Amy Divaraniya had enjoyed a comfortable career in data science when she realized she had another calling. After she faced struggles conceiving her son, Amy decided to build a solution to help women with their fertility. OOVA is an at-home test that measures multiple hormones through urine samples and provides personalized results and insights. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Amy shares with us the essential questions to ask when conducting market research and the challenges of being a female founder.

For the full transcript of this episode, click here.

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Show Notes

Bringing innovation to a traditional market

Felix: Tell us about your product and why it differs from competitors. 

Amy: Oova is an at-home test that monitors multiple hormones through urine. We are the only test in the market that can identify most fertile days and confirm convolution in a cycle. In addition, it’s a completely personalized experience. We learned what every woman’s unique hormone baseline levels are and then we detect fluctuations by comparing to that. We’re not comparing a woman to some standard threshold or that perfect woman that we all know doesn’t actually exist. It’s all based on her own data. From that, we can understand what her fertility profile is. The way we’re able to do that is we’re actually a quantitative test. You’re not just getting a blinking smiley space, or trying to see if there’s this ghost line present on your test. You’re getting an actual number for both hormones every day that you use the Oova test.

Felix: I’m surprised bigger brands haven’t caught on to this. How did you know what features you wanted to include in the tests? 

Amy: It’s funny. I got that question from my husband on a daily basis. He’s like, “How do you know people want this?” I’m like, “Well, I want this so I’m assuming there are at least 10 other women that want this too.” So far, my gut has been right. But the reason that I have really good insight into this space is because I went through my own journey with infertility and it opened up my eyes to the gaps in the space. The question you asked actually has a much broader answer. Women’s health just hasn’t been given the importance that it deserves. Larger companies have not prioritized innovating in this space. Until Oova came out, it was fine to just provide a woman with a blinking smiley face. That is not innovation and it’s ridiculous for a woman to have to rely on that. We deserve to know what’s going on inside of our bodies and we’re really trying to embrace that.

Felix: What challenges did you face throughout all the stages of development? 

Amy: One thing to keep in mind is that my background is really heavy on the science side. The way that I went about developing this product is I dove into making sure that the data and the product were meaningful. I didn’t come up with something like, “Okay, we need to figure out how to fix fertility or ovulation tracking or make a dent in women’s health.” That was definitely a driver for me personally, but when it came to the product, what I was focusing on was the solution. What I wanted to figure out was how do we identify a solution that can accurately measure biomarkers or hormones in the privacy of a person’s home? How do we bring a clinic into a consumer’s house? That’s the underlying foundation for Oova. That method allows us to address our product from a scientific standpoint. How can we identify which biomarkers to go for and what are our success metrics? How are we able to hit those? You’re dealing with chemistry and science here versus a use case. The use case and the marketing is a completely different problem than getting a technology supply chain to work because it’s a very set protocol that you’re following.

Amy Divaraniya, the founder of OOVA in a living room setting
After difficulty conceiving, Amy Divaraniya decided to pivot her career from data science to helping women with infertility through OOVA. OOVA

Felix: It was a long R&D process. Did you face a lot of pressure to get to market asap once you had a product? 

Amy: That’s more of an internal pressure than anything external, right? There were a lot of moments throughout our journey where I was like, “Man, ours is so much better than what these guys are doing. Let’s just put it out there.” But it wasn’t fully validated yet. It wasn’t hitting all the success metrics that I had set for the company and so, we held back. Sitting on the side lines can be frustrating because there’s a lot of players in this space and they have beautiful branding and a huge marketing budget. We’ve never had that. We’ve been relying on the fact that we have a product that works. To be quite honest, the pandemic forced us and gave us a huge opportunity to pivot our model pretty substantially. It’s actually putting us ahead of the game without having to go down that massive rabbit hole or that hamster wheel having a bigger marketing budget.

Felix: What specifically about the pandemic shifted the market in your favor?

Amy: When we started the company, I thought Oova was going to be a direct-to-consumer product. I wanted to provide a solution to women that weren’t ready to go to a doctor and just wanted to be empowered with data about their bodies. If you think about what the stretch goal is for our company, I was like, “If we could get doctors to utilize our technology to supplement fertility treatment, that would be great.” We remove so many blood draws and you make it so much more accessible to patients. When the pandemic hit, fertility treatment was viewed as an elective procedure and all these fertility clinics were being forced to shut their doors. You had all these families that were left with their hands in the air going, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know when I’m going to be able to grow my family anymore.”

Clinics actually started reaching out to us to utilize our technology to do remote hormone monitoring, and we pivoted very quickly. Within two weeks we had a HIPAA-compliant dashboard so a patient could use Oova at home, scan it with their phone. They get their results in their app, and then the clinician gets the results of their HIPAA compliance Oova dashboard. That model took off really well. We ended up launching with that in September 2020, and we currently have over 90 clinics that are using Oova across the country. We launched direct-to-consumer about 10 months after that.

Felix: How did you position yourself to be available to these clinics? 

Amy: One thing to highlight is that I’m a first time founder and I have a PhD in biomedical sciences. I’m trained in asking questions and I don’t hesitate to do that. When I decided to move forward with Oova, I basically spoke with whatever clinician would give me the time of day and I asked them, “What kinds of data would you like to see? How would you want to visualize it? What would I have to do to make you trust my information? How would you use this data?” Over the course of three years that it took us to develop the tech, you can only imagine how many doctors I had spoken with. I had so much data. When it came time to pivot into this clinician dashboard, I knew exactly what they wanted to see and how they wanted to see it.

It took us two weeks to code and build that and we launched it. The reason clinicians are reaching out to us was because I spent three years teasing my concept and I wasn’t selling them anything. I was trying to gather information in a very genuine way. Even if they were telling me, “Amy, this isn’t going to work, unless you do these things.” I listened and was really receptive to that feedback. It opened up a huge conversation channel for us and I became a trust resource for them.

Adopting the “fail hard, fail fast” mentality to gather robust data

Felix: What advice do you have for someone who might not have as extensive experience with researching as you do?

Amy: Just do it. I wasted so much time trying to design the perfect survey and making sure the questions weren’t leading, but you don’t know what you don’t know until you start getting data. You have to keep iterating on it. You have to keep changing it. It’s fine. It’s a learning cycle. Every data point you’re able to collect is so critical to the growth of your company. You shouldn’t hesitate and wait for things to be perfect. It will never be that. The moment you accept that, that’s the critical, pivotal point for any founder or any entrepreneur to realize that nothing will ever be perfect.

Felix: You kind of get at aiming in the right direction, the more shots you take. 

Amy: Consider it as practice shots. That’s why everyone makes such a big deal about launches. But really, throughout the lifespan of your company, you’re going to go through so many launches. Even in my head, I was putting so much emphasis behind this launch and then we ended up doing a launch that was so different from anything I had ever anticipated. But the community was asking for it so we reacted to it. That’s more important than trying to make the perfect moment a thing.

A testing kit from OOVA on a bathroom counter. Backdropped by a toothbrush holder and dried flowers.
The best way to determine business focus is to have a team that can take on decision-making responsibilities and contribute to driving the direction of operations. OOVA

Felix: Were there any unexpected findings from your research, where changes that made sense to you weren’t being backed by the data? 

Amy: The biggest mistake we ever made I’m still kicking myself for. The pandemic slowed down us being able to react and fix it. The mistake was when we did our initial packaging design. It says our company name and then it says, “The smarter way to conceive,” on the box. That was meant to go into another box but because the pandemic hit, we weren’t able to get supply in time and there was so much demand that we ended up shipping in that exterior box. As this package is being shipped around the country, everyone that is touching it knows that you’re trying to conceive and we completely understand how discreet this space should be. It was never the intention, but it came off as us having a huge oversight on what our consumer would want. Since then, we have updated our packaging, but for somebody that is so in tune with the emotions that are involved in this journey, I felt like that was a massive oversight on my part to allow that to happen.

Felix: How do you decide where to focus? How do you decide what needs immediate attention, and what can wait till later? 

Amy: The best way to answer that is surrounding yourself with team members and leadership that is on the same page as you. For example, our product has a physical component and a digital component. There’s a whole marketing angle. There’s a lot of aspects to it. I single handedly cannot make all the decisions on my own. What we do is for everything that needs to go out, my department heads talk to their teams. They figure out, “Okay, these are the things that we need to get done. Is this good enough?” They come up with their own ranking for everything. Every week, we have an all hands meeting where everyone shares what the status of things are and we collectively make a decision. “All right. Let’s just table this for now. This is not that important. Let’s push this over to the side.” It’s a collective effort. If I tried to do it all on my own, I wouldn’t have a single hair left on my head.

Pivoting quickly in an industry marked by red-tape

Felix: You mentioned that once you realized the demand, you were able to pivot the product and churn out a HIPAA-compliant dashboard within weeks. How? 

Amy: When I was doing my PhD, I was doing a lot of work with electronic health records. It’s in my blood to make sure that everything that we do with patient information is HIPAA-compliant. All of our systems from the ground up have been HIPAA-compliant from day one. Then all of a sudden, all we had to do was create a visualization of the data that we were already able to collect through an app and that became very simple to do. I already had the layout of what doctors wanted to see and how they wanted to see it. That was all from the data that I had gathered over the past three years.

Felix: One common characteristic of the medical industry is the red tape. It’s difficult to move quickly within the industry, and its tools are often outdated. What effect did this characteristic have on your ability to launch quickly? 

Amy: You have to remember where we were in the world at that time. People had to react very quickly in May, June of 2020. No one knew what was going on. All of a sudden, you have these clinicians that still need to practice. They’re trying to adopt telemedicine, but they don’t have the tools to actually utilize that appropriately. I’m not even kidding. I was on a call with a doctor who was telling me that she had to do a telemedicine consult watching her patients spit into a tube to make sure she was doing it right because that was the only at-home test that they had in their hands. I was like, “Well, that’s ridiculous,” because first of all, how do you not know how to spit? Second, what are the criteria that you’re making sure it’s actually a sanitary solution? What if she had a sip of coffee before she did this? It made the adoption of our tech so easy because the world was just not meeting the demand of what was actually needed for these clinicians, but we were.

Felix: You mentioned that you had success metrics. What were the checkpoints that you had set up? 

Amy: The first product that we went after is obviously in the fertility space. It’s a very crowded space. There’s a lot of technology and companies that are trying to move the needle. When I had this idea for Oova, I was really adamant that we were not going to put another product on the market that is just a kind of solution. It has to move the needle. I remember drawing on the whiteboard, “These are the five things we have to hit before we take things forward.” One, it had to be a quantitative test. I didn’t want a binary, “Yes,” or “No,” or a smiley face. It had to be a number. It had to be personalized. We weren’t comparing a woman to a standard threshold. It had to be on her own data.

It had to be clinically trusted. If a doctor was to get an Oova report, they would know what to do with it and it would be something they would trust. It had to be noninvasive. I didn’t want this to be a blood draw or anything like that. It had to be done as seamlessly as possible. And the fifth thing is that it had to be done in real time. I didn’t want patients sending samples to a lab or waiting even hours for results. I wanted it to be within minutes. Those are some pretty hefty criteria, but we started tackling each one, one at a time and that’s why it took us three years to get to where we are today.

Creating clear objectives in a highly complex R&D phase

Felix: When you laid out these goals, how did you determine how you’d achieve them? What were the standards you measured the goal against to know that the milestone was achieved? 

Amy: The only thing that I had under my belt was knowing that it was possible to measure these hormones that I cared about in urine. That was about all I knew. I had no idea how we were going to do it, and the product design changed. We iterated so much over the course of that first year, and then the next two years, fine tuning. It was about having this broad vision and then surrounding myself with people who are much smarter than me and experts in different areas to execute it.

Felix: Do you remember any inflection points throughout those first few years of R&D where things felt like they were rolling downhill rather than trying to get anything into work?

Amy: There were two major points. The first was, we were originally going to have a device associated with the product where you would pee on a stick and then insert it into some sort of a machine and then it would give you the results through Bluetooth onto an app. After going through some supply chain research, and then looking into some research that showed how frustrating a Bluetooth connection can be. I mean, we deal with our AirPods all the time. It connects half the time, it doesn’t the other half. With data, you can’t do all that. We ended up removing the need for a device and I was like, “Okay, let’s figure out how we do this all on a phone.” That was a huge pivot for us because it removed such a burden on the supply chain for the company and it allowed us to be really innovative because nobody was doing that.

The second big pivot was I originally thought we were going to go to market with a quantitative luteinizing hormone test that’s only focused on identifying your fertile window. When I was on maternity leave, we did a beta test. I was really fortunate, my baby was super good. I was able to do a beta test and work while I was on maternity leave. We sent an Oova kit out to 300 women. It was 3D printed. It wasn’t something beautiful. I just said, “Pee on this. Scan it with your phone and give me your feedback.” Almost every single one of those 300 women responded back with saying, “It’d be great if you had a quantitative progesterone test as well.” And I was like, “Well, yeah, that makes sense because you want to confirm that you actually ovulated as well.” Then we hit the ground running and we went back to R&D. We added that hormone to our test as well.

A hand holds one of the tests from OOVA against a bathroom setting with a wooden shelf in the backdrop.
In addition to her team, Amy also surrounds herself with personal and professional advisors that can hold her accountable in the ever changing landscape of business. OOVA

Felix: You were dealing with a lot of moving parts. Hardware, software, logistics. You needed to lean on the people around you. How were you able to find the right people?

Amy: Things were very different pre-pandemic, but I love being social and talking to whoever will give me an ear. I’m also very much a sponge. When you try to have conversations with people where you’re truly trying to learn and not just siphon information out of them, they’re a lot more receptive to helping you. I’ve also been really fortunate to surround myself with amazing advisors, both personally and within the company, and I don’t hesitate to ask for help. And when you’re that open to acknowledge, “Okay, I am not the expert here and I need to bring somebody in that can actually guide me,” then you get really invaluable feedback back. 

Balancing vastly different user segments and needs

Felix: Do you remember the moment you were ready to start production? 

Amy: That was the fall of 2019.Right before the pandemic. It was at that point.

Felix: Did you already have manufacturers and distribution lined up? What challenges did this stage bring? 

Amy: I don’t even want to say it was foresight. There was a lot of luck that helped support me throughout this whole piece. I was ready to launch this in fall of 2019 and the plan was to roll out a pre-order and then fulfill it in Q1 of 2020. We would manufacture the first batch and see how things go. Launch it as a beta. One thing I did not know about was that China has a Chinese New Year where everything shuts down. All of our plastic components were manufactured in China. All of a sudden, I had all the biochemistry done–because we do that in the US–but it wasn’t going to be enclosed in anything. We had to either place a really big order before the Chinese New Year, or it would get delivered after the Chinese New Year.

We ended up missing that because I had no idea. We had to push our launch and it actually ended up helping us out because then when New York City shut down, we had all this inventory and we didn’t know what to do with it. Then we ended up pivoting to this clinical channel that allowed us to utilize it all. To your first question about how we source these people? I really leaned on partners that we trusted, that we had been working with for the previous few years to help develop all of this technology. They all need people in the industry to help do the introductions, help with brokers and feel. It’s being a sponge and willing to ask for help, when needed.

Felix: When the pandemic hit, what was the company sentiment internally? 

Amy: It was really an odd moment because we ended up closing our seed round the week before New York City shut down. All of a sudden, we are finally funded and it’s like, “Okay, well now what do we do? Do we just sit on our hands and ride this thing out or do we do something? If it’s going to fail, let’s fail fast and hard.” We went with the latter. As an entrepreneur, it’s not really in your blood to just sit around and wait for things to happen for you. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because we were able to pivot so quickly and embrace a problem in the industry.

Felix: What is the breakdown of clinic versus direct-to-consumer use? 

Amy: We started really pushing direct-to-consumer in January of this year. Prior to that, we hadn’t really marketed it. It’s been very organic to date because we have almost 90 clinics that are using the technology. They were the main drivers of people coming to our website. But women talk, and if you are able to help one woman conceive, she’s going to tell 10 of her friends. The direct-to-consumer piece was always there. It was just never formally launched–if you want to call it that–until July of 2021.

 A test from OOVA on a wooden shelf backdropped by a mirror and flowers.
By segmenting its different customers, OOVA’s team is able to understand the use cases for their tests and better cater to each customer profile. OOVA

Felix: How do these segments of customers differ? 

Amy: What I love to say is that Oova is a data collector for these clinicians and for the patients. A use case is ovulation detection and confirming ovulation, but that’s not what we are. While consumers can use our data to understand when their fertile window is and whether they’re ovulating or not, clinicians have a completely different utility for that. They’re able to get trend analysis on these two hormones. They’re able to understand if their treatment protocols are working. They can supplement their treatment protocols so the patients don’t have to come in daily for blood work done. They can also intervene, if needed. If a woman’s progesterone is dropping, they can actually intervene and provide a progesterone supplement to ensure that a pregnancy could stick, if that’s the case. There’s a lot of different utility on the clinician side that’s really exciting for us.

Being a female founder in entrepreneurship 

Felix: You mentioned that there are some unique challenges that you’ve faced as a female founder. Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

Amy: There’s two anecdotal things I can definitely highlight here. The first is, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been compared to Elizabeth Holmes. Even to the point of saying, “You’re like a Theranos that works.” I’m like, “We’re nothing like Theranos and I’m not lying to you. I’m nothing like Elizabeth Holmes.” What does that analogy mean? I don’t think a male counterpart would get that. They might get a comparison to Steve Jobs, but not to Elizabeth Holmes.

The second is, many times–and many still feels like too few of a way to explain how many times this happened to me–but when I’m in diligence with investors, a point that keeps on coming up is that I don’t have a business background. I feel like that is such a cop out reason when you’re evaluating me or the company because business is something that I don’t necessarily feel you can learn. There’s things that you can get exposure to if you have a business background, but being an entrepreneur, being in the weeds day in, day out, making your own P&L, and managing your own finances for the company–that is how you learn how to do finance for a startup. I don’t have an MBA, and that’s actually been held against me multiple times in diligence meetings. I don’t feel like that would happen had I not been a woman.

Felix: You mentioned the importance of growing a thick skin. How do you make sure that you’re not getting boxed into the image that people are projecting on you as a female founder? 

Amy: You have to remember that the people that are putting you in the box are not the only people in the world. Definitely know your own worth and accept the fact that you are the smartest person when it comes to your company. No one knows better than you. When I was in those positions where people are comparing me to things that I’m not, I’ve realized that they’re not the investors or the partners that I would want to be involved with. The relationship doesn’t stop once they give you the money. That’s the start. If they don’t see you the way you want them to see you from day one, how are you going to change that vision going forward? That’s a horrible position to be in. You need to be focusing on your company, not how other people are perceiving you. It’s about having that courage to walk away from people that are putting you in a box and looking for the right partner.

Felix: You launched first with clinics, and then direct-to-consumer. Were there any findings from your experience with the clinics that you were able to apply to your direct-to-consumer strategy? 

Amy: We’re making changes on a daily basis. We get feedback from our users all the time, whether they’re from the clinician or direct-to-consumer. It makes no difference to me. It’s somebody using my product, right? We try to service anyone that is using our platform to ensure they’re getting the data and information that they need. When it comes to the growth of the product, we are making improvements to the app experience, tweaking some of the analytics into biochemistry more accurately. We’re always iterating. Just a couple of weeks ago we added a new feature to our website so people could do free consultations with an Oova team member to answer their questions. That’s been a huge learning point for us because one, we’re collecting so much information from potential customers about what’s holding them back or what we’re not communicating properly. We’re able to answer their questions so they can be a little bit more alleviated as they’re deciding whether Oova’s right for them or not.

Felix: What are some things that you’ve learned from your 15 minute consultations? 

Amy: There’s so many things. I’ve figured out that one of our biggest consumer bases are women that have a specific reproductive disorder. I’m like, “We need to do a lot more education about that to the community because we can show that Oova will work for those types of women.” We’ve also realized that the way that the pricing was listed wasn’t very clear. We made modifications for that right after I heard that. It sounds like very minor things, but each one of those minor things adds up to a reason why somebody won’t convert. If you can fix those minor things quickly, then why not?

Increasing conversion rates with consumer feedback

Felix: These conversations are crucial to understanding why customers don’t convert. You mentioned one key takeaway was that the pricing wasn’t clear. How did you clarify that for your customers?

Amy: Pricing is probably one of the hardest things that you’re ever going to have to do when you’re running a company. There’s no formula for it. The market drives what the price should be to an extent. I’ll be honest, when we first started Oova, the price was significantly more than what it is today. We listened to what the market was saying. We worked to make our costs go down a bit more and we were able to reduce our price point. It’s still high compared to what you would get at your drug store, but you’re also getting substantially more information with our product than you do from a local ovulation test.

A pair of hands holding an OOVA test over a bathroom sink.
Determining pricing is the hardest part of OOVA’s operations when it comes to covering costs and delivering value to its customers. OOVA

There’s a lot that we learned about how to communicate the value of the dollar that we’re putting behind our product. We do that with a lot of the supplemental marketing on social and other channels so that people can understand what they’re buying before they actually buy. We’ve realized that there’s a lot of learning and context that we could put into our abandoned cart email and that has been driving a ton of traffic since we made those switches.

Felix: You’ve got a lot of moving pieces–the kits, the app, different products. How do you manage these projects? 

Amy: Super organized. There’s no trick to it. It’s about being on top of everything. At times, it gets crazy–especially when we’re getting ready to launch the new product design. To say that the two or three months before we did that was sane is a complete lie. But you hire people and surround yourself with partners that know what they’re doing so you don’t have to take the burden on yourself completely. You can share it. That’s something I love about our company because we’ve instilled this culture of family and that you’re not in it on your own for anything. Even for investor pitch decks, my team is involved in helping me create those because they’re being represented in those slides.

Hiring for the right people so you don’t need to micromanage

Felix: What is your hiring process like to determine if someone will be a good fit? 

Amy: We’re a really small team. It might not sound that way, but we are. The reason that we are is because we’re all so effective in what we do. I’m the one that’s answering our support tickets. I’m the one that’s overseeing every department. I’m not micromanaging. I’m letting everyone do their own thing, but I do have weekly check-ins with everybody to make sure that they’re not being overworked and that they’re happy, and then two, that the work is meeting the deadlines we’ve collectively set. That has been great. What that allows me to do is see where the gaps are and understand what they are. It’s not like, “Okay, Amy, we need to hire two engineers.” I know exactly which two engineers we need, what their responsibilities are going to be and outside of just what’s in the job description.

Because I’m so in the weeds of it I can understand it. The second thing is that culture is a huge component of our business. Our company currently is focused on helping other families grow and there’s a huge emotional tug there that you need to understand. Oova cannot be just a job for you. It has to be a passion and we look for that in every single employee that we bring on because then there’s a different level of care in everything they’re doing.

Felix: How do you pull out and determine that passion in your hiring process? 

Amy: It’s not that easy to figure out and I will say that there have been some calls that we made incorrectly, but I’m also learning, right? I come from a science background where I wasn’t necessarily hiring people left and right or recruiting. I’ve had to learn on the job. It’s about asking the right questions and I can’t recommend enough to give every single candidate a work product because that’s when their true colors really start shining. You can ask questions in a way that actually gets them to think and not just Google an answer somewhere and they paste that in. It involves them putting some thought, their background, their emotions, their feelings into what they’re providing to you. You can get it in a different way. What’s also important is not just submitting you the work product, but presenting the work product to you.

Felix: What does your employee onboarding look like? How do you bring them up to speed? 

Amy: Well–and I think this is 100% a work in progress–but we’re about to bring on several new employees and I’m like, “Oh my God, what does our onboarding process look like?” On the technical side, we’re fine. It’s really easy for us to onboard them on the technical side but it’s more about all those soft things, because we’re not in an office. We’re still remote, so you can’t just hand them something and be like, “Okay, just go over this in a meeting with so and so for two hours and get up to speed.” It’s a little bit more hand holding to an extent. We’re figuring it out but everything in our company is very transparent. Once you get into our drive, you have access to everything and I encourage all of our new employees to spend a day sifting through everything, especially in whatever area you’ve been hired for. Focus on that department folder, but feel free to look around.

I schedule a meeting usually 48 hours after their first day to answer any questions they have. Anything. It doesn’t have to be role specific because we usually do that the first day, but anything that they have about the company and they may or may not have anything. It opens up that door that they can approach us whenever they have anything come to mind. That’s more critical than actually answering specific questions they have. It’s about a feeling that you have to convey in a remote setting.

Finding the digital strategy that achieved a 75% recurring order rate

Felix: Let’s talk about the website. Was that built in-house? 

Amy: We had a branding team design it, and then we had a developer create a custom theme for us on Shopify.

Felix: When you went into the design for this, did you have an idea of what was important for you to have on the website?

Amy: Yes, but that has drastically changed.

Felix: What takeaways did you get from building out the website? 

Amy: For example, when designers build things, they look very much at how things flow, how beautiful things are, the colors are all matching and it’s all synchronized that way. What that ends up leading to is a very hard coded setup. It didn’t give us the flexibility we needed to pivot quickly. For example, if I wanted to add a press section in the middle of my homepage, I can’t do that at the moment. I can only put that on the bottom or the top of my entire homepage. It’s a lesson learned that now any page that we do in the future, we want to make it flexible so that we can quickly pivot, if needed.

Three different smartphone screens showing various data that the OOVA app provides to customers.
For OOVA’s team, it’s all about refining their website to include sections that provide value, like their press page. OOVA

Felix: Similar to what you mentioned earlier, you’re always going to be iterating on it, as you learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Amy: Yeah. If you think about it, a year ago, when we created the website, we didn’t have any press. I didn’t even think about the press section because it wasn’t top of mind. Now we’re like, “Okay, well we have press. Why is that all at the bottom of the page?” We have to eventually redesign the entire home page. You have to be okay with the fact that you don’t know everything on day one.

Felix: When you were setting up this website, were there specific apps or tools that you rely on to keep the site running?

Amy: There’s several. We use Recharge pretty heavily because we have a subscription model. We also utilize Klaviyo for all of our email marketing. I can’t recommend that one enough. It’s been pretty great so far. We use Okendo for reviews.

Felix: You mentioned that it’s a subscription product. Is that usually how people buy for the first time, or I see here you can also buy this once. What’s the typical entry point for a new customer?

Amy: Over 75% percent of our orders are subscription orders. It’s pretty insane and the reason is because the data is so sticky and we’re aware of that. The fact that women are actually understanding what’s going on with their body is something that they have never had access to prior to Oova. Our sales there totally highlight that.

Felix: I’m picking up hints that you’re looking to expand beyond fertility. Is there anything you can share about that and your plans moving forward? 

Amy: Absolutely. I wish you were an investor because it’s like, “Oh great. You understand my vision. Thank you.” We’re not stopping at fertility. To me, it’s a use case. And the thing is, what we’ve developed is a product that’s addressing fertility, for sure, but really what we’ve developed is a way to accurately monitor biomarkers through urine in the privacy of your own home. Whatever biomarker we can measure, we can create a use case for that. The ultimate goal of Oova is bringing a clinic, or a lab into a consumer’s home. The next product that we’re actually working on at the moment is a perimenopause diagnostic that will be rolling out later this year and then we’re also planning on expanding into other areas of health, such as men’s health, infant health, chronic disease, other areas of women’s health. The list is pretty endless for us.

Felix: What is the most important thing to focus on next for the business? 

Amy: Hiring. Getting the right people involved. We’re about to scale pretty quickly and making sure you have the right humans leading the charge is the biggest asset of any company.

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