- Customers: connected and active customers up 42% mom - as we slowly let a few more customers in.
- Merchants / Retailers: live conversations up 20% mom; 13 demos in Oct; revenue strategy currently under review as we’ve had unexpected outside interest from distributors.
- 83% of users have received at least one upside (71% last month). Improving significantly as we saw a big uptick in utilisation in the last two weeks of Oct.
- Total upsides paid to date up 112% mom.
- The average upside is up 71.7% from the baseline.
- The AOV at in-scope partners were up 60% from baseline.
- Frequency is up 28.5% against the baseline.
- Tech: Processed 67% more transactions than last month.
- New features launched: Push notifications: we now have the ability to notify customers when they get upside or when partners change. Support for re-authorisation of open banking connections. Minor tweaks and improvements to onboarding flows.
- Back-end features launched: Improved management of partners/offers. Improvements to auto-matching rules, and ability to apply those matching rules retrospectively. Continued improvements to our data platform.
- No major incidents: Production stability and performance remains good.
- 87.24% straight through onboarding. Service remaining satisfactorily stable
- Great customer engagement and feedback score of 4.93 out of 5
- Distribution: We now have 21+ active conversations with potential distributors. As part of the revenue strategy review, we are investigating opportunities to charge SaaS fees to distributors.
- Funding: Reached c£350k (116% of min target) on Seedrs.
Here are the inside to Upside:
Enter Kathryn (Sales & Marketing)
Connected customers up 42% mom and churn of 2.14%. We have benefited from organic sign ups lowering our CPA as we have not been spending on advertising this month.
We have not been focussing on driving high numbers of sign ups whilst we turn our focus to getting more partners to sign on the dotted line.
Customers are earning great Upsides. We also have some data now to go to the merchants with such as increases in frequency of spend as well as a great uplift in AOV (stats covered in Product below).
Merchants / Retailers
We didn’t close deals with any partners in October. The pipeline increased 20% mom with more than a dozen demos made in October.
Overall we have had some strong conversations and have revived conversations that went cold due to key decision makers being on furlough or simply too busy with covid.
Enter Andries (Product)
We’ve made a series of small tweaks to the onboarding process during Oct based on customer feedback. This includes removing the estimation feature which caused confusion. We’ve also updated some of the language to make the proposition more clear.
In app usage
On the back of improvements on what we show on the partners screen, and driving a bit more awareness via email and push notifications, we’ve seen significant improvements in engagement in Oct:
- 83% of users have received at least one upside (71% last month).
- Total upsides paid, jumped 112% from last month.
- Retention, all the way into week 6 saw a significant improvement.
83% of users have received at least one upside.
- The average upside now tracks up 71.7% from the baseline.
From a Merchant / Retailer perspective we observed: (NOTE: partner brands were held constant over Aug to Oct, so the stats are like for like)
- Processed a total of 67% more transactions than last month
- Total spend at isted brands increased 152% from last month
- The AOV at in-scope partners were up 60% from baseline, and
- Frequency was up 28.5% against the baseline.
New features launched:
- Push notifications: we now have the ability to notify customers when they get upside or when partners change.
- Support for re-authorisation of open banking connections: to enable users to painlessly extend their access permissions for open banking.
Our focus now is on getting the app ready for the app store, and building out the Partner platform. So no significant new features in the app are planned for Nov and Dec.
Enter Paul (Tech)
Our focus in October, from an app point of view, has been to ensure we can keep in touch with our customers. We implemented integration with a multi-channel marketing and communication solution allowing us to send both push notifications and emails to our customers. This will allow us to keep customers informed about things happening in their accounts, as well as being able to send them marketing about new partners, upcoming deals and promotions, or help ‘nudge’ along customers who haven’t quite made it through onboarding, or who haven’t yet received their first upside.
The path of true love doesn't always run smooth though, and this integration has been substantially tricker than we expected, ultimately resulting in us deciding to re-implement a key part of the integration (registering new devices for push notifications) in the last couple of weeks, replacing an out of the box integration with something that fits better with the broader architecture of our mobile app. Lesson learnt there in terms of spending a little more time ‘spiking’ new technologies before integrating them.
We’ve also implemented the last key pillar of our open banking integration this month: The ability to re-authenticate open banking links. This ensures that customers can continue to get Upside on their purchases beyond the current 90 day limit imposed by regulations in the UK..
We’ve now processed significantly more than half a million transactions within the platform, with these transactions now being processed by our new matching algorithms which are significantly increasing our ‘hit rate’ on automated matches. Those same matching algorithms are now being used to classify all the historic data in the platform also, and will continue to be expanded over the coming weeks to drive more value from our data.
The next focus for us is app store readiness. As we discussed last time around, we’ll be implementing functionality designed to protect the app and ourselves from sudden spikes in demand, as well as investing in the creation of an administrative portal to allow our operations team to look after a larger customer base. Alongside this, we’ll be focussing on developing our partner proposition, leveraging the increased volume and quality of data available in our data platform.
Enter Steve (COO)
Business As Usual
We are happy to report that whilst we “pushed” 2 new versions of the App this month, we achieved:
- a stable and satisfactory service,
- no major outages, and
- a customer satisfaction score of 5 out of 5 with an overall rating of 4.93 out of 5
87.24% straight through customer onboarding rate (slightly down from last month as a result of significant increase in number of new customers joining Upside and being subjected to KYC)
We’ve improved our analysis on why customers are getting in touch and what issues they are experiencing when using the Upside app.
Meet ‘Savvy’ our ChatBot, which is now up and running on a basic level. All customers will now be initially ‘met’ by Savvy and triaged based on their question. The queries Savvy can respond to automatically, will be added to over the next month, increasing our ability to quickly help higher volumes of customers.
Team health and morale
Team morale remains high at the moment. We are gaining real clarity on what partners specifically want and how to approach them. These learnings, alongside customer and distributor traction, and new revenue source alternatives, are very encouraging.
Now that we are out of the woods on the funding round, we are taking some time to take stock of our plans for 2021, including strategy, product, sales approach, scaling strategies and resourcing.
- We’ve closed the Seedrs campaign on c£350k, and are going through the admin processes to complete the round.
- We have received last minute interest from a handful of new investors, so might take a little longer than expected to close everything down.