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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Updates on our stocking system and progress towards our own cart

As many of you know, today’s stocking on Hyena Cart was incredibly problematic and frustrating for everyone.  We have dealt with crashes on HC before but this was our worst by a mile.  After so many months of various issues with HC we have decided that we can’t risk another stocking like this.  We have utmost respect for Karen and her site and we have loved being there, but we need to ensure that this doesn’t happen to our customers again.

As I mentioned on facebook earlier today, we have been working behind the scenes for some time now on building our own cart system.  I want to give you more information about our progress there.  In March of this year we selected and began working with a web development company, after many months of meeting with other web developers who were unable to address and solve our specific problem.  We had very high hopes that this company would build us a site that would meet our needs and in fact we planned to launch the new site this month.  In early June we received notice from the company that their programmer was unable to complete the project, and we were left back at square one, frustrated and disappointed. 

We are currently in the final stages of selecting a new web development company and hope to have that selection finalized this week.  We hope and anticipate that the new site will be ready to launch sometime this fall.  Why is it so hard for us to find the right developer?  From what we can tell it is down to the specific needs of our company.  We have a fairly unique problem that requires a unique solution.  While our day to day traffic on the store site is fairly low, our stocking-time traffic is incredibly high and the extremely high refresh rates at time of stocking are taxing on a server.  We need a server that can accommodate that concentrated traffic combined with a cart system that will not allow oversells.  Additionally we need a cart system that will allow us to stock multiple diapers simultaneously in order to give more people a chance to purchase one (instead of stocking one print at a time, giving the person with fastest internet the chance to cart every diaper.)  This isn’t something most programmers have encountered before and requires a highly customized solution.

Since we are looking at a few more months before twinkietush.com is ready to launch, we have decided to go back to Big Cartel in the meantime.  There are some drawbacks to BC, but we feel that it is our best option at this time and we believe it will be a great temporary solution.  Please check out this blog post from the last time we stocked on Big Cartel – some of the information doesn’t apply (like it being a trial, for example) but there is a lot of important and relevant info about BC to look over.  Barring a major stocking problem or other unanticipated circumstance we plan to stick with BC until we can move to twinkietush.com.

We are also working very diligently on a significant production increase.  I will have more to say on that subject in the coming weeks but for now I will just share our excitement at the rapidly approaching changes and improvements we are working on!  As always I am so thankful for the amazing extended twinkie tush family – you and your beautiful little ones – who make all of this possible and who inspire us to be our very best selves and the very best company we can be.

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