Re-Imagining the Chalkboard Dashboard

For a long time, the Chalkboard technology team wanted to revamp the Chalkboard dashboard. The main reason is that we have many feedback an thoughts from our customers: the small and medium business (SMB) owners. So, after two months of work across the quiet summer, we have re-imagined the Chalkboard dashboard, focus specifically on solving the common issues raised by our customers: one, a seamless dashboard that helps them to update Today’s Specials with a easy to use interface; two, an activity feed that provides simplified statistics to let them know who are viewing, visiting and contact their business locations and three, improving the management of the locations with search functions and easy to view heatmap. In this blog post, we like to take you through how the SMB owner can navigate through the new dashboard.

In the new dashboard interface, we have placed three tabs: Dashboard, Locations & Your Specials. On the Dashboard, we now illustrate two basic statistics for the SMB Owner: (a) Seen – how many people who have seen your business listings and today’s specials and (b) People – how many people who have contacted/visited your business by clicking through the listings, making calls to your location, getting directions from where they are to the business location of interest and sharing of the listing & Today’s specials via Facebook and Twitter. We have also incorporated a to-do list which will help the SMB owners to maximize the distribution thru Facebook (which we will explore in the next post about our updates on Facebook) and simplify their update mechanisms via twitter and sms as well.

In the process, we have created a simple interface that allows the SMB owner to update their latest Today’s Specials with a select list to allow them to choose the locations, although by default, we select all locations, and select the start and end dates with a Calendar interface. That is right below the display of the logo, name of company, the payment package and statistics page.

We added an activity feed to update our customers on a couple of things: (a) How many people have actually seen, visited or contacted their locations? (b) Where are these people when they are assessing their location? (c) which publishers’ mobile apps or websites are the SMB owners’ business listings and today’s specials shown? and (d) Who are the consumers who have followed the businesses as loyal followers via facebook and email? In the activity feed, we sought to made these updates to make sure that they know what they are getting with $0.99 a day. This is important because Chalkboard’s mission is to help small and medium owners to drive more walk-in traffic and spread the word around not just locally, but also socially and instantly too. Of course, this is not the end of our efforts. While our customers do not understand CPM or CTRs which are complicated digital marketing metrics to them, we strived to make the metric as simple as possible for them.

We have two other tabs “Locations” & “Your Specials” which allow the SMB owners to manage their portfolio of locations or go thru the history of their Today’s Specials (and which medium they have sent it from). The SMB owner now gets an overview on how each of their business performs. Under the locations tab, we provide three important features which make it simple for the retailer to manage things: (1) a simple search interface that will allow them to make changes and post updates of Today’s Specials if they are looking for one location among a hundred locations, (2) the same set of statistics broken down for them, and (3) a better version of the heatmap, which tells them from the color scheme on how many people are actually looking at the location from different locations. Finally in the “Your Specials” tab, you can now view the history of the your specials.

While re-imagining the dashboard, we went through a lot of iterations to make it simple to use and also wanted the merchants to know what their surrounding environment are like. With a new leaderboard in the dashboard, we want to let the SMB owners know what other business locations around them (within 1km in the country) have new and updated Today’s Specials. That is important because we have observed from our data, the SMB owners who updated more than an average of 3 updates a day have 20-30% more customers coming back to them. These SMB owners usually put up Today’s Specials which are product launches and less likely to be deals which seem to indicate that they can attract more loyal followers through our social share mechanism.

Of course, we are going to improve this dashboard from time to time, but we also hope that our customers will provide us new feedback and thoughts on the dashboard.