Young Israeli startup lets e-commerce, e-learning and e-banking sites devise simple tutorial balloons to help users complete transactions.
By Avigayil Kadesh
Anyone who’s gotten confused while trying to buy a product or do a financial transaction online – and that includes most of us – will be relieved to know that Israeli startup WalkMe is already marketing its user-friendly “Walk-Thru” instruction system. WalkMe guides people through any online process step-by-step, via popup balloons attached to elements on the web page. The balloons appear in a sequential manner triggered by the user’s actions, and can be customized using a wide range of styles, colors and languages. Publicly launched in Tel Aviv in early 2012, WalkMe is designed not only to be easy for users but also for publishers, who do not need any technical skills or software modifications to incorporate WalkMe tip balloons. Business took off very quickly, says Aviel Weinstein, who handles WalkMe sales in the United States and Europe. By now, there are more than 1,000 clients, including major players such as Cisco, Expedia, Ideas.com, Deloitte, India Times and Constant Contact. In October, the company closed a $5.5 million financing round led by Gemini Israel Funds to further develop and market the system. That brought WalkMe’s total financing to $7 million – not a meager accomplishment for CEO Dan Adika, a 20-something software engineer. He heads a multinational staff of 40 in Tel Aviv, and a San Francisco office was opened in September 2012. “WalkMe is a disruptive system that can fundamentally change the way online services engage with their users,” said Gemini general partner Eran Wagner. “WalkMe’s ability to increase visitor clarity, satisfaction and conversion while dramatically reducing help-desk costs, makes it a no-brainer for a business of any size.” GPS for website users WalkMe is employed by many e-commerce sites – one of the first to sign on was Domino’s Pizza in Israel – as well as e-learning and e-banking websites. Electronic banking transactions, in particular, cause confusion and stress since money and sensitive information is at stake. “WalkMe guarantees users an error-free environment so they can feel confident they are doing the process 100 percent right because they are literally being walked through it,” says Weinstein. A sort of personal tutor or GPS for website users, WalkMe is a unique first-market solution for driving the business process and converting users into customers. “We have found that users generally finish the process because it is engaging,” says Weinstein.
Tip balloons can be added in different styles,
colors and languages
Tip balloons are much less expensive to create than video tutorials, and they don’t require users to go back later and apply what they’ve learned. “Here you’re accomplishing the task at the same time as you’re being shown how to do it,” he says. Simple setup WalkMe works on all web applications and websites and also offers an app that dovetails with Salesforce, the world’s largest customer relationship management (CRM) platform. “Many companies use Salesforce to keep track of all sales and leads,” Weinstein explains. “These companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Salesforce and are using maybe 10 percent of what it can do. The WalkMe app enhances usability and cuts training costs.”
A WalkMe tip balloon on Salesforce
Clients can choose among different payment models, from a free three Walk-Thrus to $975 per month for up to 40 Walk-Thrus and 30,000 assists (user-activated interactions). “It’s very easy to create, edit and publish our Walk-Thrus on your website,” says Weinstein. “All you need to do is click to get started and download the WalkMe plugin, which works on Mozilla Firefox. To publish, you paste a single line of Java code into your HTML header. No other integration is needed, and it can be done in a matter of minutes. Once the Walk-Thru is built and goes live, anyone can access it from any browser with no downloading. It’s very intuitive not only for users but also for our clients.”