Porter Case Study
Porter improves open rates and saves significant SMS costs migrating to Sendbird Notifications
Founded in 2014, Porter is one of India's leading logistics companies providing intra-city and inter-city services. Working towards the company's vision of 'moving a billion dreams, one delivery at a time,' Porter has serviced over 1 crore (ten million) customers across 19+ cities in India, with a workforce of 2,600 employees. The company strives to improve the lives of over 5 lakh (500,000) driver-partners by providing them with financial access, affordability, and financial independence. Founded by Pranav Goel, Uttam Digga & Vikas Choudhary, Porter has disrupted various logistics domains by launching an on-demand marketplace for trucks, bikes, and Packers & Movers.
Porter's rapid growth meant that the company needed to communicate with existing driver-partners while also onboarding new drivers daily so that drivers could find and act on important messages when required. Today, Porter sends approximately 10 million messages per month across their 5 million monthly active users. These include transactional, operational, and marketing messages such as how much driver-partners will be earning, payment forms and amounts, incentives for delivering a minimum amount of orders, logging in from particular areas, responding to ads, etc.
The company used standard mobile communications channels to reach its driver-partners, such as push notifications, SMS, and WhatsApp. However, the team responsible for driver communication saw signs that drivers were receiving but not actually digesting communications, such as increased support tickets and incentive programs.
SMS and WhatsApp were expensive channels, with each unread or undelivered message adding up quickly while not achieving desired outcomes. SMS was a "black box," according to the product team. WhatsApp faced specific challenges as the opt-in nature of the app is a significant blocker, combined with the abundance of spam that dissuades users from opening promotional messages. Porter knew their messages were being delivered to driver-partners, but they had no way of knowing if they were being read or acted upon by driver-partners.
Push notifications were ephemeral, meaning once dismissed, the message was lost forever, and driver-partners could not reaccess important messages. Even after receiving operational messages over Push or SMS, driver-partners would still need to call customer support teams for information related to delivery assignments. Such fragmented and ineffective communication affected customer support bandwidth and increased costs — affecting the bottom line.
Porter's product team saw an opportunity to communicate directly with driver-partners in-app but did not have a way to do this without investing in building a persistent in-app communications experience. The company looked to find an existing enterprise-grade, white-label solution to send operational, transactional, and marketing messages. This would ensure driver-partners could find and act on important messages when needed.
To draw inspiration for solving its notifications delivery and communication challenges, Porter's product team looked to how other leading businesses regionally and globally that were solving similar issues. In this search, Porter found Sendbird, an enterprise conversations platform serving thousands of companies worldwide.
Sendbird Notifications could quickly integrate into Porter's existing app and enable the business to send a high volume of always-accessible messages to its driver-partners in a familiar user experience. Porter Product Manager Apurva Shetty said that with Sendbird Notifications, "messages sent directly to driver-partners persist in a dedicated part of the app, so users know exactly what is being sent to them, where to find these messages, and more easily track important correspondence and notifications. This is what we needed for our delivery at Porter."
Shetty elaborated that the additional functionality with Sendbird to display messages by type in a customized view was exciting for the product team to help successfully communicate a high volume of messages to driver-partners.
"The ability to segregate different types of messages was a huge wow factor for us and would really bring more insight and clarity into our driver-partners' lives," states Shetty.
The Porter team successfully migrated its core operational and transactional messages to driver-partners from SMS to in-app with Sendbird. Shetty explains how choosing to build with Sendbird benefited his team, “Buying Sendbird instead of building Notifications from scratch ourselves saved a huge amount of engineering bandwidth on our end because all we had to do is just create one channel for every user, which could be created on the fly using your APIs.”
In addition to developer time-savings, Porter also experienced significant cost savings by migrating operational and transactional messages from SMS to within the Porter app using Sendbird. So far the team has calculated that the switch off of SMS to Sendbird has saved the company 30% in operational costs. Additionally, the Porter team expects to see a decline in costly contact center calls by delivering a better in-app messaging experience for its driver partners.
Sendbird Notifications enables Porter to offer an engaging and flexible user experience to communicate with driver-partners. Driver-partners will be able to easily view multimedia notifications, such as CTAs when wallet money is running low, the announcement and training of new features as they're launched, SLA messages to hold driver-partners accountable, add-on services such as insurance for vehicles, microfinance loans, and much more.
For example, when a driver needs to be credited money to their wallet, they would previously receive a notification over SMS or push. These messages would get lost, leading to increased support costs. With Sendbird, Porter will now deliver these messages in-app, creating one place for drivers to receive and reread important messages at any time.
"The flexibility that Sendbird provides allows us to create a dedicated space in our app to deliver these messages and create a familiar experience for users to easily find messages that need their attention, again and again." With Sendbird, messages will no longer go unnoticed or lost. Already the team has seen Sendbird Notifications drive a 78% open rate among its driver-partners.
All of these proponents unify with Porter's core goal of modernizing delivery across India. As adoption continues to increase between customers and driver-partners, Porter plans to explore other Sendbird Notifications features, such as pinned notifications, to make finding and acting on notifications even easier.
Shetty concludes, "With an amazing support team in our region and our specific Notifications use cases addressed out of the box with the extremely flexible solution, Sendbird was an easy decision for us."
Since day one, Sendbird has partnered with AWS to establish itself as a leading conversations platform that enables a secure, global, and scalable in-app conversation experience. Sendbird is an AWS advanced tier technology partner operating 45+ AWS native services in 9 regions. Thanks to Amazon’s AWS Auto Scaling and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud services, Sendbird manages massive digital traffic sending billions of messages monthly. Using Elastic Load Balancing and Amazon Route53 geolocation functions, Sendbird ensures reliable global traffic distribution. Sendbird also leverages AWS CloudFormation to automate its servers’ management in each region efficiently. Lastly, AWS Elasticache and Amazon Aurora allow Sendbird to achieve millisecond latency and data storage for over 300 million monthly active users. Sendbird’s world-class conversation platform architecture and technical foundations are certified by AWS.