"In the near future we could see bots as a hybrid solution along with apps"

CIO&Leader spoke to Anand Jain, who is the Co-Founder of CleverTap and formerly, was the founding CTO of burrp.com

"In the near future we could see bots as a hybrid solution along with apps" - CTO, CleverTap
How has your experience as a CTO of burrp! come handy in your new venture as the cofounder of Clevertap?
Our co-founders Suresh, Sunil and I were colleagues at Network 18 before the inception of CleverTap in 2013. We were involved with various Internet platforms including Burrp!, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com and BookMyShow.com. Studying user behavior across these platforms was an integral part my job. As a team when we understood user platforms, we also explored the scope to re-target the same set of users and convert them into potential clients. As techies with decades of experience, our compatibility was always instantaneous. We had worked together as a team with a unified target of making an evolved product which could solve real-time problems and thus, giving positive impact on our product and customers in-turn.
In an interview, you said that you work with more than 2500 different apps today. What are some of their major common challenges? And how are you addressing them? Please explain with examples.
Yes, we are working with more than 2500 different apps and each app faces different challenges when it comes to engaging users. 
For example, Faasos reduced cart abandonment with a 7% increase in conversion rate using CleverTap's push campaigns. Faasos used CleverTap’s action/inaction campaigns to send push notifications to users exactly 15 minutes after they added an item to their cart but did not buy it. Faasos saw a 30% increase in click-through rates and a 7% increase in conversion. Timely, relevant notifications helped them significantly reduce their cart abandonment rates.
Ixigoa popular go-to travel platform used Clever Campaigns to reach out to those users who had uninstalled their app, this campaign generated a 12.5% response rate. 12.5% of the users who received the timely email survey responded with helpful tips that were crucial in addressing the pain points of their app.
Your organization's vision is to personalize every app interaction. Please explain in four ways that you are enabling this?
There are multiple campaigns that Clevertap is using to make every app interaction personal, timely and contextual. In-app notifications and push notifications can be personalized with the name of the user, or the product and its image that the user was looking for. Relevant notifications can be sent to the user when he is in an intent fueled mobile moment. For instance, sending a discount code just in time to a user who has placed an item in the cart and not yet purchased it. Personalizing app interaction could also be established by sending a relevant and useful message or notification to the user. For instance, a user who has booked a flight ticket from a ticketing platform is sent relevant details about the flight departure gate or boarding information  an hour before the flight is about to take off. Segmenting users by demographics and scheduling campaigns to drive engagement with the right message to the right user at the right time is also another way to personalize app interaction.
Today a lot of organizations/CIOs/CMOs are working with companies such as you. The goal is to serve their customers better. What are these companies mainly looking for? Who do you interact with more?
Our interaction happens with the CMO of the organizations. These companies are mostly targeting at engaging, retaining and converting customers. Their focus is to ensure that users acquired through a campaign remain active and loyal to the app. For instance if a food-tech app has acquired ‘X’ number of users through an introductory discount offer three months ago, they would want to know how many of those users are still actively using the app and run another campaign to reengage those who are not using the app actively. This can be done by using CleverTap’s superior segmentation allows you build any segment in seconds by profile, activity, location and characteristics. Just define any combination of user activities or attributes you want to track.
In one of your interviews, you said that Asia and certain parts of Europe are more advanced in mobile user engagement as compared to the US. What do you mean by "advanced" in this context?
Asia and Europe are a huge and diverse mobile market. The number of smart devices in Asia and Europe exceed than those in the US. Smartphones are available for as low as INR 3000. The market is flooded with a variety of high-end and low-end devices that work on 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks. In most cases the 1st ever digital interaction is an app interaction, apps are the primary interface that a user is exposed to without any prior experience of using any other digital platform. This audience is divided into varied segments by profile, activity, location, characteristics, seasons, festivals and more. Successfully engaging with such a variety of audience is what makes mobile user engagement more advanced in the Asian and European markets than the US.
Claims by industry veterans have been made about how bots are replacing apps. Your comment?
Bots are certainly very interesting. Some claim that we must now forget apps because bots are taking over while others snicker at the initial poor UX of bots and reiterate their loyalty towards apps. Technology is like a pendulum that goes back and forth. Technology has seen transition from humans to digital platforms to apps and now bots. In the near future we could see bots as a hybrid solution along with apps.


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