Well since we haven't blogged since last year (that joke somehow never gets old. Maybe cuz we only get to a little while every year), I figure it's high time that we fix that!
The Bonz team has been spending the holidays on a well balanced diet of features and bug fixes for our selling community. We've also been able to squeeze in a handful of improvements for our buyers.
The CEO trying to do his part to "clean up the ranch" on FIFI day
One of the highlights for us has been some recent "find it, fix it" (FIFI) days. The idea for these days is that the entire programming and design team (plus whatever you call me) just spend the day using our site in the same way an average seller or shopper would. The only rule is that you have to fix any bug (or "poor experience") you find -- on the spot. On FIFI days, we turn off our usual bug tracking system, and just go to work trying to improve the quality of Bonanza in ways both large and (more often) small. A wee smattering of the stuff we got done during our two FIFI December days included:
- Freshen up look of profile page (hadn't beenupdated since 2009, maybe 2008)
- Update the cart icon to show number of items in cart
- Fix user page taking 5-10 seconds to load
- Show richer representation of recent searches & saved searches on My Bonanza page
- Implement back button when paginating through booths
I know that, personally, these small-but-crucial improvements are often what make the difference between a site that I like using and a site I love using. But those little trimmings seem to sometimes get lost in the shuffle when one is working through the everyday list of bigger features and bigger bugs. (you know, assuming we ever had bugs)
What else? Much else!
We had a great holiday season, with new sales records for every month since last August. We brought aboard a dedicated "community programmer" of sorts named Eric. We'll introduce him soon [hey Eric, write a blog post to introduce yourself, would ya? -ed.] His sole mission in life is to keep us sailing smoothly by addressing the issues that get reported by our community asap. And we're very excited about our new launched Managed Merchant program, which allows busy sellers to build better booths.
What about 2012? We've got a full plate of initiatives we're excited about for this year, including...
- Simplify and add to our booth customization so merchants can better express their brand!
- Continue to expand our marketing efforts into new areas!
- Build the mobile version of the Bonz!
- Enhance our API such that our sellers get more third party tools created to manage their Bonanza inventory across channels!
- Empower item discovery in a bunch of exciting new ways!
- Prepare servers for the impending end of times in December 2012!
Plus we have a bonus feature for our sellers lined up to launch during the next month. We're keeping it under wraps for the time being, in order to amuse everyone with speculation about what the new feature might be. Bonanza auctions... anybody? [No. -ed]
Hope everyone has had a great holiday season, we do deeply appreciate your continued referrals and positive actions that keep Bonanza's momentum going. We're looking forward to the encouraging growth we saw in 2011 being thumped by even bigger growth in 2012.