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How Singapore’s SMB Qlipp increased its scale globally

Qlipp, a tennis sensor and mobile app which helps players track and improve their performance in real time, started as a six person startup, in Singapore. Dr Donny Soh, co-founder & CEO, Qlipp was looking to grow the product’s reach to further markets.

As a tennis perfomance sensor, Qlipp had scope of growth beyond the Singapore market. Soh said on the idea behind the product, “I have always been fascinated by technology and I was then working in A*STAR on a project in sensors / virtual reality. I was taking tennis classes then and constantly frustrated with not being able to hit well. It was then that this idea of having a performance sensor on my tennis racquet came.”

As Qlipp is a very niche product and this technology is still considered pretty new, the team decided to rely on Google’s tools for SMBs to increase their reach. “Knowing that it is not an item that will turn up on one’s search results or typically searched by consumers, we decided to employ the use of Google’s tools to increase the awareness of Qlipp online,” Soh said.

The team employed Google’s display ads to targeted the right customers. However, the initial targeting was done incorrectly in the team’s first attempt. “It took us a bit of fine-tuning to discover a target segment that responded well. Over time working with Google, we found out that the United States was an obvious market, and the team used online data to identify the top ten tennis-playing states in the United States, and targeted online advertising to those regions,” Soh explained.

As the product was different, the team later realised that display ads might not fully explain to users what Qlipp was. To demonstrate the features of the product better, the team created videos for YouTube and targeted the YouTube video to tennis players around the world. “YouTube’s video advertising turned out to be much better in driving traffic to the website. We also used remarketing to target users that had viewed our website and shown interest in Qlipp, and realised that this was effective in bringing about conversions,” Soh opined.

Some of the other SMB tools by Google, Qlipp’s team used was:
1. Test My Site to ensure their site is mobile-optimised
2. Google Adwords for marketing and establishing their online presence
3. Google Analytics to measure their online marketing
4. Google Firebase for their apps backend servers

“After just one month we saw a huge improvement in both site traffic exposure and sales. Over time, we also realised that doing display ads with video advertising works best if you time it with a local event or press release and sales conversions from Google remarketing can be achieved once you’ve laid the groundwork,” he added.

Working with Google to target the top 10 tennis-playing states in the United States resulted in a ten-fold increase in web traffic and a 30 per cent increase in sales in three months. “Since we adopted digital tools, 90 per cent of our company’s sales now come from overseas. With the use of Google Search ads and YouTube video ads, we were able to bring our products to life and reach the right customers overseas—this has really magnified our potential customer base beyond those living in Singapore,” Soh concluded.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.