A couple of years on the market is a definitive score — especially when your creations are growing substantially each day. Read the interview with Łukasz Wojciechowski and Łukasz Koszela from LiveChat Integrations who share the details of their transition from hobbyist coders to full-time app entrepreneurs.
Explore the strategies that fueled their success and receive candid advice for fellow developers aiming to thrive in the ever-changing world of app development.
Text: Hi, good to have you here! So, first things first — could you tell me why you decided to build with the LiveChat Developer Program? Was there any specific factor that convinced you?
LiveChat Integrations: It started off as a hobby project, completely without any expectations — simply a side hustle on top of my day-to-day job. But as time went by, more and more customers started to use my first app. They started asking for new features and providing feedback on what was built so far. Before I knew it, two years later, making apps for LiveChat Marketplace became my full-time job!
Text: That sounds great, a very natural progression! And which LiveChat APIs/SDKs did you make use of when building your apps?
LiveChat Integrations: Most of our apps are directly connected with messaging and enhancing the chatting experience for our customers in general, so Chat SDKand Agent App SDK are the ones we rely heavily on.
We also use the Design System a lot when we design our interfaces. With that, we can ensure our customers get a consistent, smooth, and delightful experience when using our apps. Most importantly, we want to provide them with the same experience they already got used to in the LiveChat App.
Text: And apart from the ones mentioned, are there any other tools from the entire LiveChat infrastructure that proved to be useful when building your app?
LiveChat Integrations: Not necessarily a tool, but without a doubt the “Building Apps crash course” is THE resource I’d recommend to any developer with an entrepreneurial spirit wanting to build their first app. The guide is extremely practical and will allow anyone to build their first app in days/weeks and not weeks/months. Highly recommend it!
Text: That’s amazing to hear! So, how long does it usually take you to develop an integration?
LiveChat Integrations: Well, as usual — it all depends :) Currently, we have a couple of applications in the Marketplace, and some took as little as one month from the initial idea to the point it earned its first bucks. Some, like WhatsApp Business, we started over two years ago, and we’re still working on yet another module, yet another functionality, all driven by feedback from our existing customers. And currently, we have almost 400 users, so gaining insights and feedback is a crucial part of how we operate.
What we learned is that you have to start small, with an MVP of some sort, and just get it out there. This will allow you to quickly get your first 10-20 clients and focus on them, their goals, way of working, and expectations, and you’ll be able to grow your app with them. Other customers will simply follow.
Text: Did you face many challenges or unexpected blockers that you had to overcome in the entire application development process?
LiveChat Integrations: There weren’t that many challenges, to be honest. It does take a moment to get used to the whole development toolkit and SDK/API — especially if the chat industry is not something you’re familiar with — but once it clicks, you immediately speed up!
Text: And do you have any formal process in place regarding updating your app’s code to the new API updates?
LiveChat Integrations: It depends on what you’d call formal :) But yes, we do follow a set of rules; we have a well-defined checklist of elements per each app, especially since most of our apps are dependent not only on LiveChat API but on other APIs as well. On top of that, we have unit tests, and we run a full regression for any major release to ensure high quality for our customers. So ok, I guess you can call it a formal process ;)
Text: Definitely on the formal side! :) And speaking of formalities, have you set any milestones in terms of app installation rate or revenue?
LiveChat Integrations: Yes, we do have such goals, and we track multiple metrics to check if we are getting there. What we focus on is the standard SaaS business metrics, like Customer and Revenue Churn, ARR and MRR, but also Customer Lifetime Value, and a few others. In a way, each app on the marketplace is a separate micro-SaaS business, so you must pay attention to that if you want to succeed with your app. With a little bit of luck and excellent customer support, this will help you build a significant new revenue stream focused on what matters most and will allow you to have a ton of fun along the way while experimenting with new approaches both from the business and tech perspective.
Text: I believe that to achieve these goals you need to think about the marketing and promotion of your apps. Was there anything that turned out to be exceptionally successful in boosting the sales of your app?
LiveChat Integrations: Fortunately, being on the LiveChat Marketplace handles most of our sales and marketing, which is incredible. Thanks to this, the traffic is already there, and all you have to do is make sure your customers have an amazing onboarding experience and educational path inside your app. As an example, for the WhatsApp Business app, we created a WhatsApp Academy, which helps our customers make the most out of the integration. For us, it’s also an up-selling opportunity, as this encourages customers to use more advanced paid modules. We can also cross-sell additional channels we provide, like Google Business or Apple Business Messages.
Text: And did LiveChat help you promote your apps?
LiveChat Integrations: LiveChat provides a variety of ways to promote apps; as I mentioned before, the top of the funnel is kind of secured. Nonetheless, you have to know what you need, who are your customer, and what are their needs — those elements are key to having a successful promotion.
That said, the support we get from LiveChat is truly amazing. You can plan a mailing campaign to a selected group of LiveChat customers, your app can be included on a dedicated landing page, your apps can get featured in “Staff Top Picks”, and much more. It definitely pays off!
Text: That’s wonderful to hear! So do you plan to build more apps for the LiveChat Marketplace in the future? Is there anything that would make it easier for you to do so?
LiveChat Integrations: Definitely, we have so many ideas for new apps; in fact, we are building two new ones right now! The first one should be available very soon, and we are pretty excited about that! :)
The thing that would help us the most is more visibility into user insights. We’d love to have a better understanding of why users churn and have a better and more open way of communicating with existing and, ideally, with potential customers, and so on. You get it — the more we know, the better apps we can create!
It would also be amazing to have a promo code mechanism for cross-selling as we have multiple apps on the Marketplace.
Text: Surely, these are some great ideas. So, we’re heading towards the end of the interview — let’s hear if you have some advice for other devs who are just starting out.
LiveChat Integrations: I guess the only thing I would do differently is learn more about the chat industry in general before writing the first line of code. I’d talk with companies and people using live chat solutions and look for opportunities to use different tooling myself, which would help me understand the gaps in LiveChat that I can fill with external apps, and in consequence, build better apps on the first try!
Every time we build a new app, we get all excited about it, thinking we will be making $10,000+ a month on it… and we will! It just takes time :) It takes time to gain traction, it takes time to understand what users actually need vs. what we build, and it takes time to adjust the way the app looks and what it does at the end, but you will get there!
Text: Those are amazing pieces of advice, thank you!