64: How This Startup Is Tackling The Shopping Cart Abandonment Problem
My guest tonight is Richard Sharp, the CTO of the Google-backed company, Yieldify. He is the scientific and technical brain behind the company that forecasts online behavior for more than 500 brands and their millions of e-commerce customers.
Can you tell the listeners a little about yourself and your role at Yieldify?
I started my career in computer science research then decided to move into industry. I moved into software engineering and product development. I ended up running Global Engineering but decided I wanted to get more consumer product experience so I headed to Google. I headed up the product team for their banking comparison products and integrated them into Google search. I then came from Google to Yieldify. Yieldify is backed by Google ventures so there’s a bit of a link in continuity there. I became Yieldify’s CTO last November and I run products and engineering at Yieldify.
Are there any crazy interview questions at Google? Is that a bit of a myth?
There’s some moderately crazy ones but not as crazy as the press makes out. They do like those estimation questions like “how many gas stations are in the U.S?” “how much storage does it take for Gmail and why?” to see if people can progress through those fuzzy, ill-conditioned problems.
It seems businesses are on a quest to fulfill the personalization of almost everything at the moment. They want to give their customers what they want before they even know it. Isn’t that a little creepy? How do you see us progressing in the near future?
Personalization does not have to be creepy. People have just come to expect personalized online experiences online. If you get it right you can make your customers feel awesome on one hand by feeling personal and special and you can also increase revenue by making offers more timely and relevant.
For those who have never heard of Yieldify can you explain what it is and what sets it apart from everything else out there?
We have technology that in a nutshell makes the online shopping experience better and as a result increases conversions. We sell our platform and integrate our platform with people who sell stuff online. When the Yieldify technology is integrated with an e-commerce site it basically acts like a high-end shopping system delivering personalized content and messages to users at the right times to improve their shopping experience. This is done by highlighting a particular value point around free delivery or running some campaign to let people know about a lowest price guarantee or recommending a certain type of product.
That’s what the technology does. As far as what makes us different our mantra has always been what we call “smart and simple”. We say our platform is smart. That’s really because of the data we have. We now trigger coming up on 1.5 million campaigns a day now across our entire platform, across our different online retail customers.
In terms of simplicity, we think this is something that matters a lot to marketers in online retailers. This is where we can really differentiate by delivering value immediately. We have zero effort integration.
I read about the incredible work you have done with Dominos Pizza. Can you tell the listeners a little about that phenomenal level of ROI and how you helped them achieve it?
Dominos is a great customer for Yieldify because they drive nearly 70 percent of their business through online orders. That means if we can work with them to increase their online conversion rate we can make a material impact on their business. Dominos came to us to optimize their onsite conversions and to reduce basket abandonment.
The strategy we took was two-fold. We segmented users first and foremost by whether they were new users who hadn’t ordered a pizza before online. We wanted to convert new users into customers and reward returning visitors for their loyalty. We used on site overlays that we triggered when we detected intent of the user to leave the site.
For new customers, we offered them a 25 percent discount in return for entering their email address if they made a purchase. For the returning users we implemented stretch and save campaigns. We segmented returning users by how much they put in their basket and then offered them a promotion.
Do you think any organization that fails to move with the times or with customers increasing demands and expectations can quickly get left behind?
Yes. If you look at how much things have changed e-commerce itself is pretty new in the last 10-15 years it’s gone from negligible sales to being a huge industry.
2/3 of website visitors will leave without purchasing anything. How does Yieldify solve this modern problem for businesses?
Some of the approach we take is like I described on Dominoes. We find that exit intent works really well. When you find out someone is going to leave the site you can offer them more choices in a way that’s not intrusive.
What’s the best way for listeners to reach out to you guys and find out more information?
Just check out www.yieldify.com. There’s a lot of info on there about our current products and also a lot of interesting content. We have offices around the world in London, the U.S, Germany and Sidney Australia. You can reach out through the website and arrange a personal demonstration if you are interested in taking it further.
Please also see check my related article from my INC column: How This Startup Is Tackling The Shopping Cart Abandonment Problem