In ‘Start Me Up’ we feature new digital businesses, often in martech. This week it’s the turn of Metrical, a cart abandonment solution built on predictive analytics.

We caught up with Zabe Agha, the Founder & CEO, to ask a few questions.

Econsultancy: In one sentence, what is your product/service?

Zabe Agha: Metrical is using predictive analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) to helps online retailers dramatically increase their conversion rates by identifying which shoppers are going to abandon their carts and leave their sites without completing their purchase. 

E: What problem(s) does Metrical solve?

ZA: The biggest goal (and biggest problem) online retailers have is turning shoppers into buyers. Conversion rates are low, and cart abandonment can be 80% or more! Last year, shoppers left  $1.2 trillion in their carts, much of which is lost revenue, lost loyalty, and lost value.

Many retailers try retargeting and reminders, but these efforts are often ineffective and too late. Metrical has solutions to turn shoppers into buyers while you have their attention—before they leave a site.

Our solution suite intelligently targets only shoppers who are likely to abandon, and optimizes offers to create maximum value for the customer and retailer, contributing to lasting relationships. In addition—with our included Abandonment Analytics—you can see where shoppers fall out of the purchase funnel and which products and how much revenue are being lost to abandonment.

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Metrical’s Abandonment Analytics Dashboard 

Finally, Metrical gives retailers a solution to deal with abandoners in real-time and capture revenue. Using Metrical’s machine learning, retailers are able to serve targeted offers, content, chat, or reviews to shoppers with very high purchase intent, effectively converting them to buyers on the spot.

E: What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?

ZA: The biggest challenge for us was convincing e-tailers that they should install our solution in their e-stores. It’s a core business asset and you can imagine the reluctance of wanting to install beta software right in their cash register. Once we were able to convince a few early customers though, the process has been much easier, especially when retailers see their potential ROI.

E: How will the company make money?

ZA: We’re still in beta, but we have two models: a SaaS pricing model and a performance-based model. 

E: Who is in your team?

ZA: We’re a team of 7—including product, sales and development. I used to run Web Product Management for Autodesk. Our advisors include Kent Anderson, the creator and former President of Macys.com, Dr. Andrew Thoeni, marketing and business analytics professor at the University of North Florida, and Jin Su, a senior data scientist with over 10 years of experience in insurance and banking.

E: Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

ZA: This year, we’ll come out of beta and go into full commercial mode with multiple products released to the market. 

In three years we’ll be available on every ecommerce platform so our solution can be added at the click of a button.

In five years Metrical will be a platform solution with a whole host of services. Today, we’re solving cart abandonment. Tomorrow, we’ll dramatically improve conversion rates. In the long run, our AI will be able to not only tell you who’s buying—or abandoning—which products, we’ll be telling you their age, gender, and family income information at the product level.

E: Other than your own, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools? 

ZA: Folks on our team will tell you I’m a tool junkie! For e-mail on my phone, nothing beats Inbox by Gmail. On my desktop, I use Gmail with the MixMax plugin–it tells me which emails were read, lets me easily schedule meetings, and tells me when to send an email so it’s most likely to get read. I’m a big fan of TickTick for task management. I use Workflowy for notes on my computer, but in meetings I prefer a Moleskine notebook with a Lamy found pen and Uni Mechanical Pencil by Kuru Toga.

E: Which ecommerce companies do you most admire?

ZA: The companies that I’m really impressed by are the ones that have created a platform on top of which they’ve built other products and services. Though Adobe isn’t always thought of an ecommerce company, they’ve done an amazing job penetrating the retail market with their analytics solutions. Salesforce has done this too: They’ve created the Commerce Cloud and built a suite of products on top of them.