Post by billfryer » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:56 pm

BTW I'm not a techie, I'm someone who runs several eCommerce websites, all on Opencart.

I've been looking through the extensions store to see if there is anything I could add to my site. And my overwhelming feeling is that there is too much stuff, too many irrelevent extensions and too many competing offerings for the more popular mods. For example SEO modules - there seem to be hundreds of them. And the way the extensions are presented makes it very difficult to differentiate one from another.

We've kind of got the Android approach to an app store - throw everything in and see what floats. However the Apple app store has a habit of 1. producing better apps and 2. being much more successful. What Apple do is they are a lot more strict in terms of what apps they will allow into the store and they give developers pointers in how to improve their apps.

I've also been burned in a past when I bought an OC extension off some Indian guy, it was loaded with bugs and didn't do what he said it would do and he refused to give me my moneyback.

I think the extensions store needs:

- stricter controls over inclusion - with extensions needing to meet high standards for both functionality and quality of programming, especially if they are going to be charged for.
- some kind of moneyback guarantee policy.
- more categories/sub categories so it is easier to find what you want.
- better presentation of product offerings.

Also, another thing that needs to be addressed is that some extensions should really be brought into the main coding of the software.

http://www.billfryer.com - the direct marketing agency
http://www.billfryercopywriter.co.uk - the copywriter


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Post by rph » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:22 am

I'd definitely encourage you to use the 'Report Extension' feature if issues can't be resolved through the developer. As far as refunds go that should be resolved through the Extension Store rather than with the developer. Devs only get paid every 30 days and we don't have any customer access control over our mods.

I do agree the store itself needs a lot of work for ease of use. There are times I can't even find my own mods using the search. The Magento Marketplace serves as a good model. Everything looks great, is well organized, and customers have good options for searching.

As far as extension oversight, that comes down to a decision on what kind of marketplace it is. If you put a rigorous review process in place the mods will be more consistent in quality but you'll get a big spike in cost (I'd probably have to triple my prices) and a big decrease in available extensions from the barrier to entry.

The money-back idea is tricky. Most brick-and-mortar stores won't offer returns on 'opened' software plus mods can fail for reasons that have nothing to do with the extension or developer. I've received a few support requests saying a mod of mine wasn't working and after some investigation it was a badly designed mod or template from someone else which was actually causing the issue.

-Ryan


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Post by Johnathan » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:15 am

I completely agree with all of your ideas, except the moneyback-guarantee idea (for the same reasons as rph). Daniel says he's going to hire two people soon, so hopefully they'll be able to help out with the extension store a bit.

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Post by MarketInSG » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:32 am

The money back has its pros and cons. It gives a sense of assurance for the purchasers. However, some of them might make use of that (purchase it, say it don't work, get money back, continue using the software). Then that's the bad about the money back guarantee.

Anyway, I agree with cleaning up the store. There's just too many outdated works out there. Firstly, they should give us an option to delete our own extension. I have outdated extension which I wish to remove but I don't have a delete button. Secondly, I started off with some good selling modules, and few months later, the whole market is filled with my module. It gets quite irritating to some extent. Then soon, someone will be releasing the same module free. And there goes our idea...

So cheers to cleaning up the market ;D


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Post by HankMcSpank » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:12 pm

I agree with the money back idea...I've purchased two mods, one of them IMHO is too under developed & the support has been patchy.....in any other walk of life, I'd be able to get a refund.

Re money back - whilst I can see the potential for abuse, I still think that say if a 'report this extension' threshold is breached, then the developer will have to take the hit & start refunding ....it'll certainly incentivise him to attend to problems. Else the flip side holds true...the potential for developer abuse is just as plausible...rush out a half baked extension & charge everyone for it..."kerching".

At the very least there ought to be some form of transaparency wrt to what percentage of purchases have reported in 'report extension' being clicked - a buyer can then make an informed buying decision (the comments help, but too many are too early to enthuse & rate after immediately after using for the first time ...it's not until you've owned the extension for a little while that issues star to appear)

As a new opencart user, the present extension seems a bit of wild west.... it *really* needs tighter policing with a commitment of the part of developer to respond to issues in a timely manner, keep a log of confirmed reported bugs & estimated time to resolve.

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Post by Johnathan » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:36 am

It seems like the idea of refunding is based on the fact that some extensions aren't written properly. Because of that, it seems like the store needs a tighter review process (or rather, *any* review process) rather than going through the hassle of letting people purchase, and then refunding all the payments. I think it'd be less work in the long run.

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Post by MarketInSG » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:26 am

In most views, yes to the 'refund idea' come from purchasers, and no to the idea comes from the seller. It's to our disadvantage actually. There's no way to ensure they stop using our mod after getting their money back.


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Post by rph » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:53 am

Johnathan wrote:It seems like the idea of refunding is based on the fact that some extensions aren't written properly. Because of that, it seems like the store needs a tighter review process (or rather, *any* review process) rather than going through the hassle of letting people purchase, and then refunding all the payments. I think it'd be less work in the long run.
I'm not sure how you implement that without introducing a listing fee which creates a whole slew of other issues (some of which could be bad for buyers like decreased niche and free mods and increased price). Then there's the more tricky issue of what 'properly written' entails since OpenCart is lacking a formal plugin system and coding guidelines.

-Ryan


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Post by Avvici » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:22 pm

Yes, a major facelift is in order.

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Post by billfryer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:31 am

I guess the moneyback guarantee issue goes away if the quality of the extensions improves. If every extension has been checked by OC and "approved" there isn't an issue.

The problem I had was I bought an extension and it just simply did not work. My own developer even fixed a load of the bugs in the extension and we gave it back to him (fixed). He even complained about us amending his code! He refused to give any money back and I felt ripped off.

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