AutomateWoo joins Prospress to Further eCommerce Automation on WooCommerce
tl;dr – Prospress has acquired AutomateWoo and associated products. Dan, the founder, is joining Prospress full-time to lead development and direction of the products. AutomateWoo provides eCommerce automation to thousands of WooCommerce stores. Its functionality can automate marketing, fulfilment, and many other everyday tasks required to grow an eCommerce business.
A Robot Ninja in Paris
In Paris this time last year, our team introduced Robot Ninja to the world via the WordCamp Europe sponsor hall. From our small booth, I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of great people (as is always the case at WordCamps).
I was particularly excited when a fellow Australian stopped by the booth – Dan Bitzer. I knew of Dan because I knew of AutomateWoo. I’d first seen AutomateWoo years earlier on a site also running Subscriptions. I was intrigued by it. I dug deeper into its code and became impressed by the quality and care taken in it. More than that, I was excited to see a plugin like that exist as it gave so much power to WooCommerce store owners.
In Paris, I talked to Dan about a lot of things. We discussed approaches to handling queues of background jobs, and upgrading data. All the way to big-picture topics like his motivation, and long-term plans for the product and business.
Before that conversation, I had a sense AutomateWoo was more than just a complementary product to Subscriptions. It was a philosophical counterpart of sorts. While they serve entirely different functions, both plugins give store owners a way to perform critical business functions natively in the WooCommerce dashboard, database, and codebase.
After meeting Dan, it was also clear his values closely aligned with my own and those of Prospress. It doesn’t take long hanging out with him to realise he’s a kind-hearted person who takes great pride in his work and has a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
That’s why almost precisely one year since I first met Dan at WordCamp Europe, I’m incredibly excited to announce that he and AutomateWoo are joining Prospress.
— Prospress (@Prospress) June 17, 2017
What does this mean for AutomateWoo Customers?
If you are an existing AutomateWoo customer, thank you for your patronage! We know AutomateWoo is what it is today thanks to your support, and we will continue to provide you with great software and service.
Rest assured that Dan will continue to control the direction of the software and the business.
The primary focus for Prospress over the next few months is to help Dan grow a team around AutomateWoo. More people working on the product will speed up development of new features, and offer support from more time zones to improve responsiveness.
You can also expect to see Subscriptions running on the site eventually (existing customers will be offered a way to opt-in to automatic renewals if they prefer). If you’re an Australian business, GST will no longer appear as a line item on your future invoices (past invoices remain unchanged). The flying P of the Prospress logo will begin to show up in a few places, like the website’s footer. You might also see the names of a few other friendly folks signing off support tickets from now on.
Other than that, we have no significant changes planned for existing customers. We think Dan is doing a great job of directing the product. We see our role as helping him take it to the next level.
What does this mean for Prospress Customers?
AutomateWoo already gives store owners more power to manage the relationship with their subscribers through its integration with WooCommerce Subscriptions. We’ve seen many of our mutual customers benefit from AutomateWoo features, like sending pre-renewal reminders emails, or updating mailing lists based on the customer’s lifetime spend after a renewal payment.
Dan and I have talked about other potential automation workflows that would add value to both products. AutomateWoo workflows could even be used to handle complex tasks, like adding a bonus product as a line item to a renewal order after a customer has been a subscriber for a year. There are many workflows we’ve found too complicated to add to Subscriptions’ core, but see now many of these could fit nicely within the scaffolding of AutomateWoo’s Triggers, Rules, Variables and Actions.
We have no definite plans for more tight-knit integration yet, but we believe having both the Subscriptions team and AutomateWoo team working under the same umbrella will bring many benefits to our mutual customers. We’ve already begun to see micro-benefits, like being able to address tickets spanning Subscriptions and AutomateWoo topics more effectively and compare approaches to handling shared issues around scheduling massive queues of background tasks.
If you are an existing Subscriptions customer and aren’t using AutomateWoo, you should check it out!
What does this mean for WooCommerce?
Beyond our own considerations, I also hope this move will be good for the wider world of WooCommerce.
Sophisticated eCommerce automation tools for WooCommerce are essential for the platform to keep pace with recent offerings by competitors. By helping Dan build a team around AutomateWoo, we can keep AutomateWoo and WooCommerce competitive with, if not ahead of, other platforms.
I also hope this deal is positive news to other small developers that have great ideas for WooCommerce products, and those already seeing some early success with their WooCommerce plugins or themes. There are opportunities to join established companies in the WooCommerce ecosystem, and to take your products to the next level with support from an experienced team.
Want to know more? Get Dan’s side of the story on the AutomateWoo Announcement Post.