Recent news around WordPress has, primarily, been focussed around the release of WordPress version 3.3 and the launch of WordAds. Those of us interested in the business of WordPress, however, have also been keeping an eye on a new player in the arena – PressTrends.
The industry surrounding WordPress theme shops is an ever-growing and ever-evolving landscape. With new theme shops opening on a daily basis worldwide, one aspect of the industry that is making its way to the front line is that of trends and statistics. How can a theme shop better serve its customers? By gathering averages and statistics of, some seemingly minor, aspects of how their themes are used. Enter PressTrends.
PressTrends is a service started by George Ortiz of Storefront Themes. The service, through a simple tracking system added to a theme shop’s themes, allows for a theme shop to view basic averaged out statistics about how their product is being used (theme and WordPress version in use, average number of posts and third-party plugins active, etc). These statistics also open up further doors into interacting with customers and increasing customer relationships (for example, contacting a customer to compliment them on the usage of your theme).
While PressTrends has been received with exciting and rave reviews from theme shops worldwide, it is important to note that not all customers are satisfied with this. As each theme shop’s integration of PressTrends is different, this is a discussion best left to each individual store. It is important to inform one’s customers of the PressTrends integration, as well as exactly what information is being shared. Customers can rest assured that, regardless of how the store of choice chooses to integrate PressTrends into their products, the privacy and well-being of the theme shop’s customers is top priority. With that in mind, it’s important to note that only averages of all information are being collected. For example, instead of saying that “John has 20 posts on his website” and “Jane has 10″, an average of approximately 10-15 is displayed in the PressTrends dashboard. No personal information is ever gathered by PressTrends.
An alternative viewpoint from the customer perspective would be that, by sending the information to PressTrends, the theme shop of choice can improve its products to better suit your needs, as well as build a longer lasting relationship with you as a customer. I believe this to be the goal at PressTrends — increasing the quality and well-being of themes, customers and customer relationships with their theme shop of choice. In short, a better product and experience for all.
PressTrends is currently in closed beta and is constantly rolling out new features and improvements to further its offering. I, for one, am incredibly excited to see where PressTrends progresses to and how the service grows and impacts on theme shops, their offerings and the overall experience of the many many WordPress theme shop customers worldwide.