As I look back on 2018 I’m truly in awe of what the SmartEtailing team has accomplished. We are grounded in our history of serving local bike shops for 20 years while simultaneously embracing an innovative startup mindset.
You can easily see many of our accomplishments on your website. At the same time, there was a tremendous amount of work that you didn’t see. I want to talk about both before I give you a preview of what’s coming in the new year from SmartEtailing.
The things you saw
The biggest change you saw this year was your website modernizing to our latest responsive templates, making it fast and easy to use for customers on mobile phones. Your new website gives shoppers a better first impression and makes it easier to shop.
We rebuilt key components of our product location functionality to make it intuitive for customers who want to buy online for in-store pickup. Your website now aligns with what shoppers expect from businesses like REI, Target, and Home Depot.
We enhanced the product detail pages in your website catalog. This is the page a shopper views when they examine a specific item. We redesigned the page with a mobile-first mindset for faster load speed and easier mobile shopping.
The things you didn’t see
Much of our 2018 software development work was devoted to infrastructure enhancements. This type of work is much harder for you to see, but it is an investment in the future of your business.
We made monumental changes to the software powering your website, deploying the latest versions of interconnected applications and optimizing configuration to serve the needs of your business.
Our website hosting and server environment was transformed, with immediate gains in site performance and monitoring. Long term, these changes position us to make more progressive choices in how we enhance your website. Every choice future-proofs your business by ensuring SmartEtailing is built with cutting edge technology.
There were a number of investments in website security, like deploying the latest version of PayPal for Marketplaces or installing an SSL certificates on your website. There were countless additional projects to align your website with data security requirements as set by Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.
Behind each of these software projects is a team of technology professionals who have established new processes for planning, management, quality assurance, deployment, and monitoring. That means that there is an in-house team of people at SmartEtailing who are delivering you high quality software enhancements faster.
What’s coming in 2019
We are accelerating. We are continuing to grow our technology team so we can release more new features faster.
We are re-architecting key components of our software to allow better integration with other services, more rapid deployment of new features, and faster speeds. This is a long term investment which will yield meaningful benefits now and in the future.
New features for 2019 will place particular focus on bottom of the funnel projects to convert more shoppers on your website into buyers. Expect announcements throughout the year about enhancements that make your website an effective sales growth tool.
Setting the software aside, you can expect some common themes from the SmartEtailing team in 2019. We will be actively working with you on the process of aligning your business with modern shopper expectations. There are hundreds of retailers using our service that aren’t taking full advantage of the available features. We believe that in order to serve you well, we need to help you modernize.
Cyclists of all styles want convenience when they shop. That means we are going to work with you on configuring click-and-collect shopping for your bike shop - the ability for shoppers to buy online for free in-store pickup.
SmartEtailing is unique in that we aren’t just a technology company, we have a 20 person marketing team in-house that takes an active role in helping you manage your website and grow your business.
Our marketing team will focus on ensuring that every client who partners with us for marketing has a website that aligns with best practices for a market-leading local bike shop. We will bring more online merchandising strategies to your business to help you attract and convert more online browsers into buyers.
The bike business will continue to evolve.
Evolution is nothing new to us. We’ve been serving the bike industry since 1999, the early stages of online retailing. We continually evolved to offer more integrations and features, and we spent the last two years realigning our company to move even faster. We are ready for whatever the market throws our way.
At SmartEtailing, we passionately believe that your local bike shop can thrive in the new world of retail. We monitor relevant technology trends, bike industry news, and consumer shopping preferences. We are prepared to usher your business through an evolving retail landscape and I want you to trust that we are a progressive partner.
We want to free you to focus on the things that only you can do; partner with the right brands, recruit and train the right people, support events, advocate for cycling in your community, and run a profitable business.
Our job is to ensure that your bike shop has a website platform to win local search, provide shopping convenience for local cyclists, and grow your sales in-store and online.
We appreciate your business
Each new employee who joins SmartEtailing spends an hour with me on their first day where I share that they don’t work for me, they work for you, our customer. I mean that and everyone here knows it.
Your business is precious to us. We will show up every day and do our best to deliver meaningful value and earn your business.
Thank you for another great year. I hope to earn your business for many years to come.