Shopping Cart Developer Openness

(Originally posted on 7/27/2010)

Tonight I want to talk to you about the importance of choosing a shopping cart platform that informs you (the customer) about current bugs, issues, problems, and how are they approaching these problems to better serve you and to improve your shopping cart software impacting your website, conversion rate and your wallet.

We all know that you can visit 10 or 15 different shopping cart websites and they all say why they are the best. They tell you about all their features and how great they work without “any problems”. Well… we all know that is not true. Every shopping cart has weak points but they are not going to advertise them on their home page. Many, if not all, shopping cart platforms will allow you send “support tickets” to submit your requests for additional features or things that you would like to see on their upcoming update. Most likely you will receive an automated e-mail saying “Thank you, we value your opinion and we will consider your request” but you never truly know if they are going to do something about it.

BigCommerce which is an Interspire software is completely open about their operations and to be honest I could not believe the amount of information they provide you and me and even to their competitors through their Development Portal. When you visit this portal you can track their progress on every single issue down to every hour they log into their work log per issue. You can see how many hours they have spent working on that issue you (and many other customers) requested to get fixed. You can also see an estimation of project completion. Remember that they have hundreds of things to work on and your request may seem to be taking for ever, but that fact that they are open to let you, and everyone else, know about their progress is incredible.

I have to say that I respect these guys. They are not afraid of letting their competitors know what they are working on and that’s because they are confident on their team and their expertize to deliver a finished product before anyone else.

I encourage you to visit this portal at https://track.interspire.com and take a look for yourself. Click around through a couple links and get a feel for the kind of information they are providing their customers in real time.

Another great example of company openness is their “Get Satisfaction” portal. This is a community driven forum type of site where every BigCommerce customer can connect and get real answers from other BigCommerce users, the BigCommerce support team as well as Management and the Co-founder of BigCommerce Mitchell Harper. BigCommerce does not run this forum, it is run by the users, but BigCommerce stops by every now and then to solve questions and post updates on new features and upcoming releases. Check it out at http://community.bigcommerce.com.

I have yet to see this from other shopping carts available in the market.
Go ahead and compare while we do the research.

Thanks for reading; have a good night.

PS. I forgot to mention… Version 6 of BigCommerce is scheduled to launch tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.

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