Spree Commerce

Try It Now

The Pros and Cons of Fixed-Price Projects

Posted on September 18, 2014 by BuildRX

BuildRX is a development team that builds custom apps and websites for really awesome brands. Their clients include: Universal Music, Juicy Couture, Swarovski, Scion, the San Francisco 49ers and many more. BuildRX is a Spree Commerce Certified Partner.

Over the past six years that our development agency has been in business we’ve taken many different approaches to close leads as quickly and efficiently as possible. None of the tactics we’ve tried have been quite as successful as scoping fixed-priced projects for clients.

Many agencies seem to shy away from this pricing strategy as it’s much riskier than billing clients an hourly rate, but it can significantly assist with developing client confidence in your ability and can open doors to more projects and retainer-style work. This is an especially great strategy for young agencies that are starting out and in the early growth stages as you need to build trust with inbound leads.

Even though it can be a great strategy and will help you close projects it’s very important to be careful. It’s essential to have an experienced team member on board that knows what they’re doing when it comes to scoping a project accurately and seeing the project through to completion on budget.

Here’s a good way to understand the risks and benefits of scoping fixed-price projects before moving forward with this pricing method:

Pro

Easier to close projects
When you create a fixed-priced scope, you take the financial risk off of your client and put the burden on your agency. Simply, being explicit about what you will do and how much you’ll do it for makes it easier for them to say yes or no.

Con

Clients don’t always articulate all their needs up front
While you have years of experience building websites and apps, often your clients may not. Consequently, clients may have a difficult time articulating what they need or what’s involved in creating it. Success in using fixed-price quotes highly depends on your ability to listen to them, ask the right questions, and draft a clear scope of work that gets them from the beginning to the final stage of the project.

Have any questions about the pros and cons of fixed-price projects? Reach out to us on twitter @BuildRX and, while you’re at it, take a look at BuildRX.com . To view this blog in its full format, visit BuildRX’ post on medium.com.

Spree Commerce Announces Upgraded Magento Integration for Wombat

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Alexander Diegel

Spree Commerce has released its upgraded, officially supported Magento integration for Wombat. Spree Commerce Certified Partner and ecommerce development firm Sellry built and upgraded the connection to Magento stores for Spree Commerce’s automated ecommerce integration platform, Wombat. Wombat gives its clients the most diverse and effective arsenal of ecommerce connections in the industry. Sellry, with extensive Magento experience, specializes in everything ecommerce— from user experience strategy to data integration. Sellry has made its name delivering website facelifts and launching product microsites for some of the leading brands in the ecommerce industry.

Magento storefront users, of Enterprise as well as the Community Edition, can connect with Wombat in just minutes. Using Wombat’s newly upgraded integration, Magento users have easy access to all of the convenient, out-of-the-box ecommerce integrations that Wombat offers. For bi-directional connections to the Magento API just use the official Wombat-Magento integration. If one-way data pushes are sufficient then use the Magento extension, built by Sellry, to sync with Wombat.

To get the technical play-by-play, check out the guest post from Sellry CEO Michael Bower. Also, feel free to check out our press release.

Follow Spree Commerce!

The State of Extensions 2014

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Jeff Dutil

Over the course of Spree’s lifetime, there have been many extensions written. Some consist of features desired in Spree, and some consist of features removed from Spree. Many extensions were even written by Rails Dog before Spree Commerce was founded.

Over time, many of the extensions published to the Spree Spree Github Organization have been deprecated, become irrelevant, and been abandoned as community usage fell. This has lead to a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t officially supported by Spree Commerce. I’d like to take the time to clear up this confusion by announcing deprecated extensions, and what will be officially supported extensions going forward.

There are several reasons for these decisions, and we feel it will ultimately benefit the community. After all it was the Spree community who came up with the idea for the spree-contrib Github Organization at the last SpreeConf.

Discoverability

Providing a more centralized location to find Spree extensions, and a way for people to share their extensions is a big deal. We’ve seen lots of people trying to tackle the same problems, and releasing their own versions of extensions that never get found. This causes people to reinvent the wheel over and over again. We don’t want to see the extension ecosystem so fragmented that a dozen different people write their own Avatax or SOLR extensions. We believe making it easier for the community to collaborate on a single canonical project will make for better extensions with more support and less wasted time.

Maintenance

We want to broaden the committer base of many of these extensions, so that neglected extensions can be maintained by trusted developers outside of Spree Commerce. We don’t want to be standing in the way of the community upgrading extensions, and intend to make maintenance of extensions much easier and with a lower barrier to entry.

Managing Expectations

We think it’s important to manage community expectations by making it easier to tell what we support and what we don’t. There are lots of good extensions that we simply don’t support, but people still find useful. Luckily many of them live on, and are regularly updated by the community. Some extensions are not so lucky to have the community support, and when someone comes along trying to use a broken extension, it can understandably make them upset. We don’t always have the time to respond though, and we don’t want to leave people hanging on a response from us when we’re not even participating in the projects anymore.

Managing Time & The 80/20 Rule

We’ve had a long-standing 80/20 rule for Spree, and we believe it applies to the extensions we choose to officially support as well. When we receive new feature requests our rule of thumb is that if 80% of the people need this feature it’s probably worth inclusion. If something is a nice-to-have feature, but we only think 20% of people would use it then it’s probably not worth inclusion. Trying to please everyone, and simultaneously provide every feature is unsustainable. It also results in poor quality code.

Our goal is to provide the community with the best minimal, extensible, and flexible solutions that we can. In order to do that we’re focusing on what’s important to everyone, and will leave it up to the community to help us provide and support everything else.

Official Extensions:

https://github.com/spree/spree_auth_devise
https://github.com/spree/spree_gateway
https://github.com/spree/spree_i18n
https://github.com/spree/spree_wombat

Moving to spree-contrib:

https://github.com/spree/spree_social
https://github.com/spree/spree-product-assembly
https://github.com/spree/spree_active_shipping
https://github.com/spree/spree_shared
https://github.com/spree/spree_fancy
https://github.com/spree/spree_product_zoom
https://github.com/spree/spree-adyen
https://github.com/spree/spree_paypal_express
https://github.com/spree/spree_print_invoice
https://github.com/spree/spree_reviews
https://github.com/spree/spree_recently_viewed
https://github.com/spree/spree_social_products
https://github.com/spree/spree_wishlist
https://github.com/spree/spree_comments
https://github.com/spree/spree_volume_pricing
https://github.com/spree/spree_editor
https://github.com/spree/spree_static_content
https://github.com/spree/spree-multi-domain
https://github.com/spree/spree_multi_currency
https://github.com/spree/spree_related_products
https://github.com/spree/spree_affiliate
https://github.com/spree/spree_email_to_friend
https://github.com/spree/spree_jirafe
https://github.com/spree/spree_store_credits
https://github.com/spree/spree_product_groups
https://github.com/spree/spree_rdr_theme
https://github.com/spree/spree_clean
https://github.com/spree/spree_blue_sass_theme
https://github.com/spree/spree_page_cache
https://github.com/spree/spree_skrill
https://github.com/spree/spree_blue_theme
https://github.com/spree/spree_analytics
https://github.com/spree/spree_simple_dash
https://github.com/spree/spree_claim_order

Interested in contributing?

If you’re interested in contributing or helping to maintain any of these extensions please file an issue on the project, and we may grant you access depending on the extension. You may continue filing issues, and pull requests over on their new home in the spree-contrib organization as you normally would though.

Have an extension you’d like listed in spree-contrib?

If your extension serves a purpose not already covered by an extension or is a better alternative, we would be interested in providing it greater community support and visibility.

Some notable cases where we can already see this happening:

1. Thanks to Bonobos for providing a modern take on store credits & virtual gift cards.
2. Thanks to Ryan Bigg for providing a modern take on PayPal Express.

Follow Spree Commerce!

5 Challenges Wombat Solves for Growing Stores

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Alexander Diegel

Top 5 Challenges When Growing a Store— And How Wombat Can Help

Jon Carpenter, Spree Commerce Director of Client Services, recently hosted the most recent in our series of Wombat Webinars. Jon provided an in-depth look into the top challenges facing growing storefronts, and how Wombat can solve these issues. The webinar was truly a must-attend for store owners seeking ecommerce growth.

Jon gave fantastic insight into the common pitfalls facing ecommerce businesses, including:

• Order fulfillment
• New and changing vendors
• Multiple platform compatibility
• Omnichannel sales
• Customer service

The full recap, including the recording, can be found on wombat.co.

Follow Spree Commerce!