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Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #16799
    dymockpoet
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’ve just switched back to free because I was having too many issues with Pro. I wanted to outline them here so hopefully you can work on them.

    1) Let’s say you’ve got a site with a lot of vendors already. They’ve all (for the most part) added shop descriptions and sometimes banners via HTML, like this: http://thebookcoverdesigner.com/designers/magic-covers/ As soon as you activate pro, that nice looking banner is replaced with an ugly blank grey header image. The shop description doesn’t display or, just as bad, is cut off because the header image only allows it to be a few lines long. One of my vendors described this cutting off as ‘rather a shame’, and I agree! I think you need to re-think this aspect, and maybe have the shop description outside the banner so they can be longer than a few lines.

    And I know you’re going to say ‘but you can customise the template to make it however you like!’. Yes, if you’re a developer. This is one of my biggest gripes with Pro. Yes, the templates are highly customisable, but only if you know and are comfortable editing HTML and PHP files. I mean, I know more than most people (bit of HTML, bit of CSS, tiny bit of PHP), but struggle with editing your template files. I want to be able to edit things via an options panel or a drag and drop interface. See EDD’s FES plugin for an example of this (it has drag and drop Registration and Submissions forms that are totally customisable without writing or touching a line of code).

    Editing your templates, if you lack the knowledge, means hiring a developer – but how many are familiar with WCV? Not many. Maybe if you could recommend some that would be great? Like EDD do – they maintain a list of trusted consultants. I don’t mind paying someone, but the hassle of finding someone and then getting them to understand how WCV works, bit of a pain.

    2) There are a few backwards steps in terms of UX. Categories now have to be selected via typing and clicking rather than just ticking boxes, which was easier, especially if selecting multiple categories. Tags can now only be one word long (this is a big deal for my site where multi-word tags are important). Also there is no way to limit the number of categories a vendor can select. I know all of these things are coming, but I need them now, or else I’m actually ‘upgrading’ to a worse experience.

    One more UX thing. In the free version you have 4 nice big buttons on the dashboard, including one that says ‘Add New Product’. So you can get there in one click. In Pro, you have to go to Products, and then click ‘Add Product’. That’s 2 steps to do what is probably the most common thing a vendor will login to do.

    3) There should be the ability to display a notice to all vendors in the dashboard. This is a feature of EDD’s FES and Dokan.

    4) There should be better on-boarding for new vendors. How can we guide them to fill in what we need them to fill in? Think this needs to be better thought out. How to get them to add a banner, fill in their descriptions, etc.

    5) It would be better if we could add ‘help fields’ to various pages, so that e.g. where it says ‘Upload Store Banner’ we could add a line saying ‘Please upload a 700 x 150 JPEG.’. This would be helpful in a lot of places to explain things to vendors. I already mentioned this and you said ‘just edit the templates and add HTML’ – great but I don’t want to spend hours hunting around the templates and trying my hand at writing HTML and probably breaking the PHP. Can you possibly write some more KB articles on how to do these simple things? Another thing I couldn’t work out how to do. How to change ‘Product Description’ to e.g. ‘Cover Description’. I looked in the template and couldn’t see what to change.

    6) Too many weird errors. I’ve already written about some of these, like not being able to upload images, or getting logged out, but some of my vendors have reported blank dashboards and other things. I need less bugs. I’ve also experienced in testing things like I click Add Product or Settings and I get taken to a random vendor’s product page. Strange things like that. I need a more stable release.

    7) The ratings system – how can you make it work for a site where vendors only sell 1 of each thing? I don’t want the ratings to appear in the tab for each product, but I would like to be able to see and for buyers to leave feedback for individual shops. Would be great to have a KB article on how to set this up.

    8) I think the dashboard could have a more modern design.

    9) On the free shop pages I can sort products by newness, popularity, etc, but not on the pro version,

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head after battling with the pro version the last few days. I wish in a way the pro version was less radical and just extended the free version. It’s almost too different, which means migrating is a difficult task, when I want it to be a smooth one.

    Well, I hope you can fix some of these things, and I’m going to set up a dev environment so I can test the bejeebus out of pro before trying to go live with it again. I may also need to hire someone to get it how I want it to be. Or, if it’s too much work, I may just stick with free.

    Charlie

    I just thought of one more thing that would make migrating easier – some code for ‘if no store banner is set, display the shop HTML’. Ben said this would be possible, but I don’t know how to do it. Another thing I’ll need a developer for, and to test thoroughly.

    #16803
    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Hi Charlie,

    I’m sorry that you’re not happy with the product but you need to realise that moving EVERYTHING to the front end is not an easy task and replicating the wordpress dashboard is not our aim here. It is providing a dashboard for the vendors that is easy for them to use. I appreciate your feedback and I’ll try to answer each of your points. My first aim with development of the pro plugin was to include as many programmable customisable options as possible. Which I believe I have achieved and from here we can then build tools to make managing your marketplace easy. We need to create the foundation before adding every possible feature our users want.

    1. We have a designer that is currently working on new vendor store headers that will be included in an upcoming release. We will also be including 5 default banners that vendors can choose from or upload their own. On top of this we will be providing a new option to use the existing storefronts you have (with free) or use the highly customisable templates we have provided with pro. I am currently working on an options panel for the front end product form so you should be able to enable and disable whatever options you need. It would be nice to build a drag and drop interface but it’s not something that’s high on the list, so we’ll start with a complete options panel.

    Having a list of designers is a good idea however I just don’t have time to vet any at this stage. I can link to sites that already do this but that’s the best I can do at this time.

    2. This is already something that I have been working on to fix and allow either a drop down, type to select or checkbox for categories. Tags are also a known bug that I will be fixing in the upcoming release. Can you currently limit your category selection in free, if so that’s new to me!

    I’ll be adding a quick links section under the menu on the main dashboard at the top of the page that will include links to add product and add coupon.

    3. This is coming.

    4. I agree, there needs to be a better way for this and I think placeholders and notices is a good start. I also believe some of this falls on the marketplace admin because EVERY marketplace is different in how and what they want their vendors to configure so having good documentation relevant to your store is vital.

    5. As in 4 having placeholders and help notices to the pages would be useful. There needs to be more documentation from our side and I will start publishing a customisation series that will address editing templates and providing more information to our users about all the available options. Like in WooCommerce and a LOT of other plugins when they first launched all their settings were changed only by actions and filters, this means you don’t edit templates but rather create a hook to change the different field values.

    6. I’ve seen some of the issues you’re having and Ben has been working through these but your description of add product and settings links randomly going to a vendor page is something that I would need to see to be able to debug. You’re the only person to report such a problem. ALL of these links are created via permalinks so unless you have something that is changing your permalinks I just don’t see how that’s possible.

    7. That’s a good idea and to be honest I hadn’t thought of that use case. I’m adding a feature to our road map to provide this functionality.

    8. You need to realise that we are extremely limited about how we design things because we have to inherit and not conflict with pretty much an unlimited number of themes. Based on the many style issues we have already encountered I’m not entirely sure what more we can do here without locking you into a theme we provide. This is how our competitors have a nice looking demo, but as soon as you try and use other themes with them they don’t play very nice either.

    9. This is a known issue that we will be resolving soon.

    Thanks again for your feedback and I hope to address a lot of these issues in the 1.2.0 release. We tread a very fine line between providing the functions and features that 10k different people want, the flexibility to customise and not going overboard with too many options. Imagine if the backend system had EVERY single option for front end ? The interface would be a mess and almost impossible to track and use.

    cheers,

    Jamie.

    #16806
    dymockpoet
    Participant

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. It sounds like a lot of the changes I would like to see are coming. I’ll keep a close on eye on developments and hopefully I can switch to Pro in the not too distant future. There are just too many deal breakers at the moment, for me.

    But I know this can be a great product if you keep working at it and listening to users. I waited for Pro for over a year, I can probably wait a little longer!

    #16807
    helloand
    Participant

    Can I add that it would be great if there was a list of some of the 10k users that you have as examples – I would love to see how others are dealing with the shipping issues.

    Some that I have used previously have a forum where users can share their site details if they want so other users can take a look.

    #16815
    Donna Anderson
    Participant

    I just wanted to add my two cents here because I’ve been thinking about temporarily going back to Free, too, for some of the same reasons as @dymockpoet. His items #1, 2 and 9 are also my concerns and it looks like you’re addressing these.

    But our vendors have other issues with Pro. Our site differs from most of your other users’ sites in that many of our vendors list more than 100 new items every week, sometimes 200 or more. Our business is also time-sensitive. The faster they get those new listings up the better their sales.

    I’ve been polling our vendors and here’s why they’re not using the Pro dashboard:

    1. Depending on the length of the description and the distance it will create between the listing title and the Buy button, some vendors use the Product Description box and some use the Short Description box

    “The listing on the new dash was a big issue for me. Yes, the page is all laid out neat and clean, but it’s blank. Every time. I am used to using the short description, since that’s what we’ve always done, and when I went to submit the item, I got the “whoops” no description and it blanked out the whole page. Which meant retyping everything in. Not a big time saver, if you get what I mean.”

    2. It takes too much time to edit a listing and they really miss the ability to duplicate a listing.

    “You can edit an item, you can create an item, but each new item is from scratch, retyping everything. I can edit a listing quicker on the old dash than going from program to program to cut/paste. I finish one, submit, hit copy listing, edit submit, etc.”

    3. No formatting available in product descriptions.

    “The new dash has no type of formatting or coloring for the text. I’m guessing that’s so all will be uniform, but when listing exceptions and inclusions, it just makes sense to use bullets to make it easier for the buyer to see the terms of the coupon. I could code it manually in the new dash, but I know not everyone knows how to do that, it’s just easier to click and it changes.”

    4. No search abilities

    “The new dash has absolutely no search capabilities. I actually use this feature on the dash/product listings page quite often. If I need to find a specific coupon, to either edit, change or pull it. To put them on sale when it’s getting close to the cut off time. Like for instance all the ones I have up now that expire 11/21, the other day I put that in the search bar and it allowed me to have them all on one page, nice and easy to edit.”

    “I also really love the sort by insert feature on the old dash. I couldn’t find it on the new one. It’s very helpful to see if I’ve gotten all the coupons in a particular insert listed, as well as when the majority of them have expired, I can see what else I have listed, if anything, and know when I can toss the inserts without accidentally still having a listing up that I missed.”

    5. Crucial – No bulk editing!

    “The new dash doesn’t have any kind of bulk editing. I use this when I end up getting more inserts and need to adjust lot quantities, as well as price changes and marking orders shipped. I also use this when I remember to delete the out of stock items, in my small attempt to help keep the site running a bit better. I don’t see any way on the new dash to even find those items unless by just scrolling and searching. Quite frankly that would take hours, and we all have better uses for our time, yourself included. :)”

    6. Data Fields – I’ve updated to 1.1.1 but we still can’t see anything that we enter in the data fields on coupon codes and some of the data fields on add product are messed up now. I haven’t tested the actual coupon codes to see if they work yet but this is something our vendors are really asking for. One of our competitors offers this feature to their vendors and that’s one of the things they look for when they check out our site.

    7. Vendor Stores doesn’t seem to be linked to Users in any way. If I delete a vendor under users > vendors I then have to go find their store and delete it, too.

    8. Crucial – Shipping – We don’t need the shipping module. I don’t have it enabled but I can’t get rid of the Shipping Tab that’s showing up under every product now. That’s just confusing the heck out of our customers!

    Please note that way up there at the top I said I’m considering going back to Free temporarily. I know you guys are working your butts off on this and I know it takes time. I check this forum almost every day and every time I do I see you’re already working on something I had a question about and voila – there it is in the next update 🙂

    I’m patient and I’d almost rather wait until you get further along in the development. Right now, every time Woocommerce updates I also have to update my theme and then here comes another WCVP update and there’s always something that doesn’t want to play well with others so I have to spend a day tinkering. I just want to log in every morning and sell stuff! LOL

    BUT – I’m going to stick with PRO for the time being. I see you guys working on this plugin and I see the plans you have for its future. Our vendors see it as well. They’re all excited about the possibilities. They also love the fact that we’re actually working to improve the site for them because it shows we’re here for the long haul, not just some fly-by-night site. Even though it’s not everything they want right now, the progress on PRO shows them that we care about our vendors, something they don’t see with our competitors, so it’s actually a huge vendor selling point for us right now 🙂

    I also understand that some of our vendor requests might not work in with your plans for the future of PRO. We are kind of an odd site and just about any plugin or program we use has to be tinkered with or parts of it ignored to work in our application. So don’t worry – we’re not looking for an end-all-be-all solution. We’re flexible 🙂

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Happy Thanksgiving (or just Happy Thursday!) And here’s to the future of WCV PRO!

    #26213
    Donna Anderson
    Participant

    Just wanted to stop by this thread and give an update. Since posting on 11/26 there have been a lot of changes to WCV Pro. They got rid of the Vendor Stores so we don’t have that confusion to deal with. It’s now possible to disable shipping across all vendors. Both Product Description and Product Short Description are available again and lots of appearance issues have been addressed.

    Some of the problems we were experiencing were theme related. (Note: I cannot stress this enough: The Bazar theme by YITH SUCKS! Their support SUCKS EVEN MORE!) Ben and Jaime recently recommended the Marketplace Theme by BuddyBoss. (I’ll let Ben add a link if he wants to.) This theme was designed to work hand-in-hand with WCV and WCV Pro. In fact, it won’t work with anything else. We’ve been testing it for a few days now and I’m very excited and pleased to say it takes care of all of our appearance issues and solves a lot of operational issues as well.

    Like I’ve said before, we’re patient and willing to wait for you guys, Ben and Jaime, and you’ve never let us down 🙂 I have never once said, ‘Man, I wish we’d gone another direction.” You guys have created a wonderful product, without which our business would never be at the level it’s at today.

    #26214
    WC Vendors Support
    Participant

    Thanks much. 🙂 More features always in the works!

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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