I've been meaning to write a progress report for Simply Auto since a while now, but work always somehow took precedence over the blog post. With all of us under lockdown, I am, just like everyone else, spending all my time at home, and I think that's given me the time and inclination to get this done. First off, I hope that all of you are safe and indoors in these difficult times. What we are going through is something that most of us have never experienced in our lives and are probably lost, anxious and, to a certain degree, frustrated with the situation. With no end in sight, all we can do is hope that life returns to normalcy soon. 

Our team has been working from home from the 15th of March, and we've had our share challenges. Some of the folks in the team are new recruits and haven't fully grasped all the aspects of their job and responsibility. They've been at the biggest disadvantage. However, I'm incredibly proud of my team for hanging in there and giving it their best to deliver. We wanted to do our bit to help out during these tough times, so we decided to take 30% off on our in-app purchases and, hopefully, contribute in our small way. 

Talking numbers, Simply Auto, in the last 12 months has grown from about 64,000 monthly active users to almost 81,000 monthly active users. We were on a path to cross 83,000, but things have slowed down since the onset of COVID. It's important to mention that this growth has been entirely organic. We've dabbled with Google ads a bit, but we've not really seen any significant ROI so have not persisted with advertising.

We've also seen a steady increase in our subscriptions. Our subscriptions have grown by 138% in 1 year. However, the majority of Simply Auto's revenue still comes from its one time Gold upgrade. As a business, subscriptions are more critical than one time purchases, for obvious reasons, and eventually, we'd like to see more of our users move to subscriptions. We might bounce things around a bit to achieve this.

Though we've seen steady improvements in our Android app, the iPhone app has not been where we planned it should. To be honest, we are not sure why our iOS app has not caught on with the iPhone audience. We did have some setbacks in terms of crashes, but these were rectified as soon as Apple would allow us to release an update. We've put in just as much effort in the iPhone app as in Android, so it is a little upsetting to see it not catch on. But we are surely going to hang in there till we get it right.

Our rating for both the Play and App Store have not fallen. We have been rated 4.5 on the Play Store with over 13,000 ratings and on the App Store we have a rating of 4.4 with over 2000 ratings. We've consistently received positive feedback. It's this feedback that keeps us going and we genuinely want to thank all our users who rate, comment and write to us. Ratings and reviews are super important to us, so please do take time to rate the app.

In 2019, we took a call to cater to three use cases within the app

  1. Vehicle management for consumers
  2. Vehicle management for fleets
  3. Business mileage tracking

We've made a conscious decision to exclude anything that does not fall in this realm. Our first job was to iron out some of the major bugs that our users were facing. The big one that we immediately got down to tackling was the sync failure with the cloud. This being one of the essential features of the app, we overhauled the way syncing was done to make the entire process more robust. The other big bug we fixed was the driver data share. This was giving our users nightmares, and after a whole lot of re-writing of code, we've surely taken care of the issue. Our business users were having problems with auto-trip, which also was updated to make more accurate. Though this has minimized the flaws overall, we are still tweaking the logic to make it right for everyone. The problem with auto-trip is that the functionality is highly circumstantial, what may work for someone may not for another.

Looking ahead, we've got some big plans for 2020. Of course within the use cases I spoke above. First off, we are planning to improve the UI/UX of the app, and planning on hiring a competent agency to design these new screens for us. Last major revamp of the UI happened in 2016, so it's been a while, and mobile standards have changed since then. The next prominent feature we want to add into the app, mainly for our consumers, is providing aggregated, anonymous real-world numbers. For instance, vehicles with the best mileage or service centres categorized by services performed. We are very excited to implement this one. And lastly, a more technical, behind the scenes development will be to move your receipts onto an Amazon S3 server. This is because of the sheer volume of receipts that we get daily is making it very difficult for us to store on our private server. Moving these to S3 will also help us save them at a better resolution.

We've said it before, and I'll say it again, Simply Auto is what it is thanks to users. We will continue to work hard to live up to and keep earning the trust you place in us. Thank you for your lasting support. 





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