Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

Maud Pasturaud is the VP of Growth at Spring, the mobile app that enables you to shop and discover 1000+ amazing brands. With $32M in funding, Spring is revolutionizing mobile commerce, and Maud’s role there spans user acquisition, user retention and growth-related product optimization.

Maud has 6+ years of expertise driving traffic and revenue growth for consumer products. Prior to leading Growth at Spring, she ran Growth at Secret. Before that, she led mobile and international marketing at the leading flash sales site Gilt Groupe (Gilt was the first lifestyle marketplace to reach 40% of revenue coming from mobile).

Maud is an advisor to mobile and e-commerce startups in San Francisco and Paris. She earned her MA in Entrepreneurship from the ESCP-EAP.

Ask Maud about: product-market fit, mobile user acquisition, mobile retention, CRM, first-time user experience and more!

You can follow her on Twitter: @MaudPas

She will be live on May 3 starting 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible

  • AA

    Aldin A

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud,

    Thanks for being here!

    1)What does your marketing stack look like when it comes to gathering and analyzing data? Can you list them and explain your rational for them?

    2)Aside from growthhackers can you mention some of the resources you used to learn and stay up to date with growth hacking and marketing? Books, podcasts, blogs, etc?

    3)As an e-commerce platform the core business is very transactional. What is your user engagement strategy?

    4)What does your user retention strategy look like?

    5) What are the channels you look at when it comes to customer acquisition? What channels do you think are up and coming and why?

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Maud - what a special moment to have you here for your AMA!

    I currently work in Customer Experience at a company who's core is similar to Spring's brand discovery but in the outdoor space.
    What aspects of a user's first-time experience have you found to be the biggest levers of growth? Is there anything specific that you hope a user does after visiting Spring for the first time?

    Thanks Maud!

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Logan, Thanks for your question. Honored to be here!

      Lots of innovation needed in the outdoors and technical wear space, excited to hear you are working on it!

      The most important lever for FTUE in ecomm is to optimize your merchandising for activation i.e. first time order. Unless users come in to your marketplace with a high intent to purchase a specific product (usually coming in from Google SEM or PLA ads), they will tend to activate on a subset of products with more or less the same characteristics: lower AOV, unsizeable item, known brand, etc.

      Find out what that subset of product is and show that merchandise as early in the funnel as possible. At Spring and Gilt, our ads feature products optimized for activation, and we built FTUE such that that same product is the first thing users will see when they come into the app.

      The combination of right merchandise + getting users to it quickly drives incredible lifts in activation rates.

      Hope that helps?

      5 Share
  • LL

    Loe Lee

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud!
    How do you create and maintain your growth model (i.e. show how different product levers contribute to growth and ROI)? How do you know which levers will provide the most return?

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    Growth Grasshopper,
    Loe

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Loe, thanks for your question! It's a really good and important one.

      The fundamentals of Growth for an ecomm business are pretty simple:
      - New users: how many users you get into the door
      - Activation rate: how many of those users buy for the first time
      - Return rate: how many of those users come back and buy again
      - AOV: how much are those users buying for (which is a combination of price OR number of items they buy)
      We focus on all of those metrics to drive Growth.

      Not a fundamental but an aside, the viability/sustainability of an ecomm business lies in being able to drive new user acquisition with a reasonable payback window - 12 months is the standard in the industry. Meaning that your 12 months LTV (which is a combination of the metrics outlined above) needs to be higher than your customer acquisition cost.

      Hope that helps?

      4 Share
  • SA

    Shaker A

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Maud,

    Great to have you on here.

    1) I noticed that spring has 'free shipping and returns' on EVERY item. How does that work when you have hundreds of sellers, some of which I assume have a minimum that buyers on their own site have to buy before they get free shipping? How does the economics work for the seller when everything is free shipping? How did you convince them to do free shipping on the spring platform?

    2)What was your pitch to convincing sellers to sell on spring, when there are so many other marketplaces (and other distribution channels) where they can sell their products? What separates you from the other marketplaces (other than being mobile first)?

    3)How did you decide on what percent of the transaction you would take? How would you handle the situation if they wanted to pay something lower? Any tips on negotiating a percentage with suppliers when it comes to the marketplace model?

    Thanks a lot,
    Shaker

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Shaker, thanks for your questions. They are mostly about supply-side management which I don't work on but will try to answer to the best of my ability :)

      I unfortunately can’t answer your question about our Free shipping policy as this implementation and negotiation was done one a brand by brand basis. Similarly, sale commissions with brands are handled on a case by case basis. But as for your second question…

      Brands join Spring for three reasons:

      1. Spring converts mobile traffic and unables mobile transactions for its partner brands. More than 50% of brand’s traffic usually comes from mobile (fairly standard those days across the board), but they are not always armed to convert that traffic well: either their mobile web conversion is not there, and they don’t have a mobile app.

      2. Spring give brands access to a mobile-first audience. Spring’s users are ‘early adopters’, millennials who are now discovering new brands and shopping for them on mobile. This is an audience that brands have a hard time marketing to (they don’t have the marketing and distribution channels to do so), and they are VERY eager to reach, convert, and learn from.

      3. Lastly, Spring has developed an amazing ecosystem and curated the best brands on its platform (from well known brands to up and coming designers and direct to consumer brands). Our brand partners are excited to be part of this ecosystem.

      2 Share
  • TS

    Terence Strong

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud:

    Thanks for doing this!

    What are the key mistakes that e-commerce startups make?

    What are the target gross margins for an e-commerce company?

    How do you build in defensibility for an e-commerce company?

    -Terence

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Thanks for your question Terence!

      I have seen a lot of ecomm companies being too aggressive on customer acquisition; driving it at too much scale too early, and in an unsustainable way (with CACs much higher than LTV).

      To your point, you need to make sure that you build a defensible product and platform first, and there’s only three ways to do that in ecommerce:
      - differentiated product - do you have differentiated inventory? (ex: Farfetch offers exclusive products from luxury boutiques that can't be found on other luxury fashion sites)
      - differentiated price - are you offering cheaper products than competition? (the obvious example is Amazon)
      - differentiated distribution - are you reaching users faster/better than competition? (ex: Stitch Collective developed a successful monthly subscription box model)

      I can’t answer the question about gross margins unfortunately as that is entirely dependent on the model of the platform (are you an ecommerce brand, an affiliate, a retailer?) and the products being sold (ex: jewelry can have 100%+ margins vs. shoes 30%, etc.)

      2 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    about 3 years ago #

    Bonjour Maud,

    Merci for doing this AMA today. I have a simple question for you.

    What was the secret of Secret's growth?

    Curious if you had to do some growth hacking on such a great product.

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Arsene, thank you for your question!

      I unfortunately have to give a simple answer as well: Secret was a good product that users loved.

      While we worked on a few product optimizations - such as testing new types of content, new push notifications types, etc. - the fundamentals of the product were already there.

      It was fascinating though to resurface through user research/insights the specific elements of the products that made its success and virality. Secret's 'aha moment' was:
      - Friends’ secrets: seeing secrets from friends and trying to guess who had posted it
      - ‘Positive’ secrets’: seeing secrets that triggered a positive emotion

      3 Share
      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        about 3 years ago #

        Loved secret at that time. And specifically, the key point you mentioned. It inspired me a bit for something I am working on now.

        Thanks for sharing! A bientot j'espere Maud!

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        about 3 years ago #

        Were there any aspects of "architected virality" built into Secret as well?

  • RB

    Ry B

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Maud,

    Thanks for doing this. Super excited to have you here.

    1)How did spring initially source and get the supply side (sellers) on to the network at it's inception, when it didn't yet have the
    demand side(buyers) necessary to naturally attract the supply side? How did you build credibility with them and get them to give you
    a shot?

    2)What is your process for acquiring the supply side participants (sellers) at scale?

    3) What are some of the challenges of scaling the marketplace (that you didn't expect) and how did you overcome them?

    4)Can you break down the process you went through to find sellers you wanted on the marketplace, find people to champion you in those companies, and what was your value proposition that convinced them to take spring seriously, ultimately leading them to setting up shop on the platform?

    5) What is the transaction fee that spring takes on successful sales? Does spring have any other revenue streams other than transaction fees?

    Thanks again,
    Ry

  • VS

    Vanessa Siebler

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud,

    Thanks for answering our questions!

    I would love to know what you think about media & content on mobile apps vs sites.

    Making a decision between hosting content on Facebook et al vs growing your community via an app is a difficult one, especially as app downloads & usage are indicating user fatigue and market saturation. Is there value in a hybrid model to feed the acquisition machine via but also serve existing loyal users? What parallels do you see between ecommerce & content here?

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Vanessa, thanks for your question. That’s a great one that’s definitely top of mind for us. We’re thinking a lot about how an ecommerce/transactional app can compete for attention in the mobile ecosystem. Content is probably part of the answer, but focusing on building content and a community *outside* of the app is not it. Building a sticky and engaging product is. Should we produce content to increase engagement, we would also want to make sure that it is both valuable and differentiated as users are definitely experiencing content overload.

      4 Share
  • VM

    Vartika Manasvi

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud, In a world of effectively infinite content and zero distribution costs the only scarce resource is attention. Can you talk about how to measure consumers attention which is ever changing and never constant?

    • MP

      Maud Pasturaud

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Vartika, absolutely agree! I typically look at the two following metrics to measure consumer attention:
      - retention rate (@ day 1, day 7, day 30, etc.) to answer the question “ are users coming back to the app”?
      - WAU/MAU (other verticals might look at DAUs/MAUs) to answer the question “how often are users visiting the app”?

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        about 3 years ago #

        Just to clarify - do you mean the ratio of WAU to MAU or just both those metrics?

      • VM

        Vartika Manasvi

        about 3 years ago #

        Thanks Maud. What data analytics tool would you recommend for the same? To analyze per user retention.

  • KW

    Kendrick Wang

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud,

    Fantastic replies so far. Thanks so much for taking the time.

    You said above that Spring features products optimized for activation. How do you determine which products to feature? Is it products with the most competitive prices? Ones that appeal to a wide audience? Or some other metric.

    And I'm assuming you're building that FTUE through deep links to take users directly to the product?

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud,

    Great to have you here at GrowthHackers:)

    1) Here is a recent great discussion on growth hackers on which kind of growth roles you should accept, which you shouldn't. I am curious what's your criteria in deciding which growth role to accept?

    https://growthhackers.com/articles/growth-roles-when-to-say-yes-or-no#

    2) Your background seem to be mainly focused on mobile growth, from your perspective, is mobile growth so different from web-based product, so that it became a specialized growth role ? If a growth person primarily focused on web, and want to transit into mobile growth, which part he can tap into past experiences , which part he needs to learn?

    3) How is your growth team structured at Spring?

  • LN

    Lori Nguyen

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud!

    Thanks for answering questions!

    1) Where would you start in looking how to improve conversion on a product page with high traffic but lower than expected conversion?

    2) Do strategies for driving acquisition and retention need to differ on desktop and mobile? If so, in what ways?

    3) What are the key levers for driving acquisition? Retention?

    4) If an ecomm site has just launched and has no marketing budget, what would you focus on first to build the business?

    5) What resources at a minimum does a growth hacker need from the company they work at to be successful?

  • TF

    Trav Freetly

    about 3 years ago #

    Maud,

    For ShopSpring what is your focus for retaining customers in a crowded ecommerce world? With that being said, what channel, or mix of channels is most important for you to engage customers on? How difficult is it for you today, or any ecommerce retailer today to deliver personalized messages that elicit a lifetime connection with your brand?

    Thanks for the input!

  • IY

    Irene Yu

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Maud,

    since you work at Fashion e-commerce, I would like to know what will be the big technology that you would like to integrate into your app?

    in order to help the grwoth of users ?or user engagement?

    Also, you have chat bot, did that really help your conversion rate or user engagement?

  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    about 3 years ago #

    Re-bonjour Maud,

    Are you seeing any emerging growth channels in e-commerce?

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Maud - so great to have you on!

    Can you talk more about the Personal Shopping Assistant feature? I'm interested to know things like:
    Is that a bot, human, both?
    How did you arrive at the idea that this was something that might be needed?
    Why the connect with FB messenger (ie why a messaging app in general vs a simple live chat tool and shy FB messenger specifically)?
    What's the biggest impact of this feature?
    ...And anything else that you think might be interesting.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    about 3 years ago #

    How do people find out about Spring?
    Is this different/changing from how people found out say 6 months or a year ago?
    If yes, what channels are working better now and why do you think that is?

  • SR

    shahnur rahman

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Muad,

    Being the VP of growth, what was the one big mistake you made in your marketing efforts in the recent times? A mistake which could have caused a loss of business! And how did you recover from it?

    Eagerly waiting for your reply

    Cheers,
    Sayed

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
48
48