At AppAgent we have worked with Zavezu’s founders David Pertl and Jaroslav Vavrina over the last 10 months – here’s what we have learned.
Even newbies can challenge giants
Zavezu was the brainchild of Pertl, a recent graduate who partnered with his diploma thesis opponent Vavrina, an offline entrepreneur in his forties. After working on another business concept they decided to design and build a new, and highly ambitious delivery service from scratch.
Zavezu’s exciting journey has just begun, with the app experiencing a modest 15 000 downloads to date – but things are happening quickly. The founders recently announced a major investment and partnership with Seznam.cz, a strong local competitor to Google and operator of the biggest online second-hand shop Sbazar.
Since launching the service, the response has been fantastic, earning a 4.5 star rating when coming out of beta! The challenge for the future will be in taking on major players such as Czech Post, DHL or other parcel delivery services.
The startup involves just the two founders. Everything else – including development and mobile marketing – is outsourced. What is amazing is that the technology today is accessible enough that even first timers can create a full-scope product which is already helping to deliver hundreds of packages to customers and is rapidly growing today.
Marketplace is about the balance
I bet that many people think to themselves: “WTF is so difficult about making Tinder?” or: “Why is Uber so over-valued?”
The user interface is the simple thing. As anyone involved in app development knows, the real magic is behind the scenes.
The reality is that both services are marketplaces powered by incredibly complicated pairing algorithms. The gold (and the devil) is hidden in this algorithm’s ability to balance and effectively match both the offer and supply side of the chain.
“Fine-tuning of this engine, adjusting it to different situations and user segments… that’s what is this truly business about,” Ondrej Kratky, the Chief Growth Officer of Liftago, a successful local rival to Uber told us
Working with Zavezu, we realized at the beginning that we weren’t aware of the average delivery distance, package size, time sensitivity or even pricing level of the market. We needed to learn, and quickly.
In time, all of these factors will become essential parts of Zavezu’s matching algorithm. Understanding them helped to develop a flexible business model that’s capable of beating traditional businesses with their rigid structure and fixed costs.
The importance of soft launch
The truth is that the technology, development and insight in the gaming industry is years ahead of business apps. At AppAgent our advantage is that we have clients in both segments and can share this knowledge across them.
We quickly agreed with David and Jaroslav on the importance of a soft launch to test the app, measure acquisition costs and optimize the conversion funnel.
A soft launch helped us work together to refine the process. Besides tackling tons of bugs, Zavezu introduced an alternative form of courier verification, saw a fantastic delivery success-rate and discovered that the most delivered item are car wheels.
In marketing terms, it was surprising to discover that the acquisition of couriers was far less difficult than customers, both in volume and price.
We’ve also seen that by using explanatory use-cases in the store listing we have increased conversion by 21%. By changing the claim to “Car pooling for things,” we outperformed the original version (“The Simplest Things Delivery”) by 17%.
Six months in beta made the service much better, marketing more effective and the company better prepared for its public launch.
As a natural disruptor, I’m incredibly excited to live in the era where the market for taxi services, hotel chains and now parcel services is opening up. Customers are able to access alternative providers who offer a better user experience at a lower price.
It’s exciting as a customer, but even more exciting when you’re a key part of a team involved in delivering it.
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