The Road to $10K – Part 3

Welcome back to Shuffle’s “Road to $10K” blog series. We are documenting our experiments, changes, and attempt to hit $10,000 a month in revenue. We will try things that don’t work, we will try things that do, and overall we hope to show you what it’s like to grow an app business 10x in what is hopefully a short period of time!

Well, this one is coming very late, but that’s because it has been an incredible month of progress on many fronts. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write about October’s results as of yet. Thankfully I was able to find some time this morning to address this glaring hole in our monthly updates.

What did we do in October? A lot of things, including:

  • Finished designing Shuffle’s new web app
  • Onboarded two interns who began developing the web app
  • Started writing the specifications for the web app (how everything works, what it must and shouldn’t do, etc.)
  • Sanket wrote a great piece on protecting your privacy in the online dating sphere
  • We moved from SendinBlue to a self-hosted Sendy installation for email marketing
  • Released versions 1.8.4 and 1.8.5, both including minor bug fixes and App Store marketing changes
  • We upgraded our back end to ensure there was adequate capacity and to speed things up for users!
  • Localized the App Store listing into Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese
  • We ended our free trial experiment as we determined it was being abused

The changes above once again lead to huge gains in App Store impressions, product page views, installs, and sales!

Sales/revenue in October was USD $1,721 representing a decrease of 10.67% compared with September. However, we reduced our operating expenses by 29.7% ($507.23), so overall this was a much better financial month for Shuffle.

Sales per paying user were also down 22.91%, meaning Shuffle customers spent less (on average) than they did in September. Again, we attribute this to individuals making free trial accounts over and over again instead of paying for the service, which we have now eliminated as a source of revenue loss.

Sales by Week: August to October 2019

App units (installs) were up 35.46% over September, sitting at 1,411 for the month. We are now adding 1,000+ new devices per month to the user base, and are converting at over 13% for non-free trial users. This is much better for the long-term health of Shuffle!

App Units (installs) by week: August to October 2019

The trend over the past three months is clearly upwards. More installations easily leads to more new people making accounts and more first in-app purchases, all positives for us even even the conversion percentages remain the same. We do want to increase those conversion rates, but for now we’re happy with more eyeballs on the app.

Flurry Analytics – October 2019
Flurry Analytics – September to October 2019

As mentioned earlier, we have changed focus on Shuffle for iOS v2 to Shuffle Web v1. A web app is something we know our current customers want, and we are working hard to make it happen! The development interns we brought on have done a fantastic job of coding the front end interface, and we’re almost ready to start hooking up functions to actually make everything work. Here is a sneak preview of what’s in store.

Web App Log In View
Web App Messaging View
Web App Phone Call In Progress

As you can clearly see, we are taking Shuffle in a whole new direction with a refreshed brand, a brand new colour scheme, and a very modern design. This will eventually get ported to the iOS app, and eventually to an Android app in 2020! We think it’s phenomenal, and we will be opening this up to a small group of beta testers as soon as it’s ready.

To close out this October 2019 update, Shuffle is doing really well! Financially, October was our most positive month yet. We are done messing around with the App Store listing while we focus on the web app, but the iOS product team is working on a few bug fixes that are pretty important to address. We are still figuring out whether to ignore the issues with dark mode in iOS and forge on with v2, or to keep iterating on v1 until we feel comfortable calling it v2. Whatever we do, Shuffle is now definitely here to stay and we’re excited to continue to serve you!

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you again next month.