Programming

Automation Instead Of Manpower

Last week I launched an interesting internal programming project that I had been working on for a few months. Whenever we run a sale or promotion there are an increasing number of things that need to be created and scheduled: a newsletter, a blog post, a home page banner, sitewide banners, social media posts, etc. All of this was previously organized by Mike in a Google Spreadsheet. If we wanted to run a similar promo to a past sale, at best we could reuse the… Continue reading

4/28/16

Overhauled DI Packages, Just In Time For Spring

Grouping items together into a package and selling them at a special bundle price has a couple of huge benefits to any retailer: Customers know that they’re getting products that are compatible with each other, a challenge for new customers in many industries, including detailing Customers often save more than they could by buying the products individually Retailers can provide more value to the customer while still working within MAP pricing guidelines (minimum advertised price). This is why you always see Best Buy or Amazon… Continue reading

2/22/16

Update Season

The past few weeks I’ve been working on updating and upgrading almost all of the software and services that power our website: the PayPal API, FedEx and USPS 2016 rate changes, and new versions of PHP, MySQL, and Apache. It’s a combination of coding, system administration (not my strong suit), and obsessively monitoring after launch to ensure nothing goes wrong. I tend to save up work like this for January because it’s our slow season, but I’ve never had this much pile up at once…. Continue reading

1/19/16

Why It Took Us 8 Years To Add Wishlists

Over on the Detailed Image Blog I wrote a post describing some new features that we added last week, including the addition of a wishlist, easier ways to reorder products, and more personalized product recommendations. The latter two are the most intriguing features with some creative potential for expansion, but the decision to finally add a wishlist after all of these years is probably more noteworthy. Back in 2010 we added a feature called Saved Carts. After adding items to your shopping cart, you could… Continue reading

11/16/15

Goodbye IE8! No Longer Supporting Microsoft’s Old Browser

If you visit the Detailed Image home page today using Internet Explorer 8, it’ll look like the screenshot above, including the message about how we no longer support the browser. This is a big deal for us, because prior to today we were still supporting IE8. It’s been almost three years since Google stopped supporting IE8. Many other businesses followed suit around the same time. IE8 was released in 2009. By 2012 it had outlived it’s useful life, but since Microsoft refused to produce a… Continue reading

10/22/15

Filtering, Sorting, Best Seller Badges, and More DI Shopping Improvements

Today we released a bunch of improvements to what we call our “browse pages” – shop by brand, shop by category, and search results. Over on the DI Blog I wrote an in-depth post about the changes, which included several improvements to our filtering, the addition of sorting, and more. While we’ve done a lot of work on our search engine, these pages have remained largely untouched since the 2009 cart release. While that can be viewed as a testament to how good of a… Continue reading

9/18/15

In-Depth: Boosting Newsletter Sign-Ups With Our Refer a Friend Program

My partners and I have always discussed the possibility of doing some sort of referral program for Detailed Image. We have a very loyal customer base so it would only be natural to give them the ability to earn free products in exchange for referring their friends. We never could quite formulate the right way to do it, so it always sat on the backburner while we tackled other projects. Then last year I came across an article on the Tim Ferriss blog entitled How… Continue reading

7/28/15

Add-On Upsells – A Win for Everyone

Earlier this week we launched an add-on upsell feature for Detailed Image. With detailing products you often need an add-on product to use the product that you’re purchasing. Buying a wax? You’ll need an applicator pad. Buying a quick detailer? You’ll need a towel. A buffer? A backing plate and pads. And so on. We saw a huge opportunity to not only increase our average order value and sell more of these small (typically high-margin) items, but to make the customer’s experience a better one…. Continue reading

4/22/15

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

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