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 incredibly late, and that is because we have been so focused on the operations. Managing the interns we brought on to begin building the web app took up far more time than anticipated, but that was important to ensuring they had a positive experience being interns with Shuffle and our parent company, CommComm.
November’s results began a bit of a downward trend that we have reversed in January, but regardless things didn’t go as well as we had hoped.
What did we do in November?
- Finished writing the specifications for the web app (how everything works, what it must and shouldn’t do, etc.)
- Got the front end interface of Shuffle’s web app substantially completed
- Started automating the import of new customers into Sendy so that we can easily send them news in a timely manner
- Realized we didn’t want to pay $20 a month for a single Zap at Zapier, and so stopped that automatic import 🙁
- We redesigned our blog! It’s so much nicer now, and matches the new colour scheme that we’re slowly (too slowly) transitioning towards.
The changes above again lead to huge gains in App Store impressions, product page views, installs, and sales!
Revenue in November was USD $1,388 representing a decrease of 21.42% compared with October. Once again, thankfully, we reduced our operating expenses by 17%. I won’t call this a better month because of how low revenue was, but Shuffle is still treading water.
Sales per paying user were up slightly by 3.1%, meaning Shuffle customers spent more (on average) than they did in October. Although the number of account top-ups were down, we attribute this maintenance of revenue to the core group of individuals who have used Shuffle for some time — months, possibly years. They are loyal and will be key to helping us grow in the future.
App units (installs) were up 13.5% over October, sitting at 1,543 for the month. We added 1,500+ new devices per month to the user base, and converted them over 14.65%! That is an improvement of more than 1% month over month.
The trend over the past three months is upwards and then a little flat. We hit almost 500 installs the week of Oct 28 – Nov 3, which would be a fantastic milestone to achieve. But, perhaps because of the holiday season kicking in, overall more installs did not lead to more revenue. It did lead to more new accounts and more first in-app purchases, but compared with November there was a smaller number of people who sustained their usage.
Shuffle Web v1 came along nicely throughout November. It isn’t done, even as I write this in early February, but it’s getting there. We had daily standups to go through the work that had been done the day before, what we planned to get done that day, and talk about any roadblocks. Towards the end of November we started to encounter development roadblocks we simply weren’t equipped to overcome on our own. Towards the end of the month, we started to look for some help from an agency who could step in and help us finish.
To close out this November 2019 update, Shuffle is doing well! Financially, November wasn’t as good as October but it was still a far more healthy month than Shuffle was experiencing prior to the ownership change last year, and much better than November 2018.
Last month we talked about whether to ignore some issues like iPhone X/11-style device optimization, dark mode support, etc. We will have more to say about that in future updated.
Thanks for reading! We’ll see you again next month.