It’s a big chasm for any startup to cross — making the jump from MVP/beta to commercialized product with actual paying customers.
That’s how the story is unfolding for local tech venture CartStack, a B2B SaaS firm previously profiled on ‘Beta Byte’ that makes a niche plugin product for e-commerce sites. It addresses the specific pain of cart abandonment through an automated email re-marketing scheme.
Quietly grinding away last year with a laser like focus on customer development vs. funding, co founder and CEO Brett Thoreson has ramped up to 80 sites with 50 customers signed on a recurring revenue model.
“Finding out what customers want prior to spending resources overdeveloping the product has been huge for us. Less reliance on what we think customers want and more so based on direct feedback combined with data. Listening, learning and iterating.”
The sales model starts with a 30 day on-boarding trial to commence the relationship and facilitate integration. From there, money is made by converting customers based on volume of remarketing emails sent.
“Shopping cart abandoners are 3 times more likely to come back and buy if they receive an email reminder. Our average customer is realizing a 15X ROI using CartStack through a 15% recapture rate of lost sales,” Thoreson notes.
“Startups often begin by operating in a world of uncertaintly and unknowns. The quicker they are able figure out which assumptions don’t work, the sooner they can find out what does and deliver that repeatedly. We still have a long way to go but acquiring and retaining the customers we have so far is validating for us. If we can continue to grow organically maybe then investment capital will follow.”