Moving Forwards…

Since launching a couple of weeks ago we’ve been amazed at the response Jigoshop has received. We’ve already had users proclaiming it the best WordPress eCommerce plugin available. Not bad considering we’ve only been live for 19 days! Of course, we want to continue in that fashion and establish Jigoshop as the undisputed champion of the eCommerce plugin market.

This success has been extremely exciting but has also raised points we’d not considered pre-launch. As you will probably know, our original plan was to have two versions of Jigoshop - the free one which everyone is currently using and a premium one which will include extra premium features. We’ve had to rethink that strategy a little.

Yesterday we uploaded Jigoshop to GitHub following suggestions in the forum. We were amazed to learn that none of our competitors currently allow users to commit bug fixes and additional features to their core products. Seeing this as something of a gap in the market we jumped at the chance. We’re glad we did so. It was only a few hours before we had users committing their own bug fixes and features.

This poses a problem for Jigoshop premium. With the free version being updated and improved so rapidly by the community at large, keeping ahead of the game with Jigoshop premium not only seems counter-productive but also completely impossible. So, Jigoshop premium as a stand alone product has been scrapped.

But we still need to make Jigoshop profitable as a business otherwise it cannot be sustained and development would cease.

So what’s the plan?

For the time being we’re going to continue exactly as we are. Bugs will be fixed and features will be added to Jigoshop, not only by ourselves but by the WordPress community as well. This will help establish Jigoshop as the market leading, free WordPress eCommerce plugin. We’ll continue to supplement it with premium products periodically. Our first premium theme; Jigotheme and our first premium extension; the SagePay Form payment gateway have already been released and more are coming soon.

This also opens up a great opportunity for Jigoshop developers. The SagePay extension we released yesterday was actually developed by Andrew Benbow who we’ve agreed a mutually beneficial profit share agreement with. We’re keen to establish this relationship with other developers so if you’d like to develop a bespoke feature for Jigoshop do contact us for more details.

The future

As we plan to release regular premium upgrades for Jigoshop it only makes sense to at some point introduce a membership club subscription. This has always been our long-term goal and by releasing products more regularly will help us add value for our early subscribers.

Club members will pay a set up cost plus a monthly subscription fee which will give them access to all of our premium products (themes, extensions, everything) plus a dedicated support area.

This is very much the future of Jigoshop so don’t expect to see the club live just yet. In the short term we’ll continue to add more premium themes and extensions and build the brand as a whole. When the time is right and the club launches, you will all be the first to know about it!

About Jigoshop

A WordPress eCommerce plugin that works Jigoshop is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress developed by professionals with years of experience delivering online shops for global brands. We've poured our knowledge & experience into making Jigoshop the perfect choice for you and your clients. View all posts by Jigoshop →

34 Responses to Moving Forwards…

  1. firebubble says:

    I think the club membership sounds like a great idea and I would certainly want to be apart of that.

    Perhaps in the short term you could provide a dedicated support at a one of cost or a lower subscription price until the whole club membership is ready as this might be something to help build up to the club memberships.

    Looking forward to more themes as the plugin and Jigotheme work so nicely together.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    • Jay says:

      We’ve thought long and hard about offering support dedicated support as a standalone ‘product’ but for now we’ve decided against it.

      That’s not to say we don’t appreciate the value of dedicated support to our users. But our primary objective is (and always will be) to provide the most kick-ass free eCommerce plugin we can. If we get too bogged down with support at this stage development will stagnate and we’ll risk being left behind.

      I believe it to be in our and our users best interest to push hard on getting the club ready sooner, rather than providing a stop-gap solution in the interim.

      I’d like to think we’re providing pretty good support for free over on the forums anyway :-)

      June 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm
  2. krogsgard says:

    Jay,

    What you guys are doing is really interesting. I like all of your decisions so far, and I look forward to seeing Jigoshop develop.

    I have some fear trying a plugin that is so new on a client site, but I think your first couple of weeks has sold me on it. That being said, it makes me very very curious as to how your payment model will continue. Obviously the most important thing with a plugin like this, that is so pivotal to the core purpose of a site that uses it, is the sustainability of the plugin itself.

    So, good luck : ) So far your decisions seem very well thought out and I’m happy to be jumping on the bandwagon early.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    • Jay says:

      Thanks for your kind words :-)

      We’ve decided that the core of Jigoshop will always be free. Which features are released as a part of that and which are premium will be decided as they are developed.

      Obviously there are a bunch of things to consider when making this decision but we will always endeavour to keep our users happy and cement ourselves as the number 1 free WordPress eCommerce plugin. Even complex functionality will be released for free if we feel it will benefit the community at large.

      To make Jigoshop a sustainable business we believe that a club subscription will be our best bet. Fortunately I also believe this model will be our best way of delivering value to our customers.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm
  3. Jim says:

    So far I’m finding Jigoshop to easily be the leader and it seems that your support (and the community) are quick to reply. I wish it was out of beta right now so I could use it on a client site where I’ve wasted far too much time with other ecom plugins (include a paid one with miserable support.)

    Free is great, but I definitely want you folks to get paid for your work, and to continue this project. I’d be happy to pay for upgrades, a membership, or even a premium version if you decide on that down the road.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Jim

    June 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    • Jay says:

      We hope to release version 1 fairly soon. We just want to be sure about all the financial bits and pieces for other nationalities before making a stable release.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm
  4. anotherBAM says:

    Will the features slated to be in the premium version become extensions we can purchase?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm
    • Mike says:

      Yes, we’re already started releasing developed ones.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:08 am
  5. MarkF says:

    Hi guys,

    very happy with what I’ve seen so far and I’ve actually committed to building a small client site using the free plugin - so getting out of beta very soon would be cool! :)
    If not, I’ll take the risk, as I’m so confident in how this product is moving forward.

    Definitely interested in a low-cost ‘premium support’ concept until the club membership gets going if that helps support you during this phase.

    Very happy to be an early adopter! :)

    June 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm
  6. jmccann says:

    I have used commercial WP ecommerce plugins and the support was non existent, plus product wasn’t that great..

    To be honest, I am happy to pay a market rate for a premium version of a product that is stable, efficient and provides support. I would pay a single price per site or pay for a “developer” payment for a number of licenses. I would certainly not entertain an ongoing monthly or yearly payment for the product

    You have to attract revenue to be sustainable, and I dont think that any reasonable user can argue that everything should be “Free”.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm
    • Jay says:

      The monthly payment would give you access to all new themes and extensions plus dedicated support. Should you choose to cancel your subscription the plugin and all of the products you’ve downloaded will still work as normal. You will simply no longer have access to any new extensions / themes (although you could of course still purchase them individually).

      The basic idea is to give good value-for-money to developers who will be using Jigoshop frequently on a multitude of sites.

      Over a year and beyond we believe it will represent unrivalled value.

      June 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm
      • jim mccann says:

        Jay,

        Thanks for response.

        I’m not a fan of monthly subscriptions.

        I would rather pay a one off fee for each license that includes 1 year of support and upgrades. After the year, I then have option to purchase a further year of support and upgrades and so on.

        June 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm
        • Jay says:

          In that case I suppose the solution is fairly simple; Offer the sub monthly as we planned but also include an annual subscription option with a slight discount.

          The only issue is that by year 2 the monthly sub is always going to represent better value (no set up fee in year 2). I suppose a user can decide to go monthly though, if they found the first year good value for money.

          June 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm
  7. Peter says:

    As you stated, the premium version could felt behind as the free version could ‘improve’ rapidly thanks to the community submits.
    Maybe then you could regroup your resources even more with paid solutions around your free ecom plugin.

    By paid solutions i am thinkin for example themes. I looked at your theme and i am shifting all my 300€ clients /one-week-work that wants a ecom solution to “you”. Your theme is fantastic.

    I am thinking somehting along the screenr screencast service. As the company behind the site states it, the screenr is a marketing effort so that they priced products could be known by a larger audience.

    So, in my opinion, you could rethink the strategy to be more “agressive” to capturate the dollares that is gonna revolve around your plugin.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm
  8. rob says:

    I’m another one who is happy to pay for your work and support, especially since I’m after the “configurable products” feature that was going to be released in the Premium version. Is this one of the features that will be introduced soon, or is the focus at the moment to fix all of the beta bugs?

    Cheers guys.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:15 am
    • Jay says:

      Stability and all round functionality are our primary focus. So basically we’re fixing bugs and adding features as quickly as we can! Configurable products are high on our list of priorities but it is a big job so it wont be ready for a couple of weeks at least.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm
  9. Dalton says:

    Congratulations on making quite a splash! I can’t wait to give the plugin a try. I think a paid model for additional payment gateways and other premium level features makes a lot of sense. I think you might get a lot of paid upgrades if you created importers for people who need to move data from other WP ecommerce plugins.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm
  10. Jay says:

    Thanks for your comment and support guys. I’m actually on holiday at the moment but will respond to you all when I get back. The fact I’m checking in while away hopefully demonstrates how passionate we all are as a team to make Jigoshop a resounding success :-)

    Now back to the Sangria.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm
  11. Here’s my concern: If you take an approach like Gravity Forms then your product will no longer be viable to theme developers who build themes for resale. Leaving the product free is ideal to give it continual growth and evolution.

    The reason is that each sale of a theme would require a product key and that can get pretty messy over time.

    However, using the approach of Theme Hybrid would certainly be perfect for this. In Justin’s case it is $25 annually and most developers see that as pocket change. Think of it as a solid residual income.

    Secondly, you would be advised to offer a free template that is very, very basic, yet shows the usage of the plugin. Either that or update the theme documentation.

    Advanced templates, like the one you have already created, should certainly be for a fee (though I’d be inclined to drop the fee to $30-40). Keeping the price appealing will net you volume sales which, ultimately, increases your mohito vacation time in mexico.

    June 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm
  12. Just found out about you guys - good to have another ecomm kid on the block. There’s always much improvement to be done in this space and nobody can seem to get it right. Going to install your code locally and play around. I’m hopeful for this plugin - already looks very promising.

    I like the the core product is free and open for the community to work on via github (love that sooo much over svn btw).

    For premium, I like the idea of bigger plugin sets and additional stuff being an optional license addon. I already have a plugin in mind for this given it doesn’t already do that… I’ll figure it out while testing. I’m not big on a monthly license though… annual I can kind of live with and it’s cool with clients but monthly is a little over the top. Exp. not a fan of the wpmudev lic… Most ppl end up buying the one month lic once a year and updating everything - I don’t like forcing to get updates. Then you have security issues and the whole WP community suffers because of your plugin issues.

    Anyways - I’m excited for this new ecom plugin. Grats guys!

    June 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm
  13. David H. Lawrence XVII says:

    I’m more than happy to pay/donate.

    This looks so awesome – but I have a really important question, having been burned by WP cart plugins in the past.

    Will you be offering (or do you offer – I couldn’t find the answer in your online documentation or in the forum) PayPal subscriptions as product types, and access levels to products based on those subscriptions like Cart66 does? I’m really tired of wrestling with Cart66 – I’d love to be able to use a solid plugin like yours appears to be, but I’m selling video and audio classes in zip files as downloadable products, tickets to my workshops and subscriptions to those classes – I didn’t see in the docs where you were able to do that. I know you can handle physical goods and digital downloads, which I also need, but I’m looking for that total solution that includes subscriptions, tickets and discounts.

    Please, please be MY Heroes. Yes, I said that.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:46 am
    • Mike says:

      Hi David,

      Subscriptions is something we want to implement in the future (we’ve already built something that does it with PayPal: http://codecanyon.net/item/wordpress-premium-content/137192) but thats the hurdle - very few gateways support recurring payments, and subscriptions would need to be handled separately from other cart items.

      Would a system in Jigoshop work for you where by the add to cart button is replaced with a subscribe button, with a cut down checkout process/paypal only?

      June 21, 2011 at 10:04 am
      • David H. Lawrence XVII says:

        That would work - but just for grins, how would your Premium Content plugin integrate with Jigoshop? Could some of the products only be made available to certain subscribers/customers by one plug in knowing what the other plugin is doing? This might be just the solution, and I’m happy to pay for an add-on to Jigoshop that you might derive from Premium Content.

        June 21, 2011 at 10:46 am
        • Mike says:

          Thats a tough one :) So you want to hide products based on subscription status? I’ve not attempted it so I cannot say for certain, but I would say that this could be done by adding a little custom code to the add-to-cart.php templates to check the user is a) logged in and b) a valid subscriber.

          But I wouldn’t want you to have to wrestle with our plugin too, not if cart66 does this.

          June 21, 2011 at 10:59 am
      • David H. Lawrence XVII says:

        One thing that’s missing from Premium Content (that Cart66 has nicely implemented in its subscription product setup are options for different initial payment for the first period, how long to wait to start charging, and then how much to charge each period. My subscribers pay $99 a month, but the first payment is a two-month charge of $198 and then I wait for the two months to start charging the $99. It doesn’t appear Premium Content can do that - but it’s built right into the PayPal API - I can create a button that does that directly in PayPal. Or am I missing something?

        June 21, 2011 at 11:04 am
        • Mike says:

          Yeah paypal can do that, but the plugin doesn’t.

          Ill add subscriptions to our todo list.

          June 21, 2011 at 11:46 am
  14. Ed says:

    Jay, I think Magento’s business model should give you some direction for the future of Jigoshop. The majority of the market will be happy with the open source version. But a lot of businesses still get nervous with open source tech - this is especially true of eCommerce software. I find many businesses are happy to pay for support and add-ons for eCommerce software as it gives them a sense of security that the thing which makes them money online is backed up with professional support.

    Ed

    June 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm
    • Jay says:

      Initially we looked at Magento for inspiration but the more I thought about it, the more I thought we should move in our own direction.

      The main reason being that Magento is truly an enterprise solution while Jigoshop is merely (and I use that word loosely :-P ) a script which bolts eCommerce functionality on to WordPress. They are inherently different products and I’m extremely conscious about growing Jigoshop correctly with regards to our current users and our target markets.

      As it stands, Jigoshop won’t ever be a suitable solution for the largest enterprise customers due to it’s reliance on WordPress. For the time being I think we’re quite happy with that.

      June 24, 2011 at 8:21 am
      • Ed says:

        Hey Jay,

        You’ve clearly given this a lot of thought :)

        I wouldn’t discount what you’re doing not ever being suitable for larger enterprise customers because of WordPress.

        I think there is a massive gap at the moment between basic WordPress eCommerce options at the lowest level of the scale and Magento at the highest.

        Magento is a bit of a monster for even some larger “enterprise” customers and it’s a beast in terms of hardware requirements. In my view, it’s starting to become bloatware and you might find that people who would have considered Magento in the past as being their only option might now start looking seriously at Jigoshop - I know I am :)

        “Enterprise” software is sometimes not the right answer to an enterprise problem :)

        Quite often the most important thing an Enterprise needs is solid support - not a 100lb gorilla of a software platform.

        June 24, 2011 at 11:06 am
        • Jay says:

          Hi Ed,

          We certainly don’t want to completely rule out the idea of Jigoshop being an enterprise solution at some stage in the future.

          At the same time we’re determined to keep our feet on the ground for now and stay true to our core principle - providing a high quality, simple yet secure eCommerce solution. If we continue to do that successfully everything will hopefully fall into place.

          I totally agree that there’s a gap in the market for a middleweight eCommerce platform. We’re all really excited to see how Jigoshop is utilised which I suppose in the end will dictate the direction we move in.

          June 24, 2011 at 11:52 am
  15. David Esrati says:

    We’ve been doing WordPress for clients for about 5 years. We’ve not been happy with any of the ecommerce plugins and just had another meltdown with WP-ecommerce that set our project back on it’s butt.
    Shopp isn’t a solution either- but- when it started it looked promising.
    When I stumbled onto Jigoshop I thought I’d gone thru a time warp- and landed in the future- very clean- but lack of some features could kill us.
    We need UPS integration badly-
    and authorize.net as a payment gateway.
    The last thing is a way for wholesalers to log in and get a different price-
    everything else- we can wait on.
    Can’t wait to try this out-
    keep up the good work- and if this works with what we’ve built- you’ll see some money from us soon.

    July 2, 2011 at 6:55 am
  16. Costera says:

    Please add an affiliation module, allowing us to recruit affiliates.
    It will be a killer !

    July 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm
  17. me2you says:

    GitHub = 404 error… It’s normal? Or Github access only premium club users…

    August 10, 2011 at 8:16 am
    • Jigoshop says:

      Nope, GitHub for everyone :) There was a little confusion yesterday because we’ve switched it from an ‘individual’ account to an ‘organisation’ one for future structure.

      New official repo address, https://github.com/jigoshop/Jigoshop

      Sorry for the confusion :)

      Edit: Updated the original post GitHub link.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

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