Improvements to Your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard & More

In early October we removed the “feed” portion of the Merchant Toolkit Dashboard.

Throughout 2015 we’ve been researching how our members discover and shop on OpenSky. We noticed that some of the “social” aspects of the experience were distracting and confusing.

So we ran tests throughout the summer to see if a simpler experience, focused on great deals, product discovery, and personal recommendations, would be more engaging and generate more sales.

It did.

The New Experience

Many of the old “social” features on OpenSky have been clarified to help members shop more. Now:

  1. Members can only follow Stores to learn about products and offers. (They can’t follow other members any more, or be followed.)
  2. “Loves” are becoming a Wish List feature, so members can keep track of items they’d like to buy later.
  3. Product reviews from verified buyers have replaced open-ended comments.
  4. We also replaced the old Feed page with a new OpenSky home page, to give you more visibility. Your product promos, storewide sales, discount programs and loved items now appear in a distinct section of your followers’ home pages.

What This Means for You

The new home page is nearly 25 times more popular than the old Feed page and we’re going to keep improving it with a blend of personal recommendations and popular products from across the marketplace.

Now that we’ve disabled the shopper-facing feed, we decided to remove it from your Dashboard as well. This simplifies the content and makes your Dashboard load much faster. (This also simplifies the code so our team can move faster on new upgrades.)

We also simplified the process for creating a new promotion,and replaced the old, sometimes fragile, Posting Tool with a simple, one-page form.

New Features Coming

We’re currently researching 2 new programs to upgrade your Merchant Toolkit in 2016:

First, we want to give you better data about your marketing, customers and sales so you can see the best ways to grow your business. We’ve been busy prototyping charts and graphs so you can see your sales data at a glance. If there’s specific information you’d like to see in your Dashboard please let us know.

Second, we’re working on an “Auto-Pilot” program, which would crunch data to give you specific recommendations for merchandising, marketing and promotions so you can get better results faster.

In the meantime, you should continue creating new promotions. They still trigger automatic emails and mobile app notifications and appear on the new home page (where shoppers buy far more products than they did 6 months ago).

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