Week 10 Blog Post – Working towards the finish line

May 4, 2020

Another week another blog post. It’s been a reasonable enough week here at Buy Localized. We’ve sorted out the backend and started working on improving the search, we added a lot of listings to our database and we’ve got a plan towards monetization.

The Extension

We finished up our backend work last week. We found a new type of link we had to deal with, a bunch of bugs and got a day or two of work in on our search. This week, and the next couple, search is the word. If you use our extension I imagine you have noticed some very wonky results. As the search currently functions it really underplays just how much work we have done and makes it appear as if our database is a lot smaller than it is. In the next few weeks we will expand the amount of products we show, narrow down the results to more relevant ones and do a number of changes towards monetization. We are going to try a subscription model, we need to make some changes to allow us to do that, and we need to allow the team to respond to queries. Currently if you leave a message in the extension we can’t reply. We are also really dying for feedback beyond the search. We have a lot of users, 100’s of daily active users, but we really don’t hear anything from you guys. I would love to get on the phone or exchange emails and hear from you on what we can improve.

Research

Another huge week, with 23,000 listings added. It’s more than that too, as I found a number of errors and fixed them. In the coming weeks we won’t see huge numbers like these again, we’ve cleared the low hanging fruit. A lot of the time I’ve been working on companies that only have a half dozen products listed on Amazon, and that’s a lot slower. We’ve also had a lot of discussion on what Made in the USA is.When someone uses our extension, do they want to see a wide variety of something? One example is vitamins, would they want to see ones that are processed in the USA but have ingredients from a bunch of countries? Or would people prefer to only see the companies that have ingredients that are local, even if they are significantly more expensive and have a limited selection? We have been discussing this a lot. We’ve also been talking about electronics. A lot of searches on Amazon are for electronics, around half. However they are basically not made in the USA at all. We’ve been discussing if we should research and list the ones that are the most made in the USA. We would like some feedback from users on whether that’s something that would be helpful to you.

Content Creation

I didn’t post the article I said I would :(. I will this week, it’s been done but I’ve been sidetracked. We did post our article on what Made in the USA means to us, and I’m very happy with it. That type of content forces us to codify what we are doing, and it gives our readers and users a lot of insight in how we work, and prompts feedback too. We will be doing more of those in some fashion or another.

The Website

Getting around 500 users a week without any form of advertising, and we can’t complain about that. However with the low conversion rate it means we barely have any growth in our extension, and that has to change. We are setting up a timetable for what we need to accomplish to be able to start asking for a premium version with a subscription fee, so we can pay everyone’s wages and keep going. That will be in 6-8 weeks I estimate, and I will keep you up to date every week through this blog, see ya 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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