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A look back at 2021

The first feeling that comes to mind right now is “Wait, what? The year 2021 just passed by but we are already in 2022?“.

It was a year that did seem to pass by very quickly. A year where each of us spent some valuable time with our families (of course, due to the mandatory lockdown!)

It was a year filled with anxiety & a strange uneasiness. Every 15 days, some or the other WordPress company seems to be acquired. My first thought was, “Are we (Tyche) doing something wrong?”. Fortunately, we have a mastermind group where we openly discuss our business issues, our fears & much more. That helped to allay such thoughts.

It was also a year where I felt like we were not at our absolute best, including myself. We could have done more than what we have. Despite of this, we were able to achieve quite a few things & I am grateful for that!

Let’s look at some statistics.

Key metrics

Revenue growth: We grew our revenue by 25% as compared to 2020.

Refund ratio: This stood at 12% as compared to 9% in 2020.

Number of new sales: This went down by 20% as compared to 2020.

Lite plugin active installs: This grew by 5% as compared to 2020 & stands at 194K+ for all our plugins.

Tickets resolved: Our support team managed to resolve 10,400 tickets during the year.

Number of updates released: 105 plugin releases. In 2020, we had released 120 updates.

Team expansion: 7 new members joined our team for various roles

Deliverables of 2021

Here is a list & status of what we mentioned we would deliver in 2021:

Some of the improvements would be:

  • Much awaited Persons feature for Booking plugin. – We couldn’t release this in 2021, but we are releasing this in 3rd week of January as this feature is undergoing testing right now.
  • More recovery options for Abandon Cart plugin. – Done. Via the 9 integrations with different email marketing solutions & CRMs, the recovery options have increased.
  • 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. – Done
    • Adding pick up locations in the plugins instead of relying on native “Local Pickup” shipping method. – Pending
  • Access data via API for some of our plugins. – Done for Booking plugin & Order Delivery Date plugin.
  • Tighter integrations between our plugins, like Booking plugin integration with Product Input Fields for WooCommerce. – Done
  • 24/7 Customer Support – Partially done. We cover support across 2 timezones & 16 hours at this point.

Plugin updates

  • Order Delivery Date: Here we made some huge improvements. The delivery calendar dates can now be shown in a dropdown or as an inline calendar on checkout page. Store owners can now set minimum order amount above which the delivery charges are waived off. You can also set rush delivery charges depending on the number of days from current date. We added performance improvements on the checkout page so that we now have reduced ajax calls.
  • Abandon Cart Pro: Introducing Exit Intent popups was one of the key features asked by many customers. We also introduced Unsubscribe landing pages at the start of 2021. Another highlight was releasing integrations with ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Mailjet, Custom SMTP server, Klaviyo, WP Fusion, Sendinblue, Drip & FluentCRM. You can now send contact or cart information from our plugin to all these tools.
  • Booking & Appointment plugin: The biggest change we did here was to enhance the integrations with the 3 vendor plugins: WC Vendors, Dokan & WCFM Marketplace. Apart from this, store owners now have more control over appointment cancellations as they can set a time limit beyond which appointment bookings cannot be canceled and they can also set if customers should have the option to cancel bookings or not. We added new API endpoints that allow fetching booking availability, resources, booking details & much more.
  • Product Delivery Date: Store owners can now allow customers to choose a delivery date & time right from the Shop page, thereby shortening the checkout process. You can also now force multiple cart products to have the same delivery date. Lastly, store owners can now set the delivery date field labels for individual products too.
  • Custom Order Status: The ability to increase or decrease the stock level when custom statuses are assigned was a key feature that was added. We also added an option to select the default status for custom payment methods in addition to the default ones like COD, Direct Bank Transfer & Cheque.
  • Custom Order Numbers: Store owners can set prefix/suffix for order numbers based on user roles.

All our plugins are now integrated with a number of other WordPress plugins & 3rd party applications.

Team Updates

One of our goals, when we started 2021, was that we want to have our customer support available 24/7. Keeping that in mind, we added 2 customer support engineers (David & Great) to our team in March 2021.

Then in May & June, we hired 2 WordPress Developers (Handel & Pradeep), both very experienced.

Around August & September, we assembled our Content & Marketing team by hiring 3 people. The 3 roles we hired for are a Copywriter (Tena), an SEO Specialist (Oladoyin) & a Content & Digital Marketing Specialist (Swati). Together, this team will make sure that our content & marketing strategy depicts all the benefits of our plugins in a more meaningful way.

Some key team members also parted ways with the company. Dhruvin Shah, our Head of Products and Strategy was one of them. It would be incorrect if I said that it didn’t affect the product plans & the overall company growth. It did have a significant impact. Dhara Shah, who was working with us as a Business Analyst & previously as a Customer Support Executive also was among this.

Content & Marketing Updates

  • Newsletter: We have been able to send out our monthly newsletter on a consistent basis for every month. An achievement that can appear rather small, but it’s not.
  • Plugin Documentation: We have been able to consistently keep our plugin documentation updated as we have released new features in each of our plugins.
  • Facebook Group: I can’t boast of huge numbers when it comes to our Tyche Softwares Business Community Facebook group, but it’s growing steadily. We have 137 members at this point & which means we have 137 brains we can engage with to see how can we deliver better value. (Subtle nudge: Please join the group)

We are in the process of onboarding our new team members. This year, we will be executing our content & marketing strategy in a planned, scientific manner. The goal of the team is to ensure that we are able to showcase all our plugin’s benefits to our customers & push out content that delivers real value.

Customer Support Updates

Apart from providing top-notch customer support via emails & live chats, this year we also started doing one-to-one calls with customers for helping them out.

We received 200+ reviews & a couple of case studies. Over 98% of our reviews are where customers have been happy & satisfied with our plugin & our customer support team.

What’s coming in 2022?

As far as plugin development goes, until now, we have followed a strategy where we have 1 or 2 people working on each plugin & they are responsible for fixing the client issues, bugs as well as the development of new features.

This year, we are going to focus on 2 or 3 plugins for every quarter. During that quarter, those 2 or 3 plugins would see most new features being shipped out, more bugs being fixed & more updates. The other plugins would see fixes in terms of client issues, bugs & updates with those fixes.

We will be improving the User Interface & Customer Experience across all our plugins, our website, our blog & our plugin documentation site. This has already started with a new UI being implemented for the Order Delivery Date Pro plugin.

We will continue to work on adding more Integrations in all our plugins.

Price revision – We last revised our plugin prices in October 2014. That’s right, it’s been 7 years. So yes, we will be upgrading the plugin prices this year & also changing the pricing model for some of the plugins such that we will have some features only available in the higher plans.

Lastly, 2022 is a year that marks a decade since Tyche Softwares was founded!

We, at Tyche, are excited, energized, optimistic & looking forward to making 2022 a year that will be a defining moment for us.

Browse more in: Tyche Softwares, Yearly Review
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