Timing really is nearly everything. And what it isn’t, circumstance makes up for. – Steven Van Zandt
While Arvind Parthiban knew that he always wanted to do something of his own, he also knew that it would not be before he gained enough experience. But while working at Zoho – an online office suite and SaaS application for businesses, where he was involved with marketing for IT servers, the opportunity to take up a bigger challenge materialised on its own. He came across the challenge of finding the right marketing automation solution and sensed the need of an optimisation tool which fulfilled the requirements of all sizes of businesses and not just the big few.
While the market did have many optimisation players, all of them were either providing A/B testing or heat maps or funnel analysis. So businesses had to use multiple software products rather than using one single provider. It was this problem that Arvind Parthiban, along with his ex-Zoho buddies Naveen Venkat and Santosh Kumar, decided to solve by developing Zarget (earlier Osmnez), a SaaS-based conversion rate optimization company, in 2015.
Today, the Chennai-based firm of 25 employees has raised $1.5 Mn in seed funding from Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, and angel investors such as Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshdesk.
Says Arvind, “Zarget represents an evolutionary leap in terms of how companies can optimise conversions and see deeper into site performance. Consider the slow advances in our industry compared to the music industry, which moved quickly from records to CDs on to iPods and streaming. Our Chrome plugin is the next step and represents the future of site optimization as we’ve made it seamless and more efficient through the combination of several feature sets. We anticipate fast adoption as the need and budgeting for conversion rate optimization increases globally. And ecommerce and SaaS firms will immediately realize the benefits of a single tool for real-time heat mapping combined with A/B and funnel testing.”
How it works
Zarget’s proposition is simple. If you are a business looking to increase call conversion on your website, Zarget gives you the stats and analytics to help you influence buying behaviour of your website visitors positively. The first tool to optimise beyond login pages, Zarget is ideal for improving checkout pages and various SaaS website tools without any of the related security vulnerabilities.
Heatmap support for interactive design elements such as sliding banners, drop-down menus and HTML5 moving elements is a core Zarget feature. This allows users to track visitors in real time, instead of the “snapshot” approach used by competitors that cannot capture visitor activities on dynamic elements.
Funnel analysis capabilities within Zarget allow companies to see where visitors are dropping off from the website by configuring multiple pages together. More so, Zarget provides all of these tools in one platform with the added simplicity of a Chrome plugin. So, users no longer need to waste time and valuable resources loading websites into an application.
Optimisation For All
As per Arvind, any company which does business through its website is their target customer. In particular, the Zarget platform is purposely built to empower ecommerce, marketing, and SaaS companies and intended for use by marketers, product managers and web designers. Instead of employing three different tools, now businesses can use a single tool to manage site content and performance. Additonally, compared to its competitors, the Zarget platform is much more affordable and is suited for small and medium sized businesses. As the world goes online and everyone wants to take their business on the Web, the target market for Zarget is one big set.
1,000 Signups On Product Hunt!
Optimisation has been there for eight years but this is the first time that it has been brought to a Chrome plugin. So when Zarget introduced the product on Product Hunt, the startup got close to 1,000 signups. After that it has been able to get 20 paying customers on board including the likes of Freshdesk, 91Mobiles, Desktop360, and Wedtree, among others.
The startup monetises by charging the clients for the number of visitors for whom the experiment is run, and not the total number of visitors on the website. In the current year, its focus will be to strengthen its position in the market and subsequently introduce more products in the marketing automation space.
Zarget’s all-in-one solution drew the investors’ interest. Anand Daniel, Partner, Accel Partners, stated, “The Zarget platform provides businesses with a full-featured, easy-to-use conversion rate optimisation tool that completely disrupts the existing single-feature solution market. We are very impressed by their experienced management team and technical/product expertise and believe they will become a mainstay in the field of conversion rate optimisation. Zarget is essentially helping companies refine and perfect their customer experience, which is key for any firm that wants to be successful in this day and age.”
Given the number of businesses coming online every day, there is a whole lot of truth to these words.
The Other Optimizers
Optimisation has been around for a while and there are quite a few noted players who offer optimisation services to businesses. Some of them are Optimizely, Wingify’s Visual Website Optimizer, Five Second Test, and Convert. However, Arvind believes that where Zarget is able to differentiate itself is that it combines three offerings of A/B testing, funnel analysis, and heatmaps in one platform with the added simplicity of a Chrome plugin, so users no longer need to waste time and valuable resources loading websites into an application.
Additionally, with services starting as low as from $15 (a cost almost 1/10th the cost of bigger players), it is a much more affordable tool compared to others. Thus Zarget is trying to position itself as an affordable product, made in India, but for the world. Also it won’t limit itself to being just an optimisation software. The 25-member team is looking to come out with more products in the marketing automation space.
Given the fact that Zarget is positioning itself as an all-in-one solution at an affordable price, it has the opportunity to garner a niche place for itself. How effectively is it able to differentiate itself from its competitors execution-wise will decide its success going forward. Many Indian SaaS-based companies are going global, developing cutting edge solutions in India itself for the global market. In that respect, the opportunity is huge, especially in emerging markets. How effectively is Zarget able to leverage that by building the right products in the marketing automation space will be interesting to watch out.