As Collis mentioned in his post about the Marketplaces Roadmap, Sustainable Item Support is one of the 8 key themes we’re working on. We now have a team focussed on this. The key problems we’ll be tackling as part of this theme are making item support more economical for Authors, and providing buyers clarity on what support they are entitled to and how to get it. We’re working on this and you’ll hear more from us soon.
Currently, it is our understanding that many authors (eg. of WordPress theme categories) have support teams. These teams help authors answer buyers’ queries via comments or an external support system. At the moment, in order to allow their team to comment on their behalf, an author must share their profile and login details with another team member (often a paid staff member). Obviously it’s not ideal to share this kind of private information with other users, and may mean they are reluctant to get this help in the first place.
So, as a result of some great work by Emmanuel in our recent Hack Week which has since been built on, authors can now create an Author Team by giving other, trusted Marketplace users, permission to respond to their item comments.
How can an author create a team?
This is done through the Author Teams section of the My Settings tab in the Author’s account area. See below:
As you can see, the author can add and remove users from the team at any time, and the user being added/removed will receive an email notification when the change has been made.
What will the Author Team member see?
A user who is added to the Author’s Team is notified via email and will also be able to see each team they are a part of on the Author Teams tab. They also have the option to “Leave Team” if they want, shown adjacent to the team name they are part of.
How will an Author Team member response look in the comments?
When the Author Team member replies to a comment on one of the Author’s items, it shows which “Author Team” member has responded:
What about notifications?
On the Email Settings tab, if the Author has the Item comment notifications option selected, they will continue to receive notifications for any comments on their items including the responses from Author Team members. Notifications will also appear on the author’s comments dashboard.
There is a new option on the Email settings tab called “Team comment notifications”. When selected, this will notify a team member when a comment is made on an item that they are a team member for:
How should Authors manage the process of creating an Author Team?
We recommend that Authors are very selective about who they add to their Author Teams. This will be your team after all, so please suggest users you trust! At this initial stage, Authors will need to provide their own direction and rules on how to manage comments with their team members. Responses to buyer comments by Author Team members will be associated with the Author and the Author’s items. Authors should review comments periodically and have a relationship with Author Team members that is built on trust and a professional ‘support team’ relationship.
When will we this be launched?
We are aiming to launch this in the next few days and we will update this post when the new feature is live.
We know that other author team and collaboration features are still necessary to solve other problems, but we think this is a great first step for authors with support teams and we were keen to get this to you as soon as it was ready.
A big thanks to Emmanuel, Arman, Ben, Sam, Cath and Justin to get this to you as well as Authors Gt3Themes, PlusSquare and Astoundify who helped us out with the user research.
We hope you like it!
Now that it has been over a month since we rolled out the first part of this test, we think we have enough data.
We have seen sustained sales-conversion improvements on all of our major Marketplaces and are confident that this will continue which means that we have hopefully made buyers lives a bit easier and made authors some more sales.
So today we are rolling this out to the remaining 50% of our users who did not have it already (that’s 100% in total). For the new 50%, we really hope you like it too.
A big thanks to Cath, Luke, Arman, Eaden, Gus, Jordan and Sveta/Terry in our analytics team who have all done a great job to get us to this point.
Just a quick note here: can you confirm that after initial signup and email verification the buyer is taken back to the item they were original viewing (and not the home page).Cheerio!
Hi Dave – We haven’t got around to that one just yet but thanks for the reminder. We know it should be fixed.
We are continuing to monitor these changes and are about to add something new for the same 20% of users.
When these users go to add credit after clicking purchase, the “adding credit” step will be done through a simplified modal/lightbox experience rather than using our current deposit page. We’re trying to keep this consistent with the changes to the purchase flow so that the end-to-end process for buyers is as smooth as possible.
For the buyers who deposit through this new flow, we’ll also be completing the purchase for them automatically when they return from the payment gateway (Paypal or Skrill). The depositing experience is not changing for deposits started from the logged-in homepage or the user navigation menu.
Again we will be monitoring the results very closely before we ramp this up to 100% of users.
In an effort to improve the experience for our buyers (and sales for authors), we have just launched a test for 20% of our signed in users to tailor the buyer’s experience after clicking “purchase” based on whether they have enough credit to buy the item and how they have purchased in the past.
We will be running this test for about a week so if you happen to be in the 20%...we hope you like it and find it smoother.
We will be monitoring the results of this test very closely and once we are comfortable will launch it to everyone and update this post then.
Hi everyone….thanks for all your feedback on this so far.
We’ve been measuring the impact and there is plenty of good news to share here….
- Ratings of 1, 2 or 3 stars have reduced by 63%. They were 13% of total ratings before and now they are 5% of the total (that means 95% of ratings are 4 or 5 stars).
- Remembering that feedback is optional for 4 and 5 star ratings – For every lower rating (3,2 and 1 star) with a comment there are 5 higher ratings (4,5 star) with a comment.
As I mentioned when we launched, this is the first step to improving ratings. For now we are focussed on other initiatives and we are working out when we might come back to this but to manage your expectations, it is unlikely in the next few months.
We know that it’s not all perfect but we’re very heartened by the feedback we’re getting and what the numbers are showing, particularly the huge amount of positive feedback authors are now receiving.
Hi everyone…thanks for pointing out the issue with the portfolio pages. Here’s a bit more background about this.
As you know, Envato launched the Microlancer service in beta early in 2013. Since then we have been testing out a number of different promotions throughout the Marketplaces which you have probably noticed. This is another one.
We understand that this is one of the more prominent promotions and as such we are measuring it’s impact on the Marketplaces very closely including (but not only) conversion of our audience to sale and the % who go from page 1 to page 2 in search/category pages. If we notice any detrimental change in behaviour we will of course review the promotion.
Hi again. Thanks for your thoughts so far. I just wanted to address a couple of things that have come up.
- The user name of the buyer giving a review will be visible to the author and the buyer will be made aware of this.
- There will be a minimum word count validation on the review to help reduce the likelihood of meaningless reviews.
In relation to “flagging” reviews for our internal teams to look at (like with comments and forum posts) – the feedback in a review will be private to the author only (which is different to comments). We also think that because the buyer giving the review will be visible to the author and that the buyer knows this, there are likely to be fewer “malicious” or “false” ratings. So for our launch authors will not have the ability to “flag” a review.
It is worth pointing out that we don’t think the issue of malicious/false ratings will be gone altogether but letting buyers know that the author will see their username when leaving a review will reduce this problem and may help increase the 86% of ratings that are already 4 or 5 stars (or reduce the small % of 1,2 and 3 star ratings if your prefer to look at it that way).
Hi everyone…Stewart here again from the Envato Product Team…I hope you’ve had a good start to 2014!
I want to let you know that we’re making some changes to how ratings work which we aim to launch some time next week (27-31 January). Based on the conversation started in the middle of last year, we know there are many things we could do in relation to ratings. The feedback we’ve received from the Community suggests that the key problem for us to focus on here is: Authors not knowing why they get low ratings...the solution and scope of what we’re developing is focussed on this.
Some of you may also remember that last year we collected some feedback from buyers to understand their ratings a bit more. It turns out that 86% of ratings on the MPs are 4 or 5 stars. Across the thousands of items on the 8 Marketplaces there are no more than 350 lower ratings (3, 2 or 1) per day – and usually a lot less than this. The reasons for these lower ratings were varied but most commonly it was about a perception of “poor support” (even though support is not mandatory) or bugs with an item.
Despite the small number of lower ratings, we understand that authors have often put a huge amount of work and care into their items and each rating potentially provides an opportunity to improve an item to hopefully make more sales. This is why we are focussing on providing authors feedback when they receive low ratings.
What are the changes?
When a buyer rates an item they’ll be invited to provide a reason for the rating and some comments…collectively we call this a review. A review will be mandatory for ratings of 3, 2 and 1 and optional for 4 and 5. For the 4 and 5 star ratings, a buyer will be allowed to “quick rate” an item without a review so authors can see this positive feedback too.
Once a review has been made, authors will be notified via email and the review will be visible to them on a new tab next to the comments dashboard and also as a new tab against the item. These tabs will have a continuous feed of all of the ratings for an item which can be filtered down to only those that have a review.
Only the Author will be able to see the reviews…they are not publicly viewable for the time being as the main aim is to provide authors feedback to improve their items if they want. The star ratings on the item page will still be publicly visible to everyone – they are not changing at the moment.
Is there anything else?
Like every project we work on, as mentioned earlier we recognise that there is a lot we could do with ratings….we have to prioritise these things against the long list of other great ideas (many of which come from the Community) that have nothing to do with ratings. At this stage we have kept the scope focused on this so that we can move on to other very valuable projects like a shopping cart.
We will be measuring and monitoring the impact of these changes to guide possible future moves in relation to ratings.
A big thanks to you, the Community for your patience and suggestions…we know it has taken a while to get to this. Also, thanks to Cath, Emmanuel, Jordan and Steve as well as our Community, Support and Marketing teams for their great input into bringing this to life.
We’ll update this post once we launch. We hope you like it!