2018! New Year, New Goals to set, New Promises to Keep.
That is at least our intention. Seasoned Entrepreneurs reflect on their 2017. They start with basic questions, such as "was it a good year" or "how will we continue our momentum?" Others, like me, prefer to make themselves uncomfortable and ask the hard questions.
- What did we do?
- Did we meet our financial goals?
- How do we think bigger than we did in 2017?
- Are we happy with the company's direction?
- Am I done with this?
Those are a few questions I asked myself and the team. What I love most about Bamboo Digital is my team and our clients feel like family. I'm not talking about your annoying sibling family feeling. I'm referring to the cool cousin you hang out with during the holidays.
What did we do?
Internally, Bamboo Digital focuses on projects we're passionate about and love bragging about over dinner like straight up geeks. 🤓 This is very important to the team.
Here's some of what we did in 2017:
- Valentines Day Event with Barbell Apparel - we ran a promotion with a meaningful story. We pushed their strongest promotion: Buy 1 Pair of Barbell Jeans Give Your Significant Other a Pair for Free. We wanted couples to be obsessed with their clothing together. We sold out in less than 7 days. We will be doing this again, and it could become a tradition we discuss at the dinner table for years to come.
- Speed Optimizations - we performed two separate speed optimizations perfectly in just two weeks each. Word spread that Bamboo handles speed. It turned into a science and the requests for Speed Optimization grew tenfold from 2015 to 2017. We believed there could be a retainer service that would align itself with an insurance-type product. Buy it hoping you won't need it, but you'll have it when it is crucial. The funnel worked well and we still use it. We never promised a specific improvement and we offer a refund to unsatisfied customers. We wouldn't take a job if we couldn't find a way to improve it.
- Recycling Fee with Nest Bedding - we discovered that mattress companies are required to collect recycling fees from customers in CA and a few other states. This is the law in those states. Most online mattress retailers don't have a way to take recycling fees on Shopify. The brilliant team at Nest Bedding asked for our help. After hearing about their goals, inquiring about their needs to formulate a plan to stop the bleeding, we issued a plan to use Shopify Scripts uniquely to collect fees automatically for all items with recycling fees required by their state. Our Script was an instant success, as the geniuses from Nest Bedding came to ask us for help, they got their return on investment immediately when we delivered in less than 2 weeks.
- Storytelling Remarketing and Google Adwords - our clientele of AdWords accounts grew throughout the year. We redesigned Google accounts similar to how we redesign a website. The efficiency made the results easier to gauge. YouTube and Facebook advertising would only become one of our staple services in the event were able to improve the client's current situation. To keep with our mission, we made sure to focus on Lean Marketing Metrics as well as transactions and social media engagement.
- Amazon Setup - we had the privilege of setting up a couple of Amazon stores through Shopify's native app . The options were limited at the time, so we created an advanced tutorial that still helps customers integrate and upload products to Amazon the "Shopify Way."
Did we make money?
We all have reasons for being a part of the Bamboo Digital team. However, attracting talent and keeping projects engaging requires enough revenue to make it worth everyone's time. I'm glad to say we did fine in 2017, we worked too much on client's projects and not enough time working on Bamboo Digital. We achieved a lot of the things we grew up believing was a fantasy: millennials setting their own schedules and working with companies similar to ones that employ our friends. There were some frowns, 🙁 but we learned from our growing pains. We became a trusted adviser and left companies smiling. 😁 Our journey continues in 2018, as we will face new challenges and continue growing to meet them.
How to think bigger?
In 2017, Bamboo Digital focused exclusively on Shopify Plus as we spoke with more than 20 Merchant Success Managers. Hearing their stories and asking what Plus Stores needed gave us the insights to improve. We always want to develop awesome relationships with clients who have exciting ideas. We want to see our clients succeed and they feel the same about us.
In the second half of 2017, we were only touching 100-300 Shopify Plus Merchants in a year and there are over 2500. We were spending most of our time marketing for our clients but only interacting with a small portion of Shopify Plus merchants. To achieve our stated goals, we needed to think bigger.
We are giving value to Shopify Plus Merchants in 2018. To kickstart the year, we are launching our first Shopify Plus App - Shopify Plus Generator .
Are we happy with where the company is Going?
Because of the jobs we took: our goal of being the #1 Shopify Scripts Expert was brushed under the rug, our app development was delayed and the website wasn't updated for five months.
Running a blog remained a concept until the end of the year. At that point, we were too consumed with client work and lost our identity. This was our fault . We were working more, but it couldn’t scale as our work is hyper-customized. This meant helping fewer companies than we should have been helping. We did wonderful things for our clients at the time, but we failed to work on our vision to help the most Plus Merchants.
Am I over this?
Not at all. Renewed Mission, New Direction, New URL. You might be thinking, "Wait, isn't that in the title?".
We just wanted you to know why we have a new URL, renewed mission, and a new direction.
In 2017, our URL was bamboodigi.com. The reason we had that domain is bamboodigital.com was already taken . 🤬 FYI ... no one uses it. Horrible thing to happen, but it did.
(updated 🤷🏻♂️ March 20: the bamboodigital.com URL is now in use. It still hurts, just in a different way 😭 )
It was working for a while, however, there were some silly subliminal things happening. Our clients kept seeing @bamboodigi in the email and when they visited our website a pattern started to emerge: intros and referrals to the company kept mentioning a company called BambooDigi. It didn't seem like a big deal until the 3rd or 4th time. Once we identified the branding issue, we had to solve it.
https://www.bamboodigital.io is our new URL moving forward. We understand if you see bamboodigi every time you email us or visit our website, you might even have forgotten our name is Bamboo Digital.
To be fair, Bamboo Digi is at least 75% of the entire name. How could we hold you to remember the last 25% if you saw bamboodigi? This issue kept getting ignored and it is fitting the new URL marks the era of building the brand the way it was envisioned.
Our mission from the get-go was transforming Shopify Plus Stores into engaging web apps .
We discovered many things that aligned with our vision and, through our varied projects from marketing to development, we saw the truth. We need to make an impact, starting with a quality website and a blogging strategy that reinforces our mission.
Our new mission for 2018: to teach Plus Merchants how to quickly create story-driven promotions, t hen how to turn those stories into an engaging experience.
Our new direction is laser-focused:
Step #1 New URL - our old cocoon of bamboodigi.com held our failures and our lessons. We will never forget them, but we are evolving past them.
Step #2 New Website - we relaunched the website as a team, providing more information and storytelling than our static one-page website delivered.
Step #3 Shopify Plus App - we will launch our first Shopify Plus App to impact the world by giving Plus Stores the ability to launch their own Shopify Scripts Promotions faster than ever and without needing a developer. This is the first step in fulfilling our goal of reaching the wider community of Shopify Plus Stores.
Step #4 Storytelling - we launched our new blog with original content to help Plus Merchants operate their stores and develop them into engaging web apps. In our blog, we will dive deeper into the tools that helped us grow.
Step #5 Build Services that Scale - we created services that are unique and focused on Growth Hacking & Marketing for Plus Merchants. We are excited to share these services and improve them as we deliver on these services time and time again.
After Step 5, we will come back to the drawing board.
Here's to 2018
Our focus, the growth in team size, and the promise for more exciting projects will keep the team engaged and excited for 2018.