Work is well under way on our new web shop, and Fighting 15s should be open for business again in July at www.fighting15s.com – we’ll set up pointers from our existing URLs once we are ready, so it should be no trouble finding us.
We’ve been with our existing web shop provider, EKM, for more than 15 years. EKM served us very well in the early years, has been easy to setup and use, but stopped being reasonably priced a few years ago. The costs were bearable while we were the agent for AB Figures and Eureka Miniatures, but are not sustainable as just Gladiator Miniatures and Fighting 15s. EKM justified a massive hike in prices as a transformation to being “the best” ecommerce provider, but sadly it continues to fall short, with parts of the software clearly not working as intended. Squashed product images has been the latest quirk that was not been solved for months. My constant disagreements with members of EKM staff after it ditched its customer forum in favour of a community Facebook page tell me I should leave. 🙂
Fighting 15s is jumping ship to Andy at Tradestands, which provides webshops for a number of businesses in the wargames community and has come highly recommended by three people we know who use his services. Our products are now uploaded to the new shop, including 375 new images for all the flag sheets that did not have them.
We will shortly begin work on inking and photographing figures to replace the existing pictures, or to simply provide pictures for items that currently do not have pictures. This will take a long time and will be nowhere near completed by the time we reopen. Obviously we have been at work on adding pictures of painted figures to the site, but photographing figures and editing pictures to a commercially acceptable standard is slow work. It also depends on having a reservoir of cast figures to ink and photograph, which we have now built up after 21 months of running Gladiator Miniatures.
We’ve been working hard to get a cleaner website design with a number of more modern features, particularly when it comes to working on mobile devices. We are able to integrate all three of our payment gateways – PayPal, Stripe and Square – in the new shop, providing a choice of secure third-party payment systems. Apple and Google Pay should also work via the Stripe gateway.
We are still getting to grips with the software behind the new shop, although a lot of the Woocommerce setup is familiar because it’s just like using the WordPress blogs we use for news. The system feels much more modern.
Customer details are not being transferred, so regular customers will have to set up new accounts and passwords. Although this is an inconvenience, it will also purge the shop of a lot of out-of-date or irrelevant information.
Our new website is at www.fighting15s.com and just to repeat we will reopen in July – hopefully at the start of the month!