Parth Amin, Head of Product gives us an account of Product changes at Frendy post Corona. Frendy moved from multi-category to grocery as the lead, improved UI/UX including going vernacular and integrations with SaaS platforms for customer retention, shipping and payments.
Let’s take a look back on how we have come through since our ideation to launch, iterations and pivots. This is the story of Frendy — A social-commerce app dealing with daily essentials in the city of Ahmedabad, India.
I joined Frendy in June 2019 as a Senior Product Manager after completing my 5 years as a serial entrepreneur. After completing my MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, I directly ventured out on my own where we started to build mobile and web applications for clients globally under the name of &Apps. We also made a product, All Dealzz, which was funded by the Ahmedabad Angel Network(AAN) and got selected for the Founders Space Accelerator Program in San Francisco, USA. Before joining Frendy, I had just exited from my previously bootstrapped e-commerce company, myPhoneMate, with 3X returns. I joined Frendy because of their vision and emphasis on building a strong team and culture from the beginning.
When I started with Frendy, we were eyeing for a launch in August’19 with 5 categories — Grocery, Fashion, Beauty, Kitchen, Home Appliances, and Mobile Accessories. Finally, we managed to launch Frendy on 12th September 2019 with a small event consisting of 40 micro-entrepreneurs. The idea behind Frendy has always been “मैं से हम” or “I to Us” and with that, we have managed to cross 1,00,000+ downloads on Google Play Store by May’20 with almost Rs. 0 CAC. Let’s take a look at how Frendy app looked at the time of launch.
Starting from then, we have made several modifications to the product based on customer requirements, their feedback, market scenarios, and other factors. Almost, 50–60% of our product roadmap was driven by customer needs and feedback and the prioritization rule has been simple — Anything that directly affects the customer gets on the top of the backlog. All our tech development efforts are accomplished by executing well-planned sprints and we follow Agile methodology with Scrum. We have made considerable changes and updated in terms of technology, UI-UX improvements, easing of operations and logistics, and also customer re-engagement.
For the ease of shipments, we partnered with ShipRocket and deeply integrated it into our system and for the customer re-engagement and analytics platform, we chose CleverTap after carefully considering the other options. We have been a data-driven product company since the beginning. When we found out that the Checkout Process Dropoff Rate (CPDR) was > 50%, we discovered that the primary reason was that it took users 7-clicks to complete the checkout process, we cut is down to 2-clicks with a single page check out and Drop Offs improved by 30%.
As we were focused on Bharat of a Tier 2+ city customer we knew that we had to be a vernacular app and are now available in Hindi and Gujarati as well. Also, our tutorial videos were shot in different languages to aid the users. We tried to guide and educate users into the app wherever possible, from showing in-app notifications to helping them figure out exact value products to purchase to get free shipping and much more. Our core value of “Build for Trust” has helped us in sustaining a 4.1-star rating with more than 100k downloads all from one state — Gujarat and from the lockdown period in March, only from the city of Ahmedabad!
At Frendy, we adapted quickly to a changing world. We tied up with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and were authorized as one of the few companies delivering daily essentials in Ahmedabad. We saw an 8x surge in demand and we had to upgrade ourselves instantly in terms of the technology, the product offerings, and logistics and operations which became the backbone of the company in such testing times.
Grocery had always been the door opener for Frendy and we figured out that to serve the entire ‘Bharat’ which falls in alignment with our vision and mission, we have to focus on Grocery and daily essentials first in the times to come ahead. With that, we have channeled our course towards bringing out Frendy 2.0 to the world soon enough and are currently utilizing all our strength to make progress on it. Version 2.0 will be something that the Indian Community Commerce space has not yet witnessed and we are 100% positive to make a dent into the market the day we launch.