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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, September 02, 2016

August Numbers

Despite the grim numbers you're about to see, August was pretty average, finishing as the 5th best (or 6th worst) in history. It would have been fine if the lady who wanted $1,100 worth of golf balls hadn't expected to get them for $600.


Total income: -27.9%
Total COGS: -28.8%
Payroll: -25.8%
Marketing: -16.7%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -96.9% (-$368)
Actual Profit/Loss: +$12


Total income: -9.0%
Total COGS: -8.3%
Payroll: -9.9%
Marketing: -4%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -29% (-$458)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$2,041

Told you it looks bad, but the Cost of Goods Sold actually fell slightly more than income did, advertising costs were down, I turned a tiny profit for the month...and I set an achievable target for next year.  

September historically vies with February for the title of Weakest Month of the Year, and next month's target looks especially easy because I shut down for a few days to attend my niece's wedding last year. 


In the Getting Things Done Department: Sunshop is upgraded to the latest version. My email signup dialog is finally re-implemented after far more hassle than I expected (and I've already had one signup). And my whole site is now behind my SSL certificate. There is no rational reason for the non-checkout pages to be encrypted except Google's preference; for the past year or so, they have been punishing "http" sites in search results. When Google says "Jump" retailers ask "Which ledge?" so now everything's "https." Like the TSA, this is all about perception rather than actual security...but if it improves my search results a little bit and prevents a few skittish shoppers from bouncing, it's worth the hassle of replacing all of my old non-secure links and embedded content. 

I am still wrestling with Google on the conversion-tracking failure that I've been writing about for the past several weeks. In our last installment, I had shown for the second time that the code in my new file doesn't work, and the Support monkey supposedly invoked his technical team. Then, instead of delivering the fixed file that I was hoping for, he came back with this:

Thank you for you continued patience.

I have checked the conversions for the month of Aug and see that the conversions have been recording.

I was ripshit. It takes a lot to make me lose my temper, and this kid succeeded. I fired off this reply:

Oh crap, not this again. We’re right back where we started.

Conversions record properly when I use the OLD file. They do not record when I use the NEW file. I keep reverting to the OLD file after proving that the NEW one is not working, and you keep checking the status while the OLD file is active. The attached screenshot is from the most recent week when I was using the NEW file. It clearly shows no conversions recorded for that week. 

Please give me an email address to contact your supervisor. We have spent the better part of three weeks repeating ourselves and this is going nowhere. Nothing personal, but I need an engineer to tell me what is wrong with the code in the NEW file. You just keep telling me that the OLD file (which is currently active) is working. I already know that and do now want to spend any more time arguing with you. 

I can't convince this idiot that he's wrong (which is a hallmark of idiots, come to think of it). He refused to give me his supervisor's contact and asked again for a phone call -- even leaving aside my phone phobia, what's the point in talking if he won't even acknowledge my complaint? 

I can't dumb down my request any further. I'm making one last slow, plodding effort to prove that their code isn't working. I might lose most of September's conversion data in the process, but one of us is going to prove the other one wrong before I drop it. His last communication reaffirmed his mistaken belief that the file is recording conversions. I should be able to prove otherwise next week.  

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