In April, I shared that SmartEtailing was on schedule to have responsive websites ready for installation before June. While we have achieved the majority of our goals and there are a number of beta sites functioning well in the market, we are not ready to begin our broad release. We have revised our delivery timeline to August.
First, I need to take personal accountability for this delay and express my sincere apologies for how this news might impact you and your business.
I’ve worked in bicycle retail since 1994 and I have been involved in retail marketing for our industry since 2001. I’m acutely aware of the changes that are happening in the market and the urgency felt among retailers to effectively compete for consumer attention and spending. Nobody is more committed to helping you be successful than my team at SmartEtailing.
But, despite the urgency, we would not be serving you well by releasing a product that isn’t ready. Our team has chosen to delay the release so that we can complete final enhancements and conduct further testing.
We want to reassure you that the infrastructure for this release is complete, and that we are proud of the platform enhancements. We have achieved a fundamental reinvention of the SmartEtailing website platform.
Currently, we are in the process of refining the management tools and training documentation to ensure that the work completed in your conversion is durable and easy to maintain over time.
It is also important for us to share that while this release will make a significant contribution to your business, the current SmartEtailing platform functions very well and the coming enhancements should be viewed as a valuable improvement.
What Has Been Accomplished
For more background on the responsive templates, please see my April update. Since that time, here is a rundown of our accomplishments.
- Refined responsive page builder tools for improved functionality and additional design elements
- Designed and engineered three additional templates
- Built widget functionality to enable an expanded feature set and lay the foundation for future features
- Completed template publisher functionality and user interface
- Completed template theme settings functionality and user interface
- Added automated individual location pages for improved local SEO
- Added enhanced tracking code for improved site and system performance monitoring to enable ongoing data-driven enhancements
- Completed multiple test builds and advanced user acceptance testing
- Completed internal documentation and began internal training to support launch
New drag-and-drop Responsive Page Builder tool with pre-designed responsive layout options.
Easily toggle to mobile view of your content while you are editing your work..
Built in image cropping tool to steamline your page design workflow.
We are testing and refining the self-serve management tools and we are completing additional test site builds that are being managed by an expanded group of internal users. This work will empower our Client Support and Marketing teams to better assist our clients in the migration and management processes. We have hired and are training additional marketing staff to support our clients in this process.
Additionally, we are actively engaged with independent website design contractors who are creating more template designs that we will be adding to the template gallery over the coming months. Our goal is to have a wide selection of new template options available to our clients, with easy-to-use tools for further customization.
When Will Your Site Change
As we finalize our pre-launch, testing and phased releases, we will communicate your migration options. We expect that retailers will have the option to migrate in the coming months if you choose.
Many clients will choose to wait until the fall/winter to update their templates rather than begin this project in the middle of the season. We are here to help no matter what you determine is the right decision for your business.
We’re very excited about the new templates and want to make sure that all of your questions are answered. While there will be a time investment required to update your website, we’re offering our services to do this for you or to walk you through the process.
Please contact us and we'll address any questions that you have.