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Storefront 2.2.0 beta 1

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You Need To Face It: That Bucket Might Be Broken

You Need To Face It: That Bucket Might Be Broken

Let's Face It. The Problem Just Might Be The Bucket!!
Let’s Face It. The Problem Just Might Be The Bucket!!

Be it in a relationship of Advertiser & Company, Support Personnel & Product License Holder, Friend to Friend, or even between Spouse & Spouse, there might be conflict.  First and foremost, let me say very clearly and distinctly that if you’re not anticipating some level of conflict, regardless of the “relationship” type, then you’re clearly in for a staunch awakening!

Conflict happens!

But at some point during the relationship, you really do need to take a step back and face the reality that the problem might be the bucket!

Everyone has a ‘leaky bucket’ to some extent.

  • If you’re an online advertiser, your customer’s cranium can only hold so much.  At some point, their bucket “leaks”.
  • If you run a WordPress Theme store, and customers continue to have problems, then …YES, their bucket “leaks” as well.
  • If you’re doing online support (in one aspect or another) for some type of WordPress Plugin, WordPress Hosting, or any type of online accounting software (and any illustration in between all those examples) then you’ve probably come to the realization that there are “leaky buckets” that could probably be addressed with better onboarding videos, help sections, and documentation of (whatever) online solution.
  • If you’ve ever had a friend, had a spouse, or ever been in contact with another human species with a working pulse, then you know that everyone, to one extent or another, does indeed have some level of a “leaky bucket”

……….that is NOT what I’m talking about!

There is a point of “self assessment” where you’ve got to stop a minute, zoom out of the situation, take a good solid objective look at what is going on, and determine where the source of the conflict is really originating.

Everyone wants their bucket full.


A license holder of a digital product wants to know how to use their product in the most efficient and precise way. However, when you see the same person filling out the same support ticket over and over and over again, then you might need to come to the realization that it is not your support staff! The other person’s bucket might be broken!

No matter how much that customer wants their bucket filled, all your ‘support’ attempts are not going to be effective.

If you’ve got a friend who is constantly, repeatedly, week after week, month after month, asking you for a loan, then it’s pretty obvious that their bucket is broken.  Yeah, that might “seem” obvious.  But to someone who has given that person a Dave Ramsey book, given them advice, perhaps even paid for financial counseling, then you might not realize that that person’s bucket might be broken.  You’re too close to see it, but… YES! …their bucket is broke!

Regardless of how much your friend wants to be financially prosperous, there’s nothing you can do to “fill their bucket”.

If you’re in a relationship with someone, certainly, they do ~obviously~ want their emotional bucket filled.  Let me reiterate again: that is a perfectly NORMAL expectation.  So you pour into them with prayer, you pour into them with hand written love notes, you find their “Love Language” & learn to speak it fluently, you speak kindly too them (before you’ve become exasperated!), you tolerate them, you give loving salutations, you kiss them when you leave, you check in & ask them how their day is going, with a decent level of human imperfection you can do anything you want to pour into their emotional bucket so that it’s full.

But at some point, you might need to take a step back, identify the source of the problem.  Their bucket might be broke!

There are some people whose buckets are chronically low and leaky.

Is economic development pouring money into areas that continue to make bad decisions with their money really smart? You can pour all the money you want into some neighborhoods. Yet, when individuals collectively decide to spend money on {cough!} “non-taxable” items {/cough!}, then in another 5 years, that same neighborhood will be begging for more.  Was that “economic development” really sustainable? Or would the “economic development” have been better spent in neighborhoods with people who don’t have “leaky buckets”?

Is that support request taking an overly excessive and disproportionate amount of personnel time from your staff?  Then how much longer are you going to slave over those support docs, rewriting the instructions, making videos, creating onboarding experiences, and paying the staff for clients who are causing you to go broke? There might be a point where you need to simply revoke the client’s license and happily give them some suggested alternatives!

If you’re having to tell someone the same thing, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again…… and it’s not getting through to the point of sticking in the grey matter between their ears, and you’re constantly and consistently beating yourself up over “how could I have…..” / “what could I have said differently…..” / “what might have worked when…..” then you,

….yes Y-O-U….

need to stop!



Stop beating yourself up.  Stop wondering what you could have done differently. Stop questioning what verbiage would have/ might have/ could have worked effectively.  Stop rolling through the endless amounts of scenarios in your head and in your heart.  It’s never going to work ~ and you need to be honest and objective enough to identify that.

You can pour all the water you want.  You can hose the bucket from a fire hydrant.  You can turn the water on full blast and keep it running all day and all night.  You can try to apply “whatever” technique to keep the other person’s bucket full.  But above all else, you need to hear this one, main, important bit.

Trying to fill a leaky bucket is TOXIC!

Continually telling someone the same bit of content repeatedly when they forget it the first (second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, ……….) time is just toxic.

  1. It’s toxic to advertising.  Too many times, companies forget to turn OFF their ads.  They’ll simply leave the financial wallet open well beyond the point of a net-positive profit! Crazy, right?  Yet it’s done way to often! The ads run for much longer than the consumer is still interested.  Cut it off at some point and use those advertising dollars elsewhere!
  2. It’s toxic to your business. If there’s a level of repetition with a negative return on investment, then that process needs to stop immediately and be examined again.  Perhaps even examined by a third party outside of your business.
  3. It’s toxic to your soul.  The very act of exhorting effort and never ~ever~ receiving any level of accomplishment, any level of satisfaction, and level of resolution, is horrible! This is highly exacerbated & becomes exponentially worse once the realization is made that this same repetitive behavior will have to be …well… REPEATED again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

The point though is fairly consistent in any level of a relationship ~ business or personal.  If you consistently feel like a relationship is toxic, it might very well be that you need to examine your own bucket.

But, when (IF), you are noticing that the TOXICITY originates from an act that is being consistently-repeated-beyond-belief, with a consistent person, then….

You Need To Face It: That Bucket Might Be Broken

When you peer into the inner soul of the person, is their water always sloshing around, consistently volatile, repeatedly forgetting something said previously, almost systematically causing more ‘backward’ movement than making actual forward progress on the issue?

You Need To Face It: That Bucket Might Be Broken

<3 ~Brad

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A Bounty on a Function for WooCommerce

I’m going to put out a bounty on a function for WooCommerce

Let me show you the behavior first:

People sell things all the time with WooCommerce. But there’s been one major hangup that I’ve had with WooCommerce Store Owners who have a strong and compelling desire to sell MORE THAN ONE QUANTITY in their WooCommerce Store. Now, let me be more specific. It’s not that old debate about “what’s in default” vs. “what can be hooked and filtered into customizations with WooCommerce”. It really comes down to the buyer.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the buyer.

They are the ones who pay the bills right?

Very rarely is a WooCommerce Store selling something that can only be bought in a single quantity. Sure, it happens “sometimes”. But more often, the store owner would absolutely LOVE it if the customer bought more than one shirt, more than one dog leash, more than one cell phone cover, more than one hand made soap, more than one coffee cup, more than one …..of ANYTHING!

Let’s put some boots-on-the-ground, rubber-meets-the-road, real-world-application to this!

You know those arrows you see next to the quantity selector on some WooCommerce sites? Sometimes they are there, sometimes they are not present. So, what happened?

Back in the day, WooCommerce decided to remove those dropdown arrows next to the quantity selectors from the core of WooCommerce. Did I agree with that? Of course not! Empowering the store owner to display a visual cue to the customer browsing your site is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE to any business!

Let me go on a minor tangent here & say that the ‘reason’ those quantity selectors were removed was even worse. The decision was made to remove those quantity arrows in WooCommerce was because of web browser’s updating themselves. Let me type that out a bit clearer: The decision to remove quantity arrows from WooCommerce core was DUMB! I love the WooCommerce Ninjas. I do! But here’s the bottom line:

The decision to remove the WooCommerce quantity selecting arrows was not based on human behavior, not based on input from store owners, not rationalized with human input, not considered from feedback from WooCommerce store owners.

In other words, I want you to roll back time for a second. Now imagine yourself walking up to any WooCommerce Store owner and ask them something like this:

Would you like me to remove one of the primary cues that you can present to your browsing customers which will empower and enable you to make more sales while simultaneously visually reminding and encouraging customers to increase the quantity of the items they are buying?

The answer from almost every WooCommerce store owner would, of course, be: “HELL NO! I definitely want my customers to buy more than one of anything by increasing the quantity of a product! And if those drop down arrows are one of the only things to visually help that quantity increase, don’t you dare remove those!”

Luckily there is a WordPress plugin for WooCommerce that will add the quantity arrows back into WooCommerce.

Yes! You need to put those back into your store! You can add reminders for multiple quantity sales, notifications for quantity discounts, and various other options. But at the very heart of your store, at the very fundamental level of psychology, those arrows need to be next to the quantity field in your store.

Now, that might have been a bit of a tangent, but let’s get back to my original conundrum. We’ll use the basic example of a WooCommerce store selling tee shirts.

Let’s say that Carl is a typical shopper on your site, and he sees a tee shirt that he loves. Now, you are a smart WooCommerce store owner right? OF COURSE YOU ARE! So, you’ve got the quantity selectors back into your store. Perhaps you’ve got some dialogue on your page mentioning a discount for multiple quantities. Maybe even you’ve sent an email blast out about ordering multiple quantities. Whichever the case, I want you to watch what happens.

Let’s start inside the cranium of Carl as he arrives on the single product page of your WooCommerce store.

Carl views the product page.
He sees the shirt he wants.
Carl is ready willing and wanting to add more than one quantity to his cart.
And, of course, the shirt needs a prompt for the customer to select the size.

Now let’s psychologically freeze Carl’s mind right ….now!

There’s a prompt to select the size of small, medium, large, extra large, and 2XL, & Carl needs 5 of these shirts ~ 2 in Extra Large, 2 in Large, and 1 in Medium. So, what does he do?

Well, if you’re a fan of heatmaps, you can literally watch the customer get a bit confused. Sometimes they will click the up arrow on the quantity selection field 4 times, then select the size of XL. (….now, aren’t you glad those quantity arrows are back in your site?) But now Carl has just added 4 Extra Large Tee Shirts to his order. And that’s not what he wanted, right? Remember, we’ve just sent out an email telling Carl about our discount for multiple quantities. And ordering multiple quantities is exactly what we want Carl to be able to do, right? OF COURSE!

So, Carl realizes that his intent (2XL, 2L, 1M,) is not lining up with what’s in his cart (which is now 4XL shirts). So, he clears out his cart, and (hopefully we have not lost Carl’s purchase at this point) he navigates the WooCommerce store owner’s site back to the original product that he initially intended to purchase from you.

Carl finally figures out how to proceed to checkout with his intended order and the process went a little something like this:

Arrive on product page.
Select the size of only two shirts.
Then increase the quantity field by clicking the up arrow twice.
Click the Add To Cart button.
—> If you’re pushing people directly to the cart or checkout page, this is where Carl’s order falls off the grid because of frustration, attention span, and …well, just normal human behavior 🙂 If your WooCommerce store does not direct people to the cart, checkout, or have a custom per product redirect, then you are in luck ~ for this particular scenario. If there is no customized redirect options after a customer clicks the Add To Cart button, then the same product will simply reload because of WooCommerce’s default options.
Now Carl is back on the single product page of the shirt he wanted.
Again, he needs to make sure the quantity is set by clicking the up arrow twice.
Now he selects the size.
Again, he presses the Add To Cart button.
Hopefully, your particular WooCommerce settings allow Carl to be back on the product page where he….
Selects the size of his last shirt.
Presses Add To Cart.
And can finally checkout.


So, after a bit of collaboration within a few WooCommerce circles… believe it or not, we’re all still a bit stumped. It’s not that WooCommerce can’t fix this. The problem isn’t that WooCommerce Store owners don’t desperately need this functionality in their store. The only part is “how” to specifically make it happen.

And here it is!

For the code type of folks, here’s the wireframe of the code:
For each quantity
Echo out the variation prompt

For the folks who need a more visual interpretation of it, here is what it looks like in a more picturesque real life scenario:

So, each time the customer increases the quantity of the product, either via entering a different number by directly typing or selecting the up/down quantity selectors, then the variation template prompting the user to select their attributes should be repeated exactly that number of times. If the customer changes the quantity to two, then echo/ print/ display/ jquery/ ajax/ load an additional two attribute selections. If the customer chooses the quantity of three, show three. If they change their quantity from a default of 1 to 5, then give ’em five prompts to select their variation attributes.

Yes, I know this could cause huge performance issues if a store owner were to attempt this on a product with a gazillion variation attributes. But that’s not the point of this, nor should it be a consideration when finding the solution for this scenario.
The goal here is to figure out how to tap into the quantity field and echo out additional variation attribute prompts.

The end goal for this is simply conversions, money, sales, and success for a WooCommerce store owner! For various different stores, success is defined using different variables. But I do believe that this “use case” is one that will and can benefit thousands upon thousands of store owners. Why? It comes down to customer behavior! Remember, they are the ones who ultimately create the revenue to pay the bills!

If a store owner has successfully gotten their buyer in the mentality of “ordering more than one” of something, if the WooCommerce store has been properly sprinkled with messages, plugins, programming, and prompts that frame the customer in an atmosphere of buying “more than one” of any given product, then why the hell is the process so complicated! Why are we forcing Carl the customer to make so many clicks to simply order more than one of a specific product? …especially when the attribute’s variations are simple, direct, and common ~ like sizes of a tee shirt?

It shouldn’t be this way! Moreover, a solution is out there… somewhere

We need to fix this! ….might I add…. We need to fix this for thousands of WooCommerce store owners!

Bottom Line:
Carl the customer needs to land on the product, select the variation attributes for his quantities, and press ‘Add to Cart’ one time and one time only!

So, who wants this? Who can find the solution? I don’t mind paying, and at the same time, I will not fund something when I know the person is simply going to run over to CodCanyon and resell the code making any payment pretty much a charity contribution (with no tax write-off benefits!) HA!

I’d like this to be a community driven solution, created in Github or something similar, with the final solution being freely shared with anyone and everyone running a WooCommerce store.

This is a significant ‘user behavior’ problem that is costing some of you store owners hundreds of thousands of dollars… and you’re not even aware of it.

Give the customer an easy, simple, and direct way of selecting more than one quantity and they will! Not just on a ‘simple’ product. But on a variation product with simple, normal, reasonable, variations like shirt sizes. Some WooCommerce store owners do indeed have simple products that prompt for zero attributes to be selected. However, I think if most of the store owners look around, think about your products, think about your store, and keep the customer in mind… You’ll quickly begin to see and understand how this solution does indeed have a huge and substantial potential to boost your revenue!

Now, let’s make it happen!

If you think you’ve got the solution, post in the comments below. If you think you see how to do it, and demand some money for the answer, that’s cool with me (no really it is!) Post your offer in the comments below. If you know someone who can figure this out, share this post with them as well.

Here’s to more conversions, higher cart value, and profits for everyone! -Brad

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Practical Ecommerce DFW

this post could have also been titled: 

How to lose a customer ~or~

How to screw up an ecommerce checkout page …on a site about ecommerce! 😉

Irony is when…

  • A site built in WordPress doesn’t use WooCommerce to sell tickets. (or any other WordPress based platform for that matter)
  • A site about ecommerce built in WordPress doesn’t have an SSL
  • A site about ecommerce, built in WordPress, that doesn’t have an SSL wants me to put in my credit card information
  • A site about ecommerce, built in WordPress, that doesn’t have an SSL, that wants me to put in my credit card information, loads in an iFrame that can’t even be centered.

Continue reading Irony

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Huge Shout Out To SiteGround

A few days ago in a WordPress Facebook Group, someone mentioned that SiteGround was giving away free tickets if you tweeted and wrote something up.  I figured, “Meh…. What could it hurt to see what happens.” And so I did.

….and here’s what happened.   Continue reading Huge Shout Out To SiteGround

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LoopConf Tickets

The Three girls on the couch, and my fellow partner-in-pillow-crime are why I would need a ticket.  I'd never pay for a ticket myself
The Three girls on the couch, and my fellow partner-in-pillow-crime are why I would need a ticket. I’d never pay for a ticket myself.

Let me explain this a bit.  Being dad of three girls is a great joy, but it’s also expensive.  My wallet has a problem saying no to any of them.  It’s not that I can’t afford a ticket.  The case is that I’d never actually PAY for a ticket.

But the more that I see my WordPress journey evolving, the more I think it’s time I attended a LoopConf. Continue reading LoopConf Tickets

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An open letter to Flippa

stop using knock off WooCommerce Extensions

Dearest Flippa,

First, I don’t mind your service.
Actually, I’m quite fond of the set up you’ve got. Having bought a few key domain names that total up to over $10,000 in my (short spanning) lifetime, I’ve got to say that I really appreciate the set up with and how you’ve managed to integrate that into the system.

I know you guys get the “domain flippers” all the time. Folks who simply snag a url from someone else, juice up the UA-XXXXXXXX properties and pageviews via bots, add some sales, then re list the domain with incredibly juicy new stats and figures. It’s something that the Average Joe might not be able to spot, and I’m ok with that. It happens. I understand.

But that’s not why I’m writing. Continue reading An open letter to Flippa