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Old December 7th, 2016, 05:34 AM   #1
Brian F Male
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Arrow A few updates. Chat, mail, etc.

For the past week, our normally reliable chat has been experiencing some issues. Kicking us out of chat constantly.

The window also fills the entire length of the screen, instead of the little box it used to be.

Olark (our chat provider) is working on it. We're one of hundreds of thousands of clients, however. I fear it may be due to the their entire system being stressed out due to the additional surge of holiday chat activity.

I've also had some some other technology stack issues recently, including with MailChimp, when I asked it to email our most active women. It mailed a few of our most active women, yes, but also a ton of our most active men! Uh oh! Sorry for calling you ladies, guys! My apologies.

All of these things look SO easy from the 1000 foot view, but when you actually use these tools, you discover they don't always work like they say on the label. This is where experience steps in. Far more experience than I have.

Of course, I have to start somewhere. I'll eventually get to know how things actually work, and most just how they're described.

Sorry about all that guys!!

Working hard to get these issues fixed. Very time consuming, especially debugging what used to work just fine. That's really in mystery territory. Chat from the Bermuda Triangle.

Kindly keep in mind we don't write these tools. We just use them.

We like olark a lot, but we may need to at least temporarily move to something else. We really need to be on chat reliably. Of course. And honestly, we miss many of you. We've had a lot GREAT conversations lately.

Also while we're getting out a good deal of packages every day, our formulator will be flying in on Thursday to help optimize everything. To help get what whatever remains, and to help grease the gears for new releases in the future.

My apologies to those who are used to our extra fast shipping. Holiday surges are amazing (thank you!), but they they can also be rough on and stress the infrastructure of all businesses. The delivery guys that pick up packages barely have room in their vans, and they're not exactly happy to see us right now. Billion dollar Amazon doesn't even make products, yet they're 1 to 5 days late on everything recently. We have that typical male drive for perfection, but some of this just comes with the season, I guess.

Thanks for understanding.

Yours truly,
Brian

PS - Also, kindly remember that custom orders are not accepted for the rest of the month. The customs and, to some extent, the new oils at once helped jam up the gears. My apologies.

PPS - Are you an ecommerce expert? Or have you used many of the tools I've talked about? If you can help us to sort between the claims and realities of these newer tools, I'd massively appreciate that! Will happily exchange some product for a little help.

Otherwise I'm going to have to install 3 to 5 of the best apps, and use each one. I'm up for it. That's what we did with newer carts, after all. Yet it's too much and slow to do in holiday overwhelm mode. Better to do something like that when things are slower. Right now, wisdom from someone who's been there, who's "tried this, done that", is most welcome.
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Last edited by Brian F; December 9th, 2016 at 05:13 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 08:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat experiencing some issues, etc

Tons of characters in this converted to questions marks for some reason. Now fixed. Sorry about that.

So much to do, so little me.

Again, any ecom experts that can advise on upgrading our tech stack very welcome! Life is a team effort. I think especially when it comes to technology
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Old December 7th, 2016, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat experiencing some issues, etc

My experience is using woo commerce, the e-commerce plugin for Wordpress. That may require overhauling the whole site to wordpress. There are chat plugins for wordpress too. I use both to run my online business and they're great. You can set up Woocommerce to redirect people to the PayPal site for payment, or pay extra ($70 a month IIRC) for PayPal gold where people can check out without leaving your website. Adding inventory on Wordpress doesn't take long and it is easy to add new inventory.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 04:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat experiencing some issues, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisepz View Post
My experience is using woo commerce, the e-commerce plugin for Wordpress. That may require overhauling the whole site to wordpress. There are chat plugins for wordpress too. I use both to run my online business and they're great. You can set up Woocommerce to redirect people to the PayPal site for payment, or pay extra ($70 a month IIRC) for PayPal gold where people can check out without leaving your website. Adding inventory on Wordpress doesn't take long and it is easy to add new inventory.
Cool. Thanks for the suggestion! You seem to know your stuff.

Woo stores definitely look amazing, but I'm not sure the ever changing landscape of Wordpress and self-hosting is where we want to go.

Even when we try to build a normal Wordpress, we notice that the plugins we selected constantly get abandoned. Cool platform, to be sure, but we really need something very stable so we can focus on other things.

We wanted a SAAS this time, actually, to get the technicals completely out our hands. We've tried the major ones now, and are pretty settled on what we can use as a cart.

Do you know chat apps and email apps much?

Olark is suddenly buggy this month, and they haven't been available on their own chat when I look to get live help. Bad sign for a chat company. Segmentation in MailChimp didn't work very well. Embarrassingly so when I tell it email women, and it includes men. haha

I think I may be a little naive, though, thinking newer software will work better. Certainly most look nicer. I'm not some are truly better. Now that we have a reliable cart almost build, I know the next things we need are a reliable chat that works WELL with mobile devices, and content centered mail ESP that can segment reliably.

The caveat, though, is that they need to be powerful, but rather simple. We don't want to get deeply involved in administering anything, or understanding an arcane system. Too much time right now is spent on IT. It's like the physical equivalent of trying to get the printer to work properly. Only far more complicated

We just want to use applications that work like they say they do, so we as a team can focus more on people and the products that help them. I know us guys tend to geek out on technicals, but it's the people aspect here that keep us motivated long term.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 06:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat, mail, etc.

I think you are right in being very wary about moving to a Wordpress business site.

Like you said, apps seem to come and go but a custom build will become its own special kind of nightmare. You are either left at the mercy of whoever builds the site - both in pricing and hoping that they do not decide to retire from tech - or you spend way too much time figuring out the custom coding and trying to work with the developer to work out all the bugs.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat, mail, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosshank View Post
I think you are right in being very wary about moving to a Wordpress business site.

Like you said, apps seem to come and go but a custom build will become its own special kind of nightmare. You are either left at the mercy of whoever builds the site - both in pricing and hoping that they do not decide to retire from tech - or you spend way too much time figuring out the custom coding and trying to work with the developer to work out all the bugs.
Thanks for the advice. You've tried a Wordpress business site?
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Old December 9th, 2016, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat, mail, etc.

Ok, everyone, chat is restored for now!

The new app seems very stable and reliable, although it's made for Silicon Valley type services more than shops.

Will try a few, and keep whichever people like best.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: A few updates. Chat, mail, etc.

Ok, everyone, chat is restored for now!

The new app seems very stable and reliable, although it's made for Silicon Valley type services more than shops.

Will try a few, and keep whichever people like best.
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