New year

As another year (and a pretty rad decade) comes to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on what happened at SkyVerge in 2019. It’s been a year of incredible growth for our company and our products. We love that our job is helping stores grow and succeed and we’re excited to take a trip down memory lane to recap how we did that in 2019! Even more exciting, though, is what we’ve got planned for 2020—we’ll share a little sneak peek with you below! 🎁

Company

What a year it’s been for the SkyVerge crew! We’re an all-remote team, but we always make time to meet in person, including at various conferences (such as WordCamp US) and our annual retreat, SkyTrip! 

We had an unbelievably magical time at SkyTrip, which we spent wandering around a Scottish castle. 🏰 It’s hard to sum up the experience in a few sentences, so I’ll use a few pictures instead! However, you can (and should!) read all about it in our recap post

Dunskey Estate in Scotland
Dunskey Estate, our humble abode for the week.
Dinner table set for a medieval feast
The dinner table, where we enjoyed delicious food (mmm, candle butter) and fun conversations.
Scottish coast
The majesty of the Scottish coast, made complete by a picnic lunch.
The greatest people you will ever meet, plus two goofballs up front.

Looking at these pictures, what blows me away are (1) how did I ever get paid to spend a week in this place and (2) our team has grown so much since this April! 

In 2019, we added 16 new team members! Those shining new faces have expanded our global footprint to nine total countries and just shy of half of those new hires are women. 💪 It’s been a total blast getting to know the new folks virtually, and we can’t wait to get the gang together in person in 2020 at possibly the swankiest dude ranch known to humankind. 🐎🤠

WooCommerce extensions

At SkyVerge, we’re committed to leveling the playing field for eCommerce stores. That’s why we’re excited to share that our portfolio of WooCommerce extensions are deployed on over 200,000 eCommerce stores! We are so grateful for the store owners and developers that have chosen our products to power their stores. 

We rounded out the decade with some serious shipping. 🚢 Check out our engineering team’s version of the 12 Days of Christmas 5 Stats of SkyVerge; sing it with me!

  1. 3,960 commits committed
  2. 395 releases released
  3. 6 plugins unified
  4. 2 PHP Engineers hired
  5. …and a partridge in a pear tree! 🕊🍐

Feeling merry yet? Let’s dig into a few of our favorite things from this year:

  • 🤝 Memberships got a couple shiny new updates: Gutenberg block support and member login redirect. With Memberships Gutenberg blocks, you can supplement our existing shortcodes to restrict content to members or non-members. Best of all, you can use these two features together to create a custom home page for members with information specific to their plan. 
  • 👥 Teams for Memberships, one of our premium Memberships add-ons, was improved to allow adding seats to an existing team. Team owners can now purchase more seats to let additional members join their team. This update is compatible with Subscriptions-tied teams, so it can handle the complicated task of calculating the upfront and ongoing costs of adding seats based on where the team is in the billing cycle.  
  • 📦 Local Pickup Plus can now support appointment times, so you’ll know exactly when customers are coming to your store to pick up their orders. This was one of the most highly-requested improvements to this extension, and we were so excited to deliver it to our bakeries, caterers, and other stores in time for the holidays.
  • 🧙‍♂️ Social Login and Intuit Payments grew with the addition of onboarding wizards, which simplify getting up and running with these extensions. We want you to spend your time creating the products, content, and services that make your stores great, so we’re happy to save you time with plugin setup!

During 2019, we also focused on merging some of our extensions: we combined our three Authorize.Net plugins, merged two CyberSource plugins, and unified our CSV and XML export plugins into one Customer / Order / Coupon Export extension. There are a few reasons we pursued these types of projects this year. First, reducing our code base lets us invest time in developing great new features instead of maintaining and updating similar code across multiple plugins. Second, this lets us our customers take advantage of everything we have to offer, instead of asking our customers to pick and choose between feature sets. 

Finally, while it’s not the most exciting work to report, we deployed 176 releases maintaining compatibility with WooCommerce  versions 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 (and v3.9 compatibility is in progress!). This type of work comes with the territory of building and maintaining great WooCommerce extensions, and we’re proud to continue growing our extensions alongside of WooCommerce. 

Jilt

It’s been a big year for our all-in-one eCommerce email marketing platform Jilt, too! You can read about everything we accomplished on Jilt over on our Jilt blog, but here is enough top-line news to last eight nights:

  • 💌 46 million emails sent using Jilt
  • 💰 $48 million in email-driven revenue for our customers
  • 🛒 345,000 recovered carts with an average of $4.80 revenue per recovery email
  • 🧾 Introduced transactional emails to let you send order-related updates to your customers
  • 📣 Rolled out broadcast emails to support newsletters, store announcements, and other direct emails
  • ✍️ Added sign-up forms to easily gather email addresses from site visitors
  • 🎨 Launched a new, full-featured email editing experience that gives you total control over layout and design
  • 🎙 Attended, presented, and sponsored events at four major industry conferences

Email marketing dominated the eCommerce landscape in the 2010s, and the work we’re doing with Jilt is only going to get more important in the coming decade. We are really proud of what we’ve accomplished this year, and look forward to all the great work we’ll continue to do together in 2020! 🚀 

Support

Where would we be without our wonderful support team? This year was one of serious growth for the team—we added four amazing new teammates to the support crew! They warm our hearts like a freshly fried latke. 🥔

Here’s how they’ve been keeping busy this year with our WooCommerce extensions and Jilt:

  • 14,927 people helped
  • 50,721 messages sent for 20,205 conversations
  • 6,064 conversations for Jilt and 3,112 conversations for WooCommerce Memberships
  • WooCommerce happiness score at 80 (consistent with 2018)
  • WooCommerce response times improved by 29% from last year

Our support team has also been pulling double-duty as detectives who want to learn as much as possible about our customers. 🕵️‍♀️ If you’ve chatted with them recently, you probably noticed they’re asking lots of questions about how you work, what your problems are, and what goals you’re working towards. The support crew have been working hard to keep our entire team focused on what really matters to you, and we’re using those insights to develop better products that help you be more successful. 

Looking forward to 2020

We’re in the thick of setting company goals to improve our products, strengthen our team, and grow our brand. It’s an exciting time of year; we’re celebrating what we’ve accomplished, but focusing mostly on what comes next. Here’s a little preview of some of the bigger projects we’re eyeing for our WooCommerce extensions in 2020: 

  • Facebook for WooCommerce. We’re partnering with Facebook and WooCommerce to manage support and development of the Facebook for WooCommerce plugin! This is an exciting opportunity to help our customers grow their stores via social media, and we’re looking forward to the new challenge. 💪
  • Improve how we communicate with customers. As you all know, staying connected with your customers is vital to your business. We’re looking to publish more right here on the SkyVerge blog, but also investigate how we can better stay directly connected with our users via our extensions. 
  • Custom fields in Memberships. We’re still ironing out exactly how this will all work, but we hope to support requests for gathering, storing, and displaying custom data for your members. 

We hope you’ve had an amazing 2019! Thank you for your support this year, whether it’s been through reading our blog or using our plugins. Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, and we’ll see you in 2020! 🎆

Published by Lindsey Fogle

Lindsey is a product manager at SkyVerge based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. When not sneaking Harry Potter references into SkyVerge docs, you’ll find her hiking up/skiing down a mountain or perfecting her homemade pizza.

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