Intro: We were fortunate enough to catch Rytis Lauris, Co-founder, and CEO, Omnisend for a quick word. Omnisend is the all-in-one eCommerce marketing automation platform that helps you sell more by converting your visitors and retaining your customers. Let’s see what Rytis had to say about his platform and the challenges in maintaining a great product.
Cloudways: Hi Rytis, Thank you for your time. Let’s begin with an easy question. Tell us your story.
Rytis: I’ll try to keep this short. Like most entrepreneurs, this is not my first effort, but I’ve always had a dream to build a global company. About six years ago, I was running one of my previous start-ups, a digital marketing agency. That’s when I met a customer of ours, Justas Kriukas. Unlike a lot of agencies, he loved the quality of our services — meaning that when we set a deadline, we met the deadline. And when we didn’t think we could, we wouldn’t agree to it. It was honest and open communication.
Our relationship developed. We pivoted the business, and he became my co-founder in Omnisend. We developed a product that was easy to use, had a low learning curve, and still gave us the capacity to scale and meet the needs of a growing business. This foresight provided us the flexibility to move upmarket even as we serve our smaller customers in a meaningful way.
Our belief is that all eCommerce is moving toward a general commerce model, where everything would be omnichannel and the customer would choose the channel they wish to engage with. From a retailer perspective, there won’t be any hesitation as to how to best market to customers— communication will simply follow to their preferred channel. Having this mindset allows us to build a platform that is capable of meeting these needs, and to one day become the eCommerce marketing leader.
Cloudways: How did you have the idea for Omnisend? What problem(s) does your product solve?
Rytis: I thought of it while I was running our digital marketing agency, Soundest. We were serving a lot of eCommerce customers, and it became evident that they typically had more data than other businesses. This gave them the unique capability to personalize their marketing much more than many other types of businesses. I had an idea, and after doing some research I found a bit of a gap in the tools available for small and mid-market retailers to execute their marketing initiatives. From there, Omnisend was born.
The problem we solve is just that — providing eCommerce retailers with the tools they need to easily use their data for more relevant marketing at a reasonable cost.
Cloudways: What was the biggest challenge in getting Omnisend to market? What and how did you overcome development challenges?
Rytis: The biggest challenge was, and still is, understanding customer needs. We had to determine how to build a product that creates value for the customer while determining what that value is. We were fortunate because as an agency we were already working with eCommerce customers so we had a good idea of their challenges.
As I mentioned, we still face these challenges. That is why we are constantly talking to our customers and gathering feedback in qualitative ways. This allows us to constantly hear what challenges are at the heart of retailers today and we can iterate our product accordingly.
Cloudways: Technology-wise, how far has your platform taken email automation and why should brands be excited about it?
Rytis: Technology-wise, while email marketing is essential for many businesses, we are most excited about the fact that we have pushed beyond just email and allowed retailers to use up to six different channels. This lets retailers to layer other channels on top of their traditional email marketing strategy.
For example, a retailer can use just one automated workflow to send multiple types of messages, such as emails, SMS, push notifications, and Facebook Messages. This allows them to communicate with their customers on the channel they most prefer without having to use different platforms or workflows.
This approach to omnichannel marketing is something we passionately believe in. That’s why we have created seamless integrations with multiple technology partners, including WooCommerce. This allows customers to use their data to create relevant, data-driven marketing.
Cloudways: Everyone follows industry influencers. Name the WooCommerce influencers who have inspired you.
Rytis: It can be a tricky thing to define influencers because everyone is an influencer in their own right. When it comes to WooCommerce specifically, while it is difficult to select individuals, I have always enjoyed reading posts from Dan Magill and Kathryn Marr on the WooCommerce blog. They each cover different areas and offer unique perspectives on everything from the psychology of a shopper (Kathryn) to writing good “about” pages.
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Cloudways: What would you like to say for the WooCommerce community? How would you summarize the WooCommerce community in one word?
Rytis: Just that Omnisend values our strong partnership with WooCommerce and their customers, and we are passionate about helping them grow their business.
If I had to choose one word, based on previous conversations I have had with many of them, I would have to say “smart.”
Cloudways: Cloud hosting is taking over the web hosting industry. What do you say about cloud hosting providers like Cloudways?
Rytis: Hosting is often one of those overlooked and underappreciated business necessities. For retailers, finding a reliable hosting provider like Cloudways is essential for running an online business — especially during peak times such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During times like these, a provider that can handle the traffic spikes in traffic will wind up costing them sales.
Cloudways: It’s hard to take out time from work, but we all need to relax once in a while :). What do you like to do in your free time?
Rytis: I would say the three things that I enjoy the most are reading, biking, and spending time with friends and family. When biking, I may ride around 20 km on a weekend. The time allows me to get some fresh air, exercise and allows me to think quietly.
Two of my most recent reads included Multipliers and The Black Obelisk.
Cloudways: Sadly, it isn’t possible to discuss everything in a short interview. If we’ve missed out on anything, feel free to talk about it.
Rytis: I think you hit everything for now. I would like to thank you for your time, and if anyone reading this has any questions for me, please feel free to reach out to me or to the Omnisend team!
Cloudways: Just to shout out to our readers, can you please send us an image of your desk or workspace? 🙂
Rytis: I’d like to instead share a picture of some of our employees’ at-home work setups.
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Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at [email protected]