Friday, January 23, 2004

The McFarlane Toys Collector's Club, which operates through the online Store at, has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. While that's great news for the business and for the individual collectors, it's put a real hardship on our ecommerce software structure.

The software we're using was never created to handle the volume of transactions we currently average. Our tech staff has managed to hold it together through a combination of JB Weld, code and prayer, but we needed a better long-term solution.

After researching the problem, we have that solution. An entirely new ecommerce provider and store interface. What does that mean to you, the customer?

It means the store will have a slightly different appearance, though not by much. The true difference will be the function of the software, which will prevent any of the timeouts and extended order processing times during peak periods (like, when new exclusives are offered). The entire process should be more efficient and streamlined for the end user.

Also, several operations will be automated, particularly tracking numbers once your order has shipped. Shipping costs have been automated as well, based on ZIP code and package weight, so some customers should see savings in that area.

Current Club IDs and passwords will no longer be valid. Your Club ID will now be based on your e-mail address and the password will be user-defined (you pick it). You'll be required to enter all your shipping and contact information the first time you shop in the new Store. All your shipping information will then be saved in a new database for your subsequent purchases.

Expect to see this new software go live in about a week.