TechCrunch+ roundup: Shame-free down rounds, checkout flow tune-up, SaaS tsunami

Turning one-time customers into repeat buyers takes on heightened importance during a downturn.

Acquiring one new user can be a heavy lift, but finding ways to reduce friction during shopping and checkout is a proven method for boosting the lifetime value of existing customers.

An important note: One study found that password difficulties cause nearly 60% of consumers to abandon their shopping carts before completing a purchase.

“In times of recession, you have to make things easier, not more difficult,” says Ari Jacoby, CEO and co-founder of Deduce.

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Which begs the question: Do you know how many people registered for your site last month, but failed to verify their email? Well, why not?

If you’re trying to recalibrate online sales, this TC+ guest post contains formulas for calculating lost lifetime value (LTV) due to churn on a monthly and annual basis.

Seriously: If you’re not working to calibrate every system you have, you’re just leaving money on the table.

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

Should founders announce down rounds? This PR expert says you have nothing to hide

Flat Design Smiley Face with zipped lips

Image Credits: Ysr Dora (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

If your home was damaged in an earthquake, would you feel embarrassed?

Similarly, founders need not feel squeamish about accepting funding that lowers their valuation, advises Kate Johnson, VP of PR at BLASTmedia.

“Rather than pretending a lower valuation didn’t happen, switch your mindset,” she writes.

“You have nothing to hide, and in terms of PR, no news is not good news. So, focus on adjusting your expectations.”

3 views: Thoughts on Flow

An oblique aerial view of suburban houses.

Image Credits: Edwin Remsberg (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Last week, Andreessen Horowitz wrote the largest individual check in the firm’s history, investing $350 million in residential real estate startup Flow.

The kicker? Flow’s founder is Adam Neumann, the former WeWork co-founder who resigned and gave up majority voting control after the company pulled its IPO filing in September 2019.

In what they describe as “a non-exhaustive list of why Marc Andreessen and Adam Neumann have misread America’s housing problems,” reporters Tim De Chant, Dominic-Madori Davis and Amanda Silberling share their respective takes on the deal:

  • Amanda Silberling: Venture capital won’t save us
  • Dominic-Madori Davis: Diligence? Are we doing it?
  • Tim De Chant: Neumann is right — you can’t force community

Why the ‘last click’ in e-commerce matters — and how to get it right

A funnel filtering letters written on blackboard by chalk; optimizing checkout e-commerce

Image Credits: selimaksan (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Marketing manages the sales funnel, and product and engineering teams steer the customer’s experience while they browser and shop.

But who owns your checkout flow?

“You may have perfected the top of the funnel, but you very well could have missed the gaps in the bottom,” according to Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla, who shares several strategies for optimizing the checkout process and explains why it needs to be led from the top:

For the CMO, the win is in making sure potential customers drive revenue and that a better checkout process drives return customers.

For the CFO, the numbers are self-evident: A percentage point improvement in conversion is more powerful than a percentage point improvement in total web traffic.

Surviving the SaaS tsunami: Optimize your tech stack to reduce risk and free up cash flow

Tsunami warning sign against dramatic sky; SaaS tsunami

Image Credits: kolderal (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Startups that don’t use a vendor management framework to oversee their tech stack are flying in a dense fog: There’s no easy way to know how much they’re spending each month or on what.

In reality, most IT teams aren’t prepared (or even interested) in managing a recurring schedule of software renewals, let alone tracking costs or efficacy.

Everyone’s looking for places to make incremental improvements: Putting a dedicated resource in charge or procurement could boost your bottom line (and reduce your security risk).

This article was originally published on Read More on their website.