A look back at the last 12 months since the launch of Vendr, highlighting plans for 2021 and how you can help shape what new features come next.
We think you’ll all agree, 2020 was a bit of a roller coaster and 2021 is has already brought it’s fair share of hurdles to navigate and it’s only February! So, rather than dwell on the negatives of the year, we’d like to take a look back at the positives the last 12 months has brought for us, with the launch of Vendr, focusing on how the product has evolved and what we’re looking to do in the future.
Back in March 2020 we were on the cusp of launching Vendr, our new eCommerce product for Umbraco 8. It was already a turbulent time in the world, with the advent of Covid-19 and the UK, along with much of the world, in it’s first lock-down. We had been working to develop Vendr for many months and had gained lots of interest from our preview demo store released just before Christmas in 2019. We’d attended Umbraco Spark at the beginning of March, the last Umbraco in-person event to date, which had generated a lot excitement for the product, resulting in some great conversations with fellow developers and large-scale agencies.
At the end of March 2020 we decided to launch Vendr as planned. We received wonderful feedback on the product’s Umbraco-like editor experience, back office architecture and smooth, simple processes for a swift install. When sales for Vendr began to come in, it really cemented the feeling that we had made the right decision to launch a new eCommerce product and the last two years of work, from taking over Tea Commerce to developing and launching Vendr, had all been worthwhile.
Over the course of the last 11 months we have been bowled over by the feedback we have received for the product, as well as a healthier than predicted level of licence sales. The product has been used on a number of great websites, by agencies large and small, for a broad range of clients from a college selling online courses, a wine retailer to a marzipan shop, some of which we hope to share with you in more detail soon with a new Case Study section on our website.
We have introduced a number of new features and add-ons for Vendr, including a discount and reward builder, dashboards and analytics, Vendr Checkout, Vendr Deploy / uSync and now, Multi-Variants. We created an easy to navigate documentation site and added a bunch of payment providers, some of which were community contributed, which is just fantastic!
We’re also heartened by the amount of people looking to use Vendr with over 10,000 downloads. As well as the number of people asking questions and raising bugs on the forum. We have 200 resolved issues, which helps make Vendr a more robust solution for all users. And we’re super pleased that our average support response time is under 1 business day! So even though we’re a small team, we’re agile and able to swiftly support Vendr customers with their queries.
So, while things can seem unpredictable at present, one thing we can be certain of is our commitment to Vendr, making it the go-to eCommerce solution for Umbraco. With that in mind, we wish to add more functionality to Vendr, with a focus on the back office for an improved retailer experience.
We’ve pulled out the feature requests and enhancement suggestions made by you on the issue tracker, added them to our own and created a solid list of features to implement. However, we do need to prioritise these and add them to a roadmap. This is where you can help. We’ve created a quick survey, listing the features we’ll be working on throughout 2021 and we’d like you to rank them in terms of priority, for what you’d like to see delivered first, that would make a difference to you, your clients or up coming projects.
Click the below link to take the survey. The survey will be open for two weeks, after which we will collate the answers and publicise them on our new 2021 roadmap. The roadmap itself won’t have specific delivery dates for features, but will be worked to in order of priority.
You will notice on the survey that .Net Core isn’t listed as a ‘feature’ to work on. As mentioned previously, our roadmap won’t have specific time frames for the delivery of each listed feature, as this allows us flexibility in our schedule to add in other important features as they come up, deal with any bug fixes and provide the fast and helpful support our customers have become accustomed to from Vendr. However, a big part of keeping a fairly loose schedule is to allow us to also work on implementing the changes needed to migrate to .Net Core, as well as having time to work with Umbraco HQ when they’re ready to discuss the processes involved, with their .Net Core program for commercial/non-commercial package developers.
Umbraco HQ have advised that the Beta will be launched in March this year and the package dev program should follow this, which we need to be a part of to ensure we’re on the right track for our own upgrade work. We might not have a .Net Core version ready for the day Umbraco HQ release their new version and really, nor should we, as we think a bedding in period would be advantageous, to allow us to start on the right foot, once any unforeseen bugs or major breaking changes are out of the way.
So, there’s lots to be thankful for, having had a successful launch, a well received eCommerce product and an exciting future for Vendr. We’re looking forward to getting stuck into developing all the new features, improvements and changes needed, and we’re super excited to see more of your wonderful websites using Vendr. If you’d like to take part in creating a Case Study for your Vendr website, just drop us an line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you the details.
Don’t forget to complete the survey, your opinion matters and it will help to shape Vendr for the better.
Thank you for reading.