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What turns your everyday moments into meaningful memories? Sharing the story with others. And Photobook provides users the chance to do exactly that.
Launched in 2005 by Mark Koay, this Malaysia-based startup has been enabling users to transform their best photographs into inspiring physical objects — everything from actual photo books to frames, home decor, and even kitchenware.
As they cater and ship to 200 countries, the team prioritizes innovation and technology in furthering their growth and enabling all of their customers to personalize the things they love. Eager to learn more about their journey, their challenges, and their future plans, we spoke with Lee Yee Hew, CMO at Photobook.
When their mobile app gained popularity in 2017, their initial growth strategy was user acquisition. Consistently acquiring users over the course of a year helped them increase the number of people engaging with the app — but re-engagement was still a gray area.
They wanted to explore methods for re-engaging and retaining customers, but for that they needed to identify friction points that were prohibiting new and existing users from making purchases.
With a deep dive into the data, the team came across two possibilities:
In both cases, the only solution was to communicate with users — and not just after installing the app, but after every purchase. Marketing messages had to to be ready to send in order to guide and engage these users. But at this point, the team wasn’t sure how and when users should receive messages.
Additionally, because they have a global audience, it was a real challenge to personalize messaging for every user. Hew shares, “As our audience is so wide and different from each other, partners that allow us to personalize our web and app experience further are very important for us. Hyperlocalization is critical for our success.”
Photobook partnered with CleverTap to design the ideal user journey and identify the optimal opportunities to communicate with customers.
First, they had to understand user behavior: where customers were coming from, what actions they were taking in the app, and more. Simply put, the team had to understand the user journey end-to-end.
With a particular focus on reducing the number of inactive and churned users, the team wanted to make sure that for every app install, a purchase was made. They enhanced the onboarding process and made sure to nudge users to make their first purchase as soon as the app was installed.
Real-time behavioral analytics provided them with insights into what users were doing and where they were dropping off. In a single view, the team can now study how users behave during the first 7, 15, or 29 days after install, and are able to create highly personalized messaging that addresses each individual’s needs and experience.
Understanding the user journey also helps the team pick the best time to send messages that enhance the onboarding process, or that encourage repeat purchases without annoying their users.
Here are a few examples of their highly successful campaigns:
The team engages users with highly personalized daily push notifications. CleverTap Journeys play a huge role here in identifying whether a user installs the app but doesn’t purchase within an hour. In these cases, the user is re-engaged and nudged towards a first purchase with an automated trigger point that lasts for 5 days.
Repeat Purchase Incentives
Recently, they launched a campaign for their newest product — a free children’s book as an incentive for repeat purchases. While this is still in the exploratory stages, the team is very positive about it.
The app does not use tutorials to guide users in creating their photo books. Instead, they’re using CleverTap’s omnichannel capabilities to educate users. Insights from Journeys help the team identify the best time to share this information, helping more users connect their Instagram, Facebook, or Google Drive accounts and uploading photos to the app. These educational campaigns are proving just as valuable as promotional campaigns.
With these engagement efforts, the Photobook team tracks and measures success based on a few key metrics like customer lifetime value, purchase frequency, and repeat purchases.
Hew shared that, while revenue from repeat purchases is one core metric that the team focuses on, the ratio between revenue from repeat purchases vs new purchases depends entirely on the maturity of the market: “Roughly 15-30% of revenue can be attributed to repeat purchases. Every time a push goes out, we see a spike in revenue. System-control group helps us see incremental revenue with push.”
Photobook is already the largest ecommerce provider in this particular vertical in Asia. But in the near future, Photobook plans to expand the scope of personalization by including production machinery that will go beyond basic decor to offer engraving on different materials including metals. This will give everyone a chance to turn their memories into unforgettable souvenirs of every kind.
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