One Step Closer to Elite: USPS and Our Checkout Process

Continuing my series of posts on our USPS Launch, I want to delve a bit deeper into why this is such a good customer experience, why it saves us a ton of money, and how it really rounds out a great few months of improvements to our checkout process. I mentioned a few months ago that right now I’m most interested in helping us become an “elite” e-commerce company. What’s happened since has been exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve always thought we had… Continue reading

1/23/15

How The Elusive Postal Pickup Finally Came About

Picking up where I left off on my last post, the real challenge in making USPS happen for us wasn’t technical, operational, or financial, it was political. I don’t know the history behind exactly how or why a place doesn’t receive mail delivery & pickup like our industrial park, but early on we learned just how hard of a thing that is to get changed. Once we had decided that USPS would be hugely beneficial for us and for our customers, we realized that we… Continue reading

1/22/15

Why USPS Is Such a Big Opportunity For Us

Offering USPS is such a huge opportunity for us that I want to spend a few posts breaking down the project itself and why it’s such an opportunity. When we moved in to our industrial park in 2008, one of the downsides was that the US Postal Service didn’t pick up or deliver mail to the park. Over time we’ve come to learn that this is pretty rare. At the time though, it wasn’t a big deal. We got a PO Box, created a returns… Continue reading

1/21/15

Finally Shipping with USPS!

New Year, new opportunities. We kicked off 2015 by launching USPS shipping to go alongside our FedEx Shipping. I wrote over on the DI Blog about how this was not nearly as simple as it would seem: As many of our long time customers already know, this has been something that we’ve wanted to offer for quite some time. Unfortunately our warehouse is located in an industrial park that does not get regular pickups or deliveries from the USPS. This means we’ve had to set… Continue reading

1/20/15

That Time The FedEx API Stopped Working on Cyber Monday

We were cruising along on Cyber Monday afternoon when I noticed that the FedEx Rate API was down, which is kind of important since we use it to pull shipping rates during checkout. No big deal I thought, it will default to the backup system, which was a rate table in our database. FedEx has scheduled downtime regularly and this backup has always worked well. Just to be certain though, I started investigating and realized that since this “downtime” wasn’t scheduled, we weren’t receiving a… Continue reading

12/8/14

Guest Checkouts – The Feature We Should Have Had 5 Years Ago

Today we launched guest checkouts on Detailed Image. A guest checkout just means that the customer isn’t required to create an account to make a purchase. Every single article or study we’ve ever seen has said something to the effect of “if you don’t have guest checkouts you’re basically burning money and pissing off potential customers”. A few weeks ago I realized that I’d be able to launch the feature before the holiday shopping rush if I hustled. Presumably guest checkouts are most important during… Continue reading

11/20/14

When Spreading Yourself Thin Goes Wrong (But Also Right)

This week was SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the largest auto show in the US. As we’ve done the past few years we covered the event from a detailing angle. On our Ask-a-Pro Detailer Blog and on social media we cover new product launches, start accepting pre-orders for newly announced products, hold give-aways, caption contests, flash sales and more. We’re the only ones in our industry who cover the event like The Verge or Engadget covers E3. The event isn’t open to the public –… Continue reading

11/7/14

The Simple Brilliance of Using an Index Card for Daily Goals

In 2007 I wrote about how I started outlining my daily goals on an index card after reflecting upon the following passage from The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss: Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated email and scramble your brain for the day. Compile your to-do list for tomorrow no later than this evening. I don’t recommend using Outlook or computerized to-do lists because it is possible to… Continue reading

10/21/14

Freedom via Gmail on Android

Depending upon who you talk to, our ability to check email on our phones anytime and anywhere is either a blessing or a curse. I think most people see someone they know – a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker – glued to their phone at all hours of the day, constantly receiving push notifications for every email that comes through, and then jumps to the broad conclusion that always being connected to the inbox is pure hell. To that I say: they are… Continue reading

10/20/14

LockerPulse Post-Mortem: 8 Innovative Features

Yesterday was the last day of LockerPulse. The sale is complete and the domain now redirects to SportSpyder. Rather than analyzing what didn’t work with LP, I thought it would be more apt to celebrate some of the really cool innovative things that we did. There’s no sense in dwelling on the past, especially when it worked out so well. Fantasy Player Tracking My #1 favorite feature. We could take a string of text – a player’s name in this case – and compare it… Continue reading

10/16/14