The long-awaited upgrade to Marketbrain is ready! After what felt like ages (wait, it was ages!) we finally managed to get the new version out the door.
Unlike normal upgrades, this is a total rewrite of our existing product. EVERYTHING has been recoded, reworked and retuned.
It's faster. It's more reliable. It's better looking. It's more comprehensive... Basically, it's much better than before!
A change of focus
One of the biggest changes we've had to embrace is a shift in focus: the first version of Marketbrain was developed to fill a gap. All we wanted to do is provide a basic reporting engine for Shopify.
The new version does much the same, but there's a slight shift in the way we present data: we're more focussed on providing a dashboard-like presentation of data. The idea is no longer basic reporting, but more on providing management-level reporting with high-level overviews.
Here's what I mean:
See that? It's far more focussed on presenting lots of information:
You can easily see at a glance how well your business is performing by geographic location, what your current sales trends look like, and which products are your strongest sellers.
All in a single page.
Yes, you can still drill down to order-level data if you wish, but only two of our reports support this level of detail.
Some of our existing clients might not like the idea. Our response is simple: if you need to drill down to order level information, it's best done in your e-commerce administration system.
Lots of new goodies
Although most of our efforts went in to improving system speed and reliability, much of our time was spent on developing and refining our reports & features.
There's some new stuff in there, like GeoMaps, sales trend analysis tables, referral reports and associated product sales reports. I won't bore you with a whole list of reports, but feel free to look at a more comprehensive list here.
The biggest changes to the system are on the feature-end of things:
If you have more than one Shopify store, or sell via Facebook or m-commerce systems, then you will love this:
Marketbrain allows you to pull in data from multiple sales channels. This allows you to run side-by-side comparisons of your channels in the same reporting system. Cool, huh?
At present we support Shopify, Payvment and custom API integrations only, but we're working hard to integrate other third-party vendors too, including Amazon, EBay, 3DCart and Magento.
Unlimited user accounts
Gone are the days of giving people access to your store's admin pages!
We now support unlimited user accounts on all our plans. Yes, on ALL our plans.
SendGrid email integration
SendGrid is one of the leading email delivery systems out there. And we integrate with them.
Why is this important to you? Simple: in the next few weeks we will include the ability to send out feedback requests to customers.
This will form the base of our new customer satisfaction and product satisfaction reports, which is due out in October 2011.
What happens to the old Marketbrain?
Helen Reddy once said: "Hindsight is wonderful. It's always very easy to second guess after the fact."
The old version of Marketbrain was a victim of its own success. We never anticipated it to get quite as many subscribers as it did. As a consequence the system was prone to stability & scaling issues.
We've taken away many, and I mean many, lessons from this experience.
The new version overcomes all the previous issues, and is basically a replacement of the old version. We plan to decommission the old version by end November 2011 and the Shopify Apps store listing will be removed as soon as possible to prevent further signups.
What about existing customers?
Firstly, I must express my gratitude to all the customers who stuck it our with us over the last few months.
Yes, the journey wasn't always as smooth as we hoped, but we got there in the end.
We recognise that many of you have been with us from the start, and as a "thank you", I have already started emailing our oldest customers with free accounts.
Our new customers get 30 days for free when they sign up to the new version.
OK, I've been yakking for too long...
I'm confident that most of our clients will love the new system. We've committed 110% of our time, effort and brain matter in to this project, and hope that it meets your requirements.
Again, I would like to thank all our existing clients for your support.