December 17, 2013, 12:01 PM

Steals.com designs a modern site with a new programming language

The navigation area is gone on Shop.Steals.com. Shoppers instead type into the search box a brand or category to pull up a Pinterest-like array of item images, which they can expand for product details without leaving the page.

Amy Dusto

Associate Editor

Lead Photo

Web-only daily deals retailer Steals.com has launched a new e-commerce site, Shop.Steals.com, designed without a standard navigation menu or filters. Instead, a shopper can shuffle a Pinterest-like array of product images on the page by typing into the search bar a brand or category, or by clicking a “more like this” button on a product image. Then the page updates the array, refining and sorting the retailer’s product groupings so that more relevant items appear at the top of the page. That differs from standard site navigation schemes that tend to help shoppers find items through a process of elimination, writes Shane Hansen, Steals.com’s director of technology, in the retailer’s blog.

"It has given us the ability to surface products that customers wouldn't normally be able to find on our site, allowing us to cut down on remnant inventory," says CEO Rett Clevenger. Shop.Steals.com has had 1% more conversions on items that were previously featured on Steals.com's core web sites compared with their prior sales, he adds. 

When a shopper hovers over a product on Shop.Steals.com, the brand, category, price and discount appear as an overlay on the bottom of the image, while the “more like this” button appears near the top. If she clicks on a product, the array expands with new a horizontal section that displays product details and links to add the item to the cart or to read the original product details on Steals.com.

“We built an extremely fast site for displaying products to our customers in an innovative way,” Hansen writes, without saying exactly how fast Shop.Steals.com is compared to Steals.com. So far—the site has been up for about two weeks—Shop.Steals.com has had no performance or availability problems, he adds.

Steals.com built the new site using an open-source programming language created by Google Inc. and independent developers worldwide, including Hansen.  Called Go, the programming language is designed to create web pages that load quickly by optimizing how the code is read and stored for high efficiency. Open-source refers to the fact that the software code is freely accessible to any developers, who can modify it to fit their needs, as Steals.com did in creating a new way for shoppers to browse its products. As an open, collaborative project, Go also costs nothing to use.

Hansen says he believes that Shop.Steals.com is among the first e-commerce sites built using Go.

In addition to choosing Go for its ability to improve web site performance, Steals.com also wanted to take advantage of its “easy built-in testing framework to catch errors and speed the development process,” Hansen writes.

Steals.com is No. 550 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide.

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