Talking tech since 2003

What if I told you that there was a way you could push updates to your app or perform A/B testing without having to resubmit it to Apple’s App Store or Google Play?  Chances are you would be very excited.  Well, good news.  There is now a way to do just that.  It’s a new service called Artisan.

Artisan lets you test multiple designs/layouts within your app, so you can do things like have different locations for buttons or use modified texts to see if one way has better results than another.  Another great thing about Artisan is that you can push app updates without having to resubmit your app to the app stores.  This means that if you noticed a typo or that the placement of a button is wrong, using Artisan you can quickly update the app to fix those problems on the fly.  And don’t worry, Artisan is allowed to be used in both Apple and Google’s app stores.  “We read the terms of service for both Apple and Google and we’re not changing binary, we are confident that we abide by all app store guidelines,” said Artisan CEO, Bob Moul.

Issues like these happen all the time, I mean just look at how Facebook’s recently pushed update for its app included the wrong app icon.  When I spoke to Mr. Moul, he told me a story of a call he received from an app publisher, “The only thing I want to do is add a period to the end of a sentence,” they said to him.  Apparently what had happened is someone didn’t catch the error when the copy for the app was being edited.  I think that call serves as a testament to the need for a service like Artisan.

It appears that companies agree.  According to Mr. Moul, around 50 of the top Internet retail brands are in the company’s pipeline, “It’s been incredibly popular,” he went on to say.  But it’s not just retailers that are jumping at the opportunity to use Artisan.  In addition to retailers, publishers have also looked to Artisan to help improve their apps.  One publisher, I’m told by Mr. Moul, is using Artisan to A/B test different workflows within the app to see which is more effective as well as to try out different navigation bars to see which are more user friendly.  One industry that surprised Mr. Moul with its interest in Artisan is the financial services industry.  According to Mr. Moul a half dozen of the big banks are utilizing it.


From e-commerce/retailers using Artisan to attempt to increase revenue, publishers using it to keep people in their apps longer, to other apps using it to drive subscriptions — it’s obvious that Artisan will play a key part in the future of mobile development.

In order to entice companies to adopt Artisan, the company has developed a way to implement their technology with ease.  Artisan developed an installer script that can implement Artisan into your app in around 30 seconds.  “We wanted it to be super easy, super flawless,” said Mr. Moul.  Once it’s implemented, Artisan shows the user how to setup its first experiment with its Optimize tool.

Using the Optimize tool anyone (whether you know how to code or not) can modify the app from within the dashboard.  And that’s the real beauty behind Artisan.

While Artisan currently only offers one product called Optimize, I’m told by Mr. Moul that the company plans to launch a complete suite of products.  The next product will be Analyze, which will allow app makers to capture every keystroke, gesture, etc.  The idea behind that is so Artisan can provide their customers with a deep understanding of how people are using the app.  Which if you think about it, brings you back to the Optimize product.  You can take the data from Analyze and use it to make changes with Optimize, so you can keep people from falling out of the purchase funnel or from leaving your app.

Artisan also plans to release a Create product so people can create an app’s design within their platform.  And lastly, they want to release a Personalize product which will offer app makers the ability to completely personalize a users mobile experience within their app.  I personally think that the Personalize product will be huge, as we have seen the personalized movement on the web, but not within apps yet.

If you are looking for a way to provide a better mobile experience and have the ability to continually optimize your apps on the fly, Artisan is for you. Pricing starts at $1,000 per month for a standard account, $4,000 per month for a professional account, and $10,000 per month for the enterprise level account.

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