Maruti Agarwal, the CEO and Co-Founder of Raleigh-based LatticeAI, has been in the tech industry since before AI was even a buzzword. But even before the widespread excitement within the sector around AI and machine learning (ML), he said he’s always been involved in building data science teams.
So when he became interested in Shopify, he started attending webinars and conferences with e-commerce professionals and noticed a clear pattern. Business owners were constantly asking how to increase their revenue. And so-called growth experts always had the same answer: look to Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and a plethora of other social media avenues to drive new customer acquisition.
“It became evident that it sounded like spending on ads is the magic key to all of your problems,” Agarwal said. “I could see that all those experts out there are giving the same answer, but it is not satisfying to the person who asked that question in the first place.”
From hearing the same conversations over and over, Agarwal had an epiphany. Shopify store owners were putting so much focus on targeting new customers, but they were neglecting the retention piece for their past customers.
“It became clear to me that this is where the opportunity lies and this is a burning pain in the community, that retention is becoming more important,” Agarwal said.
If these companies are spending more money to secure new customers, the only way to be sustainable is to make more money per customer, Agarwal said. So he envisioned a new way for them to do this, via LatticeAI’s product ShopAgain.
“That’s what was the missing piece in this equation,” Agarwal said. “That’s how ShopAgain got started. We became that missing piece.”
Founding the company in March 2021 with his longtime colleague and now co-founder Roshan Singh, Agarwal said they took some time to conduct plenty of market research and then launched a beta version in October with the hopes of getting four or five early adopters. After they found success there, ShopAgain became available for everyone in mid April. Already, they’ve received significant interest without much marketing.
By using ShopAgain, Shopify stores get access to personalized emails and SMS marketing campaigns based on the analysis of more than a thousand data points per shopper. The targeted campaigns can be launched from ShopAgain with a single click.
Under ShopAgain’s monthly subscription freemium business model, companies can elect to pay for several different pricing tiers, from $0 to $2,000 a month depending on the number of people in the email list and the level of advanced campaigns companies choose.
Over time, Agarwal said ShopAgain has worked to understand their customers’ pain points better and evolved their product to align best with those needs.
As a pandemic-era startup, LatticeAI operates with a remote team, but this was something Agarwal was accustomed to with his past companies. Market-wise, Covid-19 has only accelerated the demand to buy online, making Shopify (and ShopAgain) more relevant than ever.
“From the market perspective, what happened is that more and more people started buying online, so e-commerce clearly saw a rush of rapid growth,” Agarwal said.
ShopAgain has just tapped the surface of what’s to come, as the startup plans to expand its capabilities to other platforms beyond Shopify, Agarwal said.
Now that the ShopAgain product is fully launched, LatticeAI is gearing up to scale their sales and make a larger impact on the community as they help more and more stores grow. Agarwal said they are also working on some cutting-edge AI technology in the product that they expect to launch later this year to further help stores make their marketing decisions automatically.
“A lot of decisions could be automatically made by their data,” Agarwal said. “That’s what we’re doing, so we want to automate their sustainable growth.”