Technology and Startups

Voonik And Freshmenu Share Their Growth Secrets

Branch.io organized a mobile growth meetup on Saturday, 26th September 2016 for mobile app developers and enthusiasts in Bangalore. Ramesh May, the Chief Performance Officer of Freshmenu and Sreevathsav Reddy, Senior Vice President at Voonik spoke extensively about their mobile growth strategies and learnings. The event was held at AppLift’s office on 80 Feet road, Kormangala. Applift helps mobile developers with customized solutions to market their apps.

Fresh Menu was founded by Rashmi Daga in 2014 and is today counted as one of India’s leading food-tech startups. The company is estimated to have have an annual revenue of Rs 12 Crore and has operations in the 3 Indian cities as of December 2016.

Voonik was started in 2013 by Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan. It is the only large e-commerce company in India, that launched Gender Targeted Mobile Apps. It launched the Voonik Women Shopping App in 2013, which had products only for women. The team was surprised by the intial response as the woman’s only app reported higher conversions than the prevailing industry standard. So when then decided to feature men’s apparel this year, they launched a separate app for men called Mr Voonik – Online Shopping For Men . Voonik reported a monthly revenue of Rs 7.6 Crore for June 2016.

branch.io meetup

From left to right : Mr Sreevathsav Reddy, (Voonik), Ramesh May (FreshMenu) and Govind Kavaturi (Evangelist for Branch.io).

Some Insights from the talk they delivered are given below:

  • Voonik worked hard on it’s mobile app. One of the first things they did was remove all javascript and instead introduced a low end mobile site. This increased conversions to touch double digits.
  • Why mobile app works in India is because you don’t need SEO and it’s an even playing field. In the App store you rank equally with most other news apps. On the other hand getting to the top 3 of Google search results for a specific key words is very difficult for a newly launched website. Companies with better website SEO and big marketing budgets will outperform newbies.
  • Mobile App Notifications works and is the Brahmastra of getting people back to your app in India.
  • Voonik initially started out as a woman only app. It was hugely successful and might have partially inspired Myntra.com to go it’s disastourous app only journey.
  • Paid Vs Organic Marketing ? What is best option ? There are a lot of people who just spend an hour every week online. Getting to these people is difficult and this is where you can buy ads and target them using demographics and geolocation.
  • Newspaper Advertisements helps a startup in product validation. Especially for a food company, people have a tendency to trust what they see in the newspaper. Online ads lack credibility especially for new companies that are just starting out. When people see these ads online they are left wondering “I have never heard of this company”, and thus trust issues emerge.
  • Playing With User Emotions helps in conversion. Calling out the name of the person when you send a newsletter helps in higher conversions.
  • Emails for companies like fresh menu are of two types: Marketing and Transactional emails. As part of the transactional email, fresh menu sends additional embedded links which in turn drives back return traffic to the main website.

Some questions from the audience on branding and business operations followed. They are given below :

How much should startups spend on branding initially ?

Focus on the product, which your biggest brand. The more people like it and install it , the bigger your brand gets.
Once you get traction , then you brand will grow because of the word of mouth publicity which accompanies it. Later once you have established your product you could launch multi-crore branding exercises like Snapdeal, Flipkart and Myntra.

What would be a better method to get App Installs ? Drive traffic to your website or the App store?

Getting people to the App store has shown greater conversions. This is because once you get a prospective client to visit your website, you need to then figure out how to get them to install the app. As the second process is longer, getting to the App Store first has consistently shown greater conversions.

Why is Freshmenu not present in other cities?

When you look at the history of the companies that failed in the food eco-system you realize it is because they had streched their business operations to breaking limits. TinyOwl, which sunk like a stone failed because they simultaneously started operations in 13 Indian cities. Fresh Menu currently has operations in only three Indian cities of Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

audience applift

Members of the Audience.

The meetup was organized by Branch.io. You can know more abut the next meetup at https://branch.io/events/

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