Clutch interviewed Jason Jaynes, a co-founder of Apptive. The purpose of this interview is to offer prospective partners of Apptive a descriptive and firsthand view into the capabilities of Apptive. Jason also offers insight into the emerging trends of the m-commerce landscape.
Clutch: What sets Apptive apart from the other mobile app development software out there?
Jason Jaynes: The majority of similar products that you find are more mainline, streamline, app creation platforms that allow you to build a generic mobile website or a mobile app. They have their place in the market but they are not particularly useful for merchants and online business owners. We are different from the rest because we exclusively focus on m-commerce and the m-commerce vertical. We are working to help our users integrate their store catalogs, facilitate check out and so on.
Clutch: Why have you chosen to focus on m-commerce?
Jason Jaynes: Mobile app sales are the wave of the future. Studies are showing that people prefer to shop on apps these days over and above other online shopping options. Loyal customers to a business want to download the app, find what they need and buy with as little work as possible. Of course, merchants still need a mobile-friendly site for searches and comparison shopping but those people who are already buying from you are the ones who are seeking out your app. They want the buying process to be as streamlined as possible and want to go in and get what they need and get out.
Apps create whole new form of marketing, as well. Our users can directly market to their loyal customers with push notifications. Many other forms of online advertising rely on algorithms and that may not ensure that a specific merchant’s posts are seen by all possible consumers. For example, Facebook may not show all of a business’ followers all of their posts. That is a lot of wasted time and energy on marketing that not everyone sees.
With an app, you control who sees it, how often and exactly when. If the consumer enables push notifications when they download the app, our merchants can send consumers reminders and messages whenever they want. We supply unlimited push notification capability on their apps. This is a revolutionary way to directly communicate with customers who are already loyal.
Clutch: In regard to the push notifications, are there any GPS or location services integrated into the app?
Jason Jaynes: Right now, we don’t do any location-based push notifications. The main reason that we haven’t done that is that the majority (around 90% to 95%) of our customers don’t have a physical “brick and mortar” location. They do their business entirely online. Their consumers are spread out everywhere. Because of that, the location-based notifications don’t make as much sense for our users. If it becomes more important to our users, then, of course, we will meet that need.
Clutch: Your software and platform is a DIY solution and doesn’t require coding experience but do you have options for people who want something a little bit more involved than the basic software offers?
Jason Jaynes: As you mentioned, we have a dead simple, easy, drag and drop interface that the merchant can go through to build their app. 95% of the merchants that have used our builder have created their app totally on their own. However, the other 5 % have chosen the pro-setup offering. They may be too busy to handle it on their own or simply not wish to bother with it. We create those companies’ apps for them for a small, one-time, up-front fee.
Once your app is built, you have access to the management center where you can change content, add new deals, update deals, and so on. You can send out push notifications from that same management center, as well. It’s built to be as user-friendly as possible. We have made it so that you can do all of the things that I just described without having to modify the app.
Clutch: Do updates to the app have to go through you?
Jason Jaynes: That depends. Our merchants can update their store product catalog or add new content to the app totally independently. They can do that in real time through the app content management system that I just described. Like I said, that doesn’t require an app update.
However, if they want to change the design, the color scheme or the layout of the app then they will need go through an app update with us. It’s a one-time charge of $99. We work in concert with our business owners to make it a quick, simple streamlined process.
Clutch: Are you only providing native iOS and native Android at the moment?
Jason Jaynes: That’s correct. The two platforms that we cover are iOS and Android. On iOS we support iPad and iPhone and on Android we support all foreign factors.
Clutch: How many users do you currently have setting up apps via your software?
Jason Jaynes: The last time that I looked, we were close to worldwide. We have north of 300,000 apps that have been downloaded and installed across our customer base. We’re proud to say that we are present in well over 100 countries.
Clutch: Well, that’s impressive! Of course, business owners want to track the effectiveness of their app. What types of analytics are available for merchants?
Jason Jaynes: Analytics are available on the “Standard” plan and above. So the “Basic” plan doesn’t include analytics. You get analytics once you purchase the “Standard” plan. The cool thing is that once the merchant decides to upgrade to a different plan, the information is all there. We start tracking as soon as the app is live. We’re always tracking the analytics but we don’t provide them to the merchants until they purchase the “Standard” plan.
Clutch: What is the pricing on the different plans and what do they include?
The “Basic” plan is the least expensive plan at $29 per month. With that, you get a lot of great features like an iPhone and Android app and unlimited content pages.
The next level is our “Standard” plan which costs $69 per month and includes things like analytics and 10,000 product catalog.
Our “Pro” plan offers some great benefits for merchants. The plan costs $149 per month and, with that, you get unlimited push notifications and free updates.
It’s all a matter of priorities and what the merchant is looking for. Each plan has its own special features and everyone receives amazing customer service. Merchants are free to change their plan at any time.
Clutch: Do you provide a free trial period?
Jason Jaynes: Our free trial is, really, 30 days. We say 15 days on our website but, in the interest of our users getting a real chance to try out their app, we give them 30 days. In actuality, the trial doesn’t start until the app gets deployed to the store. So when they order, we’re not going to charge them for the time that that it takes to get the app set up and live. Our merchants have a 15 day trial with the live app to work with. That way they can see how it works for them and really get a feel for it.
Clutch: What type of support do you offer?
Jason Jaynes: In a word? Phenomenal.
We provide email support to all of our customers. People on the “standard” level plan and above have access to phone support in addition to the email support. We have a dedicated support team here that is answering the phone from 9 am to 6 p.m. CST.
It is important to us that our customers talk to someone who knows what they are talking about and who cares. All support is in-house and never outsourced so our users are reaching us when they call or email. As I said before, everybody gets exemplary customer service. We are committed to making sure our merchants are able to get the help that they need as soon as possible and from a friendly and helpful associate.
Clutch: What about larger businesses and enterprises?
Jason Jaynes: We have been working with small business and that was our focus. However, we are moving toward bigger commerce now and it’s definitely a part of our offering currently. The needs of the larger retailers are different and we are working hard to meet those needs.
We have a number of customers we’re working with already in that regard. It’s really working with larger retailers and brands who want a more customized application than what you can get with the DIY platform. We are working to customize our product to fit the needs of our specific customers and users. With merchants in over 100 countries, we have to be flexible and willing to customize our services.
Clutch: Why should merchants choose Apptive over the other DIY mobile app software available?
Jason Jaynes: First and foremost, our interface is so easy to use. You can create your own logo, choose your color scheme and add products to catalog without even a tiny amount of tech experience. Beyond that, we concentrate on e-commerce so we are the perfect solution for those merchants wanting to stay with the times and build an app for their loyal customers. We also have great customer service and our prices are reasonable.
Clutch: Those are all great insights. Thanks for your time, Jason.