Candy Japan > Behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes

Sharing business learnings

This is the behind-the-scenes blog of Candy Japan. The idea is to share any data and learnings from running a Japanese candy subscription box.

Revenue reports

April income report was the first one ever, it's from 2012. The post was so popular I got encouraged to write more. Now I try to share how well the site is doing at least once a year. More often if we hit any milestones or if I just happen to be in a reflective mood: 2013, hitting $10000 MRR, 2014, 2015 Q1, 2015, 2016. I've also done an interview with Indie Hackers.

An outline of all the online services I'm spending money on can be found in Running costs for Candy Japan.

Credit cards

Accepting card payments and not only PayPal was a big thing for us, so I wrote a two-part post on Accepting my first credit card payment without PayPal. Here's part two.

In Candy Japan hit with credit card fraud I described what credit card fraud is and why it has been a big issue for us. After battling with it for some time, I wrote How Candy Japan got credit card fraud somewhat under control.

A/B tests

I'm a big fan of doing split testing, which means not changing things based on your gut instinct alone, but trying it out to only a portion of customers and gathering real data to see which choice is better. It's science! I wrote a report on trying this out on varying our box design in Results from Candy Japan box design A/B test.

Marketing

In Sales results from getting 3 million views on YouTube I described how millions of people seeing your product on YouTube doesn't necessarily turn into any sales.

I'm active on Hacker News and gathered some data to see what the best time to do Japan-related posts would be. The conclusion was... that there isn't enough data. I wrote it up anyway in Do articles about Japan do better at night?


Coding

One night I got bored with packing boxes and tried to write a bin packing algorithm. The algo isn't in any use now, but it left me with a better appreciation for the complexity of the problem.

In How many lines of code is Candy Japan? I went through the codebase behind this site and tallied up what all of the Python code is there for.


Others

As the years passed, I realized I don't necessarily have to do every single thing myself and wrote Delegating a task successfully on oDesk.

One time I got a bit surprised after seeing many similar services popping up and wrote Nobody's Going to Steal Your Idea, which turned out to be a massive hit.

Chronological list of all behind-the-scenes posts

You can also get these as an RSS feed.


Twice as happy customers = half the marketing spend

Halving your cancel rate doubles the number of customers your business has. Even if you run a subscription business forever, you will not have infinite customers. Instead you reach a steady-state number.

What I won't write about

Setting some limits to transparency.

Candy Japan 2016 Year in Review

In 2016 Candy Japan struggled with unstable foreign exchange rates and tried making a video ad.

Algorithmic fitting of japanese candy

Introduction to bin packing through a simple example of fitting boxes of candy inside a parcel.

Price changes

How the price of Candy Japan has changed over time and why.

Questionnaire results

Results from a questionnaire we sent to our subscribers.

How many lines of code is Candy Japan?

Guess how many lines of code you end up with when writing a subscription box site from scratch.

Do articles about Japan do better at night?

Shows the best time to post to Hacker News if you are writing a story related to a specific country.

Results from Candy Japan box design A/B test

How the physical box design for a subscription box affects retention.

How Candy Japan got credit card fraud somewhat under control

Credit card fraud can be a huge problem for subscription boxes. Here's how we got our situation under control.

Running costs for Candy Japan

Software costs involved in running a Japanese candy subscription box.

Candy Japan 2015 year in review - part 2

Goes into more detail than part 1 about what happened in 2015 for Candy Japan.

Candy Japan 2015 Year in Review

2015 was a nerve-wrecking year for Candy Japan, with some dramatic ups and downs.

Candy Japan hit with credit card fraud

What is credit card fraud, how we noticed it and how it impacted our business.

Nobody's Going to Steal Your Idea

Should you tell everyone your business ideas, or keep them as your closely guarded secrets?

Sales results from getting 3 million views on YouTube

How getting your subscription box covered on a popular YouTube channel is not necessarily a shortcut to riches.

Candy Japan 2015 Q1 update

A look at Candy Japan's first quarter 2015.

Candy Japan 2014 Year in Review

Looking back on what happened in 2014 for the Japanese candy subscription box Candy Japan.

 Candy Japan crosses $10000 MRR

Japanese candy subscription box Candy Japan exceeded $10,000 per month in sales.

Candy Japan 2013 Year in Review

How the year went for Candy Japan in 2013.

Accepting my first credit card payment without PayPal, part 2/2

Part 2 on how we set things up to accept credit card payments.

Delegating a task successfully on oDesk

How to hire freelancers on oDesk, now known as upwork.

Accepting my first credit card payment without PayPal, part 1/2

Explains how we set up accepting credit cards for our subscription box.

Candy Japan April income report

How much money can you make by sending surprise candy to people around the world?


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