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Subscriptions and WooCommerce Support with Sarah Rennick

Subscriptions and WooCommerce Support with Sarah Rennick
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Sarah has been using WordPress for a lot of years. She moved from the fashion industry to Skyverge, and then to WooCommerce/Automattic. We have a chance to talk about her transition to Automattic, a bit around the space of subscriptions and, of course, her active role in support at WooCommerce as a Happiness Engineer.

A Chat with Sarah

In episode 82, Brad and I talk with Sarah about:

  • Those early days and going further back with helping her mom blog in the 1997
  • What she experienced moving from a smaller company to working at Automattic
  • The challenge of juggling timezones
  • Her experiences in supporting WooCommerce products
  • The overall feedback she is getting from people who use WooCommerce
  • What she is hearing about WooCommerce and Gutenberg in the support channels
  • The requests they get for expanding subscriptions
  • What Sarah has found in her experience of a unique way someone has used subscriptions

There’s a lot of gems in the conversation. And if you are a company who wants to understand the way to deliver support, you will need to listen to Sarah as someone who loves her job.

Connect with Sarah

Sarah on Twitter @fevered


PayPal
Download the PayPal extension on the WooCommerce marketplace to offer buy now, pay later options.

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The Conversation

Brad: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another fun episode of Do the Woo. I'm one of your co-hosts Brad Williams and I'm joined as always by Mr. BobWP. Hey Bob, welcome to the show.

Bob: Hey, it's always good to be here, especially when I have electricity, it's even better.

Brad: We're recording a day later because Bob lives on an Island in the middle of nowhere. And if someone sneezes, it knocks out the internet. Did I get that right?

Bob: Right. Except it's on the beach actually. It's not an Island. Well, it's a peninsula, if you want to get technical, but yeah, it's basically the ocean sneezes and that's what happened.

Brad: The oceans sneezes, there you go. Well we're glad we were able to make this. We got a really fun show today. Before we get into it, definitely we want to thank our sponsors.

As always, we have WooCommerce. Maybe you've heard of it. I hope so. That's what this podcast is all about. Go to WooCommerce.com, a lot of great resources over there and obviously check out the product because that's what we talk about every day on the show.

And I also want to give a big shout out to one of our newest sponsors, PayPal. And we had a great episode. What was that? Two weeks ago, three weeks? Time is kind of blurring together for me, but I had a really cool episode about PayPal not too long ago. And we just really dug into their Pay in 4 service that they offer now, which I think anyone running a store, or even if you're an implementer, you support a store.

It's something you should bring to the store owners is an option because if you accept PayPal, this is already available to you and it basically allows your customers to buy something and pay it off in four payments. And PayPal takes all the risk and responsibility around that. So you get paid in full and PayPal handles collecting the payments from the customer.

So it's kind of a no-brainer. If you run a store and you accept PayPal, definitely look at that Pay in 4 from PayPal.

So let's dive in. I'd like to officially welcome our guests, Sarah Rennick to the show. Hey Sarah, how are you doing?

Sarah: I'm doing pretty good. How are you doing better?

Brad: Good. We're excited to have you. It sounds like you have a fun, detailed story about how you got into WooCommerce. So we're very excited to hear how you Do the Woo.

The journey to Woo really started in 2004

Sarah: So yeah, I'm going to give the detailed version of how I got into WooCommerce, which of course starts with WordPress. So I started using WordPress in 2006 because my mom had a blog that she started in 1997. And then when WordPress came out, she was like, "I'm going to move to it."

I was getting interested in web development around 2004-ish. So she was like, "Hey, why don't you try this?" So I set up my first WordPress site. I got started with that and basically just have been using it ever since I started going to word camps in like 2010-ish.

So I've been around for a little bit, but I had been working in a job in front-end development, not for WordPress stuff, but I got that job like right out of college, went to college for something called digital media, which is like game development and coding and stuff like that. And some like video stuff, which is pretty cool. And then got a job, was there for like five years, got laid off from that job.

And then I was like, "I'm going to get a remote job in WordPress. And I was looking at all these like different jobs online. And I found this company called Prospress and their job ad really intrigued me. And they are a company that developed WooCommerce subscriptions and they had a support opening.

So I applied for one of those. Because I was like, "this company sounds awesome. And I've used WooCommerce before, I think I bought like a one site that had WooCommerce on it. So I was like, "Oh, this is something new." Because I was like, "Let's start a new job that's on something that I haven't used much before." So got that job. And that's how I got into WooCommerce.

A blog in 1997

Brad: That's actually a pretty cool story. Like you said, you've been around the WordPress space for quite a while. Maybe we go back to what you said about your mom having a blog in 1997. She's like a trendsetter. Because that's early. Like, I don't know anyone that had a blog back then. Can we just talk about that for a minute? I'm very curious about one, what your mom was blogging about and how was she doing it? Do you know what service she was using at the time? I don't even know what was available back then.

Sarah: I can't remember, but yeah, she started a blog in 1997. Her and my dad met going to college for programming. Like computer programming. Met, had some kids, got married, all that stuff. So she started a blog because she was like, "Hey, this internet thing, I could like start a blog." And the things she would post about is I was homeschooled along with all of my siblings. So she would post about things and updates for family like homeschooling stuff.

Eventually she went on to start a multi-site network. So it'd be similar to WordPress.com, but just for home schoolers. So people could go sign up for a free homeschooling blog, which was pretty cool. But yeah, sometimes the things she posted, it would be funny. Like there was a post that was house rules, which were things like no playing with string longer than six feet, no live or dead things in the house.

Brad: I like it. That's awesome. I think so it's almost inevitable that you were going to end up in WordPress knowing that story. The path to get you on WordPress started way back in 1997, maybe before that. But the fact that your mom was blogging kind of at the start of all of it. To be honest I didn't start a blog until 2006 and I knew I was way behind. I felt behind at the time, like everybody had a blog, but in 1997. That's some old school blogging there. It's probably very much just straight up writing the HTML files and uploading them to the server.

Sarah: I'm pretty sure that's how it started. Yeah, it was just HTML files, but yeah.

Brad: That's very cool. Thanks for sharing. And, and then you mentioned on your path was Prospress, which is a company I'm familiar with. I know Brent, the owner of Prospress and the subscriptions extension that you mentioned, I think is one that anyone that's worked with WooCommerce is probably somewhat familiar with. It's probably crossed their paths a few times because it's ... I mean, I don't know if it still is, maybe you know this, but it was like the most popular commercial extension that WooCommerce had for years. I'm assuming it still is.

Sarah: Yeah, it still is. As far as I know anyways.

What Sarah does as a Happiness Engineer

Brad: Yeah. So that was the, if you're not familiar, it's basically the WooCommerce extension that allows you to have paid subscriptions and it works really well. And it works really well with other extensions, which is probably even a bigger benefit. It just works well on the WooCommerce ecosystem, which I'm sure was a big part of why Automattc purchased or acquired Prospress and want to bring that in house so they could help kind of shape the future of that product as well. So I'm curious to what ... in terms of Automattic, I know your official title is support engineers, is that right?

Sarah: Happiness engineer.

Brad: Happiness engineer, sorry.

Sarah: That's like the public title. You can pick your own like internal title. So mine is internet wizard.

Brad: I like that. So what kind of happiness are you actually officially like in your profession, like at Automattic for your day job? Are you supporting WooCommerce?

Sarah: Yeah. So basically WooCommerce core, all of the extensions that we have on the marketplace, any of them that are owned by WooCommerce, we do support for. Any third-party ones, we do the pre-sales questions for. So that's like a lot of extensions to know about. I obviously specialize in subscriptions.

I also spend a lot of time talking to people, if someone's like, "Hey, can anybody do this in subscriptions?" I'm like, "I know the answer." I also am a co-lead of our documentation team, which means that me and a team of happiness engineers make sure the documentation doesn't blow up or anything.

Brad: The thankless job of documentation. We've talked about that in the past, haven't we Bob. It's one of the most important things and the most overlooked things in software development is documentation. That's a thankless job. So thank you for leading that because people need documentation. I need documentation and it's helpful. So it gets people on the platform. It gets them comfortable with the platform that they know there's good docs out there.

How are people feeling in general about WooCommerce?

So you're on the front lines of support. That's always an interesting place to be because you hear everything, you hear a lot of stuff, right. And probably a lot of it coming from a point of frustration, because obviously when you're reaching out to support, generally something's not working right. Or you have questions or whatever, you can think of a million different reasons.

But I'd love to know, by and large, the people that come to support, look for support and help, what's your takeaway in terms of their outlook on WooCommerce whether they ... and I know it is a bit of a general answer because you're talking about a large group of people. But do you see some kind of a sense like, "By and large, most people really love it. They just get stuck in a few places." Or does it come from a point of frustration because the product itself is too confusing or is it somewhere in the middle? I'm just curious, if you have a pulse on it, if you could say like an average support customer or client, what are you hearing?

Sarah: Most people really like WooCommerce. Sometimes I'll get done with a support interaction, they're just like, "Love WooCommerce, love your support. This is great. It's a great platform." Generally, people that come in, that might have an issue that's frustrating them. Or they're like, "This is really way too complex." It's not with WooCommerce core. It's like with a particular extension, for example, sometimes subscriptions. It's like, "Why are my renewals blowing up or something like that."

And for me, it's lucky that I usually know the answer. I can understand why it's sometimes frustrating because people are like, "I didn't get all my payments this month or whatever." But there's definitely one of the good things about subscription is there's ways to get those payments. So that's super useful now.

Brad: Yeah. And I would imagine a lot of that's educational too. Because you mentioned the frustration of it's not WooCommerce, it's a plugin, it's an extension. Maybe one probably not official, right? It's maybe a third-party offsite and that starts wreaking havoc. Like that's a common struggle with just WordPress in general. I'm sure as you know being on support and working with WordPress, as long as you have.

Why you see that plain old white page with the database error

WordPress can get a bad rap sometimes for things that are completely out of its own control, which is isn't really fair, but it's just kind of the world we live in. So a lot of that's just kind of educating the masses on, "Well, yeah, there is a problem, but it's not actually WooCommerce it's this or it's that." I remember Matt Mullenweg years ago explained, and I don't know why this stuck with me, but it kind of lines up with what you're saying.

He talked about why you never see the error connecting to a database message on WordPress. If WordPress can't connect to the database, it's just literally text on the screen that says — error establishing a database connection. There is nothing, it's literally just big text on the screen. And somebody asks the question of why isn't that branded? Why isn't it say like, "WordPress and here's the problem and make it look really good." And he said, "The challenge is if we did that, then everyone would make the assumption that WordPress broke. Something's wrong with WordPress when it's actually not WordPress' fault, it just can't connect to the database."

So it was a conscious decision not to brand that as WordPress, because it would fuel that negativity around, "Oh, the site's down. WordPress is terrible, it's got these problems and it must be something to do with WordPress." Like, "Nope, just keep it generic data. Can't find the database. Let's not blame anybody here. Like, go fix your connection." And so that kind of always stuck with me when people talk about WordPress, getting a bad rap for maybe some bad code that was put in there.

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Thanks for PayPal for being a community sponsor at Do the Woo. And now back the conversation.

The experience of first-time support

Bob: I'm curious, going back to when you joined Prospress, and you said that it appealed to you. Was that your first experience going in full-time into support at Prospress. Was that your first experience doing that?

Sarah: Yeah. So before that, I worked at an agency that built their own CMS for people in the fashion industry. And I was basically the person who built all of the websites for these clients and stuff like that.

So they had their own backend CMS. I developed a front-end site. It was similar to WordPress in that each client had like their own folder or whatever, they had their custom theme stuff or whatever in it that I built. And it was connected to a CMS. And I had built my own like WordPress sites and stuff like that. So I was definitely very familiar with the structure, but it was the first time that I was like, "I have a full-time job doing WordPress stuff."

Bob: What was your first experience ... not actually literally your first experiences in support. But when you got into it, did it throw you any surprises? It was like, "Oh, this sounded good. And now I kind of have to wrap my brain around this a little bit differently." Or what was that initial reaction to dropping into support, having done what you did before?

Sarah: So I thought it was really cool because one of the really nice things about support, is most people who work in support are extremely helpful. And if you have questions, even stupid ones, they're totally willing to help you out. So when I started, there was a training period and stuff like that. And a lot of cases in support what'll happen is you'll get like paired up with someone and they'll pick tickets for you to answer. So they are, "Hey, answer this. If you have any questions, let me know. If you're not able to figure it out ..." Usually it's something that they already know the answer to. That would be like, "Hey, it's this."

So I never really found it was like super challenging or, "I don't like this," because one of the things I really like is figuring out problems. If someone's says, "This website's broken, tell me why?" I'm like, "It's like the best thing to happen to me.”

What is the word about Gutenberg and WooCommerce via support?

Brad: We've been talking for good reason, like a lot about Gutenberg and especially as it started to kind of make its way into WooCommerce and with the blocks plugin. I'm sure you've talked a lot of people through support or just in general of people that are starting to use that. What's the general reaction? I know with WordPress, when Gutenberg was first rolled out, it was pretty jarring to users that didn't know what was coming. There was obviously a learning curve and it just changed the game in terms of how WordPress works.

Now that we're seeing that more in WooCommerce, what are people's reactions? Is it positive? Is it negative? Are you getting good feedback? Is it a point of frustration? How are they feeling about the Gutenberg stuff that's starting to come into WooCommerce?

Sarah: I think that people really like it because sometimes there'll be like experimental blocks released and people will immediately be like, "I'm trying to use it. But it won't work with this specific thing." Since it's an experimental block, like it's not supposed to. For example, the cart and checkout block only supports a certain number of payment gateways that like we've added support for. So sometimes you'll get people who are like, "I really want to use this, but have this other payment gateway and it's not working with it."

I definitely think since Gutenberg is already a thing, like people are just like, "Cool, like this is just adding onto the experience WooCommerce."

Brad: Yeah, the cart stuff is interesting. Awhile back we were talking about the idea of that coming, being able to use Gutenberg around the checkout, around the cart. And that was, in my mind, a pretty big step forward for Gutenberg in general, because it took the idea of the block-based editor away from the post and content screens. And took it into a place that's generally more static, but giving people the control to actually make some adjustments there in very critical pages, right?

Like cart and checkout pages are by and large, clearly some of the most important pages on an eCommerce website. If somebody's made the decision to buy, you don't want the cart or the checkout process to become a barrier to do that. But I think it's fascinating to see that that's moved in that direction. We're obviously going down that path and to see people start to use it and kick the tires a bit. It's been pretty exciting because Gutenberg has a lot of potentials. So to see it kind of creeping out of the post screens and out of the page screens and other areas of WordPress and WooCommerce, it's pretty neat to see.

So I was just curious if people ... and I know a lot of it is, if not all of it is still kind of opt in. Like you have to install the extension or whatever. But I'm sure like you said, more people are dabbling with it and get antsy for it to show up. And I guess that's an easy to support response though when you could just say just say, "Yeah, it says right here it's not supported in the documentation."

Sarah: Yeah, that is pretty awesome.

Brad: Yeah, that's an easy answer, right? If you read the documentation.

Sarah: Well, what can I say? I work in support.

Brad: What's the old acronym? RTFM, how often is that? The response that you get to people in chat.

Sarah: Never. But sometimes if someone's like, "I've read the documentation, but I don't get it," that's definitely a case for advice. I always say to people, here's the documentation link, but I am definitely happy to walk with you through it. 'Cause I know sometimes I talk to people and they don't even know how to install a plugin, but if they're willing to learn, then it's like, "Yeah, I'm totally happy to help you.”

Plugin support through the marketplace

Brad: Yeah. That's cool, and you said right now you just support the kind of Automattic owned extensions. I know there's other extensions in there as well, right? Like vetted, third-party approved extensions as well. Bu that supports handled via the third party directly, is that how that works?

Sarah: Yeah. So if you go to any page for an extension on WooCommerce.com, it will say who supports it. So it'll either say supported by WooCommerce or for example, memberships is supported by SkyVerge.

Brad: Yeah. I remember back when the marketplace first launched, we put a couple of extensions on there, my company and at the time, all the support was handled by ... well, at the time it was WooThemes unless it got to a certain level, they had to escalate it back to the developers. And I always thought that was a very risky business model for support. Like you're going to support the customers for something we built? Okay, cool. All right. As a developer, I was like, "That's great."

If I remember right, we had to pay out more in commissions though, because of that, but it made sense, right? Because they're handling that frontline support. But I think that makes a lot more sense, the set up that it is now, like if somebody else built it, then they need to support it, right, so.

Sarah: That's especially good, because then if someone's like, "Hey, I found a bug," the person who actually developed it, them or their support team is looking at it and they're much more familiar with possible issues and stuff like that. So they're going to figure it out faster usually.

Brad: Yeah.

The transition from a small to large remote team

Bob: Yeah. For anyone out with a smaller team or ... I won't say small team, but they're with a, yeah, smaller team compared to Automattic and they're thinking of, "Oh, I want to go work for somebody like Automattic that just is large," or Automattic. For you, you were remote in both of those positions, how has that transition personally to go from that size of a team at Prospress to suddenly even though I'm sure you have a smaller team you work with, but to be on such a larger team. And, you know, everything's kind of opened up from what you did as Prospress and the products you did there were a lot more products. So how did that go for you?

Sarah: It was really good actually. I was really worried about joining a larger company because the previous company I worked for too was also quite small. There was only about 20 employees. So, I was like, "Man, I'm joining a company that has a lot of people that work for it." But the WooCommerce support division itself, isn't very large.

And a good example is, I will talk about meetups I've gone to and stuff like that with the whole company also, like my friends here in real life stories. And then I'll be like, "Oh, yeah, my company employs over a thousand people." And they're like, "Oh, it sounds like you know everyone that you work with." And it's like, "Yeah, I do, like all the people who work in WooCommerce. I feel like I know all of them and it's really nice."

Brad: Yeah. That's cool. I was actually interested in that too Bob, I'm glad you asked that, 'cause I think anytime, somebody goes works at a company, that company's acquired and by a much larger company usually, right? And then the process of that transition I think is always interesting because I think initially it can be ... I'm sure it's scary, right? Like, "Well the company I worked for got acquired, what does that mean for me?" And which is rightfully so, you know, that's exactly what you should be thinking. And the fact that you stayed clearly kind of speaks to the fact that it must have went well for you, because why would you stick around if it didn't?

But I'm always fascinated as an outsider looking in when those transitions happen, especially the companies I like and respect like Prospress. So, I was glad to see you end up in a good spot. And it seems like by and large, everybody was very happy with that acquisition, it went smoothly.

Sarah: Yeah.

Brad: Again, outside looking in, but it is always fascinating to hear those stories.

Sarah: One of the things that helps a lot too is since WooCommerce was also acquired, a lot of people were like, "Hey, we've been through this. If you want to chat or anything, just let me know." So that was really nice. A couple of other things too, is the people on our support team mostly stayed on the same team. So, a lot of the people that I worked with at Prospress are still on the same team that I'm on. Some of them moved to different teams because of time zones, and we've had some new people join our team, which is exciting.

Juggling timezones

And then another thing that actually worked a bit better for me is when I worked at Prospress, I was the only person in my time zone. And so everyone else, there was one person who lives in Europe who, I would come on maybe at the end of their day. And then everyone else that was in the U.S. would start a few hours after me or whatever.

But now I have people that are in the same time zone as me and lots of people who are working at the same time as me and now, instead of it being like, oh, I'm on and everyone isn't on yet, it's like, that's kind of like when the most people are on are during my working hours. And I'm like, "I don't feel alone anymore."

Brad: Yeah. That actually had to be kind of challenging because it's one thing to be working from home. It's already can be somewhat isolating depending on your setup. You know, obviously right now we're kind of in unique times, but before the pandemic and everything ... 'cause a lot of people work at home, their spouses don't, their kids go to school.

So you're home alone, right? So your team, your online team is who you ... like you said, work with, obviously hanging out with, are the people you're interacting with. But if you're by yourself all day, 'cause your team's in a different time zone, that sounds tough to me. That sounds very isolating. And I think just mentally for myself, I think I would struggle with that a bit.

Sarah: Not that it was a really bad situation before, but it was definitely a nice change and I have people around like, "Hey, we're in the same time zone, isn't that awesome?"Because I am an hour ahead of Eastern time in the U.S. so it's not often that people are in the same time zone as me.

Brad: Yeah. That's cool, that's interesting. I think a lot of people probably like just kind of hearing your story of how you just set your mind to, "I want a remote position," you made it happen. I like stories like that too where people are just like, "You know what, I want to make this happen and I'm going to make it happen," and they do. And then, you know, years down the road everything's worked out really well, so, it's really cool to see.

Thanks to our sponsor WooCommerce You may be just starting your journey as a Woo Builder or well into your journey. Or perhaps you have WooCommerce talents that you want to bring to a team as you look to make a switch in your career.

WooCommerce has several roles open that will likely fit your own goals of growth. You will be joining the larger Automattic team, a diverse and distributed group of individuals with a passion for WordPress, and yes, WooCommerce.

If you want are looking for make that career pivot and love working from home, check out all their open positions over on our Job Listing at DotheWoo.io.

Trust me. I know the company and a lot of the people. It's a smart move.

Thanks to WooCommerce.com and their support as a community sponsor. Now let's head back to the show.

Bob: I want to just swing back one more time to support in kind of overall what people are asking you-

Brad: Bob actually has some questions about his website-

Bob: Yeah, really, I got my list of ... I think I was trying something with subscriptions, anyway, no.

Support, how-to vs. troubleshooting

But seriously, where's the balance in support and maybe you can't really even tell between people that basically say, "Okay, how do you do this?" And you say, "Dah, dah, dah." You give them maybe two, three steps or something like that versus this is screwed up and you have to get into the troubleshooting and go through and figure out why it screwed up as more people are coming to you on that troubleshooting level, versus I don't quite know how to set up this particular part or this part confuses me.

Sarah: So most of the people that I talk to are kind of at least somewhat technical. So, usually I can be like, "Hey, here's some documentation on troubleshooting," of course there's a whole guide on troubleshooting, the documentation. And I'm like, "If you have any questions about any of these steps, just let me know." But a lot of the times they're like, "Yeah, it looks good to me. I've done this before." Or people will be like, "If you tell me how to do it, I can do it." And I'm like, "Great."

The only cases where it's like you really would need to handhold someone ... well, handle would be if they're like, "I'm a store owner and I have a developer that I work with and they do everything on my website." And usually in those cases, they're contacting us because they own the subscription to the plugin so they can access the support. And sometimes what I'll do in cases like that is be like, "Hey, do you want me to make a ticket for you and put your developer on the ticket so they can handle it for you?" And people are usually like, "Yes, I would love that, 'cause I don't want to deal with it 'cause that's what I pay my developer to do."

Bob: I never thought of it that way that, 'cause I've actually never had a developer. Probably I could have used some several times, but the fact that you do offer that option, I mean, that's a good idea. I don't know if there's ... you know, every company that has support is thinking that way, but that's something rather than struggling with it. You know, this poor store owner that's like, "What are you talking ..." which is typically me, when support people are talking to me, there's a point where I'm just like, "I need to get somebody in here to help me understand even what the heck you're talking about because it's beyond me at this point." So, that's pretty cool.

Sarah: As long as people are being nice and willing to learn, I'm happy to walk anyone through anything. 'Cause one of the best parts of my day is if someone says to me, "Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about this. I learned something today." I'm like, totally makes my job awesome to hear something like that.

Brad: Yeah. I think that's good advice for really anyone. If you're online support, really anybody, right? Like you want to be nice, want to be respectful. Like don't go in guns blazing, like, "My site's broken." It's not their fault, they're there to help you. So I always try to make sure I keep that in mind, and even if I'm frustrated to be very respectful of anybody because it goes a long way, right?

Sarah: Yeah.

Brad: Just use thank yous and then they'll probably want to go the extra mile for you versus making demands and talking in all CAPS and exclamation points, and they're going to be like, "You know what? Nope."

Sarah: Yeah. Basically the nicer you are, the more we will be willing to do for you because definitely there's things that are up to my discretion if I want to go the extra mile to help you. And if you're being nice, the chances are more likely that I will do that.

What people want with subscriptions

Bob: With the subscription, going back to that, and that's where all your expertise lies, you've been living and breathing that thing for a long time. Are subscription's kind of at a status quo where they're plugging along and you don't hear a lot of people coming up with "Boy, it'd be great if subscriptions could work for this or work for that, or are the things that are on people's wishlists or stuff that hopefully some time they'll be able to integrate." Or you might even have your own ideas of what you think you see subscriptions going to or what direction they're going in.

Sarah: So there are lots of things that people want subscriptions to do that it does not do. One of the things that WooCommerce does have is there's an ideas board, which is basically if you have a feature request, you post it there. And subscriptions has like hundreds of suggestions there. One of the really big requests I see is having a shipping and billing schedule that is different. So, basically like say you want to charge them every three months, but ship it to them every month. That's something that subscriptions on its own doesn't handle. There's a couple other plugins like AutomateWoo and make it do that. But a lot of people are like, "I just want subscriptions to do that.”

An interesting subscription example

Bob: Well, okay, here's our last question. Let's do this, and of course you'd have to answer with something you could share that wouldn't be too bizarre, but through all of this time with subscriptions, has there been one that really stood out? You thought, "Wow, that's a really interesting way to use subscriptions. I would have never thought of selling this kind of product or service in subscriptions." Anything coming to mind? I know I'm kind of putting you on the spot there and I don't want you to have to share something that's you know, maybe not PG rated or something, but.

Sarah: I do have a PG rated example. There's lots of non PG rated examples. At this point, if I'm like looking at someone's site, I'm not even paying attention to whatever they're selling, I'm paying attention to what's happening on the site. But this is actually a local-ish to me site, in the next province over there is a fish market that sells a subscription to fish. And basically what they do is you can subscribe to get fish regularly, and there's a pickup in my city, for example. So, if I wanted to buy fish regularly, I can subscribe to fish at this website.

Bob: I'm just thinking about that, is it a variety, the fish of the month or something, or?

Sarah: I don't remember, 'cause it was a couple of years ago I was looking at their site, but I was just like, "That's so cool." So, I live in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is our province that's connected to us and there's a lot of different fishing for example lobster, lots of lobster fishing here. So, like for example, you could probably get a subscription to lobster.

Brad: Bob, you're at the Northwest over there, you got a lot of fish, a lot of fishing.

Brad: Yeah, clams, everybody digs clams here. I won't go out and do that, but they dig clams.

Brad: Oysters? West coast oysters?

Bob: Yeah, they're the big clam diggers on our beaches is what it is. So, people love doing it. I can watch them from afar and think of how wonderful that is standing out there in that weather, yeah, whatever.

Brad: Well, if you could subscribe and they would just show up at your doorstep.

Bob: Yeah.

Sarah: Exactly.

Bob: Exactly. Alrighty, well, yeah, this has been cool. I knew this would be fun, and we had to end it with something a little bit fishy or something, but anyway, whatever that was bad.

Brad: This is going downhill quick.

Brad: Yeah, this is going downhill quick, I think it's time for Bob to wrap this up here actually. So, before we head out first, let people know where they can connect with you.

Connect with Sarah

Sarah: On Twitter, my username is @fevered, and that's usually the best place to reach me.

Bob: Excellent, cool. Well, let me just do a quick thank you again to our sponsor, WooCommerce. As Brad said, you can find a lot there and you can find Sarah there, that's even more special. So, next time you go on support, you never know. You may be getting the prize gem over there in support. Well, I'm sure there's wonderful people in support, but maybe you'll be lucky enough to get Sarah.

And then of course PayPal, do check out their Pay in 4, Brad went over that very well at the beginning. But yeah, if you are a builder and you have clients, this is a no brainer. In fact, it might even make you look pretty cool to them if you bring that up and say, "Hey, let's drop that on there and see how those conversions go." So check that out.

And then, yeah, as far as what we have coming up, we have Woo Perspective coming up next week. Brad will be on there with my other co-hosts. We'll be talking more about this site and what's going on with the site as we launch that ... I'll be launching that podcast or that additional podcast seriously here now, moving forward. So, I think that's it. And appreciate Brad, I know you had a little bit of a break there. We had some things going on. There was election you had to go to and all sorts of stuff, but I'm glad to see your face around. In fact, you're going to be around for the next couple three shows.

Brad: Yeah. You're going to get sick of me.

Bob: Yeah.

And Sarah, thank you very much for coming on.

Brad: Thanks Sarah, that was a lot of fun.

Sarah: Thank you for having me, it was great.