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Meet Paul Matviienko – Making eCommerce Dreams Accessible To Everyone

Today we have selected Paul Matviienko to take his interview. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of RetargetApp.

Paul has created several eCommerce products, and Paul is an expert in creating business processes from scratch, optimizing them, raising investment, and leading a team through uncertain times. His purpose is to “develop products that help new & experienced online store owners advertise products online.”

Paul is passionate about product management, company strategy, and extreme sports.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

The pandemic caught RetargetApp, just like most companies in the market, by surprise. We had to think on our feet to adapt to the changes. However, looking back, I can say that our team managed to embrace the changes successfully. We started working remotely, which guaranteed the safety of our team members and improved the work-life balance.

Working from home freed 2-3 hours that people were previously spending on the commute. Now they can dedicate it to themselves, their hobbies, families, and pets. That is why our company implemented a remote-first policy even after the social distancing restrictions were lifted.
Notably, a better balance between work and life resulted in a productivity boost. While working remotely, we have added new features to our products and are working hard on ambitious tasks such as renaming our product. As for the financial side, we’ve been luckier than many companies that went out of business because of COVID. The pandemic has sparked rapid growth in the eCommerce industry.

With onsite stores being closed, more merchants started offering their products online. Store owners saw the impact that digital ads had on their sales during the pandemic. That is why a lot of new eCommerce merchants have started using our software.
Our customers also now use more different ad tactics. Before the pandemic, people mostly ran Retargeting campaigns, but they added Prospecting and Cross-Sell ads to their marketing strategy.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?

I have always been passionate about growing a business by helping others grow. Before founding RetargetApp, I had already created several eCommerce projects. I understood the merchants’ problems, so I did my best to create simple yet efficient solutions. We created RetargetApp because I saw a clear gap in the market.

There were highly technological companies that offered online ad creation and management services, but the problem was that it was pretty hard to figure out how their tools worked. Their software also required some solid background knowledge in digital advertising. Many merchants, who didn’t have enough free time to learn how to run ads, were left with a very limited selection of ad tools.

My co-founder and I decided to tackle this issue. We started by offering automated Facebook ad management for stores powered by Shopify. With time, we started offering our services to BigCommerce and WooCommerce online shops. Last year, our team released Google ads automation and is now actively working on new features. Today, RetargetApp is an official Google and Facebook Business Partner. Participation in these partner programs enables us to provide merchants with a smooth and rewarding online advertising experience.

How does your company innovate?

We believe in growth through innovation. In 2020 alone, our team has grown by over 30%. Such progression is part of the long-term vision that we set last year. We at RetargetApp see innovation not only in highly technological tools but also in people. That is why we constantly seek feedback from our users. For example, ReatrgetApp has a recurring initiative called Customer Month. During one month, our specialists from different teams have long, meaningful interviews with our clients to understand better their pain points related to ads management.

We know that reports in online ad management tools can overwhelm merchants with data, so we strive to provide just the most important information and tools. That is why we constantly update our Dashboard to keep it nice and neat yet show numbers that help the merchant understand if their campaign is performing well. We also have a few great features in development, but it’s too soon to talk about them now. I assure you that soon we’ll announce them. Stay tuned.

How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Our team had to adapt to remote work fast. We worked hard to stay in touch with our team members and optimize business processes. As a result, our productivity grew. Also, because more businesses started selling online, the eCommerce market has reached $26.7 trillion, a nice growth opportunity. 

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

I’ve heard many heartbreaking stories about companies that either had to let people go to stay afloat or went out of business. I strongly sympathize with everyone who had to go through it in the past or is dealing with the negative consequences of the pandemic now. Luckily, RetargetApp didn’t have to make such decisions. We are still on our track, working on the goals we had set before the pandemic. The only thing that affected us during this time was the iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency framework

The updates in how data is tracked on iOS devices shook the whole ad industry. Nonetheless, because we had been preparing for the change long before it took place, we managed to adapt our product to let our customers keep running automated ads with high returns on ad spend. If we hadn’t constantly been monitoring the updates in the industry, we wouldn’t have been prepared to face the crisis. The lesson we learned is “Forewarned is forearmed.”

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

RetargetApp invests a lot in talent. We recruit great specialists — some have over a decade of experience in the field. Also, we help our staff grow and develop by enrolling them in international education programs. Professionals from different teams are doing — or have already completed — courses that help our company become stronger to ensure that our goals and objectives are in line. We use the OKR (Objectives and key results) framework. This helps us ensure that our team members have that sense of contributing to the company’s goals while seeing how they progress as professionals. 

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Digital advertising agencies and freelancers are our main competitors. What sets us apart is that we have automated the main tasks that digital experts perform manually for their clients. This makes our solution faster, more efficient, and more than ten times cheaper.
Currently, our team is working on more solutions that will allow small and medium-sized businesses to stop outsourcing digital marketing to agencies and freelancers. 

Your Final Thoughts

As a co-founder of a company that works with eCommerce merchants, I’m glad to see how eCommerce platforms empower many people to start their businesses only with a couple of hundred dollars in their pocket. Many of our clients started in their apartments or garages just like that before they grew into highly successful businesses that sell their products internationally. We are lucky to be witnessing the democratization and accessibility of online entrepreneurship from the front-row seats. We, for our part, have expertise in creating automated high-ROAS ads and are excited to share this knowledge with as many eCommerce merchants as possible.

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