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7000 Orders Via Magento - Feedback so far
 
golles
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Total Posts:  257
Joined:  2008-01-15
 

Just wanted to give a bit of feedback to the community & Varien after processing 7000+ orders via magento and capturing customer feedback & issues along the way. Hopefully this will provoke some thoughts of things to address in future releases and/or feedack on how we might fix our current issues - we have probably overlooked many things.

This is on one site over a 40 day period. This was an existing site that was converted to Magento just prior to the 40 day period - we had done extensive testing and development prior to that but as they say there is no test like going live and getting real life customer feedback.

I’ll start with the issues and then go on to the positives.

Really Big Issues:
One page checkout. - the reliance on Javascript and the issues that causes is a massive issue - we are getting at least 12% checkout failure (note this is NOT abandoned checkout this is checkout failure measured by phone calls and analytics data so probably on the low side if anything) - caused by checkout freezing, unable to progress through checkout after editing an order, unable to reneter card details after card declined - and a host of other issues. Not all customers but too large a % to ignore.

Reliance on javascript throughout front end - we are getting at least 2% of customers not able to add products to shopping basket.

The above 2 issues are enough at this stage to make us pause on moving forward with Magento on other sites.

Big issues:
Lack of documentation on upgrades and exactly what functionality has changed and the impact it may have.

Nagging issues:
Backend - have to mark an order as shipped to be able to print a packing slip - this seams a simple issue and it probably is simple to resolve but we have not had the time to focus on it fully to get a work around going.

Backend - Shipment email repeats SKU twice on configurable products. - Bug reported.

Backend - lack of ability to refund part of an order - realise this may be reliant on payment method.

Backend - lack of ability to create a seperate packing slip for each product on an order if needed - i.e. if a customer order 2 products and one ships directly from manufacturer we would like to be able to print a spereate packing slip for that item on the order - at the moment we have to create a seperate order, invoice, ship and credit back - which is a little crazy not to mention an accounting nightmare. - must be a better way of doing it

backend - lack of ability to strip html code from product descriptions in export - we use comparison engines heavily and this causes us a real headache.

Good points:
Overall a great, great ecommerce system. We love the code base and the clear seperation from layout and code and the ability to customise 100%. The backend is a dream compared to other ecomeerce software (dispite the niggles above). The product has a great professional team behind it and I am sure all of the issues will be worked through soon.

All in all this has been a positive experince and a change I am glad we made. I realise we can probably address most of the issues I mentioned above by hacking the code somewhat but we have focused on that up to now. This is really just to give a general idea on the issues we have experienced.

We are on a modified version of the Modern theme - checkout, cart etc are all untouched and are unmodified from modern theme.
We are running v1.1.8
MySQL, Linux etc.

Hope this helps some people. Feedback appreciated and welcome.

 
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WhoIsGregg
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Total Posts:  64
Joined:  2008-09-02
Tampa, Florida
 

Thanks for the post golles. We’ve processed a little over 100 orders with Magento (in the last 30 days or so) on one of our sites and are also concerned with the backend issues you mentioned. Mostly these two affect us:

Backend - have to mark an order as shipped to be able to print a packing slip - this seams a simple issue and it probably is simple to resolve but we have not had the time to focus on it fully to get a work around going.

Backend - lack of ability to refund part of an order - realise this may be reliant on payment method.

 
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RoyRubin
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Thanks for the feedback. We are always glad to hear from merchants that are processing large volume of orders. Keep it comin’

 
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cbsteven
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Total Posts:  73
Joined:  2008-07-25
 

Thanks for the write-up. I am an established merchant that gets about 25,000 orders per year and I have been hesitant to go with Magento, simply because I have not yet heard from anyone that uses it and processes more than a handful of orders per day.

What is your system to efficiently process orders? Do you export to UPS Worldship, for example?

 
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bobmats
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Total Posts:  30
Joined:  2008-12-01
 

going deeper into magento I see the same problems you write about above, plus some more like vat problems in europe, handling business or consumers and the way they have to pay vat.

I would be very interested in the roadmap of magento and how fast they are going to solve the above mentioned problems as most of these problems are some serious one.

 
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SEO1
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Total Posts:  5
Joined:  2008-09-27
 

The need to change the order status to print packing slips is frustrating. The cart is slower than others we also use and recommend to our clients.

The single biggest need is for an upsell module. We have used and tested this thoroughly on many sites of our own and clients and receive a minimum of 31% increase in sales when a larger package of the same product is being offered. This is big money being left on the table. Until this is available, we will not be recommending Magento to our clients or use ourselves. However, when this and the next issue are resolved, anyone not using Magento will be crazy. It’s far better than most others in many respects already covered elsewhere.

The next biggest issue for us now is making the one page checkout persistent and not an accordion. To have to click 5 buttons to checkout is not much different that clicking next > or continue>. Many other carts have this functionality already and this one directly hurts sales. THIS IS AN URGENT NEED FOR ANYONE WHO CAN HELP.

 
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malbiniak
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RoyRubin - 23 December 2008 10:46 AM

Thanks for the feedback. We are always glad to hear from merchants that are processing large volume of orders. Keep it comin’

Am I alone in being bothered by the response (or lack thereof) towards this very qualified feedback? These are data driven observations provided to improve the commerce ux, and all we get is a thanks for “thanks for the feedback and becoming a poster child for Varien?” How about something more authentic, like, “what type of documentation would you like to see” or “could you tell me more about the 12% error rate.”

I’m starting to get this house of cards feel around here. I hope I’m wrong.

@golles - Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. I hope some of the key stakeholders around here have contacted you through other channels to discuss further.

mla.

 
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malbiniak
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SisterTwisted - 09 January 2009 07:14 AM

@malbiniak

Unfortunately, this is the norm, not the exception.

Posts like this are merely useful as PR as far as Varien is concerned. They’ve made it perfectly clear many, many times that they don’t give a damn what the community thinks.

They refuse to comment on *any* negative feedback (even constructive criticism like this one).

They have absolutely no understanding of how to run an Open Source project. It’s almost embarrassing to watch…

I’d rather not derail this thread, but I’ve got to remark - that’s disappointing. I’ve presented the framework to quite a few different firms in the area to incorporate in upcoming projects, and have received glowing remarks from IT—at the conceptual level. Unfortunately, in an enterprise environment, the issues raised by golles (through 175 orders/day) are going to quickly surface at that level. These firms are interested in developing on top of Magento, not improving it’s core.

If Varien hopes to ride their support-based business model, they’re going to need to embrace some of this feedback a bit more than is demonstrated here. Again, I hold hope that they’ve taken this discussion offline, but a move out of the PR playbook would suggest letting the rest of the world know that that’s the case. I also can appreciate the noise to signal problem, but that’s easily resolved by hiring a single community manager to filter it to the right people. If Roy is trying to be that person, he’s trying to wear a lot of hats, which hopefully he soon realizes isn’t sustainable.

There’s a ton of momentum for Magento, maybe too much to manage. I sure hope not, it’s too damn promising.

mla.

 
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malbiniak
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”...maybe too much to manage.”

Rapid growth is a great problem to have, but a pain in the ass to manager. Throw that in with product lifecycle development, versioning, business development, and community management, and it’s reasonable to understand why the accountability of any of the above roles might go unchecked.

 
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