Rocketspark | a year in review 2019

Some years are a little more exciting than others and we can safely say than 2019 has been one such year here at Rocketspark. 

From new feature launches, to brand ambassadorship and video messages from New Zealand’s own Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, there were a number of moments that made 2019 one to remember. 

We’ve continued to embrace a way of working that’s absolutely customer/design partner-centric and we’ve adapted our planning and development roadmap to suit. This year, after tons of planning, we put our money where our mouths are, and redesigned our own website—teamwork at its best.

Join us as we reflect on, and celebrate 2019, and find out what you, our clients and partners can expect from Rocketspark next year.

Evolving with our customers and global trends

From a product development point of view we had two key areas of focus this past year.

The first priority was to provide simple yet sophisticated design controls which enabled customers and our design partners to easily create really high-end designs.  In particular we’ve been delighted to see how our design partners have been using features such as Grid Gallery and our new Stack Design Controls to create beautiful sites for their clients. Our Inspiration Galleries (Grid Gallery and Stack Design Controls) will hopefully guide our customers towards harnessing this capability to its full potential.    

Mobile specific controls were top of mind when developing these new design capabilities and it’s been good to see how our customers are using these controls to enhance the browsing experience for mobile visitors.

Simple yet powerful ecommerce was the second focus area in 2019, built to enable clients to sell more and streamline their operations.  We launched a beta version of our ecommerce subscription capability which has enabled businesses with repeat customers such as Six Toed Fox Organics and Pure and Wholesome to sell their products on a subscription basis.  We predict that niche providers of high quality products and services will continue to grow and the ability to offer automatic repeat purchasing provides significant convenience for your customers and nice continuity of sales for your online business.  

We’re really excited about the capability that Mailchimp ecommerce will enable for online stores to build their community through highly relevant email marketing messages.  Mailchimp ecommerce automated email types, such as Recover abandoned carts, Product follow-ups, and Thank first-time shoppers are likely to add significant value to our customer’s online stores.

Providing opportunities to students is important to us

Last summer we had four interns from local tertiary institutes come and work with us at Rocketspark HQ, and this year we continue the tradition. For 3 months over the summer holidays, working alongside our web development team, we’re chuffed to have Ben and Andrei with us from the The University of Waikato working on an exciting machine learning project.

Sponsorship and support of not-for-profits and organisations

We love to use for good the tools we’ve created and we continue to help hundreds of not for profit organisations to improve their online presence.  Rocketspark is powering sites as diverse as neighbourhood watch groups, Cancer Society Balls and high performance athletes.

We’re so stoked to be able to help where we can and we’re pleased to announce that Rocketspark is part of High Performance Sport New Zealand’s athlete-friendly network.  We’ve provided website sponsorship with free training sessions to HPSNZ athletes as they hone in on their Tokyo 2020 Olympic aspirations and grow their personal brand online in just a few easy steps. 

Striving to be beautifully simple everyday

Rocketspark has been growing well and behind the scenes a strategic priority for us is to ensure that we grow well in terms of how we look after our partners, customers and our team.  We’re very conscious of not becoming a platform that grows and forgets the values around great service and high quality, the fundamentals that enabled us to grow in the first place.  

Our Customer Support team becomes your Customer Success team

We’ve implemented a better tracking/reporting system to make sure you, our customers are happy.

We’ve moved our satisfaction monitoring from a good/bad binary rating system to one that offers a wider scale of feedback which details any mediocre experiences in more detail. Because we don’t want our customers to feel just OK, we want to ensure that their experience is absolutely satisfying.

We’ve also generated a more insightful report from our support system where we can see the most-frequently-asked questions to determine what can be improved to benefit our customers in the long run. 

We really care about your success throughout your journey with us

One of the major changes we’ve made is to strive to work in a more agile way which means we re-structured our internal workflow to allow us to respond faster to the feature you have upvoted for. Our team is growing with talented new members having joined us this year and we're always looking for training opportunities for our team so they’re well equipped to provide you with the best we can offer.

Opportunities to connect with our customers

We travelled to the regions in New Zealand to meet with new and existing customers as part of the 2019 Xero Roadshow. We love that we’re able to connect face-to-face with our customers and we take up any opportunity we can to do so.

Looking ahead

Looking after our customers well is always our first priority. We’re constantly working on ways to help you to succeed, through our 5-star friendly and efficient support. In the new year, we’re looking at generating more help guides and webinars on hot topics like SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as installing a new phone/live-chat system that’ll make the process of connecting with our team even simpler.

The new Rocketspark.com website

In the pipeline for a while now, we wanted to redesign our website to create an exceptional website experience for our customers and potential customers by simplifying and streamlining the user journey. It’s become somewhat of a showcase of what’s possible with a Rocketspark website.

It was a team effort starting with 11 year old Ashton doing the heavy lifting to migrate the content we were going to reuse across to the new website.  The simplicity of Rocketspark meant that even new team members could contribute to the process and set up key pages for their area of expertise. The site is a great example of what is possible with the Rocketspark website builder and uses a bunch of our new features such as Grid Gallery and Stack Backgrounds and we hope the site will provide some design inspiration for your own projects.

Cheers to 2020!

The current focus on design capability and simple yet powerful ecommerce will continue to be development priorities and we’ve got a great development roadmap planned.  Now that we’ve created a highly capable website platform, we’re becoming increasingly focussed on developing tools that help customers to be more successful online. 

We’ve started working on some exciting new automation features which will both accelerate the process of producing high quality designs and provide website owners a further opportunity to significantly boost their digital marketing capability. 

Customer feedback drives our development roadmap

Feedback from our customers and Design Partners had a big impact on what we developed in 2019. So please be sure to tell us what you’d like to see next and we take this on board as we continue our efforts to create a life-changing website platform for you.

Need help with your website over the December/Jan holiday season?

Our Customer Success team will be available as normal up until midday, Tuesday 24 December. Please note that our phone support and email response times may be slower than usual on 27, 30, 31 December and 3 January.

We’re closed on the following public holidays:

  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Boxing Day (26 December)
  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • 2 January.

As always, we have up-time monitoring in place and team members on call if any untimely outages occur. 

We wish you a very merry Christmas and safe holiday season.