Outsourcing

Man, is it ever hard to let anything go. But, alas, I have to give up some of my duties. We're going to try outsourcing SEO for ToolBarn.com to FathomSEO. The plan is to give them the tougher of our websites, have them try for some more competitive terms in a few of the categories we can make a few bucks in, and then consider allowing them to expand their efforts to everything. Seems to make sense, but it is still difficult to let anything out of my hands. After all, site development has been done primarily by me for so, so long. At least I still have Tool Parts Direct that I get to do SEO on.

Speaking of Tool Parts Direct, I've put up an initial Froogle feed for the site. This has, of course, led to more visitors. To really make the most of this extra traffic, we also opened up Priority Mail, and since I integrated it with our inventory management system we could actually lower the rates we charge to our customers. We also were able to pass along the savings we're getting on insurance over what the post office charges as well. $4.10 to ship a 1# package beats UPS rates for sure. I'm expecting to see our conversion rate go up from where it was. Could also reduce the number of AVS flags we get since people will see that we can use USPS and thus ship to a PO Box. That'd be nice.

Finally, we have Black & Decker, DeWalt, Bosch, and Skil on the carousel. Hitachi is next. We're supposed to get the other carousels fixed this week, which will be a huge help. We're starting to stock up on a few more parts already, and we're taking advantage of some specials and really stocking up on those parts. We hope to eventually be able to fill 80% - 90% of the orders we get at the time they're placed instead of the 35% - 40% we do now. Some weeks, we get up to 60% fill rates, but that's been rare lately due to the volumes of parts we're moving. It's still hard to believe the huge number of new customers we see daily. Not bad for an idea that didn't get many people excited when we started it.

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