Today, we’re sitting down with Andrew Faust, one of the co-founders of Windsor.io, to talk about video personalization for e-commerce. Windsor works with brands like Peel 📱, Spacegoods 🍄, and Immi 🍜 send millions of personalized, post-purchase videos.
For merchants new to personalization, how would you recommend getting started with personalization?
There are a ton of ways to get started, and they all come back to the same thing: reminding the customer that buying from your brand is going to deliver them a better customer experience than they would get from Amazon or Walmart. You want to make them feel special for buying from you.
I always recommend getting started just by sending out a simple Thank You video post purchase, even if it’s just to a handful of customers using something like Bonjoro, or email. You’ll be shocked how quickly you start getting positive feedback.
At what stage of the business would you recommend merchants start thinking about personalization?
It’s never too early to get started with personalization. I believe that it’s more valuable for smaller companies to use personalization because it’s a huge driver for word of mouth and organic growth. Customers who purchase from smaller businesses are often aware that they are doing the “right thing” by purchasing from a smaller store.
If you validate that for them by going out of your way to send a personal message, they’re going to remember your brand and they’re going to tell their friends about you.
Windsor has worked with companies small and large to make personalization easy
Implementation + Measuring Success
What are the right metrics to use while implementing a personalization strategy?
There are a couple.
The first one is improving the percent of customers who return to shop again over a fixed period. This one is fairly straightforward and you can attribute it directly to revenue by seeing how many people came back more than once, and how much their average second purchase was worth. It’s also very easy to A/B test against your typical return customer rate.
The second one is increasing post-purchase customer interactions. This is where people message you after shopping to tell you how much they love the product/personalized message, either directly via DM or email, or indirectly through a tweet or a TikTok featuring your product. This metric is giving you visibility into 'word of mouth' at its source: "How excited am I making people about my product/brand?" This is a core metric for us because it gives our customers leverage over something they normally can’t pay for: organic growth.
What do you think about Windsor in the context of other personalization strategies like on-site recommendations or targeting on Facebook or social media.
I think that Windsor ends up feeling a lot more personal than existing strategies like personalized ads and on-site recommendations. I would say those existing strategies focus on getting customers to buy something. Our goal is to make customers feel a connection to your brand.
People know they’re going to be targeted on sites like Facebook and Instagram in seemingly personal ways. What they’re not expecting is a personal video in their inbox, and that surprise and delight factor is how you get your customers to remember your brand, tell their friends about you, and eventually come back to buy again.
How does Windsor fit into other marketing solutions like email or SMS?
Our videos get sent through email, SMS, or sometimes LinkedIn. Using Windsor, you can send a normal looking message through one of these mediums saying ‘Hey, I recorded this for you, check it out’ with a gif and a link to a video viewing page. In that sense we’re more of an add on or augmentation than a replacement.
Is this something that teams can implement themselves or would you recommend an agency or working directly with Windsor?
We’ve tried very hard to make sure this is something that any team can use, no matter what size or vertical they’re operating in. We integrate Klaviyo, Zapier, and Woocommerce and have written a ton of guides to make the process as easy as possible for anyone to get started.
Some of our customers use us directly and others through agencies, but either way we try to make it a painless process. We don’t really mind which route brands take as long as we’re bringing them value.
Future of Personalization
What do you think is the future of personalization in e-commerce (potentially different for SMBs to enterprise)? In 3 years, do you think anything will be different vs. today?
I could talk about this for hours. It’s hard to be precise here because the nature of personalization is that it has to surprise people, making it inherently unpredictable. But, there are a couple of things to keep an eye on.
Companies like Clearbit can tell you everything about a person with just an email address. When you combine that with the recent advances in AI based text generation (GDP3), in the next 3 years we could see AI based text personalization that is indistinguishable from a human-written message and specific to the buyer.
Zooming out there will be a lot more personalization across multiple use cases in e-commerce. For example, right now you would be shocked at how many large brands don’t even have a cart reclamation flow, let alone a hyper-personalized post-purchase flow. The data clearly shows that personalization is a no-brainer for brands in the long term, which in turn necessitates its more widespread adoption in the industry.