So. BigCommerce 6 was rolled out a few weeks ago and by all accounts it was a huge success (our conversion rates have skyrocketed, support has plummeted, we made the Inc 5000 list for 2010 and feedback on new features and enhances to existing ones has been incredible). If you’re an existing BigCommerce client I’m sure you’re already asking yourself what’s next, right?
Well in this blog post I’ll answer that question for you.
How to Track Our Progress
Before we get started I want to remind you that you can track the daily (even hourly) progress of our engineering team as they work towards completing the next BigCommerce release right from our agile task board in Jira, our bug tracking software. For this release we’re working on 2 x 3 week sprints and are using points for work estimates as opposed to hours.
Remember: transparency is the name of the game for us – I want you to be able to see into every corner of our business and engineering is no exception.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention agile, SCRUM, Jira, etc then don’t feel bad. If you do, you’ll know that we’re running an agile (SCRUM) methodology and our aim with the next release is to keep as close to 100% pure agile as we can (I’d say we’ve been about 70% so far). Chris, our new product development manager, is helping a lot here.
What We’re Looking to Accomplish With Our Next Release
BigCommerce 6.0 was our last major old-school-style release. You know how it took us 4-5 months to release? And how it had a version number? Well, we’re not doing that any more. This is 2010 and BigCommerce is SaaS, which for all intensive purposes renders version numbers obsolete.
Moving forward, all releases will take no longer than 6-8 weeks for us to complete. That’s the plan anyway, and we’ll do our best to stick to it. Our old versioned releases (i.e. version 5.5, 5.6, 6.0, etc) lent themselves better to downloadable software, not SaaS. From here on in we won’t be using version numbers in public reference to BigCommerce (such as on our website).
Each release will of course have a version number, such as 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, etc, but the version numbers will now merely act as a reference point for us internally.
New Features Coming in Our Next Release
So here’s what we’re working on for the next release of BigCommerce (remember you can track our progress here):
- Fly out menus for categories in your store
- The ability to limit/remove breadcrumbs on the product page
- The ability to limit how many times each customer can use a coupon code
- Complete customization of gift certificate designs/templates
- The option to show eligibility for free shipping on product (and other) pages
- The ability to create a coupon code for free shipping
- An “Add to Cart” popup that doesn’t take you away from the page you’re on (like Amazon’s)
- A way to apply 3rd party SSL certificates to your store
- The option to archive orders when deleted so they can be restored if required
- Various improvements, tiny features and bug fixes
- And of course a huge change to our variations system
No word on a release date yet but I will of course keep you informed as our engineering team gets closer. I’m also happy to report that 100% (yes, ALL) of the features and improvements in the next release of BigCommerce came from your ideas in our forum, so if you did post a new idea or vote for an existing idea, then thank you – we’re listening, improving and treat your feedback like gold and will continue to do so moving forward.