Predictive lifecycle marketing is a relatively new concept for many, based on using analytics to determine customer tendencies and purchasing behaviors so that communications can be sent at the most opportune and effective points in time.
Hans Kuder, a longtime software engineer, has built a product called Retention Hero that helps ecommerce companies leverage this information to get the most out of their customers and incite repeat business.
Kuder’s previous position was with a company called Goodsie.com, which made online store builder software for people who wanted to set up ecommerce shops. He says that one of the biggest challenges he saw with clients was finding ways to effectively market to existing customers.
“Retention Hero hooks into a store platform,” he says. “It goes through purchase history and customer data and looks for patterns in terms of when customers come back after making certain purchases.”
Kuder has background in big data and machine learning, and that expertise proved valuable in designing the algorithms for Retention Hero, which uses a number of classification and regression techniques based on factors such as geography, time/date of purchase and product types.
“Where are the peaks in a time series graph? Those peaks are their most likely time to return to the store.”
Based in Minneapolis, the startup launched at the end of the summer and has acquired a few pilot customers who have provided positive feedback and recurring payment. He says that early on, customers are seeing a 5-10 percent increase in repeat sales, noting how this little number is a big win because returning customers are so significantly cheaper to acquire than new ones.
Kuder bootstrapped Retention Hero and has coded the software mostly on his own, with a little help from freelance developers and designers. There are other players in the space, most notably AgilOne and Custora, but they aim for bigger fish and Kuder says his offering is mostly geared toward mid-to-small sized ecommerce stores and startups for now.
“Existing ecommerce companies are growing massively and there are tons of new entrants in the space all the time,” Kuder says. “That tells me the market is already huge and it’s getting huger. New companies need tools to accurately understand customers.”
Retention Hero works on a monthly billing model, with plans that range from $20/month for small volume all the way up to thousands of dollars at the high-end enterprise level.