This project has been shelved in favour of other major devs (responsive templates, eBay, new POS integrations [UnifyPOS, Retail Pro, Retail Management Hero], etc.). We’re in the process of looking at an entire webstore search engine replacement, which would be a huge improvement on what we have currently. @belen_ibanez is scoping it right now and I’m sure she’d be happy to update you on progress when she’s a little further along. It is a large project, though, so I wouldn’t expect anything immediate I’m afraid.
We are also in great need of a way to narrow down the brand options. Currently we have set up sub brands to help us. Would the new search development include some form of filtered search?
A new search engine would be a great help, we suffer from the limited search capabilities offered at the moment and an improvement on searches. I think that the search and filtering is now top of my list of requirements,
If you could keep me in the loop that would be great.
@donogh thanks for the update. I appreciate you don’t want to spend time fixing existing software if your plans are to replace it. However, brand filtering DOES (or rather DID) work - you just disabled it because PFS doesn’t work on site search and the two go hand in hand.
Given that you’ve mentioned extended time frames, is there ANY chance that we could have a small amount of dev time to just look at putting brand PFS back in, warts and all, but not site search PFS. We would be prepared to pay, I’m under a lot of pressure commercially to sort this.
@markb - glad I’m not the only one! Sub brands are a good idea, our problem is that we have the inbound link from the brand owner themselves, and they just want one link into our site. (also when we had some sub brands, google shopping knew the brand name wasn’t correct and asked us to fix it otherwise it would suspend the items - watch out for that :-/ ).
Category or department filters on brand pages would help us to narrow search results as well. Adding support for categories as filters on departments would also be a very welcomed addition and help user experience.
Do you have any update on whether this is in the schedule and when? Our responsive template design has been really well received but this is the one thing that people point out to me time and time again and I’m fed up saying we can’t do it!
It is still planned but it hasn’t been added to the schedule. We did some investigatory work on a new architectural approach and we’re waiting on some feedback from our sys admin to make sure the approach would be well-optimised for our server environment (CC @jbw).
In terms of scheduling, unfortunately we’re losing one of our developers in a couple of weeks, so our bandwidth has taken a hit. Adding to that is a very high volume of customization work, which doesn’t help. (As a result of this, you’ll be seeing: full, combined in-store and online order history on the webstore; support for adding, saving, and using/reusing additional shipping addresses [with them being imported into the POS also]; and lots more – keep an eye on the forum!)
We are hoping to start training a new developer in October and his/her productivity should start to amp up within a few months.
I realise PFS is a general frustration point but there are lots of downsides with the current approach, especially around the code relating to search pages – the underlying database interactions are very heavy and need optimization – so we’re not comfortable simply patching it up.
While I’m loathed to commit to an overhaul on a specific timeline, we’d hope to get an alpha version in testing before year-end.
As it turns out they were both paid customizations for one retailer who was in staging, and they have put their project entirely on hold because they recently sold their store.
Generally, we’ve had a large queue of webstore-specific custom developments in the past few months, and have introduced new dev processes (based on the Scrum methodology) to ensure more consistent and timely follow up when it comes to dev tickets and bugs.
We have gone from over 120 in the queue to less than 30, and continue to improve dev response time to ticket escalations. This obviously also has a strongly positive effect on code quality, ensuring a more bug-free experience for everyone.
Since those custom devs are on hold, current priorities are as follows:
Continue to enhance our Retail Pro integrations, with a particular focus on Retail Pro 9; with the slow death of RMS, other POS platforms are taking more of our time because we need a bigger addressable market;
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017: we are working on a basic integration for Dynamics NAV, an ERP system aimed at mid-sized businesses, as a custom development for one of our older customers;
eBay: we plan to direct a lot more resources into our eBay integration starting next month, with a view to delivering a beta by Q3; this is again about new revenue streams for us, and also because it’s in high demand among our existing base.
I’m a bit confused - are you saying there are now no plans to put filtered search on brands?
This would be disappointing news. We accept of course that you need to focus most of your attention on modules that affect your income stream, but this is something thats been pushed to the bottom of the pile since PFS was first released. It is after all a feature that any modern website would expect to have.
As said before (many times), we rely on inbound links from brand owners “Where to buy” pages and they have specific rules on what landing pages need to conform too. We have negotiated inclusion on the basis that this functionality was coming soon. To still not have it therefore jeopardises our income stream. Yes we’d love an ebay integration but when we aren’t capitalizing on existing chanels by making them the best they can be we’re missing a trick. Its that simple. And we can’t be unique amongst your customers in recognizing the importance of brand landing pages and needing them to be an excellent experience.
So what can we do? I’d still be willing to pay to get the brand filters turned back on - they did work! It was the site search filter that didn’t. Please give us some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.