Startup companies are founded for many different reasons, but Heap Inc. may be the first one to become reality because of too much pizza.
Matin Movassate, Heap’s founder and chairman, previously worked as a product manager for Facebook. He wanted to measure what users were doing with the product he was responsible for, but he could not get the data.
“In order to get the data, he would have to beg his engineers to put in all sorts of tracking code,” said Rachel Obstler (pictured), vice president of product at Heap. “He had to bribe them with pizza because it’s no one’s favorite work. It took a while to build up the data, and he thought there just must be a better way. The idea with Heap was that we could automatically collect data all the time.”
Obstler spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier in advance of the June 16 AWS Startup Showcase “MarTech Emerging Cloud-Scale Customer Experiences” event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the core principles behind Heap’s technology and a recent acquisition to strengthen its data analytics offering. (* Disclosure below.)
Finding interesting points
Born out of a Facebook manager’s frustration, Heap started in 2013 with a mission to illuminate hidden insights from data as rapidly as possible by combining quantitative and qualitative analytics for a 360-degree view of a customer’s digital interaction. This might involve closer examination of a checkout or signup flow, places in the process where customers could suddenly disappear.
“We’ve built on top of Heap a data science layer that will automatically surface interesting points,” Obstler explained. “We’ll automatically surface an important drop-off point between two milestones so you know exactly where things are going wrong.”
Heap’s own research makes the case for why this kind of analysis is becoming more critical. The company’s semiannual “Digital Experience Insights Report,” released in April, found that up to 30% of data becomes irrelevant every six months and businesses are missing up to 50% of buyer activity.
“There is aggregating data and looking at individual user journeys,” Obstler said. “Our priority is to bring these things together to have one platform where someone can just find this point of opportunity and really understand it.”
Improving conversion rates
One of Heap’s customers is Casper Inc., a mattress company that depends heavily on its digital sales channel. The business applied Heap’s analytics to one area of its channel and learned an interesting lesson.
“They have a whole checkout flow and discovered that users at the very end of the flow who chose same-day delivery were much more likely to convert and buy a mattress,” Obstler noted. “What if we made the fact that you could get same-day delivery obvious at the beginning of the whole funnel? They tried that, and it improved their conversion rate considerably.”
After closing a new round of funding for $110 million at the end of December, Heap announced the acquisition of Auryc Inc. in June. Auryc is a provider of session replay software, and its technology is expected to further strengthen Heap’s ability to drill down and understand the context when key customer moments occur.
“With Auryc, this is where you have an opportunity to watch it,” Obstler said. “Click a ‘show me’ button and watch examples of users getting stuck in that place. It really gives you a better and clearer context for exactly what’s happening.”
Heap’s business model is also based on the premise that central data teams are responsible for doing complex analysis and should not have to spend time on the easiest questions to answer. This means bringing more analytical functionality to digital builders and product managers and marketers who must make key decisions around how to drive business impact.
“It’s designed to be easy for everyone to use, and an important principle for us is the democratization of data,” Obstler said. “If you put the power in the hands of the product people or marketers, they can do their own analysis. You have data that’s self-service for everyone.”
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s pre-event coverage of the AWS Startup Showcase “MarTech Emerging Cloud-Scale Customer Experiences” event:
(* Disclosure: Heap Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Heap nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)