This year was one of the busiest ever for the SkyVerge crew. Yeah, we know, that’s what startups say about every year. But we really mean it! This year we grew our team, launched new products, made existing products better, and most importantly, helped over 50,000 shops using WooCommerce, Shopify, and Easy Digital Downloads to make more money and provide better experiences for their customers.
Here’s what went down in 2017…
This was a big year for SkyVerge across the board, with new faces, adventures, and lots of exciting news for our rapidly growing team. Let’s relive it, shall we?
We grew by 100%
When we started the year, SkyVerge was a fully distributed company with 10 employees. As we head into 2018, we’re now a team of 20 with a couple of new team members starting in the coming weeks. Interested in joining the crew? We’ll be hiring for additional roles in early 2018. Keep an eye on our jobs page for more info.
We shattered our revenue goal
It’s not just our team that’s growing: in 2017 we also blew past the revenue goal we had set at the start of the year. The sales growth is what fuels our team growth and enables us to keep improving our products. In 2018, we hope to continue on the same trajectory and we’ll also be applying to the Inc. 5000.
We had our annual retreat
In February, the entire team met up in Orlando, Florida for our annual team retreat, SkyTrip. It was a fun and productive week of team bonding and planning for the coming year. Read about the whole thing here. We’re already planning the 2018 SkyTrip, this time for more than double the number of people!
As the leading partner developer for WooCommerce.com, we stay pretty busy supporting the thousands of ecommerce shops that rely on our more than four dozen extensions to grow their online businesses. It’s no surprise that 2017 was a big year for on the WooCommerce side.
We released some big updates
Our extensions power up some of the biggest shops on the web, and this year we dropped some big updates to some of our most loved plugins.
- Local Pickup Plus: Version 2.0 updated the plugin to use an entirely new structure for pickup locations, allowing stores with hundreds or even thousands of locations to use those locations at checkout, and later feature releases have refined the multiple checkout workflows that can be used.
- Google Analytics Pro: Full support for checkout behavior funnels was included this year to ensure that your GA reports populate automatically with as little effort as possible.
- PDF Product Vouchers: Version 3.0 added a new, easier-to-use visual editor for creating voucher templates, as well as a far more robust voucher management system that even allows partial redemptions. Later in the year, we improved voucher generation performance by removing it from the checkout process, improving overall checkout performance up to 60%.
- Intuit Payments: Another huge release! Version 2.0 restructured the plugin to add support for the newer Intuit Payments API (while still letting merchants who use QBMS continue to use the plugin), and also added great features like refund / void support, enhanced payment forms, and more.
- Realex HPP: (Formerly Realex Redirect) Version 2.0 of this plugin includes a full rewrite to leverage all of the latest and greatest Realex features, making this one of the most advanced gateway offerings for WooCommerce, with refund / void support, partial and full payment captures in WooCommerce, and more.
- Product Reviews Pro: Keep customer reviews up-to-date; this plugin now ensures old reviews are updated instead of accepting multiple reviews from a customer, and customers can now edit their existing reviews.
- Authorize.Net SIM: Version 1.2 added several store management features, while version 2.0 added Accept Hosted support for an on-site payment page rather than using the hosted pay page from Authorize.Net, creating a more seamless checkout experience.
- AvaTax: We’ve ensured tax re-calculations can happen before subscription renewals are charged so your payment and tax records always line up, upgraded to the latest features from Avalara, and added Landed Cost support for international sellers, ensuring AvaTax remains the most comprehensive tax plugin available for WooCommerce.
We saw some big numbers
WooCommerce remains one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, and its growth is reflected in the big numbers we saw this year:
- Most popular extension: Memberships
- Over 100,00 downloads of free and paid extensions
- Over 300 extension updates shipped
- We made over 4,700 code commits to GitHub for our plugins and modified over 135,000 lines of PHP code in total
- We contributed 34 commits to WooCommerce core
Watch SkyVerge Head of Product Beka Rice’s WooConf keynote here.
We went to WooConf
In October, half of our team converged on Seattle, Washington for WooConf. It was an awesome few days of meeting our customers, networking with peers, hanging out as a team, as well as sponsoring and speaking at the conference. Get the whole scoop on our conference wrap up post.
As our most popular WooCommerce plugin, Memberships deserves a special mention. 2017 brought a lot of structural improvements for Memberships, as well as the addition of our first add-ons to the Memberships ecosystem.
This year, our team has worked on a lot of major changes:
- Updated large parts of the Memberships codebase for WooCommerce 3.0+ compatibility (before the public release of WC 3.0, so updates were smooth!
- Rebuilt the way rules and restrictions are handled in the Memberships codebase to provide even better compatibility with other plugins and faster performance.
- Rebuilt the member area in the WooCommerce account section for better navigation, which now lets members sort some of the content and perks they receive.
- Streamlined member management by adding the ability to create new site users when adding a new member (previously, you had to use an existing user account).
- Made user membership additions even faster with an “Add member” modal to let you choose an existing user, or add new member details.
- Expanded non-member shortcodes to allow exclusions. Previously, this shortcode targeted all non-members; now, you can add content for all visitors who are not members of a specific plan, making your upsells display easier.
- Improved member rules performance and management by automatically grouping similar rules in the “Edit plan” screen.
- Cleaned up “restriction message” settings for faster set up — and on the development side, these can now be filtered with more granular control, or removed completely.
- From a structural standpoint, we’ve also made it easier to extend Memberships, which helps our team and other developers create add-ons for Memberships.
Speaking of add-ons, we’ve completed development on some highly-requested add-on features: Memberships for Teams, and MailChimp Sync.
- Memberships for Teams lets you create group, family, or corporate memberships which are managed by one or more people, and should be available on WooCommerce.com soon! We already have several early-adopters using this plugin on live sites successfully.
- MailChimp Sync , which syncs your member list to a MailChimp account, is being beta-tested now. It will allow you to segment emails by membership type and status.
- Finally, we’ll have a few small free add-ons available in early January available for download here, so keep an eye on our blog 🙂
Jilt is our abandoned shopping cart recovery app for WooCommerce, Shopify, and Easy Digital Downloads. We have big plans for Jilt in 2018, and this year we laid the groundwork that will allow us to take Jilt to the next level.
Recovered over $5.7 million in lost sales
In 2017, we helped thousands of shop owners rescue millions of dollars in lost sales. That includes our biggest Black Friday / Cyber Monday ever, when Jilt users sent over 120,000 emails that helped stores recover almost half a million dollars! We’re primed for even bigger numbers in 2018, when we’ll add new ways for you to communicate with your customers.
Top 20 app on Shopify
Thanks to our amazing customers, we’re now one of the top 20 marketing apps in the Shopify app store, and top 50 overall! That’s only possible because our awesome customers are helping spread the word by leaving positive reviews about their Jilt experience. We work hard to deserve those reviews, and we’re super appreciative whenever someone decides to leave us one!
We put a lot of resources into Jilt behind the scenes this year, and it shows. We’ve been pushing updates to the app almost non-stop the past few months, including our brand new email editor, the ability to send emails from your own domain, and way to automatically generate unique discount codes for your customers. We also pushed hundreds of other minor (and not-so-minor) improvements and new features. On tap for 2018, we have more big updates planned for Jilt, including a bunch of new ways to automate communication with your customers and boost your sales!
Totally new look
There were big changes for Jilt outside of the app, too. We also debuted completely new branding. This has helped unify our online presence and make the Jilt brand more cohesive and accessible. Our new logo also looks super cool on a t-shirt or sticker (we’ll be heading to a bunch of conferences in 2018 where you can pick up some Jilt swag — follow us on Facebook to find out when and where!).
This year we also revamped our pricing to make it more user friendly and easier to understand and estimate. The new pricing is based on monthly customers engaged (MCEs), not how many people are on your list or how many emails you send, but how many individual customers you actually engage each month. (Our old pricing was based on a percentage of recovered revenue, which meant shops with a high cart size were sometimes paying more even though they were engaging fewer customers through our system.)
The new pricing structure lays the groundwork for our plans to expand Jilt to additional lifecycle emails, automations, and communication channels in 2018 and beyond! You’ll always pay for MCEs, not for additional features or types of automated communications.
We offer industry-favorite Shopify apps under our ShopStorm brand, and we had a big year on that platform, too.
We met up at Shopify Unite
The ShopStorm team traveled to San Francisco in April for the two day Shopify Unite conference. It was great to reconnect with part the team after SkyTrip a couple months earlier, but this time in a professional setting where we could really dig into Shopify development as a team. We had fun meeting customers, other app developers, and folks from the Shopify side.
A new app: Shipping Bar
We also deployed a new app in 2017! In February we launched Shipping Bar, a freemium app that allows shop owners to advertise free or reduced shipping with a customizable bar that appears on their store pages. The free-forever version is already helping hundreds of stores boost sales by promoting shipping deals, and the premium version adds awesome features like additional themes and custom CSS.
Over 8,000 app installs
Well, that’s a big number! We had our most successful year on the Shopify platform, and our apps literally reached tens of thousands of customers through more than 8,000 stores that are now using ShopStorm apps. We owe all that success to your, our happy customers, who care enough about what we’re building to leave reviews of our apps on Shopify and share our apps with your colleagues and friends. Thanks! We couldn’t do this without you!
2017 was an amazing year in SkyVerge land. We grew our team, helped thousands of stores sell more and delight their customers, and we shipped dozens of new products and features. For 2018, we’re planning to keep moving full steam ahead. With Jilt, we’ll be rolling out some exciting new features in Q1, including post-purchase follow up emails. For WooCommerce, we have further Memberships enhancements and add-ons in progress for Q1, along with WooCommerce 3.3 prep, and for Shopify we’ll continue to improve and enhance our apps and deliver five-star support!
We hope you’ll come along for the ride!