promotion codes

Add store credit

Add policies and agreements

And more!

Stay tuned as we continue to release updates and news on the Flexible Checkout system and join us for more meetups on similar topics!