Today we have selected Eldar Galiev to take his interview. He is the CEO Of Growave.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
This is one of the most difficult periods in life for me and the Growave team. We are all very concerned about our health as well as our loved ones. Quarantine and restrictive measures, a sense of uncertainty, and much more have all affected us. In fact, our way of life has changed. But people quickly adapt to new changes, and we are also accustomed to the new post-COVID world.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
I started my career as a web developer at the age of nineteen when I got a job at a tech company called Skalfa eCommerce. At Skalfa I became a specialist, and with the knowledge I gained, I decided to launch my first project. So I launched a project called Hire Experts, a tech company focused on outsourcing. We developed solutions and products for social networking sites. However, after the series of different projects, my brother Ermek and my wife Munara saw great opportunities in the rapidly growing e-commerce world. This is how we launched a new startup – Growave, which helps online stores gain customer loyalty and engagement through rewards programs, reviews, and UGC.
How does your company innovate?
Growave is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps Shopify brands to build trust, increase conversions, earn customers’ loyalty and get repeat sales.
As of now, we’re providing the following five products:
- Loyalty & Rewards allows Shopify brands to launch their own customized and flexible rewards programs that help them significantly increase their customers’ lifetime value.
- Reviews help brands to build strong social proof using customer reviews and UGC. We automate the process of gathering customer reviews and display them to drive more sales.
- Wishlist, Social Login, Instagram products personalize and improve the shopping experience for customers.
Growave is used by 12,000+ businesses from all parts of the world, from small businesses to famous and fast-growing enterprises, including Kookai, Mustela, Crocs, and many others.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
The pandemic has accelerated the growth of eCommerce. Within just a few months eCommerce grew by 44% in the US only. As a result, our company continues to grow rapidly in both the merchant base and the number of employees. During this period, we have learned how to work remotely, because we had to work from home for a long time. We have already returned to the usual way and are working from the office, but still combining remote and office work. In the new environment, we found many flaws in work processes that were not adapted for remote teamwork and a large staff of employees.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
The most difficult thing was to part with colleagues who did not possess the necessary skills and could not work independently from home. For quite a long time, we tried to help and create comfortable work conditions for them, but in the end, we had to say goodbye.
Also, the most significant decision we made was to change our strategy and cut prices in half to attract customers who massively launched online stores. This allowed us to greatly increase our merchant base as we offer competitive pricing.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Tools and services such as MS Teams, Zoom, Jira, Trello, and Slite significantly help our team to stay in touch with each other and communicate effectively. Moreover, we devote a lot of time to the transparency and awareness of employees about what is happening in the company. This helps everyone to stay up-to-date and have all the resources on hand, although sometimes you do not see your colleagues in person.
We also organized various games during the quarantine period so that we do not lose touch with each other and improve our team spirit:
- Played Among Us weekly which was effective for team-building.
- Played online poker that helped us in improving communication and problem-solving skills;
- Hosted joint Zoom beer and cocktail parties which were useful for strengthening relationships within our company;
- Organized virtual fitness exercises every morning to cheer up the team during these difficult times.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Our direct competitors are Yotpo, Stamped, and LoyaltyLion. Our advantage is that we are more focused on small and medium-sized businesses as we develop new solutions taking into account their interests, and keep prices very attractive for SMBs. While our competitors are more focused on large businesses.
We are constantly improving our app and listen to our customers’ needs. Since the start of the pandemic, we reduced our prices and released new features to support small and medium-sized Shopify brands. We closely work with our partners such as agencies and other Shopify apps to introduce our app in front of new audiences.
Your Final Thoughts
This pandemic has made us wiser and stronger. It also forced us to grow faster. It revealed our hidden capabilities and we began to be less afraid and do what we would not have done before. The pandemic has made us more human as we have learned to value life, love our close ones more, support each other, and share. Moreover, we learned that we can communicate and create the feeling of human connection without sitting together under one roof.
- Spokesperson: Eldar Galiev
- Company: Growave
- Website link: https://growave.io