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Marcus Hancroft

Top Selling Products Report

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Howdy, Everbody!

Recently, I've seen some changes in our Top Selling Products report that I don't like.  I like this report because it also shows the number of times viewed on each of our items.  I can get a sense of how well my keywords are working and if I need to change anything, by the number of (or lack of) click-throughs.  

The way it used to list everything was the newest items were on the last page.  For some reason now though, they are not and are buried somewhere deep in the report and we have to look at page after page after page just to find them.  Of course this drives me up the wall, and I've just given up trying to find things.  

Is there a setting somewhere I'm not aware of that will fix the way the items are listed in that report?  Or am I, like, you know...out of luck?

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It's useless without time intervals. I'm not interested in items that have been selling for years, because of course they would have more sales over time than more recent items. I would like to put in a time interval like the last month or week. That would be useful. Same with most searched - means nothing if it is taken from the beginning of time until present.

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Yeah, you are right, Rya!  I'd like to see that too.  I was just going through the report again and things are just scattered through it with no rhyme or reason and there's no way to sort them.  Before whatever change the commerce team made to that report, I used it.  Now...it's just useless.

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I noticed the same change a while back and am also frustrated with it. I used it the same way you do. It's now impossible to find anything. Even a search would be helpful!

I have found a work around, though. If you copy the listings and import it into Excel, you can sort by name, etc. and it is way easier to find what you are looking for that way.

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Reminds me of how I used to pore over the Xtreet sales report and graph, seeing what was getting views, if the views were resulting in sales etc.

Now I don't bother looking at what little data SLM has, it is so useless.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Now I don't bother looking at what little data SLM has, it is so useless.

This ^^

ANS all the way.

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Rya, totally agree.  The entire Merchant Sales & Traffic Reporting is one of the major items on the WISH LIST we have been asking Commerce Team to fix ever since Xstreet was shut down.  Xstreet was not great but at least it has the fundamental basics that Commerce Team took away with MP and never restored - much less improved.

Stats by Time Periods is a BASIC for stats.  Without it - the stats are utterly useless.

It was mentioned in the LETTER TO RODVIK and it was actually one of the few items Commerce Team picked up on and mentioned in the OCT UPDATE.

But, the big question we all fear the answers to is...... what and when will Commerce Team make it a priority and actually fix.

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

Yeah, you are right, Rya!  I'd like to see that too.  I was just going through the report again and things are just scattered through it
with no rhyme or reason
and there's no way to sort them.  Before whatever change the commerce team made to that report, I used it.  Now...it's just useless.

(Emphasis mine)  That phrase seems to fit a lot of issues on the MP these days.

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Now I don't bother looking at what little data SLM has, it is so useless.

This ^^

ANS all the way.

Add another vote for ANS and self-managed data. I still have no clue why the Marketplace Dev Team won't provide time interval selectors on the reports they provide. Raw data without a time interval reference is absolutely meaningless, yet the changes necessary to select pertinent data by date/time must be absolutely trivial to implement. Unless of course the statistics are gathered as single-bucket accumulators .. in which case the selection of Spree as the foundation for the Marketplace was even more horrible than suspected.

Seriously, what software developer would NOT store statistics with a time component? Doing so is essentially the same as saying "I ate 200 pancakes". Without some idea of the time interval involved, you don't know if I ate that many today, over the last month .. or total over my life.

(BTW: It wasn't today. LOL)

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As trivial as the other things that merchants have begged for:-

 

  • Sending an IM when something sells
  • Sending an email when a review is left (can't be more than 3 lines of code required here)

But we got something we never asked for:-

 

  • Facebook "like" button

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Since Rodvik took over the helm, he has successfully piloted several teams into producing 4 new platforms, all with sophisticated graphics, physics and one even involved adapting a recently acquired 3rd party package (LittleTextPeople). And yet in that same span we have had absolutely no progress on resolving these very simple fixes to one of the most important income earning properties in Second Life. This is why I am so disgusted with the lip-service we continually receive.

How can Rodvik continue to state that they are dedicated to supporting the customers of Second Life while clearly showing through actions that LL is happy to dedicate massive effort to create something new? I'm afraid that actions DO speak much more clearly than words, and in this case those actions speak volumes.

*GRRRR*

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Rodvik comes from a gaming company. He is not used to having to appreciate the content creators for his games, because it's just part of the plan.


SL needs merchants, because they create the content. The way LL treats merchants is appalling. I don't understand why they don't treat us better. If it weren't for us, the grid would be ruth, basic avatar hair, and library clothing items. All with Linden Trees and library housing.


I hope they change their tune very soon. If another virtual world comes along that appreciates its content creators, merchants are going to jump ship from SL extremely quickly.

Not only is Second Life a platform that underappreciates its content creators, but they actually charge us to create content for their game. They charge per upload, take a commission, and of course you're more than likely going to have to pay them (probably indirectly through a land baron or such) for an in world presence.

It's pretty sad. I imagine if another virtual world comes out, that they would understand that without merchants, they end up with a world like cloud party where everyone looks the same, lives in the same houses, and it's very low contrast.

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Flea Yatsenko wrote:

SL needs merchants, because they create the content. The way LL treats merchants is appalling. I don't understand why they don't treat us better. If it weren't for us, the grid would be ruth, basic avatar hair, and library clothing items. All with Linden Trees and library housing.

The impression I get is that LL regards SecondLife as a "final product", not as a tool or resource other people might use and develop to do their own thing.

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Flea Yatsenko wrote:

Rodvik comes from a gaming company. He is not used to having to appreciate the content creators for his games, because it's just part of the plan.

 

SL needs merchants, because they create the content. The way LL treats merchants is appalling. I don't understand why they don't treat us better. If it weren't for us, the grid would be ruth, basic avatar hair, and library clothing items. All with Linden Trees and library housing.

 

I hope they change their tune very soon. If another virtual world comes along that appreciates its content creators, merchants are going to jump ship from SL extremely quickly.

Not only is Second Life a platform that underappreciates its content creators, but they actually charge us to create content for their game. They charge per upload, take a commission, and of course you're more than likely going to have to pay them (probably indirectly through a land baron or such) for an in world presence.

It's pretty sad. I imagine if another virtual world comes out, that they would understand that without merchants, they end up with a world like cloud party where everyone looks the same, lives in the same houses, and it's very low contrast.

Many content creators/merchants from SL have either (a) set up base on InWorldz in addition to their SL business or (b) moved entirely to InWorldz - Four Winds was discussed on these forums recently and is one business who left SL for IW.  So there is a similar platform.  Not sure I would call IW "direct" competition for SL because it still lacks the more sophisticated physics engine...but overall it's a SL "twin."

I'm sure there are other grids out there; IW is just the only other one with commerce and an economy with which I'm familiar.

 

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Flea Yatsenko wrote:

Rodvik comes from a gaming company. He is not used to having to appreciate the content creators for his games, because it's just part of the plan.

SL needs merchants, because they create the content. The way LL treats merchants is appalling. I don't understand why they don't treat us better. If it weren't for us, the grid would be ruth, basic avatar hair, and library clothing items. All with Linden Trees and library housing.

I hope they change their tune very soon. If another virtual world comes along that appreciates its content creators, merchants are going to jump ship from SL extremely quickly.

Not only is Second Life a platform that underappreciates its content creators, but they actually charge us to create content for their game. They charge per upload, take a commission, and of course you're more than likely going to have to pay them (probably indirectly through a land baron or such) for an in world presence.

It's pretty sad. I imagine if another virtual world comes out, that they would understand that without merchants, they end up with a world like cloud party where everyone looks the same, lives in the same houses, and it's very low contrast.

I have no objection to paying for uploads, commissions for sales, tier/rental for an In-World presence. To me it's just part of the "grease" that keeps the wheels going. But I do agree that Merchants are in essence what keeps the SL Product active. Of course, it's really the Creators in SL that put the "Life" into Second Life, but the one factor that keeps Creators creating is the ability to share them with others and, in many cases, turn a profit in the process. (Even if that profit is in "worthless" game tokens.)

We can keep chugging along I guess until they finally drop the hammer and pull the last Linden out of the "game".

I wonder what the trade mags will say on that day. Will they trumpet the success of LL to morph their talent into something "New" and "Revolutionary"? Or will they lament on a profitable enterprise that died a needless death all for the sake of chasing the ephemeral Golden Ring?

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Well howdy, Miss Sassy!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, if I were to set up ANS today, the only data that would be available to me was the data sent to me tomorrow and onward, right?  All the other sales and item views information from day one of my store would never be sent to me.  Or, is there a way to have the system send all that to me at once?

@Darrius - Good to see you, Buddy!

@Toy - I'm with you too, Bro! 

:)

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

Well howdy, Miss Sassy!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, if I were to set up ANS today, the only data that would be available to me was the data sent to me tomorrow and onward, right?  All the other sales and item views information from day one of my store would never be sent to me.  Or, is there a way to have the system send all that to me at once?

ANS is a log of the transaction so yes, you will only get from this day forwards.  However... if you have been vigilant and kept downloads in CSV format of your old sales transactions, then it's a straighforward process to import those soft of records into the database that will receive ANS data.

I used to use Apez vending system before it died a death and that had an export feature so that I could export all my data, something I did regularly just before it eventually died.  So i'm lucky in that i've got sales data that has moved between systems, that covers the whole period of my operation.

Having said this, ANS does what it does but should not be the last resort to patch over the inadequacies of a basic time frame reporting function, that's fundamental.

Also, if you have downloaded your MP transactions in CSV then you can always manipulate the data in Excel or similar, ANS is very convenient once set up but it's by no means the only solution.

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Thanks for that info, Miss Sassy.

Yes, I've always downloaded my CSV files so I have those.  I just always liked the "Times Viewed" list in the Top Selling report.  I guess it's a moot point now anyway, since what they did is done.  I just wish they hadn't f-ed it up like they did.

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Stuff like this is exactly why I import my own logs into my own reporting tool. I'm a number cruncher and I like my data. SL just doesn't provide any. I don't know how much experience many of you have but if you aren't looking for a full on vendor system and just want to analysze your data, writing something that is specific to you would be the way to go. I wrote my own and have a few friends using it as well and i love having the information at my fingertips. Matter of fact...hey Rod...i seriously would come and develop some reporting tools for MP. Give me a call, Ill hook ya up  :D

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So we have talked about work arounds for Merchants to use in light of the fact that LL Commerce Team (aka LCT ... not CTL) has never even restored the old xstreet sale/traffic stats we used to have and many of us found very useful.

Several of you mentioned that ... you can take copies of all the transaction / orders log (download as a CSV) and then use Excel to do your own analysis (since the logs have date/time stamps).  Yes this is a valuable option since Excel is the God of data analytics for those of us that know it well.  I have done this often since I have almost all my inworld and xstreet/MP sales records since 2009 (excluding when I miss the 30 window on inworld transactions and I lose a few days).

BUT....

Some of you might forget that this ONLY solves the SALES ANALYSIS part of the Xstreet reporting that provided us some basic but useful histogram data.  It does not do anything for what I found to be even more valuable from the simple Xstreet reports..... MP visitor traffic usage patterns.

ANS, sales transaction logs, and the current MP "top search/viewed" statistics without a time window cannot provide us Merchants with a good look / understanding of how customers of MP are actually using MP.  We cant see what pages on our stores are being visited, when, how many times, etc.  We do not have a good tool to see what the impact of a listing enhancement or change on the listing description or search fields has to the usage.

xstreet was not great but at least it had the critical time window!  How the LCT Developers in their right minds could replace this basic function of reporting with a new and improved reporting that is nothing more than a Running Total since MP inception just boggles my mind.  It tell all of us exactly the level of Developer Competence we are dealing with regarding the MP staff.

I proposed a JIRA to LCT and the Merchants way back about 6 months after MP was released regarding this very problem..... it was a suggestion that LCT incorporate the ability of integrating Google Analytics (the java script on the page) onto a Merchant's product listings so that LL didnt have to do anything else and basically outsourced the reporting to the world's most popular website activities analytics solution... Google Analytics.

This would have been a Godsend for many merchants (its a Must Have for 5 of my other websites I developed and operate) to better understand how and when customers are using our listings pages.  AND the answer is NO to those that do not understand Google Analytics and think it tracks actual Customer IPs and personal info related to a specific visiting customer.  Its a Traffic Analysis Tool.

Anyway..... regardless if LL were to fix the reporting or outsource it..... this is still one of the oldest broken xstreet feature that LCT still has not addressed and ironically one of the easiest things they could fix..  Yet..... THEY DONT!

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I hear ya, Toy Dude!  Personally, I think one of the most important things to look at (besides WHAT'S selling) is the total "Item Clicks."  In other words, how many times was my item looked at, and from the sales, I can extrapolate the total success of the items description, keywords, etc.  Now, with the Top Selling report being fubar'ed, it's not an easy thing to do.  

"Anyway..... regardless if LL were to fix the reporting or outsource it..... this is still one of the oldest broken xstreet feature that LCT still has not addressed and ironically one of the easiest things they could fix..  Yet..... THEY DONT!"

Exactly.  They don't.  And why not??

"It tell all of us exactly the level of Developer Competence we are dealing with regarding the MP staff."

 

^^ This

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

(snip) ...  It tell all of us exactly the level of Developer
IN
Competence we are dealing with regarding the MP staff. .... (snip)

FIFY

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:

I hear ya, Toy Dude!  Personally, I think one of the most important things to look at (besides WHAT'S selling) is the total "Item Clicks."  In other words, how many times was my item looked at, and from the sales, I can extrapolate the total success of the items description, keywords, etc.  Now, with the Top Selling report being fubar'ed, it's not an easy thing to do.  

"
Anyway..... regardless if LL were to fix the reporting or outsource it..... this is still one of the oldest broken xstreet feature that LCT still has not addressed and ironically one of the easiest things they could fix..  Yet..... THEY DONT!"

Exactly.  They don't.  And why not??

"
It tell all of us exactly the level of Developer Competence we are dealing with regarding the MP staff."
 

^^ This

I don't know if I would even call it a developer issue...because most developers are just doing what they are told to do by execs, at least in larger companies. I find it more of an issue with the team who comes up with the ideas behind it. Then again, mabe I'm wrong and they are the same people. I can tell you in my company, the developers do not decide  the "what" of what happens in reporting, we just implement. Our sales reps and managers know what they need to provide the level of customer service to our clients are and they know what they need to so. Some of it I would never think of to include, but they feel they need it. If the planning team is different then the developer team maybe this could be the issue. If so...we need a new planning team cause they obviously have no idea about what numbers business people need to look at.

 

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