A List of Email Client User Agents (Plus Our Most Popular Client)

A few years ago when we built our custom newsletter system for Detailed Image I wrote about all of the extensive features it included. One feature we overlooked though was user agent tracking for opens, which can be used to determine which client the subscriber is using to open and read the email. Lacking this information became a problem when we went responsive with all of our newsletters last year and had to determine how to prioritize our client testing. We wanted it to be… Continue reading

3/31/15

Navigating the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Ah, sunk costs. They can totally mess with our brains, hence the “sunk cost fallacy.” If you’re not familiar with the expression, here’s how Wikipedia describes it: More recently the term sunk cost fallacy has been used to describe the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing the decision outweighs the expected benefit. Such investment may include money, time, or even — in the case of… Continue reading

3/26/15

The Perfect Vacation Computer – The Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2

Last year I wrote a post about why I loved our company Samsung Chromebook: If I drop it or spill something on it or it gets stolen we’re out $329.99 and I maybe should change my Google password to be safe. That’s nothing compared to the cost of losing the Zenbook – both financially and the data on the computer. Most of my non-programming work is done in the browser, but if I need to do some quick programming or access a file on my… Continue reading

2/24/15

Improving Fraud Management With Our Chargeback System

My previous chargeback posts are some of the most viewed and commented on my blog, and for good reason: merchants often get the short end of the stick when it comes to chargebacks. In the middle of last year it became clear that we finally needed to implement some sort of semi-automated fraud detection system, but not for the reason you might suspect. Chargebacks weren’t up, but our order volume was, and that meant that the time we spent investigating orders for potential fraud was… Continue reading

2/18/15

Why We Use Excel, Google Sheets, AND Libre Office Calc

When we were first starting the business and saving every single penny mattered, we shunned buying a lot of expensive software (x 4 people) and instead embraced free open source alternatives like Mozilla Thunderbird and Open Office. As time went on though it became apparent that we needed Microsoft Office, particularly Excel, for two main reasons. First, the advanced tools in Excel could make real positive impacts on our business when it came to higher level data analysis like forecasting. Second, other companies we work… Continue reading

2/11/15

The Last Twist in the USPS Story: Vacation

One of the more stressful things about our recent USPS launch was that I had a vacation looming three weeks after launch. Typically after a major launch like this I would be closely involved in the day-to-day for a few months. This launch impacted major things like our checkout process and order processing at the warehouse. Since problems were likely to arise, I had to make sure that every possible scenario was documented and that someone was trained to handle it. That would normally happen,… Continue reading

2/10/15

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