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Smartlook’s product vision – where are we now, how we got here & where are we going with Smartlook

September 10, 2019 | Petr Janošík | | Smartlook

We’re excited to announce Smartlook’s product vision that will guide our work and product for years to come. This vision is presented in the simplified diagram above which shows our past, present and future. For better understanding, the diagram depicts our roadmap split into 4 distinct phases.

A retroactive look at our progress

We started humbly in the Phase 1, beginning of 2016, as a free tool with playful communication. Here, our main target audience were product managers, UX/UI designers, marketers, analysts and business owners from companies of all sizes. Our primary goal was to expand Smartlook’s reach as much as possible. We thought that everyone who uses Google Analytics (GA), or other quantitative analytics tool, needs Smartlook session recording data to get to the visual answers to all their “why” questions.

Our primary focus was on simplicity and low price because we wanted everyone to be able to use Smartlook. Thanks to that we were able to sell Smartlook self-service without any sales & account managers. After 10 months of offering Smartlook completely for free we launched a premium package for only $20 alongside the modified free plan. 

Soon after that, we realized that Smartlook wasn’t for everyone. Only bigger teams with dedicated people for product, marketing, analytics or UX have the time to focus on improving their website or mobile app digital experience. If the team was small they didn’t use Smartlook often, and they only revisited Smartlook once they released new UI or feature to check if everything worked well. Based on that we launched a new feature set with new pricing and that marked the beginning of Phase 2

In Phase 2 we added automated event tracking with retroactive data and funnels. These two alone added significant analytical capabilities to Smartlook. Moreover, they helped us to keep our users more engaged with Smartlook and use it more often as the features helped them to collect events data in a brand-new and innovative way. 

For comparison sake, companies who wanted to collect event data before Smartlook they had to do:

  1. Prepare a new tracking plan with the analytics folks.
  2. Waste expensive engineer’s time to write the tracking script.
  3. Wait for the release with the new tracking script.
  4. Wait a few days/weeks to collect enough data.
  5. And finally pray that everything is well defined & implemented. Otherwise, they’d go back to the beginning again.

Before Smartlook your insights were limited by your dataset. That’s why we developed Smartlook to capture all your users actions automatically. In this way users get a completely new approach to analytics. Coupled with Smartlook’s ability to use the retroactive data, you can save plenty of time so you can make important business or product decisions faster.   

For us it was obvious that with new feature set, our target audience wasn’t longer the same. Since then we understood we have to go upmarket. And to do that, we needed to advance the skills of our existing team – we needed to become a team of specialists. 

Soon after, we also expanded from website analytics market segment to mobile apps and mobile game analytics market. Our new goals were to reduce churn, increase ARPA (Average Revenue per Account) by improving reliability, consistency and with the freshly introduced Power package.  

In just 3 years, we have now become recognized among the 50 best software products in EMEA and we are also proud to:

And that’s where we are now. By the end of this year we’re going to move to the Phase 3. 

Smartlook-product-vision

What you can expect Smartlook will enable you to do

Reaching revenue break-even point few months ago was groundbreaking for us. No longer simply focusing on survival, we are now able to focus on how to grow and more importantly, building the right solution for all companies which really want to create superior digital experience for their customers on any platform.

Here are some main points from our roadmap which we are looking forward to releasing to deliver even more value to our customers:    

  • Deep event tracking analysis: We’re not done with automatic event tracking. Moving forward Smartlook users will be able to collect more detailed data for every event. For example, from which device, browser or country the event was triggered or what was the referral or UTM tag for visitors who triggered that event. These will be collected without additional tracking code. On top of that, our users will be able to use these data points (properties) to further breakdown their tracked events & defined funnels. And of course, you will be able to see the recordings from these specific breakdowns.
  • Analyzing user retention: It means you will have full view on behavior of your users. Our current events analysis can tell you how many users interact with your product or with a feature in specific day. But, currently they don’t show you how many of them use a feature in one week or throughout the month. Thanks to user retention you will be able to understand which users are the most important for you.
  • Use Power features in every package: Starter packages won’t be Starter package any more. We will offer plenty of events and funnels in every package. We aim to remove all the barriers in using Smartlook for event tracking. Our goal is to show our users the value of unique combination of events tracking and session recording that Smartlook delivers. 
  • Predictive Analytics with clustering and machine learning models: as the first and second phase of Smartlook growth were about the automatic data tracking, third and fourth phase will be about automatic insights and predictive analytics with an AI implementation.

 Additional important things we want to focus on:

  • We want to heavily invest into our team of specialist that will help set up new users for long term success
  • Enhancing Smartlook’s reliability with a significant focus on security
  • Enabling raw data exports; to files or directly to other tools via API
  • Creating advanced integrations with tools you already use

To give you a little taste of the future here is how the new Smartlook will look like:

Getting ready for the future

We’re proud of the story behind Smartlook. Starting as a simple website session recording tool and now competing with main analytics players on the market is an amazing feat. 

Thanks to our customers reviews we rank #2 digital analytics tool on G2 Crowd with an average user score of 4.7 out of 5 and that creates a huge impact on our motivation and commitment to deliver solution for analyzing user behavior in ways never possible before. And even though we are going upmarket, and we are already dealing with enterprises, we want to keep our culture and values as we set them in the beginning. Open mindedness, transparency and directness are our key values not only for communication with our customers but are also shared in our team.

Here I would like to thank all our users for inspiration and support which undoubtedly allowed us to get where we are now. I’d also love to thank all the Smartlook team members for joining in a fun and enthusiastic family that brought about this Smartlook story. I’m excited for the future of Smartlook and I’m looking forward to the adventure of fulfilling our vision.

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