Glorious Q3 2019 - Public Transparency Report
October 14, 2019
To the Glorious Legion
What an unbelievable 3 months since our last Model O Post-Launch Transparency Report. The Model O release launched Glorious into overdrive, but adding O- into the mix really threw on the afterburners. With no sign of a slowdown in sight, we wanted to take a minute to step back and update our amazing community on our progress.
Even after the post-launch peak and increased competition, Model O's demand continues to thrive.
To date, we have shipped hundreds of thousands of Model O and O- units to over 140 countries.
Aside from increasing B2C sales through the Glorious webstore, our international B2B sales have grown exponentially with global demand. We’ve ramped up our sales team to actively seek out new partnership opportunities around the world. Our global distribution network currently serves over 50 countries and counting. By expanding this network we will be able to better serve international customers into the future.
The most astonishing thing to us about the rocketship growth pace is that we’ve managed to accomplish it with close to $0 spent on advertising or sponsorships thus far. Counter to the industry trend (especially among most of our big competitors) of relying on paid streamers and gaming personalities to use & hype new products, we are proud that our growth has been almost entirely grass-roots, organically driven through word of mouth among our loyal user community (you guys are f*in awesome!).
Demand has been pretty relentless, especially with the rise of international sales. However, we’ve made it our mission to ensure customers don’t have to go through resellers who exploit availability and charge above fair retail prices to get our products. Our production facilities are now ramped up to full capacity. We’ve also recently enacted a 2 Model O / O- per customer limit for the time being. This should help combat the issue of price-gouging resellers.
Keeping the mice in stock and accessible remains a top goal, and also a key challenge given the explosive demand.
Following the initial Model O launch we have had fluctuating sold-out periods, with multiple waves of backorders. We currently have a large shipment enroute which we expect will last us throughout Q4 and the holiday season.
Following the recent Model O- launch, the initial stock was sold out within the first week. We restocked within 3 weeks and have thus-far managed to remain in stock since then.
On top of the aforementioned efforts to keep these mice in stock, we are constantly monitoring and canceling suspected reseller orders, and have issued take-down notices on anybody we see up charging on other platforms (such as Amazon). We encourage the community to report suspected price gouging to us so we can handle it.
Maintaining and improving Quality control remains our highest priority. While we undeniably had to work through a few early growing pains, luckily we have not encountered any major systemic problems, and we are continuously improving both O/O- in each new production batch.
With hundreds of thousands of units now in the hands of customers, the combined Model O & O- RMA defect rates currently remain under 1.5% of all orders shipped to date.
In our last report, the two most-reported QC complaints received were related to sidewall pressure triggering clicks, and left-right “wiggle” in the mouse buttons. Though these reports were limited to a very small percentage of users, we worked with our production facility and product designers to remedy potential recurrences of these problems.
By reinforcing the shell, the sidewall clicking issue has gone from the #1 reported complaint to essentially fully eliminated in the most recent O/O- batches.
Additionally, the issue of “button wiggle” has been close to totally eliminated in the Model O, with almost no reports from recent batches.
While we have received a handful of reports regarding button wiggle on the O-, to date we’ve found actual play function has not been affected in any of these tickets. Our current policy is to issue RMAs in instances where the left/right motion is causing a verifiable grinding feeling (which would affect gameplay). Regardless, we have already made improvements to further tighten the tolerances of the buttons for future O- batches.
The Ascended Cable
As we consider those 2 initial QC issues functionally solved, recently we have received multiple reports related to an issue where the mouse cable will randomly lose connectivity with the computer in some mice. Though some customers believe it could be caused by a kink in the cable introduced by the packaging, our own repeated stress tests and analysis of affected units indicate the packaging is likely not the culprit. The issue appears to be isolated to an extremely small percentage of mice, potentially due to a faulty batch of cables installed during production. If you are experiencing any issue with your mouse or cable disconnecting, please contact our support ASAP. We will take care of this problem at no cost to you.
Though we've determined the packaging has not caused disconnection issues, we have still decided to make several packaging updates in response to customer feedback. The new packaging on future batches should eliminate any kinks in the cable when the box is first opened.
Also in response to popular demand, we have made some exciting changes to the Ascended Cable itself. The updated design features a tighter weave along with a more flexible connector at the base. Additionally, we will be offering the cable in 7 new color options! All future batches of mice (starting with November/December inventory shipments) will come pre-installed with a black cable by default, but you will be able to choose a color cable as a separate add-on item. Current Model O/O- mice owners can also purchase a new colored cable (or the updated cable in black) separately if they want it. This will need to be self-installed by opening your mouse. [Note: Opening the mouse to install our Ascended Cable will NOT void the warranty, so long as you follow given instructions. Modifying your mouse in any other way while it is open will still void it.]
We know how much personal customer support matters to our customers, and so it matters even more to us. Since Model O launch we have invested more heavily in CS than any other department. Bringing in new personnel, improved software, and defining more efficient internal processes has dramatically improved our ability to handle increased CS volume.
During the peak Model O launch volume, our average response time went up to 60 hours. After improvements, the average response time is now just 5-6 hours (keeping business days in mind).
We are still expanding our CS operations, with the goal of eventually providing 24/7 support, including live chat available at any time.
One of the biggest CS challenges mentioned in our last report is that as a digital community-grown company, our customers tend to be passionately active and vocal across online various digital social channels. The downside to this is that it tends to divert some CS reporting into various posts spread across the internet, instead of funneled into our official support channels. This can make it difficult for our CS team to identify & respond quickly to potentially urgent issues for those affected customers. And due to a negative reporting bias, it can also magnify issues experienced by a relatively small number of customers to seem more prevalent than they actually are. We've found this sometimes lead to virally-spread rumors which may cause undue panic among the larger customer base, along with a surge of inquiries.
But, we also see the positive to this internet-wide CS approach. While we encourage our users to address their concerns via our official support channels, we continue to monitor social media so we can respond to individual complaints as well as proactively track potential new issues. This will ensure we can eliminate any trending problems before they become bigger.
SHIPPING & LOGISTICS
Our shipping and logistics have more or less stabilized with the increased demand since our last report. Using lessons learned from the O launch, we are now much better equipped to handle the higher volume from future launches.
With almost all backorder waves of Model O and the Model O- launch, we managed to begin shipping units prior to the initially estimated ship date.
We’ve recently added an additional overseas warehouse to improve international logistics, with plans in the works for a new US warehouse on the East Coast to further improve domestic shipping times.
As already mentioned, strategically expanding partnerships with international distributors and retailers in major markets will help us better serve our international customers. But for those international customers who still want to order through our site, we now offer DHL Express to certain countries. Our plan is to expand this offering to all countries we either cannot ship to or experience issues with. We are also exploring implementing alternative carriers in the future.
NEXT STEPS & FUTURE
The 3 core pillars we’ve built this company on are:
1) Create high-quality gaming gear, and sell it at reasonable prices
2) Listen & learn from the true enthusiast PC gaming community
3) Strive to provide excellent customer support at all times.
We strongly believe following these values has been the key to our success so far. And so, this is our permanent ethos. As we continue to grow at a pace very few startups have or will ever experience, we stay committed to stay true to our small-business roots, and always keep them in mind with each new decision. It was you guys who got us here, and we promise not to forget it.
The future is looking bright, with many more exciting new projects on the road ahead. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey so far. Only the sky is the limit from here. Stay Glorious.
- Shazim Mohammad
CEO & Founder, Glorious PC Gaming Race