Hard advice and tips to improve TB
Hi, I just wanted to write something that I always thought.
I will be really hard, but take it as advice because it comes from someone that sees the potential and the effort you put into this (I actually migrate yesterday to TB). I could do it more polite and soft but it would take too much time and it would be less effective. Also, sometimes I will talk in the first person to show what someone would think (but it will not be my opinion).Once said that I start:
@lesley @mdekker I would improve A LOT the marketing. Most of us (at least my impression) we are here because we have an “engineer” or more technical vision (robust, reliable…) and we meet the project in the Prestashop forum when we had problems in our CMS but that is not enough to have a great project.
In the end, success of a project is ALL about marketing, and that is the problem here (IMHO).
For example, I never liked the home, at all. The first part basically says nothing and it is unattractive (at least for non-developers). It is the classic marketing example of misunderstanding feature vs benefit. You should sell benefits: sell more, sell easy, earn more money, make google likes you,…
The home is pretty bad, to be honest. The actual one is a LITTLE bit better, but when you enter you do not know what does TB sell: e-commerce made easy. What does it mean? you could perfectly be a marketing agency too.
Even if I do not like to much their home, they know what it matters:
First thing: “SELL with…” Ok, I want that, I want to sell. I am in the right place.
Second: An authority argument: “trusted by XXXXXXXXXXXX BUSINESS WORLDWIDE”. Ok now, I am sure it is a good solution to SELL. Maybe you do not have 6000000000 (i lost zeros account) but you said in another topic that you have more than 10,000 shops. Not to bad neither. 10,000 people are not a few.
3th: the show an e-commerce in computer and mobile: every shop owner wants that and it is visual. And it looks good because it is beautiful and well designed. If you own a shop, you want that.
4th: just 3 features (not 20 like TB): not expensive, beautiful, and the authority argument.
5th: more authority showing important journals that EVERYONE knows (not only techs) and an important personal statement.
Even if I do not like too much the style, they know what they are doing.
If I compare with yours:
small “not very clean”, vertical foto of a small, not very modern shop (with that business you will not be rich for sure), with a sentence that says not too much, with a link to a download page…I can imagine a client "“already a link even before I know what you are about? If I click, a technical page? No way”
"thirty bees is open source e-commerce with cutting-edge features. Features that allow merchants to quickly set up their shops and start selling online. thirty bees have been designed with over 500 features, which allows it to scale as your business grows. Join the thousands of successful merchants around the world that trust thirty bees with their businesses.
Bla bla bla…Too long and this like: 500 features… I do not need so much. Most people neither. It seems even complicate.
Cutting edge… I just want to sell and have a beautiful shop that appears in google.
The rest is text and more text. And a lot of features… It seems too complicate and I do not have time to read so much (I will only read it If I am already interested)
THERE IS NOT ONE SCREENSHOT OF A BEAUTIFUL TB STORE. No comments from a marketing point of view.
Look at our “friends”
“your e-commerce success starts here” “start your free online store” “button call to action: sell online” I want that!! who doesn’t?
Down, you can see shop examples (not HIDE in a button like in TB but actually visible).
You see my point?
Another topic: I also see that this project is not bringing to much income. I definitely think the easiest way to get money is the marketplace. Patreon? Not good. Why? because people will not pay a subscription If they do not have to because it is free. At least not those that have a tight economy, as me. I contributed to the elastic search because it is once. Patreon, It stresses me to pay every month while I do not have income (that will change soon, but until now my project was a pure investment). A lot of merchants that creates an e-commerce are in that situation (just starting) and it is easy to pay once for a specific module that to pay a subscription that offers “nothing” but to show gratitude.
I hope it helps. Maybe you will think I am an assh**e but If you can improve, I will be happy
PS: I do not know if that is legal but if you are trying to attract Prestashop users, why not to say that you correct most of Prestashop bugs? At least in a landing page for users coming from forums and places where they know you because of Prestashop problems.
PS2: I will be a patreon when I will start generating income
I agree with you on alot of points but you will have to keep in mind that most of these nice people here are IT professionals and not commerce people. They are learning that side of it. I have IT background & its still very hard for me to say wait stop is this just a coding and make it pretty mod or feature or will this make me more money?
It is hard to separate the two. I am now understanding that I should be promoting my business & getting more sales and not worrying how the code works or how pretty something is. My rule of thumb is “Will it benefit my business” “Will this grow my business” If the answer is no then I stay away from it.
I understand where you are coming from & it’s frustrating at times but I would rather see you offer help to the community then say all this & that is wrong with TB. I am sure the team is very busy and could use the help. Welcome to TB I am sure you will like it.
Hi @hfxracing, Indeed I am not very new here, I just did not have time to be participative because my startup takes literally, all my time (I am not IT neither, just a scientist with some skills for computers so I could not be very helpful in coding). I know they are IT guys, that is why I am writing this text. Maybe they have to do a partnership with a marketing person.
I realized now that my message could be out of context and it could seems the new guy that only comes to criticize. I wrote it because I am seeing the same as other users do, that TB is losing fuel since some months (like @Janvier that just said minutes ago: “This is a bit of a leap of faith for some of us, but we believe in this project”). I am seeing that a bad marketing and a lack of income could kill a project with a lot of potential.
Guys, just continue developing the project (regularly updates) to show it is alive, create the marketplace to create income and improve marketing. Income will come if you do things right because the product is good.
I and the rest of my business partners are working on a project for 2 years. No 1$ income until now (a lot of awards but no real money), but that is an investment, We will earn (I hope) money when the product will be on the market.
I would add to my first message another income source: subscription. If you would create something like “all modules and updates you will need by X/month: your shop always updated and with all the modules you will need” (If you do not pay, the modules can not update it anymore). That could also works. Envato elements do that and I am happy paying because If I need some photo or resource I will have a vast catalog. It is not the same that paying for a free service as I explained before. I am paying to be sure I will have what I will need. (Why people pay to have Netflix? not really because it is more economical but because they know they will always have something to watch).
EDIT: I think TB has already enough modules. My advice is not to bring more free modules, any commercial solution have to keep the balance. Too less, bad, too much, bad. Maybe you could create free modules to improve a very weak area (like creating CMS, that are the major weakness in Prestashop too), but not create a full complete free solution . Again, only pieces of advice, not absolute truths
It’s hard to follow all the Google rules to become more traffic to you shop. There are many companies that offer SEO assistance, but you have make a great budget free for some better improvements. The general point of a webshop are sales, and to know, what your visitors would, I think that they don’t even buy more of you products, when they are overload with futures, tinkles and bell’s…The more you smuk your layout and added no nessesary modules, the more you pay this with loadtime and visiters frustrations. I think, keep it so clean and functional as possible. And consider well, witch modules and add-ons you realy need to improve you webshop. When you sells products, that you can find a lot of the same on google, then only the visitors/buyers are interessting in the price of it. Just my 2 cents.
@rubben1985 I agree on most things but having this problem myself (lack of marketing) I can understand the devs here. You need money to have a good marketing expert and TB can’t affort that (I think) at the moment. Sometimes you need to hear things the hard way to get to realize what you are doing wrong. I posted a few thoughts myself on an other topic. Both @lesley and @mdekker (and users) need to be understand that a project like this can take years before you can live from it and hang on to it. Depending just on shop owners is a bit slow. An other way it to find funding (I think PS did it that way) But to do that you at least need to have regular updates. It will take a while before TB gets it’s own place it the e-commerce planet as a product. I understand that TB started as PS done the right way but at some point it has to cut loose
Personally I think this project will gain a lot more momentum when 1.6 comes to an end over at PS later this year. Now I like to play around with things like this, so we migrated over a year ago, but I think the majority chose to just let their store be, til the time comes where they MUST do something
@norwegian_rat I think a lot of people are ‘letting their store be’ because for many that chose PrestaShop there’s no clear safe alternative that offers the same capabilities and they don’t want to gamble their business on something that has too many risks associated with it.
If there was a platform out there as good as PrestaShop 1.6 that didn’t bring a lot of unknown issues along with it then I and many others would have switched last year. The closest alternative is OpenCart but that’s really a hackathon with 1.5.4 being the most stable and 2.0 & 3.0 plagued with myriad problems, it’s not something you’d switch to from PS 1.6 if you’ve got any sense.
True, true. That said I would say switching to TB was a better alternative (at least for us) than to stay with PS. The 1.6 branch will die later this year anyway, and if they don’t get their 1.7 straight with migration tools and all , PS would never be an option anyways. I might be wrong, but at the time we switched it didn’t exactly look promesing.
I just hope they never make the same mistakes here. A platform is useless if you can never upgrade to the latest version. As you will loose all your Seo & page rank & URLS if you need to start over each time. I had errors on PS 1.6 that I could not get help for so I came here. all the errors are gone. The team here was very helpful & took time to answer questions I had.I agree if they do not have build in things like Shopify at some point its cheaper to go with a paid service like that. I think they get that here so time will tell.