I’d like to share some numbers, thoughts, and next steps that have emerged since launching VB3 last week.
VB3 has improved our conversion rate of visitors to members by over 30%, and our cancellations have held steady. This is a dramatic improvement.
Before the launch of VB3, we were shrinking. Now, we are growing again.
Roughly 15% of our customers continue to use VB2 (i.e., they explicitly click “back to old site”).
We Have a Passionate Community
I started this company in 2002, and I’ve always strived to treat customers as I wanted to be treated. My goal was to create the world’s best site, one that people were happy to join.
When we launched VB3, we received a lot of negative feedback. I took this feedback – much of it from our most loyal customers – very personally.
There was a lot of internal debate on how to interpret all the messages we were receiving from our members. On one hand, we were getting more negative than positive feedback. On the other, the total number of people who complained was less than 1% of our members.
You Can’t Please Everyone
We have tens of thousands of members, and their tastes vary. There were also internal team dynamics and interests of content partners to consider.
What we ended up doing was spending the last few months ironing out the quirks in VB3, and making the site work more like VB2. The new site works pretty much like the old one. We considered doing a comprehensive redesign, but no one wanted to go through another 6-12 months of development time.
Continue to Improve VB3
Now that we’re past the painful hurdle of launching the new site, we’re going to keep improving it. In two weeks, you should see:
- Big changes to how search works.
- Fixes to the stash, such as the ability to add and remove items easily.
- Various performance improvements.
And looking beyond the next two weeks, expect to see a mobile / iPad optimized site.
Keep VB2 Around
We will continue to maintain VB2 for a while, at least until usage drops to single digit percentages.
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