Thursday, March 6, 2014

SimplePart February Update

Welcome to our News and Update wrap-up for February 2014.

During the short (cold) month of February, our client's websites saw nearly 2,000,000 unique visitors (+7.4% daily) and generated 10,289 orders (+12% daily) totaling $1,409,611.93 (+27% daily).
·         Conversion rate was up 7.8%.
·         Average purchase size was up 11.2%.
·         Each advertising dollar we spent generated $9.56 in web sales for clients (+9.8%).

Unpleasant weather may have held back in-store sales, but February was a great month for online parts. The Spring rebound is in full swing for our car/truck dealers, and just beginning to hit for our powersports dealers. We are reaching out to many of our clients with recommendations and analysis to help make the most of this high-growth period. 

                                                       30 Day Rolling Sales – All Websites

Good news! We’ve moved!

The SimplePart team has moved into snazzy new offices. We outgrew our 1,700 sqft space in Decatur, and have moved into 5,500 sqft in Inman Park, which is just a few minutes down the road.

Our new mailing address is:
112 Krog Street, Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30307

Industry News


Google made changes to both Google Places for Business and Google+ Local. If you have accounts in either system (which you probably do), you need to log into them and answer some questions or you risk falling out of search and map results. Google is also revamping the sign-up system for both services to make it easier and more streamlined.

Google and other search engines allow you to place special markers on your web pages (rich snippets) that are not visible to users, but communicate semantic information to Google about the content on your pages. Not surprisingly, many people use these markers to attempt to spam Google’s index by providing misleading information about what’s actually on the page. Google announced this month that the are taking special action against this type of spam.

Google rolled out a change on February 6th which impacted search ranking for websites which are “light on content and heavy on ads,” and drops them down in search results.

When you advertise online, your ads show on major search engines and on their network of third party websites. When a user clicks on your ad on a third party website, the owner of that website gets a portion of the CPC fees that you pay. Increasingly, those clicks from third party websites are being faked by website owners – automated tools can click those ads and generate revenue for the website owner, but not send any actual visitors to you. Detecting and eliminating this kind of fraud ($10B per year) is a big deal. To further its efforts in this area, Google has just bought a company called which specializes in detecting ad fraud.


The largest DDoS attack on record (400Gbps) struck CloudFlare on February 10th. The attack affected specific target websites on CloudFlare’s system, but because of the scale of the attack, also slowed down general web traffic.

The DNS provider NameCheap was hit by a 100Gbps DDoS attack on the 20th of February that affected around 300 of its websites and made big parts of the Internet generally inaccessible to users.

The leading exchange for Bitcoin, Mt Gox, shut down on February 25th and declared bankruptcy. Reportedly, Mt Gox was the subject of a long-term hack and may have lost more than $400m worth of the currency.

Other News

Overstock has sold $870k in Bitcoin currency (4,000 orders) as of February 21st , using Coinbase to instantly turn their Bitcoin into US Dollars.  

Alibaba is entering the US market and launching to compete directly with Ebay. Alibaba’s US subsidiaries, Auctiva and Vendio, will manage the new property. Alibaba runs and and is the largest ecommerce player in China.

Amazon has introduced a neat new shopping tool. Using the Amazon app you can now take a picture of an item and see purchase options for that exact same item within Amazon’s marketplace. The new tool is called Flow and is available only on iOS.

Twitter is rumored to be building a system to allow merchants to sell products from inside of tweets, potentially turning Twitter into a marketplace.

Yahoo had another system-wide outage this month, which affected many of their properties over a period of 3 hours on February 4th.

Yahoo is said to be considering re-entry to organic and paid search with two internal projects code-named Fast Break and Curveball. Currently Yahoo’s search and paid results (as well as 31% of its revenue) are provided by Bing, though the contract expires in March.

Yahoo is partnering with Yelp to show Yelp listings and reviews directly in Yahoo search results, similar to Google’s local cards, maps and reviews. These may begin to show for your dealerships soon, so be aware of the reviews Yelp shows.

Microsoft has invested $15m in Foursquare in order to bolster its mapping service, Windows, Windows Phone and Bing search results. Information about your dealer in Foursquare may begin to show prominently soon in Bing results, so be aware of your Foursquare profile.

Volvo introduced a new system which allows delivery companies to locate and deliver packages (in)to your car using fancy digital keys and a smart-phone app.

Apple’s new in-car navigation/entertainment system was revealed this month, and is slated to show up first in Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo cars – to be followed by Nissan, Peugeot, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, General Motors and Ford.

17% of 1,056 US online shoppers surveyed reported having their credit cards declined while attempting to make a web purchase.

Of 500 companies surveyed by Verizon, only 11.1% were fully compliant with PCI payment card security standards. PCI standards include 12 requirements for how companies should handle credit card and personal information. Compliance is up over the 7.5% measured in 2012 – Verizon attributes increased compliance to the many well-publicized data breaches over the last few years.

WhatsApp, the messaging service Facebook just bought for $16B, had a four hour outage this month caused by a failure of one of its network routers.


I want to take a minute to highlight the impact of our Business Intelligence (BI) team. Our BI group works continuously to map and analyze the online parts market space, and to find opportunities for our clients to sell more and make more. As a company, we are committed to your growth. We will often reach out to clients if we see opportunities – but the team is available any time our clients have questions. They can walk clients through how any aspect of a website is performing, and show them penny-accurate profitability. We can set up email marketing campaigns, test and run new kinds of advertising and promotions, help adjust pricing and shipping, and work with clients to improve efficiency and reduce order processing costs.

Since October, dealers who worked with our BI group to optimize their websites have seen a 33.4% increase in daily gross profit, while dealers who stayed the course only saw a 17.6% increase in daily gross profit. Granted, both segments show strong growth – but why miss an opportunity to make more money?

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