In this edition of Vendor Spotlight, we interview Kinro Sho of Addons-Modules.com, which is a Toronto, Canada based firm specializing in PrestaShop module development.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kinro a bit as we worked together to create an installation and configuration video for his Agile Multiple Seller Module. I can attest that Kinro is very easy to work with and he is driven to deliver a good product.
Kinro is also an important contributor to the PrestaShop Forum where he regularly provides assistance to stumped PrestaShop users.
Interview with Addons-Modules.com
Tell us a little bit about your business. Where are you from? What are some of the products you offer?
I am from Toronto, Canada. We are a small team, but we do great job and we are always doing our best to serve our customer better.
We mainly focus on PrestaShop modules. We also provide module customization and PrestaShop related consulting service.
Here is a list of modules currently we offer:
- Agile PayPal Express Checkout – No SSL, No customer registration, get payment done in just a few clicks
- Agile Multiple Seller – Enable customers to become seller to list products on your store.
- Agile Seller Commission – Enable Seller commission management and payments.
- Agile Membership – Manage membership expiration, membership fee, access control, member discount
- Agile Seller Rating/Comment module – Allow buyers to leave feedback/rating/comment for the sellers
- Agile Pickup Center – Manage PrestaShop pickup location, delivery center, Google Map linked
- Agile Rotating Banner – Allow you display rotating banners on your different locations of your store
- Agile Prepaid Credit/Token – enables customer to use prepaid payment method to purchase product in click
- Agile Authorize.NET – an Express Checkout module payment module accepts major credits payments via Authorize.NET
- Agile Product Reviews – Allow customer to review and rate your products.
- Agile Quantity Discount Indicator – Allow store owner to display lowest quantity discount price on PrestaShop pages
- Agile New Letters Module – Allow you to design and manage your newsletters, delivery and newsletters email to customer
- Agile Sold Counter – PrestaShop Product sold counter
- Agile Order Recovery for PrestaShop 1.3x/1.4x – recover lost orders from shopping cart
- Agile Mail Duplicator for PrestaShop 1.4x – it will send a copy of each email to the shop owner
What types of customers would be interested in your products?
We have many customers from a variety of industries. Our customers include food stores, school suppliers, sports clubs, online digital goods, personal collections, toy stores, and printing/press services, just named a few.
Our customers tell us they appreciate the good quality, service, and support we provide.
Where can customers go to find your products?
You can find all of our products and services at http://addons-modules.com/. Each Product has dedicated thread on PrestaShop Forum, you can find here: http://www.prestashop.com/forums/forum/76-paid-modules/. For most modules, we provide Demo environment at here: http://agileservex.com/.
What is the best way for customers to contact you with questions?
We suggest you post questions to the related PrestaShop forum thread if your questions are specific to product in PrestaShop forum so that information could be shared with other users.
We can be reached via following contact form: http://addons-modules.com/contact-us.
In reviewing your website and your products, I noticed that the word “Agile” is everywhere. It appears to have significant meaning to your business. Can you explain what “Agile” means in the context of your business?
The word “Agile” means fast and quick, we are using Agile Software Development Methodology. We want our module itself to be “Agile” – good quality, good performance.
Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.
It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a conceptual framework that promotes foreseen interactions throughout the development cycle.
You can find more information here.
In reviewing your “Top Sellers,” you have several very interesting modules as the top three:
- Agile PayPal Express Checkout for PrestaShop 1.3xx/1.4x and above
- Agile Multiple Seller for PrestaShop 1.4x and above
- Agile Membership for PrestaShop 1.3x/1.4x and above
Tell us a little bit about each module. For instance, what are the advantages of using the PayPal Express module?
Agile PayPal Express has a variety of features that will benefit your business. The most important feature is the Express Checkout. With this feature, the customer is not required to register before purchase. That means they don’t have to input detailed information like their physical address, e-mail address, user name, etc. Thus, they can complete their payment saving them a lot of time and making it easier to complete the purchase.
Avoiding tedious information input helps reduce customer dropout rate during checkout.
One more thing want to point out is that the module will automatically register a user account for the customer after payment has been completed by using the information posted back from the PayPal Server. And, you don’t have to worry about the account data validity, because the information comes from customer’s PayPal account and is always correct.
Recurring payment functionality of Agile PayPal is another great feature of the module. For those online stores need to handle recurring subscriptions like membership, Agile PayPal is a good solution.
Many people might be unfamiliar with what a multiple seller module can do. What types of stores would use this module?
Basically, the Agile Multiple Seller module provides a platform for store owners to share or partner with other vendors or even customers. With this module, you can register multiple sellers and vendors sell their products on your store. You can even allow customers to become sellers. You can also build an E-Bay or Amazon similar store by helping sellers make money and collecting transaction fees or commissions from sellers.
As a store owner, you have full control of your store. You control access permission for the sellers based on your business needs. Here are the default access permissions for sellers:
- Sellers can manage their own categories and products at back office
- Sellers can manage their own orders and order related information like customers, address, messages, and so on.
- Sellers can use shared Categories created by store Admin, but still can see his/her products in the shared categories at back office.
- Store Administrator has all permissions to do everything.
You have two ways to pay your sellers:
- Store collects all sales revenue. By choosing this option, you as the store owner will collect all the sales revenue. Then you will pay your seller after deducting the transaction fees and commissions based on the contract between you and your seller.
- Sellers collect their own sale revenue. By choose option, all sellers will collect their own sales revenue. Then, the seller will need to pay you the transaction fees and commissions based the contract between you and your seller.
As the store Administrator:
- You can easily register sellers in the back office where you can manage seller information like their address and logo
- You can also enable a feature that allows customers to sign up for a seller account from front office
- You can enable Seller Info tab of product page in front office to show seller information and locations with Google maps
- You can register products and categories for sellers and then assign them to a specific seller.
For more details, please visit here: http://addons-modules.com/prestashop-admin-modules/21-agile-multiple-seller.html
Or, you can view a demo at: http://agileservex.com/.
What types of customers do you have that use your Membership module?
Agile Membership module makes your life easier if your store needs membership management functions. With Agile Membership, you will have control of membership fees, membership expiration, and member only content.
Here are some the features of Agile Membership module:
- Membership Fee settings for multiple membership types
- Membership Discount settings for multiple membership types
- Membership Expiration setting for multiple membership types
- Member only access to content based on permission setting
- You can configure member access by page (including the CMS page), by category, and by product level
- You can confirm membership details in the back office Memberships tab (in the Customers tab)
- You can export membership information into an Excel file, with filtering and sorting
- User can choose membership at sign up from front office
- User can purchase new membership (renewal) before the membership expires and the new membership will automatically add on and expiration date will be automatically calculated
- User can use Voucher (issued by PrestaShop store) to purchase membership
- Automatically send membership expiration notice email before specified number of days
Another module that is popular, according to your website’s “Top Sellers” tab, is the Agile Product Reviews module for PrestaShop. What sets this module apart from other product review modules?
I developed this module based on my own needs and then added more features from customer’s feedback.
Here are some features that set this module apart from other “Product Review/Product Rating” modules in market:
- Email alert to notify store admin when new review/rating received
- Flexibility on disable/enable guest review/rating
- Easy configuration of criterions at Catalog/Category/Product level
- Display latest reviews block at home page to increase SEO ranking
- Security measure to avoid scam and duplication posting, time based post limitation
- Language sensitive – display reviews in user’s language by default, one click to include other languages.
- Pagination of reviews list in product detailed page
How do you come up with ideas for your modules?
Most of my ideas come from real business needs. Some of these needs are from customers and some are from my own needs. For example, the Multiple Seller module and Product Review module both come from my own needs.
I am thinking of creating a website to help developers sell their modules, using the Agile Multiple Seller module, of course. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to implement this now because we are too busy fulfilling our customer’s requests for modules and customization.
Out of all the modules you’ve created, what module is your favorite and why?
The Agile Multiple Seller module is my favorite. This module is very complex and was technically difficult to create, which really challenged me. I was able to create the module with minimum changes to the PrestaShop core files. I am very proud of it.
Do you have written instructions for your modules?
Yes, we wrote installation instructions for all the modules. However, most of the modules are very straightforward and very easy to configure.
Can you please explain the support options if someone runs into trouble installing, configuring, or using your modules? Please explain what is free and what would cost money.
We provide free email consulting and support for first 30 days. If there are any bugs or issues with the module, we will fix it for free.
If the customer needs customizations or requests a new feature to the module, we will discuss that with customer to determine how we can best provide this for them. If it is a very small change, we usually will do it for free.
Modules are a tricky thing with PrestaShop because sometimes PrestaShop comes out with core functionalities that make paid-for modules from vendors, such as you, obsolete and unnecessary. What can you tell us about your modules to give customer’s piece of mind that they are not wasting their money?
First, before you buy a module, you need to do some investigation to see if PrestaShop already provides a free module. You should also check to see if they are planning on including features that you are looking for in future releases.
Second, if PrestaShop already has a free module, you will need to see if the features are exactly what you are looking for and compare those features against the paid module you are considering. Most of the time, you’ll find that paid modules have more features than the free modules. It’s just a matter of what module provides you with the correct solution.
Third, if PrestaShop says they are adding features to their software, but haven’t done that yet, you’ll have to decide if you can wait or not.
If you choose to wait for an updated version of PrestaShop, you will need to verify the features of the new version when it comes out to be sure it works as expected. Sometimes the features aren’t what you expect and sometimes they don’t work.
For paid modules, you should also verify the functionality. Ask for a demo if available. Check the module out to avoid dispute later.
Module service and support is a critical feature of any module in case you get in trouble or find a bug. We are known for providing excellent service and support.
What happens if someone buys a module and doesn’t like it, or it doesn’t work? Do you have a refund policy? If so, how does it work?
First, we will verify the problem first. If it is a problem with our module, then we will try to fix it. Most customers will be satisfied if you fix the problem.
Software is different from other goods/products, usually once you downloaded you are not allowed to return or refund.
But we will offer refund if we think it is our module’s defect and we are not able to fix. So far, I have only refunded two customers.
Before purchase, I encourage our customers to read the feature descriptions carefully and ask for a demo if it is available.
What do you find are the biggest challenges developing your modules in the PrestaShop environment? In other words do you find PrestaShop an easy or difficult platform to develop and implement your modules in?
PrestaShop is very good online shopping cart. In fact, I think it is one of the best shopping carts I have ever seen from both developer and user perspective.
One of the criteria to judge if a module is a good module or not is to see if it is self-contained, loosely coupled with PrestaShop core files. In other words, if it requires change of any PrestaShop core files. If at all possible, a module should not change any PrestaShop core file.
One of the big challenges is extensibility of PrestaShop core files. Sometimes, it is just not possible to avoid making change to the core files. For example, when I wrote code for Agile Multiple Seller module, I needed to override AdminCatalog class to control the seller’s access to catalog.
I needed to access AdminProducts property of AdminCatalog from my calss AgileCatalog. But because it is defined as “private” in PrestaShop, I had to change it to “protected” so that I can use it.
What is your next big module project?
I have many good module ideas, but I really need time to work them out. I would like to keep those ideas private for moment.
Is there anything you would like to tell the readers that I did not ask?
There are many module and service providers in the PrestaShop market. You need to be careful who you choose for a provider. Check their reputations first. We are trying our best to provide great modules, support, and service to our customers.