Monday, November 30, 2009

Going back to Paypal...

Why we're dumping RegNow and going back to Paypal.

I was originally going to call this article "Paypal may suck, but at least it works" but on reflection this would be grossly unfair to the guys at Paypal.

While we had a number of comments from our users saying "Paypal sucks" that wasn't our experience.

However, we do listen to our customers, and so we made the switch to RegNow after a timely email from one of their sales guys offering to do big things for us with their wonderful affiliate progam.

Since ClixGalore was as useful as <insert your favourite phrase here> this seemed like a great situation.

The customer is not always right

At least when it comes to selecting payment gateways :)

A few things happened that put me off RegNow right away.

When we got things up and running, we found out that a RegNow offer for about $12 or so was inserted as an option in the cart on each of our checkouts. I can't remember if this was the software backup service (irrelevent to OA, as we always want to have our users on the latest version) or the licence key service. In either case, we didn't want this, but we were right out of luck. Fineprint.

Immediately that we went with RegNow, our sales dropped, and they dropped fast.

After a chat with RegNow we managed to get the thing removed (seems people hated it, because sales did increase again) but we had a different offer added instead which sucked almost as much.

To this day, you still get the backup CD option which at least is useful for those that don't want to download the program, but we should be in control of what's in our cart and our customer experience.

Online Armor users know that they can always get their key from us, automatically, and free, sent to the email address they signed up with. A key backup "service" isn't really required for a product like Online Armor and sends a conflicting message.

Still, some of our customers wanted us away from paypal - and so we stayed away.

Straws, Camels backs, etc

One might expect that RegNow, a company that specialises in the provision of Online Sales would be , ahem, how can I say this delicately... good at it. Unfortunately, in our experience we found that our own shopping cart looks better, performs better, is more user-friendly, reliable - and it works!

Some months ago, I tried to apply a $20 discount to our products. The maximum allowable was $10. We've seen times when the Regnow cart was simply offline - not with any error message, just "The document contains no data". The much promoted affiliate program caused at least one of our affiliates to complain over lost sales and inability to track.

Data from sales wasn't going into our system in an automated fashion, making support more complex than it needed to be and making it harder for users to use our members area. We couldn't do half of the things that we wanted to do, in the way we wanted to do it. There were problems with reporting. It was a mess.

The straw that broke the camels back was the problems handling what should be a simple transaction for a company that specialises in e-commerce.

We had an offer for $30 off any Online Armor, and I've had plenty of complaints from people because it was delivering a 30% discount instead. Contacting Regnow support and we're told it will be fixed at some point in the future, and for now, we have to make a promo code for all of our products. Right. We're quite capable of looking like idiots from time to time without help.

So, we decided to divorce ourselves from Regnow. We've implemented paypal express checkout in our own shopping cart. Non-paypal users can check out with paypal and use their credit card.

We've taken back control of the customer experience and I think we've made the right decision, even if not everyone agrees with it.

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