When you hear about 2020 the only thing that comes to mind is COVID-19 and lockdowns. Yes, this has been the impact throughout the year. But that aside, everything has some positives and that exactly how we at Tyche Softwares approached the year – with positive intent, positive energy and a positive approach towards our customers and products. In this post I shall be reflecting how the year has been for Tyche family, update on some of our plugins, COVID-19 impact and some stats.
We had planned out some things for our existing plugins last year and we are glad to have achieved quite a lot of those features.
Update on our existing plugins:
We had quite a lot of features released for our plugins. Here is a quick summary of some of the major features:
- Booking & Appointment plugin – Availability Block for use in Gutenberg, REST API Endpoints, Webhooks, Google Calendar Integration via OAuth and one of the most asked feature – Multiple Date selection. Apart from these features we also had quite a lot of minor releases with bug fixes and minor UI/UX improvements.
- Abandon Cart Pro – Auto apply discounts via email capture popup, Adopted Action Scheduler to run tasks reducing load on the server, Webhooks for events related to cart abandonment and recoveries, Verify user emails captured using DeBounce service and two important features giving more flexibility to store owners handle cart abandonment and achieve more recoveries – rule based email templates and email capture popups. We also did a few minor releases with some UI improvements and bug fixes.
- Order Delivery Date Pro – In addition to bug fixes and improvements in the plugin, quite a few small features were added such as Inline Calendar, Business hours, compatibility with a few Shipping plugins, showing the delivery date in the official WooCommerce Mobile App and much more.
- We migrated the Custom Order Statuses to Custom Post Types for ease of use and leveraging the benefits of CPT’s in Custom Order Status Pro plugin.
- For Product Input Fields Pro plugin, we added an important feature to accept pricing when adding input fields to your products.
- Call for Price Pro now supports forms created using Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7 to be directly embedded into your product pages so whenever you want to show a Call for Price button, you can capture more details.
Apart from these we rolled out quite a few releases improving the user experience in our plugins.
Last year, we felt the need to expand our development team considering the things we had planned for some of our plugins and the customer requests we were getting. Three team members joined us last year – one Senior Developer and two Junior Developers joined us giving us much necessary boost to take up some features for our plugins and attain maximum customer satisfaction. We are very fortunate to retain our core team along with us apart from Dhara, who is on a maternity leave.
If you are looking for challenging work and love e-commerce we are actively looking for new people to join us. Explore job opportunities here.
Trainings and Open Source contribution
Previously we used to allocate time to our team during the year for personal development by taking trainings of their choice. But this year we adopted a different approach and though the allocated time was increased the trainings topics were given by us. The benefits of this activity was that our team got a direction that what trainings are essential for them and what are the benefits of undertaking those trainings. This training not only helped our team excel in their daily tasks but also gave some motivation to take up new ones.
Also, last year we had decided to give back more to the community and as a result, our team did a small contribution towards WooCommerce plugin and did submit some PR’s. Some of them have been merged and released and some might need some more work. But come 2021, we would want to dedicate some more time and give back to the community.
COVID-19 had a severe impact all over the world and our team and their family members too were impacted a lot. Vishal and his entire family were infected with virus and had a difficult time to tackle it. Along with him two of our Junior Developers, Shasvat and Nitin too were infected. But the good thing was we were always there for each other to help everyone out of this by some means or the other.
Our office is shut since early March 2020 but we had a few online gatherings as this year we couldn’t have our yearly retreat. But I must say that the online gatherings were no where close to the outdoor retreats in terms of understanding the team and having a face-to-face interaction with them. I hope 2021 gives us the opportunity to resume those retreats.
Delivering through the pandemic
We also decided to help others around the world in this pandemic and as a result, we decided to give a 50% off on our delivery and booking plugins so that majority of the businesses could go online easily. You can refer this post and this post where customers had shared their experiences and how we decided to step up and help for a cause.
Initially we had just planned this cut on our rates for a month starting 26th March 2020 but we realized that more businesses are in need during these tough times and we extended the cut in our plugin prices for around 4 months till July.
Many customers said that this cause not only helped them survive but also transition from their offline to online business with much ease.
Also, during this difficult times we decided to credit the salaries a bit earlier than expected to plan for the lockdown. The team has equally backed us and weathered the storm together.
Events and Retreat
Like I said above, with the virus around, the travel restrictions imposed and the fear of contacting the virus we did not have our retreat in 2020. Apart from that in person WordCamps and other events too were cancelled. Our team was very excited to attend the first ever WordCamp Asia 2020 to be organized in Bangkok. The reasons were we being a sponsor at the event and some of our team members had got an opportunity to volunteer at the event.
We also had plans to attend WordCamp Kolkata but that too had to be postponed. With the in person events getting cancelled, the team had tried to attend online conferences but that too had a burn out after a few events.
To counter this, we had a few online gatherings to onboard our new team members and spend some time. This activity though helped us relish some of the memories created in office.
Some Numbers ..
With the help of new team members that boosted our development team we were able to release 20% more updates to our plugins compared to 2019. As a result we saw tremendous growth in our plugins since we were able to achieve customer requirements.
Apart from the premium plugins, we also took care of some of our Lite plugins listed on wordpress.org repository by actively releasing updates to make sure users can continue using them without much fuss.
We have started our work for 2021 and you can expect a lot of improvements in our existing products as well an addition of few products to our portfolio.
Some of the improvements would be:
- Much awaited Persons feature for Booking plugin.
- More recovery options for Abandon Cart plugin.
- More options in Order Delivery Date and Product Delivery Date to configure your deliveries. These include:
- Option to add Delivery Charges to Order exceeding certain amount.
- Adding pick up locations in the plugins instead of relying on native “Local Pickup” shipping method.
- Access data via API for some of our plugins.
- Tighter integrations between our plugins, like Booking plugin integration with Product Input Fields for WooCommerce.
And lots more. If you want us to work on any specific feature then you can anytime get back to us or mention in the comments below. We always consider customer requests as the top priority in improving our products.
Apart from this we are working on extending our customer support to 24 hours on all the weekdays. This will ensure that we are able to server our customers across the globe without any waiting times.
I hope you too have a wonderful 2021.