We’ve been firing on all cylinders like never before. I’ve recently shared updates on the progress we’ve made with user growth and marketplace expansion as we prepare to launch coordinated full-scale initiatives toward both of these objectives, which collectively serve as the greatest impact on revenue. As the year is coming to a close and we prepare for the exciting things we believe to be ahead for 2020, we wanted to share updates on two other important elements of the platform:
Product Development - Our top engineering priority has been the development of our Visual Discovery Tool (i.e., Contextualized/Image-based search experience), and we’re pleased to confirm that we plan to release this on January 20, 2020. The initial release of this User Experience will focus on the visual search and discovery of millions of curated interior design images based on users’ styles and preferences, for the purposes of matching users with professionals. This initial version will be the basis for the ultimate vision of the platform, while also helping shape future iterations based on analysis of user behavior. Further, the initial functionality is expected to indirectly contribute to the growth of our professional user community based on the increased brand awareness afforded to design professionals through this new search channel.
End Users - While our core user focus centers on the professional design community, we have been diligently working on a substantially broader user acquisition strategy. The three critical components of the strategy are a) Network Effects, b) Content, and c) Direct. Our primary focus and what I’m most excited to report on is our direct model. We’ve developed a strategy that largely mimics the approach we’ve developed and proven for acquiring professional users, and we’ve seen equally astounding acquisition rates through the testing we’ve done. Unlike professional users who typically have websites featuring their work, which we are able to assess for fit, end-users cannot be identified and qualified in the same manner. To compensate for this, we’re analyzing behaviors via social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Through this approach, we are able to identify relevant users based on the content they distribute or engage with, as well as the accounts in which they follow. For the purposes of this update, I will focus on two key facts: 1) the potential audience is many times bigger than that of the professional users we’ve been focused on to date, and the market is as much as 4x greater as well; 2) we are acquiring these users through a direct approach at a rate of 65%. We expect this to represent a substantial portion of acquired end-users, with relatively low acquisition costs given no 3rd party/paid component.
We’re obviously very excited about these developments!
In addition to this, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask for some help. While we’re still finalizing our HR plan for next year, there are a few roles we are looking to fill in the near future. If you know anyone that you think would be an absolutely amazing fit for any of the following roles (they do not need to be based in NYC), we’d appreciate the referrals (please send to [email protected]):
- Senior Python Engineer
- Marketing Director (should have marketing management experience working in home or luxury domain)
- Social Media Manager (must have experience working on micro-influencer campaigns)
- Operations Manager (must have 3+ years experience working with high-growth consumer-facing technology platform)
As always, we’re grateful for the continued support we receive from our investor group, and we’re really excited about what’s ahead.