I wrote about Rumgr last week, and will do so again this week because it is fascinating to watch a company that is just getting off the ground. Customer retention & community building is what will make Rumgr successful because without a robust user base, the app is dead. The build that user base, it needs to retain both buyers and sellers.
As a reminder, Rumgr is a mobile app that makes it easy to sell your stuff. It uses geolocation to help users find each other and sorts what is for sale not by object or posting time, but by location. Their goal seems to be making the impersonal online buying/selling experience a bit more fun and significantly easier. It is using a grass-roots model for finding new customers, building user bases in key cities, starting with Las Vegas, its home-base.
It seems that the primary strategy for customer retention is a great user experience, which makes sense: if the app is horrible/difficult/clunky to use, it won’t get repeat usage. So, a seamless user experience is critical. Additionally, once the active & robust community is built, it serves as its own retention strategy: an active community with both buyers and sellers enhances the user experience, making repeat customers more likely. Starting that cycle is the key, so the Rumgr team also uses its blog to communicate with users, offering tips & tricks, power-user profiles, and neat items, all in an effort to continue the conversation.
It is hard for such an early stage start-up build & retain a user base. Rumgr seems to be taking the right steps, at least initially. It is building its community in key cities, because the community is its greatest asset. An active, engaged community of buyers and sellers will grow & retain itself. Going forward, Rumgr can continue to highlight power users, attempt to curate items, and enhance the user experience by adding things like item searching in addition to the location-based searching.