Quick Day 12 Site Update

Things have definitely not calmed down since the launch of the new Detailed Image, so I haven’t had the time to really put together the few exhaustive posts about the features that I wanted to, but I’ll get to that in the coming weeks (hopefully with some data to back up the changes).  Here are a few quick updates though:

  • This past weekend we ran a 20% off sale to celebrate the launch of the cart, and it went really really well.  Monday morning we packed our record number of orders and had our record revenue weekend, bigger than Black Friday ’08 by quite a bit.
  • I’m writing this Tuesday morning around 7 AM, and today is our largest single day, probably about 40% larger than our previous best.
  • Yesterday I never stopped moving: 5:30 AM – gym, 8:30 AM – warehouse to pack orders, 3:30 PM – Emails, 5:30 PM – program a new feature for our admin section to merge multiple orders by the same user being shipped on the same day, 10 PM – pass out.  Today I’m heading into the warehouse again to pack.  I’m a little worn out, but even more excited about how well May has started.
  • The cart is holding up pretty well.  There have been a few minor errors, but all things that don’t impact the vast majority of visitors.  An email formatting problem, few international issues, a Puerto Rico problem, and potentially a few Mac issues.  Nothing major though.  Whew.
  • Conversion rate for May is .6% higher than it was for April so far…for an e-commerce site that’s a huge jump.
  • We’ve definitely seen an increase in orders that take advantage of our quantity discounts, one of the features we wanted to make more prominent.
  • In the past 4 days, we’ve turned over approximately 15 – 20% of our inventory without running out of anything.  It’s typical to turn over 100% every 2 months or so.  That’s how lean Greg does his ordering.  It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
  • Now that I’m receiving some of the customer service emails, I’m a little more in touch with the day to day operations of DI.  It’s nice, but I’ve got to work a bit to get back to my email bliss.
  • Amidst all of this, George is meeting with a new local bank today to finalize our application for a large line of credit.  We don’t need it, which is hopefully why we’ll get it.  The flexibility and the cushion would be nice to have.
  • Also, Yahoo, which consists of 18% of our newsletter subscribers, has decided to block all emails from the DetailedImage.com domain.  Mike has submitted several times to several places be re-instated but we’ve received nothing back from Y!.  We’ll be signing up for Goodmail Certified Email, something we were considering anyway.  The advantages could increase our conversion rate by a few percent.  Mike is spending a ton of time working on getting this right, in addition to trying to get “certified” (or whatever their equivalent is) by the other providers not included in Goodmail.

9 comments on Quick Day 12 Site Update

  1. nethy says:

    Adam, I feel like I’ve been reading you for decades.

    When did you get so big? Weren’t you running out of a basement on a half-hacked oscommerce cart a month or two ago?

    *You sound like you need a holiday. Australia is nice.

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    :)

    I could definitely use a break. I’ve got a 3 day weekend trip planned in June…does that count? I’d love to get to Australia some time in the next few years though. Looks like an awesome place…

  3. Tim says:

    Awesome! I know there is always a little apprehension in the back of an entrepreneurs mind when you create drastic changes – regardless what all of the supporting data claims. To know that your research proved correct, and all of your hard work is yielding results is the ultimate “pat on the back.” I know I had many sleepless nights before we moved my business, all of our research said it was the right move, however, you never know how the consumers are going to react.

    I am very happy to see all of your hard work paying off!

  4. Adam McFarland says:

    Thanks Tim. You’re totally right – no matter how big of a “sure thing” something is, you still need to see it play out successfully before you can feel satisfied. I feel like now I/we can stop focusing on whether the cart will work or how well it will work, and start focusing on how much we can use it to grow our business.

  5. Rob says:

    nethy makes a very good point here – one that’s been intreiguing me more and more over the past few months. I know you weren’t with D.I. from the start but I’d really love to know how you (as a team) broached those first hurdles.. where did the idea come from? what was the first sale? Was it from yard sales and bulk buying for friends that just spiralled, or a concious plan? How well developed was the commerce website before the first sale, and you proud or embarrassed when you look back? How did you overcome the inevitable cashflow problems of carrying inventory and growing it?

    I think with any business it’s far easier to grtow than it is to start, and although you should be so proud of the incrimental efficiency changes you make and the fantastic cart overhaul, it’s the bootstrapping that I’d really love to know about, because as exciting as it must be to have $$$ credit lines and be able to pull a comfortable salary completely by your own doing without suckling at the teat of big corporation, I don’t know as it has quite the same rollercoaster of emotions as when you’ve got to make the decision (and did!) between growth and paying yourself…

    What was D.I like when the four of you incorporated? What was the turnover compared to now? Was it livable in itself, or more of a side project?

    So many questions I know, and I’ve tried to read back through the archives but to me there seems to be some key information missing from what must have been very scary & exciting times.

  6. Adam McFarland says:

    @Rob -

    Funny you bring that up. I was planning on doing some sort of weekly “flashback” post where I take a post from a few years back and re-post it with some current perspective. I sort of scrapped the idea thinking no one would be interested…but I think you just changed my mind :)

    You’re right – most people have the hardest time getting started, and it was no different for us. It’ll be nice to see what I wrote back then, in addition to what I think now. Hopefully that will fill in the blanks and answer all of your questions. I’ll obviously try to tackle only the most important/interesting topics.

    I’m actually about 2 hrs worth of work away from a blog revamp, including a redesign and a slight change in the way I post. Whenever I get around to finishing that off (hopefully within a week), I’ll start a weekly or bi-weekly look back at the way things were when we started.

    Adam

  7. Rob says:

    That sounds like a brilliant idea – I’m really looking forward to reading about that! I guess one of the things I’d really like to know it some more of george & greg’s backstory – “D.I: the early years” sort of thing!

  8. Adam McFarland says:

    Rob -

    Yea I’ll have them come on and do a guest post about their start. Everything was sort of a mess when we started. Everyone was making a living but just barely. George and Greg were doing physical details and running the online store in addition to doing that (DI was a much more local business)…I was doing SEO/Web design in addition to SportsLizard/iPrioritize, and Mike was managing a cell phone store while running a now-defunct cell phone e-commerce store. Honestly, our faith and perseverance were the biggest factors in everything coming together. We believed we could make it work…but it took a long time and there were a whole lot of times when we could have given up.

    Adam

  9. [...] past week has been the most fun I’ve ever had running a business.  Part of it is seeing the positive results of what we’ve done.  We’ve accomplished everything as a team, and accomplishments are [...]

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