In the first of four posts exploring companies that are embracing the emerging performance economy we highlighted 7.ai. 7.ai is redefining the way companies interact with consumers by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning—and a performance-based pricing model—to deliver customer acquisition products and customer engagement products.
Now let’s explore what Clerk.io is doing to drive value for their customers. Clerk.io develops tools for online retailers and marketers that automate time-consuming processes to drive more sales. In the performance economy, their artificial intelligence drives a personalized shopping experience for every customer in their online store.
20x ROI Guarantee. Confidence and performance from Clerk.io
Clerk.io drives home their take on performance-based pricing by stating, “the sole purpose of Clerk.io is that we make you more money than you pay us. Use that extra revenue to reinvest in your business growth or maybe as a treat for yourself.” With this, Clerk.io is setting the expectation that customers will see a direct connection between the use of their products and revenue.
Broadcasting similar performance-economy messaging
Performance-based pricing spins around two common threads:
- Existence of KPIs and industry benchmarks. Having commonly understood metrics and measures ensures that the vendor and the customer are starting with a shared definition of success.
- Ability to actually measure data in a clear and consistent fashion. This capacity enables companies to easily use data as a meter. Any additional effort, on the part of the vendor or the customer, required to get at the data necessary to charge that customer reduces the chances that the performance-based pricing will ultimately be successful.
Four products, four price levers
Clerk.io’s product offering and the specifics of their pricing model enable ecommerce companies to create a personalized shopping experiences for each and every online customer.
Clerk.io achieves this level of personalization through four key products:
- Search – A sales- and behavior-based search engine
- Recommendations – Personalized product recommendations that help customers find the right products to influence them to buy and buy more products in each order
- Email – Relevant, automated, personalized product offers, sent via email
- Audience – Segmentation that helps you get higher returns on your marketing campaigns and retain more loyal customers
Each of Clerk.io’s four products comes with its own volume-based price lever that determines the plan level for that particular product. For the four products listed above, those levers or variables are, respectively:
- Monthly searches
- Monthly slider views
- Monthly opened emails
- Monthly customers exported
Sound complicated? Clerk.io helps prospects determine a price for their service via a series of four simple questions. If you exceed your plan limits, you will receive a “polite” email from Clerk.io, requesting you to upgrade.
Proving performance with a 20x ROI guarantee
Clerk.io’s dashboard is the lynchpin to communicating product performance to their customers. The dashboard “drills down not only how much is sold through Clerk.io, but also how we affect your key KPIs, such as basket size, avg. order value and conversion rate.” By speaking the language of their customers through shared KPIs, Clerk.io is able to draw a direct line to their impact on revenue.
Clerk.io is so confident in the performance of their products that they offer a 20x ROI Guarantee. Provided customers “follow our best practices,” if those customers do not get their money back at least 20 times, Clerk.io will refund them the difference, so they still reach a 20x ROI.
While not every company may be able to promise 20x ROI, Clerk.io provides interesting inspiration on how companies can combine their customers’ language of performance with novel guarantees that instill trust and joint accountability (remember those “best practices”) between vendors and customers.