I think the price increase announcement woke us all up a bit a few weeks ago.
My thinking is that I'm happy to pay more but it has to be backed by some actual tangible time saving software.
We are a legacy user and now spend time between destop and .NET and from a user point of view I cannot think of any improvement we have seen in .NET nor any improvement in terms of features in the software over the last 3 years.
If you look at the number of installs of apps, and the number of votes that feature requests get it is clear that the user base of linnworks is not sufficient to be creating a functional ecosystem which is of commercial interest to more than a handful of app developers which leaves a user experience of apps that lack functionality and future development and where features simply stop working and the developer does not have a commercial incentive to fix them.
So as a user, what would do I want from the software and how do I think it can be best accomplished?
1. The one app we use is Xsellco, it's fantastic although becuase it's standalone it lacks functionality for example the ability to generate resends/refunds/notes/open order ammendments from the xsellco screen. This app really isnt that technically difficult, its an API integration to ebay and amazon messaging and the ability to connect via imap to mailboxes.
IF Linnworks were to develop this in house it could then offer it as a stand alone feature to users of other platforms and then showcase what you can do within it if you use linnworks with regards to the extra functinality. Extra revenue from external users and an advertisement at the same time.
2. Refund integration with channels. Right now if we refund and order on ebay or amazon we have to go back into linnworks and mark this as refunded within the proccessed orders screen. Why can't linnworks automatically get the refund info from the sales channel and reflect this in processed orders. It's both time consuming and prone to error which creates accounting issues if you use the linnworks data to reconcile against accounts and invoicing. which leads me to...
3. Accounting integration. With making tax digital VAT returns now need to be submitted through 3rd party software. I cannot imagine this export is all that difficult yet 3rd party apps are charging a fortune for this and the integrations don't appear to be working all that well. It's pretty unacceptable for software which is expensive to simply say "not our problem go to the 3rd party" and then have the 3rd party take the attitude that the user base is so small its not worth their while to improve it for what is essentially now a legal requirement. We need accounting software integration included.
4. Reports and stock reordering. We're lucky, we're on desktop so we have a reorder low stock button. I don't think .NET users do and this is something thats now 2 years late. Really, its just a function to compare stock level to reorder level and generate a PO based on the difference between them. How can you justify 2 years for this and still no solution? It needs to go a lot further too, we need data on the last 30/60/90 days sales vs stock in hand to offer prompts when stock is low, just like amazon gives customers. It really is basic stuff.
5. Amazon FBA integration. I don't know if amazon allow any sort of api or export of inbound sgipments for FBA but the process we use is really complicated. We have to create a new order, put the products in it and then zero the sale price. It goes through our system as a sale, its lots of manual entry, many errors are made and lots of time is wasted.
6. I can't remember the last time anyone answered a phone call from me for support. That's fine for low cost software, not so fine for the prices you suggested a few weeks ago. Even now, I expect better support.
I'm not just bashing you for the sake of it, as far as we are concerned our orders get pulled in promptly, labels are generated and some records are kept. From that perspective we value that part of the software but it was doing all of that many years ago before the team grew and prices increase. I can honestly say that as a user I cannot see any improvement in what you have offered over the last few years and personally view the concept of 3rd party chargeable apps with iffy support as an absolute abomination. You do not have enough users do interest 3rd party developers on any serious level, but that in itself is a commercial opportunity for yourselves.
I am impressed by the initial software that was developed but am deeply unimpressed with the last 3 or 4 years. I am just one user, perhaps my requirements are not typical and if that is so I understand but for each of the above points can you honestly say that we are the only ones demanding these features, and on the flip side next time you raise the prices can you honestly justify to you customers what you have done that is of real time or money saving to them?
Having read your feedback just now I have to say this is some of most comprehensive and constructive feedback we've received in a while. On each and every point you mention there are efforts being made but some are easier to achieve then others.
I will raise this personally with our CEO to make sure this gets the follow-up it deserves.
Thank you very much for taking the time leaving your feedback here you as a long term user know the software better than anyone and this is what makes the above resonate even more.
Customer Experience Manager
I have one more thing to add which I forgot:
7. Returns labels. Either the ability to right click in processed orders and generate a returns label (ie our pre set returns address with the option of using a number of possible returns options that are loaded via api eg parcelforce/inpost etc). Also on Seller fulfilled prime amazon are encouraging users to send a pre paid returns label, for us this would be parcelforce so we'd like the option at dispatch time to pre print a returns label before we print the shipping label so we can include the returns label with the package.
Thank you for the prompt reply, it would be nice to see some of the simpler tasks on that list implemented in a reasonable time (eg return shipping labels or refunds being reflected within linnworks from ebay/amazon via an API call)
I totally agree with the 'Returns Label' feature. We had an e-mail exchange with the CEO regarding this some months ago.
This feature has been requested by users many times over the last 3 years.
We lost the functionality to print return labels within Royal Mail 'Click & Drop' because of the way Linnworks files the manifest with Royal Mail OBA rather than with 'Click & Drop' when we started using Linnworks.
We can no longer get our customers to return incorrect items sent to them, thereby losing us money!
Really, really poor customer service & responsiveness from Linnworks.