A little bit late to the party, but as it was my birthday yesterday, I had other priorities. A lot happened since I wrote the first Build in Public, so let's dive in.
First some general news: I converted all the analytics for my side projects to Fathom. Fathom is a privacy-first alternative to Google Analytics. I really love what they stand for, and I always love supporting fellow indie hackers, so check them out!
This week I optimized the ad hoc price fetching for products. I fetch the Bol.com datafeeds twice a day now (around 3am and at 2pm).
But as prices can literally change every minute of the day, just fetching the price only twice a day is not enough. That's why I am using the Bol.com Open API to fetch the prices of some products multiple times a day, always just before the peak moments (8am, 12 pm, 4pm, 6pm). The products I fetch ad hoc are products with a higher chance to be seen by users: popular products on Bol.com, followed products, products with discounts, etc. I will monitor how that goes this week.
I've also received some mysterious traffic from The Netherlands this week. In my Fathom dashboard I have a huge uptick of organic traffic from The Netherlands on the 26th and 27th of November. The thing is they all were searching for "prijzenvolger" in Google. This makes me think that the Prijzenvolger was either mentioned on the radio in the Netherlands or maybe on Tiktok or something. If anyone heard something, let me know, please! The good thing is that the traffic also clicked-thru to Bol.com and bought stuff, so there's a nice uptick in my Bol.com affiliate dashboard as well. So whoever spread the word, thank you so much.
I decided to put the B2B offer on prijzenvolger.eu next to the B2C offering on prijzenvolger.com. Another option was to use a fancy new tld like .business, but I'm still not sure how well they rank and if users realize that .business is the domain extensions.
On top of that I also have my first paid users!
A year ago I was working on a React Native app to create a mobile version of the Bol.com Seller Dashboard. The authentication part on Bol.com's side was too clumsy (not mobile friendly and user had to enter an API key into my app, which is odd), so I decided to focus on Prijzenvolger instead.
Well, to validate that initial idea of the mobile app, I put together a landing page in Leadpages (which I don't recommend anymore tbh), and ran some Facebook ads. I got around 120 potential users out of that.
As they are the same audience, I sent them a mail last week with the message that the mobile app is on hold right now, but that I am launching a price tracker for Bol.com sellers and if they wanted to try it out. I got 19 responses back and 15 of them wanted to try it out.
I put the website live on Google App Engine and onboarded all the users personally during a Zoom call. They love the idea so far, and they gave me a lot of valuable input.
Out of those 15, 9 actually put down money to track products. The average subscription price is 24 EUR, so that's a nice MRR for a pre-launch product.
I still have some work to do on it before I can actually launch, but if you're a Bol.com seller, feel free to try it out. Let me know about it and I'll onboard you personally.
Contact several people that work in the marketing department but it seems no one's working there. There's also a new message on the Walmart.io website that states:
So in the worst case, I can start working on Waltracker after the holidays.
Best Buy / Lowe / Target / Home Depot Tracker (?)
As I have a very nice template now for a price tracker, nothing stops me to just create one price tracker after another. I know (how) they make money, I know how to get traffic to them, so let's use that knowledge!
When I created Prijzenvolger in 2016 and added over 80 BeNeLux shops to it, I realised fairly quick that most people just wanted to track Bol.com products. (and some Coolbue products). So instead of tracking smaller shops, I'm thinking of just creating price trackers for the biggest shops.
SimilarWeb has an overview of the top e-commerce websites in the US, so now I'm just going to go through them and see if they have everything I need to create a price tracker for them.
I don't really care about validation research for now, as just getting my affiliate links out there is more important. Because I found out how to make the monthly cost of a price tracker so low and I can build them fairly quick, there's no risk in creating one.
And just to give an example, according to SimilarWeb Bol.com has around 80MM monthly traffic, which is actually very nice and unexpected.
Some quick maffs that is of course way off, but enough to motivate me for now:
Walmart sits at 383MM, Bestbuy at 139MM and Target at 187MM. Summed up that's 709MM visitors.
Camelcamelcamel, the biggest Amazon price tracker has around 8MM monthly visitors. Amazon itself has 2 billion monthly visits. And let's not forget that CamelCamelCamel actually has some competitors like Keepa (4MM visits). That's 0.6% of Amazon visits that use a price tracker (again, I warned you that this is some dirty math)
0.6% of those 709MM visits is 4,254,000 monthly visits. If only 0.1% of those convert to an affiliate transaction, that's 4254 transactions monthly. Looks good to me!
Ah, the wonder of doing maths to get motivated..
Another super secret project
I got a message last week by someone wanting to create something really cool for Belgium and The Netherlands. I can't share too much of it right now, as we're still brainstorming about it, but I promise I will tell you more about it next week.
See you next week for #BuildInPublic no. 3!