Week 5 Blog Post – We are getting going!

Mar 30, 2020

Another week, another post! It’s been a pretty good week over here at Buy Localized, if you ignore us all going a bit stir crazy because of COVID quarantines. We had a pretty good last week, we started advertising a bit, got our first company profile out and improved the Extension search drastically.

The Extension

We made some great leaps in functionality this week. We tweaked how the search works, prioritising things from the same categories as Amazon’s results, and it it has made huge differences to the relevancy of the results. With that done we have moved on to a lot of backend stuff. Basically as our backend is set up now it’s very easy to evaluate companies that manufacture entirely in the US, however if some products are made in the US and some in a different country it’s very slow. We are adding a bunch of backend features this week that will make evaluating the companies that manufacture in multiple locations easier.

Research

1600 new listings this week! A very low number. We started with classifying companies with the largest amount of listings, and we’ve gotten through most of them now. So our research has focused on verifying companies with 10-20 listings, however it takes almost as much work per brand to do that as a company with hundreds of listings, this has caused the number of added listings to dive bomb. Typically our research goes through 2 stages, where stage 1 we find out where they manufacture, then we check if they have a presence on Amazon. Then stage 2 we actually go through all their Amazon listings to make sure they are correct. We’ve also started going through stage 1 again, adding companies, and that progress isn’t currently reflected anywhere in this weekly report, though it will be next week.

Content Creation

Woohooooo, our first article is out! We wrote a pretty good article on Chemo Beanies, a fantastic company out of Los Angeles, that manufactures 50 miles from their office. The goal with these articles is to approach them from the lens of digging into why they manufacture locally, the pro’s and cons and the potential environmental/labor costs that could happen if it was made abroad. We are hoping their is an appetite out there for this type of content. On top of that we are hoping it gets us users, there is a reasonable chance a featured company will tweet or post about it in some fashion, and we can introduce people who care about buying local to our product. That touches on this blog too. These weekly posts are great, I’ve found it very easy to write, but they aren’t content that will really appeal to our key users. These posts have more been about organisation than about our motivations and mission. So the people who stumble across them or read them aren’t that likely to want to use our extension, whereas these company profiles are content that will ideally appeal to our potential users.

Website

Big jump in traffic this week, up to around 30 people a day. Some of that is from ads, and some is from posts we’ve made. In general the ad traffic is more valuable, because those are people who are more likely to be potential users. A lot of the posts I’ve made looking for feedback on entrepreneur and startup places does give feedback, but it’s not nearly as useful because it’s not from our target market. I’m likely going to be making a lot of changes to the website in the coming weeks. I can see already that people who just see an ad don’t really get what we do or necessarily what an Extension is. So I’m going to be working on the front page to be clearer over what we do. In general we are figuring out a variety of ways to solicit feedback and iterate our Extension, so we will run the ads until we have a couple hundred users, and then pause them as we make the Extension something really great, and get an idea how to monetise it. Then will approach advertising again when we have a clear idea how much we can pay for a user.

That’s it for me this week, I will see you next week!

Gareth Struivig de Groot is the founder of Buy Localized. He originally hails from Vancouver, and he is passionate about helping people get informed about where the things they purchase come from.
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