We are the New Kid on the Block for E-commerce Technology!

Where does Flex Fit into the E-commerce Ecosystem?

Why Flex?

Because scaling business owners aren't getting what they need.

So here is how it plays out.... (Remember when you were that budding entrepreneur?)

When you are starting out it is great. Right? You get a platform, it all works and you can make transactions. Done!

Then you want to improve your mailing list, add a wishlist, or something else. Well there is an App for that! Perfect. Solved!

Then you want your mailing list app to work with your loyalty program, well it just so happens that your mailing list has a direct integration with your loyalty program.  Phew. That was close!

COVID hits and due to supply chains you are out of stock of a lot. (Imaginary world, right?)

You need to be able to replace out of stock products with business card. You find an App to do that. Done. Crisis averted!

But you want to increase loyalty with your slightly disappointed customers, so you decide to reward them with loyalty points and display those on your receipt to the purchaser (not who the gift card was sent to) and "dang it!" The e-commerce platform, you mailing list app, and you loyalty app, and your gift card app don't work together.

You say more expletives and calm your self by saying "well we can have a button for them to check their loyalty points." But your loyalty app can't do that without having them sign in. You open your Calm app and 9.5 minutes later, you add a line to your receipt email saying: 'Please check your account for your loyalty points.'

Happy holidays!

So why Flex?

The situation above may not be exactly how it plays out for you. You might have made a different choice for loyalty, mailing lists, and gift cards -- and even platform. And you might be able to do one thing better and one thing worse. It might even all work out in this situation, but it won't when you want to pull your wishlist into the picture. There are too many permutations, and while Apps make your platform extensible, you can't expect every app will work with every other app and especially when more than 2 are involved.

Not to mention what all this does to CX (customer experience) and load times! And you developer will hate you, or at lease be annoyed and feel helpless.

So what are your options? Headless?

(Headless is an option where you have an custom app that runs in the browser via JavaScript, and basically is the arbiter for all.)

This could be an option, but switching to a different architecture and having to have a development team now to support it 1) isn't going to fly last minute, 2) isn't cost effective, and 3) that client side React app is going to stitch all that together in the browser and some of that logic shouldn't be privy to the browser.

We need another option! Custom?

Again this requires a development team, and will take months of testing and building. Totally viable, but there has got to be a better way....

There is. And this is why we built Flex.

We built Flex to solve this problem.

We built a Framework, instead of an App or a Service. (A framework is an abstraction in which software, providing generic functionality, can be selectively changed by additional user-written code. Thanks wikipedia!)

We figure, by the point you encounter these problems, you already have a proven business and you probably have already invested in custom development work, at least on the design side... So all we are asking is that you move your "additional user-written code" to a different location in your project.

A framework let's you have all the boring stuff taken care of.... products, collections, charging someone. And let's you do all the fun stuff! You can choose how to stitch together how checkout works with your loyalty program, and your saved for later lists. The current system serves you up until a point. Then there are the enterprise tools that handle the concerns of extremely large corporations. But there is that 70% of the spectrum in the middle where businesses either have to brute force a platform to work, go custom, or go enterprise -- all of which aren't perfect.

If this is all overwhelming - don't worry! There are "best practices" or at least examples of similar normal practices out there to guide you (plus our team). But odds are you already have 80%-90% of this in your mind, because as entrepreneurs we intuitively see these processes.

Flex let's us build for you exactly what you want with out limitations, by piecing together building blocks rather entire buildings. And because we are credentialed security people, we put it all in the right place with the right protections. Because we are software entrepreneurs at heart, we built what we wished we had.

And by they way we can build "headless" and PWAs on Flex too. (PWAs, or Progressive Web Applications, are a discussion for a different time.)

What is Flex?

Flex offers a core, plus additional modules for common processes (think wishlist, loyalty, etc). Then it is configured and/or integrated together with your theme (UI/UX). We can pull is your existing theme, or you can revamp your theme. It is your choice.

Where is Flex and where is it going?

Flex is built by Near Apogee (that is us). As of Q4 2021, we are doing the initial assemblies of Flex systems. We will get you squared away, and keep you relevant with one of our ProPlans! Or if you purchase in full, we can pass this off you your development team. In 2022, we hope to be able to open this up to other agencies and developers, and you will just purchase the license from us (through your agency).

Did we mention you get free updates to Flex for life with your license? You do!

Are all the modules built out? No silly. We are the new kid on the block!

This doesn't scare us because we have been building maintainable custom applications for startups for the majority of our existence. So what we are doing is putting you in a development cohorts and you get to help set the requirements. Basically, a custom application at a fixed price - which we think is pretty cool.  Contact us to apply for a cohort.

What does this all cost?

We have a core license, and a la carte licenses for additional modules at fixes costs. The core works out of the box, but the additional modules often require some configuration or integration and priced as needed. We can help you figure out if you are in the right segment where Flex makes sense.

The ongoing costs with Flex are much lower than a SaaS platform, with additional subscriptions.

Hit the Start button below to set up a call and find out all the details!

The state of e-commerce in 2022

Online shopping is up 18.62%. And rising.

The big boxes keep raising the bar. Small businesses must keep up.

The government imposed shutdowns are impacting those that can't do business seamlessly online.

This is the new normal. Shoppers buying patterns have changed. Do you have what it takes to stay ahead?

Start

What is Flex?

  • Is Flex a custom store?

    No, but it can be modified to be what you need.

    You don't need custom, unless you are in 0.1% of our customers. (Trust us... We have been building custom, one-offs for the past decade.)

    While it isn't custom, it can be customized in any aspect, at any level - from colors to workflows, to dashboards, to loyalty programs. Have questions - just ask.

  • Can I customize the checkout?

    Yes.

  • Is this a headless e-commerce solution?

    It can be.

    We think that is the right solution for some, but not all businesses. But we can open the Flex API on your store and act as one without restrictions.

  • What are the long-term costs?

    Infrastructure and maintenance.

    Both combined are less than platform costs, in most cases.

  • How is it priced?

    At numbers that make sense to leave platforms.

    Fixed base package. Fixed add-on features. Project based design, customizations, and imports.

  • Do I have to run my store on your platform?

    Flex isn't a platform. You can run it anywhere.

    For the nerds, we are an e-commerce framework to build stores quickly that can be customized infinitely.

  • Is this a platform?

    No.

    We find platforms restrictive for customers desiring this tier of store. If you are coming to us you don't want artificial rules holding you back.

  • Do I have to pay for it all up front?

    No.

    But it is more cost effective. We offer pay over time options. You do have to pay for all custom design and development up front. You can get the source code after your payment plan is complete.

  • Can this store be shut down?

    We make resilient stores that can be live anywhere. We can set you up with a site that fails over to another cloud (infrastucture) so we can make it difficult for those that wish to cancel you.

    You won't get shut down buy us because you own it. If you do get taken down, we can get you back up quick!

  • Do you offer discounts?

    Yes, for non-profits. And for our development cohorts.

    We do these cohorts on occasion to improve sections of our codebase. You get a store with a discount and we get to improve our code! Contact us to find out more.

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