E-commerce sales assistant startup Preezie had been up and running for two-and-a-half years, without getting a whole lot of traction in the market. But, last year, the team made one small change that set their revenue soaring.
The seed of the idea for Preezie had been with co-founder Michael Tutek since he was a 14-year-old working his first job at The Good Guys.
He’s always been interested in the sales process, and the experience of the customer on the shop floor, he tells SmartCompany.
The vast majority of people walk into The Good Guys not knowing what kind of TV they want, he observed.
“They look at a wall of 100 TVs and they’re just confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice,” he explains.
When a sales assistant guides them through the options, and helps them find a product, many walk away with a TV, and an experience they’re happy with.
“Even then I thought: ‘Why can’t we do this online?’
“This idea was incepted in my mind 15 years ago,” Tutek says.
Preezie is designed to bring sales assistance into e-commerce, where it can be tricky to convert window shoppers into customers.
The tool conducts a quick quiz about what the customer is looking for, their preferences and price point, and directs them to the products within that range.
It’s working with customers such as Retail Apparel Group, Nick’s Wine Merchants and men’s clothing store yd.
According to Tutek, some of those customers are experiencing a 650% increase in conversation rates. On average, conversions increase by 400%.
Test and learn
The startup was founded about three years ago, but it wasn’t until mid-2019 that it started picking up steam.
The founders joined the Skalata Ventures six-month accelerator program, and through the program, managed to double their monthly revenues, and grew the team from three people to eight.
Previously, while they had a strong product, they were making crucial mistakes elsewhere.
“We focused a lot on the actual product and we didn’t focus enough on how we take it to market and how the product is viewed,” Tutek explains.
The website was dated and basic, and not necessarily user-friendly, he admits.
The founders realised all the messaging behind the product was geared towards technical people. But they were pitching it to marketers, and people in e-commerce.
“We were basically pitching to marketers with a product and website and brand and message that doesn’t make sense, and doesn’t look the part,” he says.
“We needed to revitalise the brand and the messaging.”
Instead of clinging to a product that wasn’t ideal for sentimental reasons, the team took a ‘test-and-learn’ approach, he says.
It’s about being flexible, trying new things and measuring the results, he says. Then, you optimise from there.
“I don’t believe you can be precious with what you’ve built or how you built it,” he says.
“You just have to look at the information and look at the data.”
Now, the startup has “quite a substantial pipeline” of clients, and is working towards launching its first funding round in Q2 this year.
If things keep moving on the trajectory they are, “we should be able to double or triple our growth within the next six months again”.
The team is also working on building new features and new capabilities into the technology. It’s onwards and upwards from here, Tutek says.
“Our vision is to help consumers make better choices … There’s a lot of product enhancements that we want to do.”