WARNING - Change is Coming that could impact your business

Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
As many of you know, the development team has been working on changes to the e-commerce shopping cart. They released a Beta for people to review and then turned it off. It's no longer in Beta, and the changes can be applied now by "Turning On" the new features. You can turn them off by clicking on the "Turn Off" but only through the end of the year. At that point, ALL ACCOUNTS WILL HAVE THE FEATURES TURNED ON PERMANENTLY!

I suggest that everyone find a time where client traffic to your site is minimal, turn on the features, and then review them as they directly relate to your web site and design set up. These changes will impact how your clients use your site to select and purchase products from you.

The changes could cause confusion for your clients, add additional steps to select images for purchase, and remove design features to your site. IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THESE CHANGES AND MEASURE THEIR IMPACT TO YOUR BUSINESS.


Once you have sized everything up, Turn Off the features (opting out), and then provide your feedback on the survey form that is displayed after opting out. Copy that information and then post it here for everyone to see and review.

This is your only chance to have a voice in what changes are made so I encourage everyone to do this as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be leaving the decision to determine what's best for your business and how your clients engage in business with you to the Zenfolio development team. That's the WARNING.

Only YOU know what's best for your business and for your clients.

Look forward to your thoughts.
Post edited by Kevin Krows on
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Comments

  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
    edited September 2016
    On July 12, 2016, Arnaud Collin (General Manager) sent me this email regarding the beta:

    Kevin

    As you know we offer 2 shopping experiences today: one is category-based, and allow for more browsing and discovery, the other – the one you use – is product list-based and streamlined. The new shop page in beta is to update the first one, not the one you use.

    We will continue offering both experiences going forward and will not add clicks to the streamlined experience you are using.

    The ‘quick shop’ experience will be added to the beta very soon. The team will be in touch to show you how it looks and get your feedback

    We will consider adding the 2 improvements you are describing below for the product list shopping experience

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Have a great day

    Arnaud Collin




    My Comments:
    (I use the simpler more streamlined Product List-Based Shopping Experience to make it easier for clients to place orders and save them time.)

    1. It appears that everyone will be forced to use the Category-Based shopping experience which is more detailed and complex. The Product List-Based shopping experience (which is more streamlined and more client user friendly) will be removed.

    2. Changes will remove the bottom and top navigation menus as well as remove breadcrumbs from my site. My clients use these to navigate to various groups and galleries. They will now need to navigate all the way back to my home page to perform these tasks. Your company logo will also be removed as well. It will only be displayed on the Product Price Sheet after you click to open it. You will need to upload a new logo as it appears the resolution on the Product Price Sheet requires a larger file.

    3. Price lists are not automatically displayed on the preview pages. You need to "Click" the Buy Button to open the price sheet to see the products and prices. If you have a product with a customized description (self-fulfilled items or download) you will be limited to the length of the description as a larger font is used and will cut off the excess characters in the description.

    4. If your client clicks the Buy button on the Thumbnail Page, they won't be taken directly to a Product List with Prices. Instead, they will be taken to a Category Page where they will need to choose the Category or Products they are interested in. This adds additional "Clicks" and more client time.


    My Conclusions:

    None of the proposed changes will promote or advance the e-commerce cause or increase sales. They are simply Design Changes for the sake of Change only. The development team is proposing changes that will most certainly cause client confusion, add unnecessary layers and clicks, and increase the time it takes for clients to place orders.

    I plead with management and the developers to leave the Product List Shopping Experience alone and not force those of us using it to a single Category-Based Shopping Experience. I am trusting what Mr. Collin told me on July 12, 2016 to be honored.

    We will continue offering both experiences going forward and will not add clicks to the streamlined experience you are using.
  • Barbara JonesBarbara Jones Member Posts: 24
    Totally unacceptable ! OPTIONS should be available...........the new "Shopping Experience" is awful. Slow, faulty, tedious, and the oversized image that appears where the photo page used to be is of unacceptable quality.....may as well shoot images on a Compact camera instead of a High end DSLR !!! Unless Zenfolio addresses the latter problem at the very least I can see a lot of us who PAY for this service going elsewhere....me included. We have the choice to customise everything else on Zenfolio, why not this ??
  • wesleynulenswesleynulens Member Posts: 2
    I'm with Barbara & Kevin. I wish you could leave it like it is, or at least leave us the choice.
    The new shopping experience feels very low-end and doesn't reflect the high-end product we try to deliver to our clients.
  • Zenfolio have a problem - activating the new shopping experience, changes your chosen formatting for all pages/images where the option to buy is available. Go try it for yourselves and see. It does not affect page formatting for images that are not for sale. Dear Zenfolio .... what the hell is going on here?

    Cheers
  • Motorsport in the UKMotorsport in the UK Member Posts: 24
    Switched it on this evening and it's dreadful. Slow, amateur, can't see any reason why anyone would willingly switch over.
    It's the usual developers' tail wagging the Zenfolio's dog.

    Zenfolio, you force YOUR customers to switch over at your peril
  • RicardoRicardo Member Posts: 15
    I also prefer if you leave it the way it is.
  • The way products are displayed the customer will think that is all that is offered
    So much wasted space to make a customer READ More to find what they want.

    PRINTS
    Small Prints
    SEE MORE

    DOWNLOADS
    Low Resolution (1 Megapixel)
    Medium Resolution (3 Megapixels)
    SEE MORE
  • Motorsport in the UKMotorsport in the UK Member Posts: 24
    22nd June is the date Zenfolio will finally bring this "upgrade" in
    So much for being their customers.
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
    edited May 12
    I guess Zenfolio is at least consistent at one thing. Learning their lessons the HARD WAY. Back to finding ways to guard my business.... Remove price lists and just have customers send their orders directly to me via email and filling/drop shipping with a vendor of my choice. I've done it before so no big deal.
  • Maslyar PhotoMaslyar Photo Member Posts: 3
    When I'm logged into my site and try to order something, why is there no longer the option to choose between "Use Visitor Price" and "Order at Base Price"? I have no option to order at base price from the gallery.
  • Bonzer PhotosBonzer Photos Member Posts: 52
    Another step backwards!
    The image display is awful, the navigation is tedious and unfriendly to clients who are unused to ordering on the web.
    The impact will surely be fewer sales
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
    I started this thread in September 2016 (8 months ago). It's too bad that people are now just discovering the impact these changes will have. When we plead, beg, pray,.... for simplification and an easier end-user experience this is the kind of stuff we get from the development team. They have no clue the impact their actions. They simply don't "get it." They insist on making changes to things that work and turn a deaf ear to those things that don't.
  • Motorsport in the UKMotorsport in the UK Member Posts: 24

    I started this thread in September 2016 (8 months ago). It's too bad that people are now just discovering the impact these changes will have. When we plead, beg, pray,.... for simplification and an easier end-user experience this is the kind of stuff we get from the development team. They have no clue the impact their actions. They simply don't "get it." They insist on making changes to things that work and turn a deaf ear to those things that don't.

    Well they won't listen, maybe when their customer base falls through the floor they will.....but then it will be too late.

    22nd June will be Zenfolio fateful day
  • PixstelPixstel Member Posts: 40
    Agreed - while I can see that the new "shopping experience" may suit some people, it won't suit all. I cannot believe the arrogance behind the "we know best" attitude this imposition implies. I have just migrated from my own system to Zenfolio to reduce my maintenance overheads. It's taken weeks to get my material organsised as I want it. Sadly, with everything else to deal with, I missed the fact that the new shopping experience would be mandatory (I of course assumed it would be an option), and am now thinking I have made a huge mistake in choosing Zenfolio.

    To be clear, no problem with the shopping experience for those who want it - nice to see the product developing - but having a change of this magnitude imposed is completely unacceptable.

    I have seen in direct emails and responses to posts that Zenfolio may be considering options, so keep up the pressure folks!
  • Barbara JonesBarbara Jones Member Posts: 24
    I thought the New Shopping Experience was mandatory this Month, June ? I see many Zennies still not using it ? I prefer the old system.
  • kgnelsonkgnelson Member Posts: 44
    I do not sell on my site. I will cancel after 10 years and look elsewhere if I do not have a choice to opt in or out.
  • PixstelPixstel Member Posts: 40
    OK, its gone live. From my point of view, my carefully constructed site has been ruined. Now actively looking for an alternative. Congratulations Zenfolio, if your aim was to drive people away, you have succeeded.
  • I'll be switching to squarespace as soon as time allows.
  • Motorsport in the UKMotorsport in the UK Member Posts: 24
    Besides being a huge backward step Zenfolio had "managed" to make the sites EVEN slower.
    Bunch of clowns
  • Bonzer PhotosBonzer Photos Member Posts: 52
    This is not the look I chose for my site. To introduce it without it being completed is arrogant and detrimental to the experience I want my customers to enjoy. Yet another change that makes Zen LESS attractive for the casual browser. To impose a change before it is properly complete should never happen. Please let us have a choice of how to present rather than yet another half baked so called improvement that is detrimental to us,your customers.
  • This change has ruined the aesthetics and the presentation that I have been happy with for the last seven years. Garish white price list that you have to click on to make go away, all but the first line of the caption hidden unless you click again to display, huge strip of the image covered up, pop-ups activated when you move the mouse. This is just awful. How do I do away with this monstrosity and get my web site back?
  • This is just awful. How do I do away with this monstrosity and get my web site back?

    I think I've found a way to fix it... https://www.squarespace.com/
  • ampmphotosampmphotos Annapolis, MDMember Posts: 9
    Had a quick look at Squarespace, to sell photos there does not look like a viable solution to me...
  • PixstelPixstel Member Posts: 40
    Currently looking at SmugMug and Photoshelter - unfortunately neither bulk import metadata (a big factor in my choice of Zenfolio) but working on a solution to that
  • Had a quick look at Squarespace, to sell photos there does not look like a viable solution to me...

    I guess it depends on your business, you need to find the one that works for you. I self fulfill my prints, in fact all my products so squarespace works fine
  • Rob SRob S Member Posts: 9

    I started this thread in September 2016 (8 months ago). It's too bad that people are now just discovering the impact these changes will have. When we plead, beg, pray,.... for simplification and an easier end-user experience this is the kind of stuff we get from the development team. They have no clue the impact their actions. They simply don't "get it." They insist on making changes to things that work and turn a deaf ear to those things that don't.

    Kevin, I was chugging along quite happily, ignored the "new shopping experience" and never came in this forum, just ran by business day to day. These awful, awful changes have totally blindsided me. I've been in touch with support and I am trying really hard to get the message across for myself and some fellow photographers whose sites I also help run. I wanted to thank you for trying to fight the good fight, to let you know that I agree with you on basically all points and just want an option to go back to how things were.

    Sales are through the floor and I feel totally, physically sick about this and the prospect of migrating all my stuff off zenfolio is daunting... I just hope they come to their senses before it's too late.
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,457
    14 months ago I warned everyone about the "New" shopping experience. Told you so!

    Feedback from my clients is that the galleries look like an "amateur" created it and no longer looks clean. It looks horrible. Based on all the feedback from users that are just now waking up and recognizing what has just happened, I'm not alone and was 100% dead on with my WARNING.

    There is absolutely no reason why this new shopping cart could have not been developed as an optional feature that could be turned off or on at the users choice. Heck, the beta had this option for almost 10 months.

    Let your sales begin to decline just as mine have!!!
  • Bonzer PhotosBonzer Photos Member Posts: 52
    Totally correct Kevin!
    Checking Google analytics reveals many instances of potential clients getting to the shop but failing to select a product. I am losing not just one sale but all future prospects as they (& I understand why!) never bother to return to my site.

    Interestingly perusing the smugmug forums for due diligence before moving my account hasn't revealed anything like the current levels of dissatisfaction on here.
  • 14 months ago I warned everyone about the "New" shopping experience. Told you so!

    Feedback from my clients is that the galleries look like an "amateur" created it and no longer looks clean. It looks horrible. Based on all the feedback from users that are just now waking up and recognizing what has just happened, I'm not alone and was 100% dead on with my WARNING.

    There is absolutely no reason why this new shopping cart could have not been developed as an optional feature that could be turned off or on at the users choice. Heck, the beta had this option for almost 10 months.

    Let your sales begin to decline just as mine have!!!

    My sales haven't declined, I left!
  • Barbara JonesBarbara Jones Member Posts: 24
    Kevin Krows......you were bang on the nail with your prediction. Since the "New Shopping Experience" was forced on us, viewing figures have slumped dramatically, as have sales. The SEO is all messed up. Zenfolio advised to add key words in the title and description....already done, makes no difference. Many things within the Shop area don't work anyway. An utter shambles.
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