If you've spent any time at all here on our Daily Reader, you've likely stumbled across articles like our popular "Top 11 Best Selling Aromatics" post. Indeed, they're among the most viewed pages on our blog. One of the problems with those articles, however, is that we have to update them manually. And while we try to keep them as fresh as possible, we simply can't update them as regularly as we'd like. Luckily, it's 2020 and we have on-staff developer ninjas who love creating awesome new tools for our customers — tools like our new, dynamically generated Tinned Best Sellers, Bulk Best Sellers, and Cigar Best Sellers pages.
Each of these pages lists the 25 best-selling tins, bulk blends, or cigars of the month. These lists are automatically generated by our software once per day, using an algorithm that calculates the respective sales rank on a monthly rolling average across tinned and bulk tobacco, as well as cigars.
While we've featured these pages for years, they were mostly just a list of products, without much of the helpful, useful information a pipe or cigar smoker needs to make an informed decision. We've completely redesigned these pages with user experience in mind. So let's look at some of the highlights:
A quick look at the newly redesigned Tinned Best Sellers page
Where To Find Them:
First things first: Let's cover where you can find these pages. You can navigate to Tinned Best Sellers and Bulk Best Sellers through the Tobacco dropdown menu on the homepage. Click "Tobacco" in the main menu and then click either the "Tinned Best Sellers" or "Bulk Best Sellers" links. Likewise for cigars, you can click on "Cigars" in the main navigation menu to see the link to the "Cigar Best Sellers" page.
You need relevant information about a blend or a cigar that you're considering, and we've overhauled these Best Sellers pages to display tobacco and tasting notes. For pipe tobaccos, you'll now see all the blend's component tobaccos, as well as its tobacco family (English, Aromatic, etc.) and cut style (plug, flake, ribbon, etc.).
On the Cigar Best Sellers page, you'll find the listed cigar's length and ring gauge, as well as its country of origin and wrapper type. Wrapper country, filler country, and binder country are also provided.
While a list of components may provide a general sense of how a blend or a cigar may taste, nothing beats real reviews from real people. There are thousands of reviews of pipe tobaccos and cigars on our site, and we've integrated those real testimonials into the new pages. Our Best Sellers pages now showcase the average star rating (out of five stars) and the top user review for each product listed. The displayed review is populated automatically, based on the review that has received the greatest user approval.
Not every product on our site has a review yet, especially blends and cigars only recently added. We've made it easy to be the first with a "Leave a Review" button. Once you click the button, simply follow the prompts to leave your review, hit submit, and you're done.
Another feature we've added to these Best Sellers pages is quick access to One-Time Alerts. If a blend or cigar is currently out of stock, you can click the "Email Me" button to receive a One-Time Alert when the product is again available. This feature provides greater accuracy in our rankings and an easy way to order your favorite blends faster.
If you've not tried our One-Time Alerts, here's how they work: Click that button and we'll send you a notification when the product comes back in stock. We won't nag you about it, so you needn't worry about multiple emails. Notifications are sent in the order in which customers sign up for a specific alert, so early activation is an advantage when you notice a favorite that is temporarily out of stock.
To make these pages more interactive, we've added position-change indicators to the rankings so you can track how a tobacco or cigar is trending on the site. If a tobacco or cigar has increased its position since the previous day, a green, upward-pointing arrow will be displayed, and if the product's position has decreased, a downward-pointing, red arrow. Not everyone is as geeky as we are about these things, but you may find it interesting to see how the preferences of others are currently changing.
While the main best-selling list is generated based on monthly rolling averages, we've also added a new section to the very top of each page called "Today's Best." This section is a highlight of the best-selling product of the past 24 hours, affording a closer look into what's trending on a day-by-day basis. The best-selling blend or cigar on the main list, for example, may not be "Today's Best," as they're calculated by two different time frames.
Currently Running Specials
At the very bottom of each of these Best Sellers pages, you'll find a section listing all the currently available promotions, sales, and specials for the listed category. If we're offering a 20% discount on Sutliff's Private Stock blends, for example, a relevant banner will appear at the bottom of the Tinned Best Sellers page, regardless of whether the blends on sale are displayed in the ranked list. Why did we add this? Well, maybe you're looking at the most popular blends, but 20% off is still 20% off, and we all like things that aren't necessarily best sellers.
Tobacco/Cigar Sales Rank:
Here's a feature that doesn't actually appear on the Best Sellers pages, but we think you'll find it relevant. We previously displayed the sales rank for every pipe tobacco and cigar on the site on its corresponding product page, but the feature didn't seem particularly useful. Do you really care if the well-reviewed blend you're about to try has a sales rank of 746? We don't — at least not when we're shopping for tobacco. And that ranking could be misleading for products relatively new to the site, so we've amended this feature to be more accurate and more useful.
Instead of displaying the exact sales rank for every tobacco and cigar, we've now grouped best sellers into distinct categories: Top 5, Top 10, Top 25, Top 50, and Top 100. When viewing a tobacco or cigar's product page, you'll now see a corresponding graphic below the product's price if it falls into one of these categories. If it doesn't, we omit the sales rank entirely.
So there's an overview of this new site functionality, which we hope will be a helpful and easy way to get a feel for tobacco trends. Of course, the best way to become familiar with the new pages is to experience them, so try the quicklinks below, and be sure to bookmark them for easy access.
Once you've looked around, we'd appreciate knowing what you think about the new Best Sellers pages. Is there a feature you feel is missing? Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below.