Serial entrepreneurs can get inspiration from the strangest of things, even from a coffee machine. That’s how Ankit Maheshwari, his wife Nandini Rathi, and his brother Arjun Maheshwari came up with the idea for their newest venture – Betaout..
Between them, they could already boast of building companies like Instamedia Network (acquired by a Dubai media company), Born Rich, and ContentCloud.
“We (Arjun to be specific) had ordered an expensive coffee machine from one of India’s leading ecommerce sites,” says Nandini. It was delivered in a day’s time. But after a week, they received an email, offering a 25 percent discount on the same product.
“It was our light bulb moment!” The incident helped them figure out a flaw with the marketing channels of ecommerce companies.
“There is a clear disconnect between the tools used by these ecommerce companies for their marketing communication. Sales has no insight about tech. Tech has no insight about customer care. The customer service team has no insight about marketing, and so forth,” says Nandini.
As a result, ecommerce firms end up sending the same, undifferentiated marketing messages to their customers in a bulk fashion. This experience led to the birth of Betaout, a cloud-based all-in-one eCommerce marketing automation software that enables ecommerce companies to use all of their marketing channels from a single tool.
Noida-based Betaout was founded by Nandini, Ankit, and Arjun along with Raghubir Thakur and Mayank Dhingra in 2014. Some of its prominent clients are Paytm, Lenskart, GOQii, Lenovo and Tokopedia. “We are working with over 160 ecommerce companies worldwide,” says Nandini.
The ecommerce market in India is expected to double to US$70 billion by the end of this decade. So, it’s a good time for a marketing automation software product that offers a comprehensive set of tools, especially when most marketing softwares used by ecommerce companies and B2B sites are generic in nature.
The aim, ultimately, is to lead to higher sales for ecommerce companies.
Nandini gives the example of a travel company. “We were able to pinpoint where the online sales were coming from and where the gaps were. By using cart recovery mailers, we were able to on an average recover six to eight percent abandoned carts.” It helped the travel company increase its number of orders by 15 to 20 percent, she says.
If you want to improve business, try knowing your customer.
Austria-based Emarsys, for instance, enables one-to-one interactions between marketers and customers. US-based AgilOne integrates customer data, analyzes customer behavior, and lets marketers engage with customers.
Like them, Betaout is a customer intelligence and marketing automation platform, designed especially for eCommerce.
Betaout collects a company’s consumer interactions across multiple channels like web, mobile, and social into a single centralized consumer repository that has their multichannel activity, profile data, and behavioral data.
This data is stored in an individual customer profile known as the Single Customer View.
The picture above is of a centralized consumer profile. It shows the buying trends, intent behaviour, and future buying estimate for an online shopper.
The Single Customer View is the building block of Betaout. “All our clients have access to it for every single customer they have. And it captures all activities, events, intent, purchase, browsing history, social footprint and more in real time.”
Betaout has built plug-ins for all major eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Prestashop, and Drupal.
The company charges clients based on the number of addressable contacts they have.
In April 2016, the startup raised US$1.5 million in a pre-series A round from investors like Beenext, Stanford Angels, Letsventure, and Chennai Angels.
Now it has set its sights on Southeast Asia. “We started by expanding to Indonesia, and have similar plans for other countries in the region. At the same time we are also scaling up our team by hiring for key positions.”
The startup is also working on a tool to predict the behavior of ecommerce customers, that is, when a customer is likely to buy a particular product and at what price.
Nandini has been building businesses for the last eight years.
Her online media startup Instamedia Network was doing over 20 million page views per month when it was sold in 2012. Online luxury website Born Rich was initially a part of Instamedia.
ContentCloud was launched by Ankit and Nandini as a content collaboration platform for publishers working with huge teams in different locations. “It’s still live and we are working with clients like Viacom US. But we realized quite early that publishers don’t have deep pockets to pay.”
In case you are still wondering what the Betaout founders did with the coffee machine they ordered from the ecommerce company — well, they sent it back and asked for a refund.
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