It’s not often that I wish we had more comparables, but when I see the puzzled look in investors’ eyes while discussing Saas Enabled Marketplaces or our Free Saas Enabled Marketplace (FSEM), I sure wish we did.
We recently published the results of a massive study (12,000+ restaurant owners), to quantify the ROI BlueCart generated for its users. Halving the time spent processing orders and checking inventory, halving the food wasted, and reducing the number of returned orders to just a fifth of that of non-users, can help understand the marketplace growth we experienced over the few last quarters (see the full report here).
Our growth can be measured by looking at 3 main KPIs: user acquisition, retention, and engagement.
User Acquisition & Retention
Up until June 2016, we were onboarding 1,000+ restaurants per month. Over the last two months, July and August, we literally doubled our user base and now have 20,733 businesses on our platform. Interestingly enough, the same investors who looked puzzled by our go-to-market strategy defined our product as “you guys are giving them crack”. Our monthly retention is off the charts, with Monthly returned users always hovering above 80+% because we ensure there is a clear ROI for our users. Exercising extreme user empathy and a well executed mobile-first strategy is paying dividends.
As a network effect type product, where the value of the platform increases as more and more of our users’ network joins BlueCart, we expected to see an increase in engagement in highly penetrated markets as we increase our market saturation. The following chart shows how first-time users place more orders during their first week as BlueCart increases its market presence in Washington DC. We see similar patterns in other cities and within individual verticals (hotels, restaurants, and recently retailers).
Over the next couple of months, we will enable buyers and sellers to subscribe to premium services, make and receive payments via the platform, and access additional financial services. This will open a transaction-based revenue model, which coupled with our ad revenue and subscription model, explains Spend Matters’ comparison to LinkedIn’s model.