Saturday, June 1, 2013

Getting to know you

May 31, 2013
Startups & Venture Capital

Localytics: Know your app users

Taryn Plumb, Special to the Journal 

Raj Aggarwal is CEO of Localytics, which offers software than can help companies gain insight about their app users.

W. Marc Bernsau 

Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal maintains that consumers typically remain loyal to one-third of the apps they download.
Aggarwal, co-founder of the Boston-based app marketing and analytics startup, said the traditional practice has been to simply attract as many customers as possible, instead of engaging them and getting to know them and their habits.
“As the app space matures, people are recognizing that downloads are not the entire picture,” Aggarwal said.
Localytics, which launched in 2008 — the year following the first-generation iPhone release — offers software that helps companies identify, retain and engage their most valuable users of their apps.
Its tools help track not only who the users are and what devices they’re using, but where they’re coming from, how they navigate through the app, and where and why they leave it.
“It’s a much more hypothesis-driven approach to marketing,” said Aggarwal, who previously worked as a consultant for Apple Inc. as the company was developing the iPhone.
With the data from Localytics, companies can then categorize users — based on anything from demographics, to behaviors, to device, to loyalty — interact with them through in-app messaging, and attempt to engage those that may have fallen away. “Our focus right from the beginning was to help the leaders in this space have deep insight about their users,” Aggarwal said.
Localytics supports all major operating systems, is now integrated in more than 20,000 apps, and is collecting data on more than 800 million unique devices, according to Aggarwal. Its biggest concentration of customers are in media and entertainment (including The Wall Street Journal and A&E), retail and e-commerce (eBay), and software and technology companies (Microsoft and Salesforce).
The company has raised $8.75 million to date, most recently through a $5.5 million Series B round of funding announced in September and led by Polaris Venture Partners. The startup has grown its staff from 10 last year to its currently level of 40.
Rue La La — a Boston-based e-commerce site — has been using Localytics since its inception in 2008. Michael Putnam, a vice president at Rue La La, said Localytics has helped the firm learn more about its customers. The shopping site operates by opening a series of short-run boutiques every day; as each is launched at 11 a.m. Eastern time, customers are almost always viewing via their smart phones. Meanwhile, tablet usage peaks in the evening, and mobile usage increases on the weekend. Mobile sessions mean quicker visits and more impulsive, lower-cost purchases.
“You can really target what kind of information you’re sharing with people,” said Putnam, adding that the goal is to “show people things they’re likely to buy on the device that’s appropriate.”
Ultimately, mobile purchases comprise of 30 to 40 percent of Rue La La’s revenue. “It’s really taken off for us,” Putnam said.
And Aggarwal thinks it’s only a matter of time before that becomes the status quo. “People are becoming serious about mobile,” he said. “(App designers) are going to want to continue to get a holistic view of their users, a 360 view of their users, no matter where they are.”

Original story link here.

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