Bolt (bolt.com)

5 years ago from , CEO @ Dreamten & GiveForms


  • Jon MyersJon Myers, 5 years ago

    Front page call to action: "See How It Works" then

    Modal: "See A Demo" and they're asking for a bunch of contact information so they can call you and hassle you with email. Fdat.


    I buy, pay for and use loads of digital products. I can't stand any digital product where you have to go through some growth hacking rigmarole and talk to some salesperson. We went with Mixpanel over Heap for this very reason.

    If your saas product is hiding behind a curtain and requires a salesperson to demonstrate, in 95% of cases you've lost. Marginally, this kind of crap may work with people selling into old school industries, real estate, etc.,

    17 points
    • Jimmy HookerJimmy Hooker, 5 years ago

      This is absolutely not true.

      It's easy to presume that the way you think is the way everyone else thinks, but most people do not want to learn software, are not developers, and prefer someone showing them how it works and telling them the implementation plan. Look at 90% of enterprise software. Considering your statements, you would be blown away by how things are done at any organization of 100+ people. You are also presumably horrified by the idea of a cold call, but that's how an enormous amount of business gets done.

      Sales people are huge parts of organizations for a reason.

      16 points
      • Philip Lester, 5 years ago

        100% agree completely. Us designers are not the target market for this product.

        3 points
      • Lu MLu M, 5 years ago

        Doesn't mean you have to force him, does it?

        1 point
      • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

        CEO of Bolt here. Jimmy -- that's pretty spot on. And thanks for having us on here!

        Before launching, we A/B tested a number of different sales strategies. I'm a dev myself and 100% agreed with Jon above. Wanted flat rates, self-onboarding, etc. That rarely worked with our target demographic which required a more traditional sales methodology. The latter worked much better.

        So, for now, we're doing what works. Hopefully can simplify things as time goes on.

        5 points
        • Jon MyersJon Myers, 5 years ago

          Hey Ryan, thanks for hopping in here and sharing the rationale.

          I actually know the ecommerce space very well myself. I was the CEO of a Saas company that served Amazon Sellers, and we had 8,500 paying customers. I’m an investor in a marketplace that serves sellers.

          As someone who is in the space and who knows the target demo well, I couldn’t figure out what your product is on a cursory glance and it’s unclear even when one explores the site.

          Is it like Plasso or Gumroad where there is a hosted checkout solution? That was my first thought.

          Of course, there is no opportunity to ponder that thought because the visitor is punched in the throat at the top of the page with that call to action where you would expect to get that answer.

          Yet, then you scroll down the page and randomly thrown there with no explanation are logos for BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento and so on.

          So, then I think - ok, so is this a plugin for those platforms?

          And, then I see this “Zero Fraud” guarantee, but see absolutely no details on it other than - because we say so, just trust us. I was expecting something that was like Stripe Radar, which explains the rationale and approach - https://stripe.com/radar

          And of course, all this ambiguity and vagary is sculpted around this ham-fisted call to action. Yet, it’s really unclear what the user is “Seeing Work” - other than a shopping cart demo, but what is it.

          Products that have far more technical overhead and a heavy sales organization still let you see what the product actually is - before dumping you into a sales funnel. Segment comes to mind.

          As far testing, meh, what’s the quote “A/B Testing is like teenage sex, everyone is talking about it, but nobody is doing it correctly, if at all...” Personally, I wouldn’t be bet a dime that this is a winning approach. Sounds like you have too many marketers whispering in your ear.

          Congrats on a killer URL - and name. Wishing you well on the product whatever IT actually is :)

          1 point
          • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

            Hey Jon,

            Appreciate the feedback. When you're right you're right :-) Absolutely need to work on clearer product positioning, there's no doubt about it. The website needs more detail. Top of our todo list. Within 24 hrs of being out in the open and got posted on designer news / hacker news and was not fully prepared for the community examination. But I love it nonetheless!

            To answer your questions: - It's a checkout solution (lives on your page but still hosted by us, so technically hosted but not as branded as the others), payment processor, and fraud solution - We'll publish more on our fraud detection very shortly

            Re: A/B test I mean we did it manually through thousands of conversations with prospective clients. And, I did it personally. So, I'm not sure what a better word for that is.

            Thanks for the good wishes and taking the time!

            0 points
  • James Young, 5 years ago

    "See how it works"

    Modal telling me a sales person will call me

    No thanks.

    Nice enough design and some big claims on improvements but as Jon Myers said, this sort of straight to sales pitch type message leaves me colder than cold.

    8 points
    • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

      Thanks, it's clear we need to fix this. I'll get to work. Any suggestions greatly appreciated as well.

      0 points
      • James Young, 5 years ago

        For me personally, I've reviewed a range of Sass solutions for our business and pretty much every time I'm happy if there's a demo video of some common use cases your software solves.

        Doesn't necessarily need to be a long winded mega demo - a couple of minutes is plenty to give me a feel for whether your software is initially a potential fit for my needs and if I'd like to follow up on that interest.

        After that point I don't mind speaking to a sales person if necessary, it just feels that when the very first step is potentially a sales call (even if it's actually just one of your team offering a demo instead of hard selling) is offputting to me.

        0 points
        • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

          Yep 100% agree. Thanks for elaborating. We need to do a better job here, no doubt.

          0 points
  • Robin BierensRobin Bierens, 5 years ago

    Is it just me or do these websites always look kind of the same?

    8 points
  • Philip Lester, 5 years ago

    Damn. Ya'll are a harsh bunch... I think the site looks great. Maybe not the most original, but crazy attention to detail and it's pixel perfect.

    4 points
  • Matt KMatt K, 5 years ago

    The pricing page is pretty disingenuous.

    "Platform and Support. Free for a limited time. Save $1,500 integration fee and $900/month in support fees" – How much time exactly? So at some random point I'm going to be charged $1500 plus another $900 a month? What are these fees? They're not charged by other gateways.

    "Payment processing. We'll match your current rate." – Again, for how long? The basic processing fees are double what Stripe charges.

    "Bolt fee. Minimal compared to revenue lift" – There's another charge on top of platform, support and processing? What for? What does minimal mean? 2%? 30%? Who decides?

    "The end of hidden fees. No more games. Save real money with Bolt's simple pricing."

    Seems like the definition of complex and hidden to me. As well as making Bolt look like it's potentially very expensive, the page is worryingly light on detail. Certainly vague enough that I wouldn't consider building a new product on their service. A conversion page like this should work to take down red flags, not raise a whole forest of new ones.

    As a counterpoint, the Stripe page is a really good example of simple, transparent pricing.

    3 points
    • Philip Lester, 5 years ago

      It's likely they are still testing their pricing model, which is common for startups. Commit to publicizing your pricing and it's pretty hard to change it down the road.

      0 points
    • Itay Abraham, 5 years ago

      Stripe charges 2.9% + $0.30 and so are Bolt. Where did you see that Bolt charges double what Stripe does?

      0 points
    • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

      Platform and support -- we're not a standard payments gateway, we're replacing several different tools. For small companies, this is easy. For large companies, its a huge process. We're waiting that fee (it requires us to dedicated resources). If we waive it when you signup, we'll never charge it in the future.

      Matched processing -- forever. We'll never hike the price.

      Bolt Fee -- typically a very low single digit %. Pricing varies depending on volume, risk, and a number of different factors given the complexity of payments (and that we're taking on full liability). But after a short call we provide a very simple flat rate with no BS. As much as we'd like to do one price, given the nature of our product, it's just not viable at this time. Stripe and other payment processors, take on no liability on behalf of your business. So it's easier for them to give simple pricing. If you're a victim of fraud, you're paying the bills, not them.

      0 points
  • Kyle Greely, 5 years ago

    Very Stripe-esque, but feels copied rather than original. And agree with others, that "See How It Works" link is useless. Do they really expect people to enter a whole bunch of info just to have a salesman call them? If your product is really that great, it should speak for itself.

    2 points
    • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

      Its our first time being public, so we tested it out. I personally didn't expect many people to click that. Had 50+ businesses signup for demos yesterday after we launched.

      I used to run a design and dev agency -- this stuff is totally counterintuitive to me. But, we've had to adopt to our target demographics.

      Also, our old, hidden URL site, had the slanted and similar style for the last 2+ years before Stripe's redesign: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qM3lAjCdSuTPAU-R9S2THrD83ZdWjxQo/view. It's pretty consistent with our style today.

      2 points
      • Jim RenaudJim Renaud, 5 years ago

        Unfortunately, Stripe is by far the larger brand and leader in FinTech and Bolt is in a very similar category. I'd look hard at how to differentiate with design unless the goal is to look similar. It's one of the unfortunate realities of not being the leader. Diagonals are a great way to add energy to a site and of course Stripe hasn't invented that motiff, but in your space they definitely own it.

        2 points
  • Aytekin Tank, 5 years ago

    Good domain name. I give them that.

    1 point
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 5 years ago

    170% increase in revenue for Invicta was probably 99.99999% due to the old checkout not working on mobile. feels a bit disingenuous to attribute all of the gain to Bolt.


    1 point
    • Ryan Breslow, 5 years ago

      A lot due to mobile, but our checkout completion rate on desktop was also over 2X.

      0 points
  • Ryan Slama, 5 years ago

    2.3 Megabytes for that page? It is clearly "influenced" by Stripe's design. Somehow, they still managed to have choppy animations.

    0 points