There’s been a lot of talk about Frooition recently, especially in connection with the new shops experience. We’ve taken some of the most asked questions by our readers and put them directly to Frooition and they were delighted to have the opportunity to respond:
What do the monthly subscriptions for “shop & template” and “image hosting” pay for?
Shop and template covers the hosting of the actual graphics which make up the design and branding inside a store and a listing template. Every time a listing or a store is viewed that means a call to our servers so that the graphics can be displayed. The fees we charge represent our costs, which with popular items and popular sellers – can be quite expensive.
Image hosting is exactly what it says – this is optional for eBay sellers. We also offer a website solution where our hosting is required.
Why did you charge for the NSE update on top of the monthly “shop & template subscription”?
We invest an incredible amount of time and money into developing our product and regularly launch free updates, which are often based on customer requests for enhancements etc. When eBay released NSE it meant a complete graphical structure change to the basic store template and in addition changed the way in which code had to be delivered. For any designer delivering advanced graphics (not basic logo and picture!) It meant a massive structural and coding re-write.
A popular misconception has been that the monthly subscription covers everything from hosting to free updates to 24/7 phone support. It would be great if we could offer all this for just £15 a month but unfortunately that is not economically viable.
Why have you started charging for support?
Frooition is committed to providing great customer service by ensuring that customers can keep selling successfully without problems. Our software is really strong and robust and now we have a great support solution, which suits all budgets. Whether urgent response times are needed or clients simply want minor changes making here and there we have a support structure to deal with it.
Can I still get support without paying?
Absolutely, we have a whole suite of video tutorials, a knowledge base, faq’s, a forum and a ticket system with a guaranteed response time. We are constantly adding to our knowledge base and video library to bring you the most up to date information, as well as hints and tips to help improve your workflow.
Do I have to pay if I find a bug/error.
Of course not, whether it’s a bug or a feature we don’t currently offer we have a facility for customers to notify us so that we can fix and perhaps include updates in future versions of our software.
Some say that Frooition have run out of cash and are now desperate to get cash off customers since the investors have left.
I am actually really pleased to say that Frooition is a profitable business and is completely self supporting. It’s true the seed investors are no longer involved in the business on a day to day basis and this is because the business has a strong and capable management team who are driving the business forward. Frooition continues to deliver great results for clients as well as the capacity to develop new exciting products and services for the future.
What do you say to users who think the Frooition NSE is not as fully implemented as the old Frooition shops – why is the design cost still the same when effectively you’re only doing one page?
NSE has meant change and there are huge pluses to the way the new store looks and feels. We have much more flexibility in terms of the style design and branding we can deliver per page within eBay’s guidelines. Listing templates are completely unaffected and there’s still loads we can do with these.
Why do you not template all shop pages when other designers do?
We work really closely with eBay to ensure that our designs are compliant. EBay are retiring their old storefront on May 20th2009. Frooition customers who have upgraded to NSE are 100% safe and compliant.
Using certain versions of Internet Explorer there is a pop-up blocker when clicking on custom promo boxes and the frooflow box – can you (when will you) fix this?
Currently links from the promo boxes on the new store experience launch to a new browser window. Following feedback from clients we realize that some browser toolbars maybe blocking these links. We will be implementing a change to this to launch links within the same browser window, which we will be rolling out automatically to all of our NSE clients with the next few weeks.
Why don’t shop categories on live listings update?
Categories can be updated within the frooition software, this does change this information dynamically both within the storefront and a users listings. EBay’s change to its store front does mean that the categories are displayed differently, but frooition has added tools to its software to enable users to change categories that will also change category content within live listings.
Similarly the “more items” box doesn’t update on live listings.
The “more items” cross promotion box on listings does update dynamically, even on live listings, this information is directly collected from an users eBay account, and the information contained within a “more items” promo box is wholly dependent on the cross promotion settings within a store owner’s eBay account.
Any comment on certain people’s insistence that your templates have been breaking eBay’s rules for years. Is the Frooition NSE fully compliant with eBay regulations.
LOL– yes, Frooition are 100% compliant and continue to set the standard in leading eBay design. With over a million live listings at any one time and combined feedback of over 11 million – we work very closely with eBay, they see everything we do so of course we are compliant and more importantly so are our clients.
There are reports your hosting was down on the weekend of the 25th/26th. Was this a temporary glitch or could it happen again?
Frooition continue to invest significantly in our dedicated server farm (hosted and managed by Rackspace in Dallas) to cope with growing demand for our services, and this is exactly what the hosting and subscription fees cover. The froo infrastructure has been designed and built with best of breed hardware, software, and network products from providers including HP, Cisco, Red Hat, MySQL, Panther and High-Availability.Com.
In order to significantly bolster system capacity and performance, on we recently implemented a new high-end database cluster and seamlessly brought it online with no disruption to any of our clients.
After this most recent investment, even during peak traffic times, our infrastructure is now running at less than 10% server capacity and we have a massively scalable infrastructure that will continue to grow with us.
Frooition will be reading responses to this thread and are happy to answer any additional questions. It would be helpful if you could state in your comments if you are either a Frooition customer, work for an eBay services provider (or eBay), or if you simply have a casual interest in the topic.
Disclosure: Frooition advertise with TameBay.