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Marketplace Release Notes: May 31, 2011


Brooke Linden
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The deploy this morning contained a much asked for feature by merchants: the ability to sort listings within a store. Here are some highlights:

  • Any unsorted listings will continue to be sorted by relevance.
  • Listings will be updated to be in the format 1, 2, 3, 4 (i.e. if you saved as 1, 8, 10, 14)
  • If you have a listing at a particular position, for example, spot 2, and you make another listing set to spot 2, it will take the place of the old listing and the old number 2, along with everything after it, will be incremented by 1.
  • Merchant/store search results will display the first 3 General listings based upon sort order (which will default to relevance if no General listings are explicitly sorted)


Of course the big question is where do I go to set set order? In the Merchant Admin, under “Store setup”, select “Sort products in store”. Note that once you have updated the sort order, you must click “Update” to save the new sort.

Please let us know if you see any issues by filing a JIRA or contacting Customer Support.

Thank you!
Brooke 

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I appreciate the effort. And if I had a couple dozen items this would be fine.

 

But now the default "relevance" search for my items shows some old clothing items I made years go plus some Christmas things at the top. These are not best sellers or whatever relevance is. I can't resort by price, which is how I want my default search -- when I do that and go back to put the items in number order, they revert to old clothing and Christmas items. I am going to have to search for each item, and put in a number.

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Okay so I went in and put "prefab" in search, numbered 21 prefabs, then when I hit update it said something like it was sorry, and do you want to continue shopping.

Then about half of the numbered items were updated, but the other half still were not numbered.

 

 

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Thank you, Brooke
Yes, once we all get this sorted out and the way we like it, with a bit of effort, it will work much better than relevance showing top sellers. Relevance will be the way the store owner sees it, which is appropriate. 

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Thanks to those of you who alerted us to issues with merchant sort. We have identified 2 issues:

  • Performance issues exposed by merchant sort
  • Relevance sort order mislabeled when merchants explicitly sort listings

Performance
The popularity of merchant sort has exposed some areas that are ripe for performance improvements. We have already identified one issue and will be deploying a fix the next time we release. (This will help to address the issues with saving the sort order seen earlier in the day.)

Relevance
The relevance issue is a labeling issue: relevance in the store view will show the merchant chosen sort order. However, relevance as a whole was not impacted. You can test this out yourself by searching for your quoted merchant name in Item search and view the relevance order of your items--note that this is different from what is labeled as “relevance” sort order in your store. “Relevance” in your store refers to your selected sort--we’ll need to fix this label and add back in sort by relevance in the merchant store. For comments on this issue, please add to WEB-3883.

Thanks!
Brooke

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Brooke,

I've run into another very serious issue .. one that has me locked out of the Merchant Control Panel entirely. I get an error 416 - Requested Range Not Satisfiable report when attempting to view the control panel ... AND my store listings are still not sorted. So the fix pushed out today has instead locked me out and done nothing else.

Please see my comment on WEB-3883 for details.

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UPDATE: Kyle Linden contacted me in-world and had me clear cookies for the marketplace.secondlife.com site .. and I am now able to view the Merchant Control Panel. My store items are still not sorted in the order selected, but I'm content to wait a while for that to bubble through.

Thank you Kyle!

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Brooke, I'm sorry to say, this doesn't work for me at all. Now the sort isn't by relevance, it is totally random, well not random, my worst and oldest sellers are listed at the top (I was wondering why today was such a bad sales day). If I read the post correctly, I have to manually sort almost 400 items by hand? Please say I am misreading that. To be diplomatic: that is a terrible use of time - I'm trying to create, help customers, and actually live some portion of my real life. Now I have to go back and sort 400 items by hand? This is not a fix. Not at all (in my humble opinion). Why can't the everyday sort by relevance just be what's been selling (we are now used to that) and fix the "Best Selling" sort which has been broken?

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Arwen, you don't have to sort all your items. Just do the first 20 or 50, and leave the rest for when you have more time. It's very useful if you start thinking about how you can arrange things. I've batched all my similar items together. All sailboats are now following each other on the same pages, then comes the rowboats, followed by motorboats, offsim islands, furniture etc. It makes it much easier for customers to browse my store than when items were all over the place.

My first page shows the 12 items I am proudest of, my top sellers and also it gives a good representation of my creations.

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Yes like Rya says, use search to group items. However, I found that I could only do about 15 at a time or it would mess up. I got all my good stuff sorted, then the bad stuff (and yes now the default sort is bad/old stuff first) is dumped at the end.

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I agree with you Arwen, It was better before, or I think it will be better if we can choose the sort of our store by best selling, or new to old, or the relevance instead of "create a list", I have more than 1.600 items now, I know there is merchants with more items than me but still this is awful, now I have my OLD items in the first page, personally the only thing that LL should fix was the freebie relevance, now this is only a waste of time, omg work to do I can't believe it >.<

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Yes if they had left the default sort as it was (which was far from perfect), it would not necessitate having to go in and redo everything like ASAP. But with the oldest worst selling stuff showing first, there is a sense of urgency.

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I agree.  I don't have that many items, but with my worst selling items displaying first, I felt compelled to manually sort them to bring my more popular items back to the first page.  I probably wouldn't have even used the feature if it wasn't for that.

In my opinion, they should have at least left our stores sorted like they were when they added the ability to manually sort them.

A drag & drop system would be much, much nicer.  The ability to set one of the "Sort by.." options as default would have been nice, too.

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JustinMichael Torok wrote:

The ability to set one of the "Sort by.." options as default would have been nice, too.

I agree with this. Let people choose if they want to use this new feature. Although I love it, people with large inventories will find it a nightmare. A choice of default - best selling, newest first or the option to create your own order would be much better.

I don't know why the relevance order has been thrown so out of order as a result of this.

People will find this painful to set up so quickly.

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The idea of letting merchants choose the way their goods sort is a great idea, but the way this is being implemented is alarmingly bad.  

  • There still appears to be no method to choose sort method whatsoever.
  • The default of 'by relevance' appears to have changed dramatically, and for the worse.  For me, the "by relevance" results appear not to have anything to do with either top sellers in units sold, top sellers in gross revenue, or even popular search categories.
  • The only "choice" for allowing merchants to sort their wares appears to be a manual process.  Not quite terrible if your store has a few dozen items, but incredibly tedious when the assortment goes beyond 100.  And of course, it's a process that needs to be repeated with every new product added.  If there's any upside, it's that you aren't required to enter a value for every item, just the ones a merchant wants to prioritize in this new method.
  • The new sorting methodology should have the name changed, or be given a better description.  What is "By Relevance" and can that label still be used to describe how goods appear by default in all stores to all customers?

Edited to add:

What merchants wanted was the ability to choose the default sort order (from those in the drop-down menu).  You know, a line on the Store Setup page that read "Default 'Sort By' method for Store" and had a drop-down menu with each of the sorting choices.  What was implemented not only doesn't do that seemingly basic thing, but breaks the current default behavior and creates a lot more work for Marketplace merchants.

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Couldn't agree more.

~ The idea of being able to set up the store the way a Merchant wants --> great

~ Giving us the tools to do it --> great, but this only goes so far...the idea of drop down menus (as TriloByte indicates) with options to sort like "newest to oldest" or "most expensive to least expensive" or the true "best selling" based on number of items sold. Then if there is a manual "override" option, wonderful, but making us do it manually? NOT wonderful.

~ Implementing it on us with NO notice, and NO choice --> terrible

I have been spending time trying to sort manually to get something that looks halfway right, and it is taking forever. So now, my store looks like a mess, and maybe it is coincidental, but my sales took a dive with this change - a very noticable decline versus my trend.

 

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The first this to me is that Brooke is calling it SORT BY RELEVANCE.  You cant SORT by "relevance" unles the sort is tied to a function of "SEARCH".  If there is no search trigger or seed, then WHAT IS RELEVANT? To what?  If Brooke's team would have possible asked more questions to the Merchants on what "we wanted" with in store sorting, the LL development would not have gone and blindly develop their impressions / guesses of what Merchants wanted. 

The instore sort should have been tied to a small set of SORT METHODS that each merchant could select - like radio buttons.  ie.

Dear Merchant, would you like your items in your sort to be based on:

1) date item was put into SLM (ascending or descending)

2) price (ascending descending)

3) most viewed

3) most sold

Then LL Development and SLM team... KISS (Keep it simple xxx)... Dont even deploy the silly and overly ocmplex solution you came up with that allows each item to be tagged with its own location in the order.

FINALLY....  Once again, the LL Commerce Team deploys a new function/service/ feature onto the entire Merchant SLM system BEFORE even warning them that they were going to shuffle all the Merchants store items.  Most Merchants were not even aware that Brooke's team had just churned up their store without notice and likely in many cases disrupted their store's order.

Brooke... let me give your team a little advice from your Customers and from someone that has worked in enterprise I.T. organizations where our smallest actions can impact a huge swath of our customers...

IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS (i.e. this includes "listening" not just "hearing" them)

- System Change pre-deployment notifications to the customers ("next week we will be doing this.... this is the impact")

- Proper requirements gather (dont take 1 line of a customers wish list and develop your idea of a solution from it)

- Never "ASSUME" you understand the customers requirements... Communicate with them and ask questions to clarify exactly what they want.

- And how about proper QA and testing of a new feature?  Once again LL has thrown a poorly developed and tested new feature upon their customers, disrupted them and and expects once again for us to be their testers (regardless of the risks of how it impacts us).  The SAME OLD LL!

As I have said countless times...  LL's Development team has always had and continues to demonstrate how immature their systems development practices are.  Still the "start up" "shoot from the hip" development methodology and culture.

And to those FIC and cheerleaders that still say Brooke has a great communicator - you know who you are - this is more evidence that YOU ARE WRONG and I am right. :)

 

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I just wanted a "sort by price, high to low" default.

 

Would be good to have offered a drop down, or a choice of manual or drop down.

 

Actually I have few enough items that it was not that time consuming to group them and number them -- except that if I did more than 15 or so at a time it would not save all the numbers.

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Ok .. I just checked this out.. and this setup is total BULL**bleep**!  How the hell is somebody supposed to pick which items to include in this sorting game without being able to sort new to old or popular/ best selling .. alphabetical..

Oh and your page crashed on me while I was waiting for it to save the sort order... 

Why can you people not do the basic necessary things first before dropping this crap bomb on us?

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Brooke, can this be "rolled back" or "undeployed"? Take some time to make it "optional" and use menus or sorting devices or something that is more helpful to us. And let us know beforehand, not after it is deployed. The manual nature of this is just a no go for someone like me (and others posting here). And it would appear, I am losing sales over it (and LL too for that matter: No sales = No commissions for LL).

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