from Maximilian Bochenek
We know how important it is to be competitive on international markets. That's why the plentymarkets online store template Ceres was made multilingual in May. Continue reading this article to learn how plentymarkets and the community worked together on the multilingualism feature.
Our "multilingualism" feature entered the critical stage of its development in late February. We managed to get Ceres ready for international markets and now it's possible for sellers to display their store content in all plentymarkets system languages. It was important for plentymarkets to cooperate closely with the community. We asked you to share your ideas with us and tell us which functions you'd like to see. This helped us design the multilingual feature so that it meets the needs of e-commerce professionals.
A number of our customers were involved in the project under the supervision of product owner, David Bohla. Now, a few weeks after the successful release of the multilingualism feature, we spoke with Andreas Nobis (camping-outdoor.eu), Rene Steg (jubatec.net) and Alexander Breitenbach (laccico.com) about the cooperation between plentymarkets and the community:
plenty: How did you join the project and why were you interested in contributing to it?
RS: We were thinking about switching to a Ceres online store. Since we sell internationally, we were attracted to the idea of internationalising our store more easily. The question whether anybody wanted to contribute to the project came up in the forum. Of course I wanted to take part in the project!
AB: David approached me after I had expressed dissatisfaction about how Ceres was being developed. He wanted to know what I thought were the major obstacles preventing sellers from using Ceres.
AN: I joined the project through a forum discussion about future Ceres functions. Our online store is an important sales channel. Multilingualism and internationalisation are crucial topics. Because of our summer season, we will have to switch to Ceres before summer 2019. It made sense to contribute to the project.
plenty: How were you involved in the project? Did plentymarkets take your suggestions into consideration?
AN: We were mainly involved in early forum discussions and conference calls. Our suggestions were taken seriously and either included in the first version or earmarked for later versions.
RS: We were part of the project from the first draft to the final release. The meeting where we reviewed work with developers was a particularly wonderful experience. We were able to suggest changes on the spot, ask questions and hear explanations of the functions. My suggestions were taken seriously and so were those of other participants. In my case, for instance, the timestamp on the exported file.
AB: I took part in two video chats and contributed to one or two discussions in the forum. My role in this was more of a tester. The mock-up looked good, there wasn’t really anything to add.
plenty: Are you satisfied with the collaboration between plentymarkets and the community? Does the result meet your expectations?
AB: Yes, in terms of how it was structured and conducted, everything went well. But in my eyes, a store isn't really "multilingual" until I can operate it in all languages. When I join a project like this, my perspective is that of an end user. Therefore, my verdict depends on whether multilingualism is implemented to the full extent.
RS: I am very happy with the collaboration. The result was mostly what I expected. It was fascinating to be on board from the very start. I tested and proposed changes. Then the project went online and the first few problems showed up. They were things I never would have thought of while testing. This made me a lot more sympathetic towards plenty and the fact that a Wednesday release sometimes doesn’t go too smoothly.
AN: I’m happy with the collaboration up to now and the result is consistent with what we’d agreed upon. But there are still a few features missing before our own requirements are fully met.
plenty: Could you see yourselves contributing to future projects in a similar way? How could we improve the cooperation?
AN: I could definitely see myself being part of a project again. However, I would want to make sure I have more time for it. You could offer a webinar on the topic beforehand and let sellers get acquainted with the feature in its current state. I have to say that David reacted really well and quickly, for instance by providing a test system.
RS: Of course! Definitely if David is involved. To be honest, I have no suggestions on how to improve the process. It was perfect.
AB: I could see that. There were no shortcomings in the collaboration.
plenty: Anything else you want to add?
AN: It was a pleasure to work with you. I’m glad to see that the project doesn’t end here and that you asked us for feedback in the wake of the release. I hope you'll continue collaborating with sellers in the future.
RS: Have all of your teams start using this approach! It's great to see the experiences and requirements of sellers directly shape the system.
Looking back on first phase of this project, we can say a few things with certainty. Ceres has made quite a leap in terms of functionality. The customers involved in the project were able to look behind the scenes at plentymarkets and actively shape the development of Ceres. And plenty itself was able to learn from specific customer requirements, improve the communication with its community and implement an important feature.
We’d like to thank our community for contributing to the multilingualism project and we are eager to see what future collaborations might bring.