Since Eurofurence Online is around the corner, we have taken the opportunity to do some long overdue improvements to our shop front page. This is, so that you can reach your desired part of the shop with less clicks and can see what each of the sections „deep down“, „bondage“, „slippery“, „protecting“ and „artistic“ have to offer right away. (So you don’t miss the Wolf Cum lubes, special kinds of comdome or that you can see all the dildos sorted by size categories fitting your level or comfort.)
Many German customers get confused by having 3 address lines instead of a street and a house number field. They feel that something needs to be entered in line 2 and 3 and get…creative. This causes a lot of manual work in getting these addresses with dublicate zip codes and city names to be parsed by the automatic DHL and GLS label creation.
So we had to remove line 2 and 3 from the address field. This may inconvenience many foreign customers. However since most of our customers are German, it is a change we had to do.
For Germany we have experimentally added the option to have your order shipped via GLS in addition to DHL, Hermes and personal pickup. For some items it’s less expensive then DHL and slightly more expensive then Hermes. If this turns out to work well, we plan to enable European and international shipping with GLS as an option.
We went through most of the Zetacreations toys and added a searchable „maximum diameter“ value, firmness, missing descriptions and lots of values we use internally to streamline the restock process. We also added the missing species for the bear for the species selection in advanced search.
Lots of housekeeping improvements that just can’t be dont for the entire catalog at once.
The very transatlantic shipping delays during this pandemic have forced us to often place a new order before the last one has arrived. It also means that more products are out of stock for a longer time until a shipment arrive. So over the last few days we have improved our internal tools to better cope with both these situations.
We are currently experiencing a known issue between the DHL module and the Amazon integration. This means that we have to create the postage for all Amazon orders manually.
Statistics is everything. It determines what we buy and thus how many new products and new product variations we can affort. It also means what products are popular enough to get an additional size or coloring. Our sales statistics have already handled times when a product was not in stock for the sake of predicting the near future. However it only looked at a given strech of time. We have now improved it to look further into the past if a product was out of stock a lot. Result: This means we can spend our money more wisely and not order more stock then we need.
We have also added code to better track what orders manufacturers are currently working on, are currently in transit and how lead times are affected by the current pandemic. Our tools now tell us not only how much of each product we have and we should have to cover the near future but also how many are already ordered and how long „the near future“ must actually be. Result: We can allow for customer toys more frequently. Even though we can’t make them arrive any faster, we can ask for customer variations to be ordered along more frequently and with less of a short time window.
In preparation to an upgrade to the latest version of our shop system,
we have changed to a much more capable search engine. You may notice that it’s slightly faster, displays recommed other search words and shows the number of search results for each such suggestion. We will have to tweak this in the following month to make sure it ignores certain stop words and add additional meta tags to many products, so they are easier to find.
Our product catalog has grown quite a lot and the categories we have chosen in the past have not quite kept up with the wide variety of offered toys.
So we’re currently in the process of updating out category system.
As a first step we have included sections for „paws and tentacles“.
There is also a new section „species adapters“, that has been removed from the „masturbators“ section to clafiry the distinction between penis sleves and muzzles.
We have also created a new section „Dragons“ and thus renamed „fantasy“ to „other fantasy“.
We are working on redesigning the landing pages „deep down“ and „by species/type“ We’re also considering moving everything that is not a species out of the „by species/type“ section to make it more consistent.
Cheaper shipping to USA during the Covid-19 crisis
Effective today DHL has reduced it’s penalty for shipments to the USA. Not only did we take the opportunity to reflect this in our lowered USA shipping fees but we also automated the update process of shipping fees in the shop.
Prices for parcels to locations outside Germany are now calculated more precisely on a per-Kilogramm basis instead of just 5 weight classes.
Obviously the automation makes it much easiser to remove the covid-19 related DHL fees when international flight resumes and there are enough passenger planed to take some mail along for the ride.
We no longer have to search for each of the 194 supported countries to update their prices individually. Since DHL increases their prices more or less yearly, this is a regular task and it is important that we don’t forget some remote island state. (Not that 3 very, very exotic DHL destinations are not supported simple because DHL knows about them but the shop system doesn’t.)