What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Most of the functionalities they’ve enabled are astounding. We’re known in the Shopify circle as having one of the most complex websites. This isn’t due to the number of products, but more because we’ve really pushed the limits of the Shopify ecosystem.
We transitioned about three years ago and have watched our mobile traffic go from 5% to 20%. This was significant because we’d originally underestimated the mobile traffic.
We put a survey on the front page of our website asking users what they wanted to change about it. We received thousands of replies, and 98% of people said they wouldn’t change a single thing. The other 2% had some interesting input, but overall, no one said the site was difficult to navigate, ugly, etc. I couldn’t get any kind of negative feedback.
Our site has a lot of white space and big graphics. It’s easy to navigate. A lot of our competitors pack a lot of information onto their catalog-like websites, while ours is more minimalistic. We wanted to give people that space. They’ve told us that it’s easy to use and look around on. Our business was founded on customer service and we take it very seriously. Many customers comment on our fast shipping and tell us that we are awesome to do business with. It’s all been pretty positive.
How did Pointer perform from a project management standpoint?
They do fairly well. It’s dramatically different from what we’ve experienced in the past. It’s nice when you finally find a company that has internal processes around project management, as well as a tech lead and account manager.
We feel like they have the right number of people, but we do sometimes feel that they are too busy. It’s good for them, but not always good for us. I sometimes have to send a second email to get an ETA. Pointer isn’t 100% perfect, but neither is any other vendor I work with. They’re like a lot of good vendors who are highly sought after. We know we’re not their only client, but we do sometimes have to send reminders to them.
We do most things via email. We recently put them into our project management system. The project and tech leads are now integrated as contractors. All bug fixes, enhancements, and projects are now included in our project management software suite. They’re getting used to it.
We love that we can put in an enhancement request and have it sent to them via email. It will keep sending it until somebody answers. Everything is in one system now so we’re able to track it with our GanttProject charts. They didn’t have that system, so we told them to use ours. They’ve been good about it.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Once you get a partner who knows the backend and knows your code, it becomes important to maintain that relationship. We’re fortunate that Pointer has been responsive. They remain competitive. They’re fair in terms of rates.
They have a good team with minimal turnover, which is nice. They’re smart and they know their platform. They will tell you when they don’t know something, which is important too.
I also like that the fact that they’ll tell me if Shopify has the information we need since we’re already paying them. Some firms will look at any opportunity to bill you. Pointer enjoys what they do and supports their customers. Everybody I’ve dealt with there has been personable, friendly, and knowledgeable. I recommend them to people all the time. When we find somebody good, we stick with them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
In the old system, I’d send them an email and tell them I found a glitch. They’d log it and it would take a couple weeks to get done. I needed to convey more of a sense of urgency and needed to somehow get in their line of work. That’s been resolved pretty easily with a system that tracks the tasks and provides reminders.
For anybody that doesn’t have an internal tracking and task management system, they may have to follow up with Pointer. There’s not a lot of points of improvement with them. They take on what we need them to do and support us.