Punchmark 2016 Year in Review
Written by Bryan Cockerham
2016 was an incredible year for Punchmark, with a focus primarily on company growth. Our sales grew, but this was not the only area we were looking to bolster. Our customer support team doubled, our graphic design team doubled, and we made considerable improvements to our technology infrastructure. This means in 2017, we can look forward to faster page load speeds, more efficient site backups, more hands to help you with customer service, and more talent to take care of your design requests.
Your Holiday Traffic:
From server load metrics, we're able to get great insight into holiday shopper behavior, which we're excited to share.
Seasonal Traffic Increase:
As we approached Christmas, we saw our general client traffic increase week over week, but the most notable jump (about 40% of average!) happened December 10th, and stayed high for the rest of the year.
What we love to see: Instead of website traffic dropping after the 18th of December, the day known as "last shipping day", the server loads continued to stay high through the 25th, meaning people were "shopping" you online before coming into your store. We hope that you had evidence of this, as customers came in and asked about products they had already seen online.
Daily Traffic Spikes:
Every day, customers started visiting your site at 10 AM, and that small increase held until about 2PM. During that increase, we saw a huge spike every day from around 1 PM to 1:30 PM. At 4 PM to 4:30 PM we saw another daily spike. Our assumption is that because people often work in front of their computer, they were more inclined to visit your site, share product links, or make wishlist additions during their workday! We then saw a slightly higher load overall from 6 PM on, presumably during shoppers' free time after work. It's amazing how repetitive this behavior was throughout the season, and it played out consecutively across each timezone. It was fun to watch!
Punchmark saw an 88% increase in ecommerce transactions from 2015 to 2016! The number of orders increased 66%. Breaking December down into 4 weeks, the biggest week in holiday shopping was December 15th-21st with jewelry sales for that week topping any other month!
What we learned:
About our Friends:
The Edge and Benchmark are two partnerships we hold dear. As we've gotten to know them better during close workings in 2016, we have been surprised time and time again at their unwavering commitment to customers and quality. This shows in the measures they're willing to take, and even what they expect from us as partners.
About our Clients:
First of all, we had 33 website upgrades in 2016, which means our clients are growing their presence online! Clients who started with our lowest package are increasingly upgrading straight to our Premium Package, skipping right over our middle package. It wasn't long ago that the web was a realm that offered little measurable benefit to the independent jeweler. Now even smaller stores are seeing big returns from the added online visibility.
At Punchmark, we love to experiment with our own marketing, and then pass on what works to our clientele. We built an intricate digital feedback system to see what parts of SiteManager clients are using, give them feedback on things like holiday banners nearing their end date, and give them full visibility into what customers are doing online. In 2016, based on these same principles of feedback, we built the Custom Design Center addon which has received great successes in customer satisfaction and new sales for our clients. We also started to work with LiveChat this year to offer immediate customer support to our clients. We got such a positive reaction that we now offer it to all of our clients to take advantage of the same great power of communication.
New Features and Services:
With a large base of the web's most savvy jewelers, we have the benefit of being constantly driven forward with ideas that shape our feature listing. Also based on your feedback, we're constantly coming up with service programs to help with the struggles of trying to manage a website while trying to run a business. Here are the new features and services we launched in 2016:
Custom Design Center:
Many of the jewelers in the Punchmark Community do custom work. The Custom Design Center takes their process, and makes it more digital, appealing to new, almost-millennial crowds that are getting engaged, as well as those who prefer to conduct their communication via email/SMS. The Custom Design Center creates a story out of each piece, from concept to pickup, and helps the customer feel at ease about where their project stands.
Alerts via SMS can let you know immediately when a purchase is made on your site. New rollouts for 2017 will include alerts when someone leaves a testimonial and alerts when someone fills out a contact form.
In order to help ease the pains of managing inventory on your website, we've partnered with the most popular jewelry vendors to get you access to all of their product details, imagery, and prices. This not only means you have the best images for a particular product, you're also never left with the burden of updating prices, or fixing mistakes in product descriptions.
Better Edge Integration:
From reports that help you track down missing inventory to 100s of tweaks to make the process more automatic, we've made integration with the Edge much more efficient in 2016. Some of these improvements include the first step in bi-directional communication, quicker loading of content, and new batch categorization options. The “Website” tab in the Edge has proven to work very well, with the ability to add an item title and meta information, and to assign one item to a specific category. The Edge Integration Settings page now includes more detailed reporting, a new category & vendor diagnostic, and the ability to clear the website cache for the updating of images. Our 2017 plans are even more exciting. These plans include complete two-way integration for wish list items, and other customer-related tools such as pre-registration and notifications for when wish list items are on sale. These plans are already moving forward thanks to the new direction of the company with Dick Abbott solely at the helm.
Premium Homepage Banners:
Premium Homepage Banners take the most important marketing section of your website, and make it come alive. Your banners can now integrate video, social media, product listings, animations, and custom functionality. This is perhaps our most widely-adopted addon ever, and 2017 will bring upgrades and even more features to this popular item.
SEO and Multichannel Marketing Packages:
Our CTO's background comes with 9 years of experience working with some of the top names in the SEO world. With these resources at our disposal, we were shocked to hear what some clients were actually paying for SEO using other agencies. Many also just wanted the convenience of paying one company for their web hosting and marketing. With input from our 300+ clients, we've taken a holistic view of traffic building to make sure you're getting the most visibility for every dollar spent. After all, if you do well, we do well.
No matter how many controls we add to SiteManager to make editing your website easy, there are still those clients who are too busy to log in. Some clients are uncomfortable learning a new system. Others have reduced staff and just need things handled. With Punchmark Concierge, we take care of all your website maintenance and editing requests.
Banner Subscription Program:
With the Banner Subscription Program, our designers create up to 10 custom banners or graphics for you per year, making sure that your marketing is always up to date for what you have going on in-store. Clients who use this have said that it's like getting a continuous website facelift.
After receiving great feedback from integrating LiveChat into SiteManager, we wanted to offer the same customer communication tools to our clients. Now you can greet your online customers with warm, timely messages the same way you do in-store.
2017 And Beyond:
In 2017 we have some big plans to take advantage of our new efficiencies to actually push down your costs. We're making major strides in connecting with Premium Vendors to bring you their products and marketing materials in innovative ways. Quite a few of our addons above are getting exciting updates. We'll also be working on Version 6 of our website platform, which we cannot wait to show you.