At Segments, our vision is to help our customers thrive with data by making it human. We made significant strides this year, from growing our team to developing new features & integrations to becoming a certified analytics partner of Shopify. It’s been an amazing year of learning and growth, and I want to spend some time reflecting on 2021 and share some of the highlights and milestones thus far.
Teamwork makes the dream work
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” ― Phil Jackson
The first and most important milestone I want to celebrate is the growth of our awesome team. To achieve our mission and accelerate our roadmap, we needed to build a robust team and strong culture. Over the course of 2021, our company has more than doubled in size from a team of 6 to now a team of 15.
Building a remote-first team through a pandemic has its own challenges, especially going through 6 months of lockdown. With constant communication through Slack, rigorous documentation on Notion, and adopting the Shape Up framework, I can proudly say that our core team is stronger than ever.
Personally, Tony (my co-founder) and I follow a lot of the tenets in No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention when building our company culture; in fact, each new team member is gifted this book when they join the team.
We trust our team members and give them a lot of autonomy and freedom; by giving them full ownership, we can evidently see that they are inspired to work harder, be more innovative, and make better decisions on behalf of the company. We also invest in our team members by hosting numerous lunch-and-learns, inviting monthly guest speakers, and regularly having online team building activities (this year we’ve played games such as Codenames, Push the Button, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes).
Without our team, we would not have accomplished as much in 2021, so I really want to give a huge shoutout to all our team members for believing in our company and mission, contributing day-in and day-out, and having a customer-first mentality to help solve our customers’ problems. Thank you for your hard work!
Launching Segments 2.0
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late” — Reid Hoffman
The second milestone I want to highlight is the successful launch of a new version of Segments.
When Tony and I first built Segments, we built an MVP (minimum viable product) with the first 100 customers in mind. Segments 1.0 was not the most beautiful app out there, but it worked and customers loved the actionable insights and prebuilt customer segmentation that enabled them to be data driven in ways they never could before. For the first time, our customers found clarity and in control of their customer data.
“Do you like wasting your money? Neither do I, so that is exactly why you should choose Segments. It will open your eyes to how customers are spending their money and how you can use that to target more specifically and prevent your business from leaving money on the table. This is a lot like taking the red pill and visualising the truth about your business and the best thing is you do not need to be a data analyst or whatnot.” —Bjarni Thors from Brandson Iceland
With that, we were able to drum up support from investors who believed in our vision and we used that capital to build a strong team and accelerate our roadmap.
As we start to build Segments 2.0, we want to give customers a fresh experience on how data feels. We want to make data interactive, beautifully simple, and as an “un-dashboard” without a million charts and numbers. Just answers and key actions to take.
I’m so proud that our team was able to come together so quickly to bring 2.0 to life in just 3 months. We took significant steps towards making data human—with intuitive UI and design elements, and bringing compassion to analytics—with “How to read this chart” explanations in English where things start to get murky.
We are ecstatic that Segments 2.0 was so well received by our customers, and we can hardly wait for more of you to try it.
A few key highlights of Segments 2.0 are Product journey (what customers buy next) and Product relations (replenishment and cross-sell), as well as live integrations to Facebook, Google, and SMS. Now brands can understand their customers’ journey and purchase timing, create segmentations in one place (instead of 5), and deliver a consistent voice across their digital channels.
In the near future, we plan on expanding to more channels where you work, and expanding the reach of your segments to unlock even more revenue levers.
We’ve also just scratched the surface on the type of advanced analytics we can do. We’re so excited to bring you new features around sharing and scheduling reports, cross channel segmentation and metrics, and analytics for understanding your channels and campaigns.
We’re also looking to build strong partnerships with like-minded agencies and apps to continue helping brands thrive with data.
Shopify’s Stamp of Approval
“To me, a great company starts with a great product and ends with a great product. Making the impossible possible, and making the important things easy.” —Tobias Lutke
We are drinking the Shopify kool-aid hard but it’s just like what Toby said. That’s what making software is really about: helping people get stuff done.
This year we are proud to say that we were selected as Shopify Staff Picks for the second year in a row.
But the biggest milestone to celebrate is becoming a Shopify Plus Certified App Partner. We are 1 of 2 certified app partners in the data analytics and business intelligence category, and only the top 1% of all Shopify apps become certified. We’re excited and humbled to be among the ranks of other certified apps that have reached unicorn status like Klaviyo, Shipbob, and Yotpo.
Data is trust. And becoming certified by Shopify Plus means a lot to us because of how rigorous the evaluation criteria and process is — we were evaluated on product innovation, solving customer pain points, the integrity of our data systems and data security, and how we support our customers. Having Shopify’s stamp of approval is exciting and humbling.
This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication the Segments team have put into building a scalable product that accelerates our clients growth and having a customer-first mentality. It is also a testament to our company’s progress towards our mission and our investment into making data more accessible.
Onwards and upwards — what’s next
As privacy and data policies change, owning and leveraging your 1st party data is now more important than ever. Customers are clamoring for the ability to see their data in one place and use data to uncover more growth opportunities, beyond just marketing. This trend—let’s call it 1st Party Data Awareness, is fast on the rise. It is time to take control of your data. In fact, your customers demand it — 70% of customers prefer brands that know more about them and like it if their experience is personalized (source).
To help customers solve this pain point, we are building Segments X, a headless CDP solution launching in the summer of 2022. If you are interested in signing up for the waitlist, stay tuned.
I especially want to thank our early customers who believed in our vision 2 years ago and staying with us in our early days. Without your support, we wouldn’t be here.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to our amazing partners both new and old, for trusting us to be your data partner — our agency partners: Woolmans, Klewdup, Email Allstars, Tetra Marketing; and our app partners: Enquire Labs, Littledata, Tapcart, ReConvert, and Yotpo.
Thanks for reading our year in review. It’s been a wild 2021, and our team is excited to take on new challenges and help you grow even more. If you are looking to do more with your data, take advantage of our free 14 day trial and see how data can level up your marketing.
—John Chao, co-founder and CEO