How to Build Lasting Customer Relationships via AI-Powered Videos With Windsor

Thanks to AI, video is evolving at an exponential rate, and it’s even entering the ecommerce space. We sat down with Pranay Prakash, cofounder of Windsor, to get the scoop on how brands can leverage AI-powered videos to increase repeat customers and brand loyalty
November 9, 2022
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Yellow background with Tydo and Windsor logos featuring images of a play button, an envelope, and a robot

We live in a world full of video. We spend countless hours scrolling through TikTok and watching Reels. We wind down after work by streaming Hulu and Netflix. We fall down YouTube rabbit holes. We’re bombarded by digital billboards. Thanks to AI, video is evolving at an exponential rate, and it’s even entering the ecommerce space. 

Windsor sits at the intersection of ecommerce, AI, and video. Founded by Andrew Faust and Pranay Prakash, Windsor is an AI-powered digital marketing platform that automates and scales personalized videos for ecommerce brands like Peel, immi, and Space Goods, among others.

We sat down with Cofounder Pranay Prakash to learn more about the AI opportunity and how DTC brands can leverage Windsor to increase repeat customers and brand loyalty. 

“Video makes emails and SMS nearly twice as effective. Using Windsor, ecommerce brands can effectively deploy personalized video with ease.” 

Getting Windsor Off the Ground 

When Andrew Faust and Pranay Prakash first started working together, they were building a completely different product than Windsor. As they were growing and scaling that business, their biggest issue was getting people to respond to their emails. 

One day, Faust shared a video from a friend who had recently bought something from a small online store. “In the video, the founder of the shop said, ‘Hey, thanks so much for ordering. I’m putting your order in the box right now. Please let me know what you think.’ It was a personalized message that immediately resonated with me,” explains Prakash. 

The video was only ten seconds, but what blew Prakash’s mind wasn’t the video itself. It was that their friend responded to the video. He shared it with Faust, who shared it with Prakash. Then, Prakash started thinking, “When’s the last time somebody got an email from a business, responded, and shared it, or, let alone opened the email in the first place?” 

Their wheels started turning, trying to figure out how they could apply this personalized video approach to their own business. However, they realized it would be tough to scale. Recording videos all day isn’t easy for a small brand. That’s when Faust and Prakash dove deep into machine learning and AI-powered video. 

The pair spent the next couple of weeks building Windsor. A few weeks later, they posted about Windsor in a few subreddits, and it blew up on r/Shopify. “The Shopify community loved it, and we were number one in the community for a week,” says Prakash. 

“Right after we went live, it was clear that Windsor drove real results for brands. So, it was a no-brainer for us to build out a full-fledged platform.” 

Windsor Explained

To put it simply, Windsor creates personalized videos for ecommerce brands across all verticals. Ecommerce stores can harness Windsor’s AI to record one video, and then they can personalize it to send out to as many people as they wish. Each video looks and sounds like it’s saying the recipient’s name, without the extra work of having to record thousands of videos.

Windsor harnesses the same tech used to create deepfakes, but instead, they found a positive way to help brands with it. In the last year, Windsor went from proof of concept of their AI video technology to creating nearly half a million videos for dozens of real ecommerce stores.

Aside from the simple “first name” personalization in the demo video above, they’ve helped scale ad campaigns by cloning ads and personalizing them to different states and cities, or helping B2B brands mention the businesses’ company name. The possibilities are exciting.

From post-purchase videos to win-back campaigns, Windsor’s AI has endless use cases. 

Half of Windsor’s volume goes to post-purchase videos. In these videos, founders thank the customer for their purchase. “Founder-focused brands are our bread and butter, but Windsor is for any brand that’s trying to be personal,” explains Prakash.

Post-purchase flows work exceptionally well for AI-powered videos because people already expect an email in their inbox. Windsor sees about a 60-80% CTR for post-purchase flows that include Windsor videos. Additionally, win-back, welcome, and abandoned cart videos are popular. Every video is hyper-personalized. 

So, how can we expand our vision of personalization in the ecommerce landscape? 

First, let’s think of the traditional, brick-and-mortar experience. When a customer walks into a store, a salesperson typically takes note of which aisle they stand in, what products they look at, and what’s in their cart. And, the store uses that data to move items around or launch sales. 

“If you’re the owner of a small town, brick-and-mortar store and 10 customers come into your store every week, you would have a personal relationship with those customers. You might ask about their job or their kids. That’s a part of the human shopping experience that we’re missing when people go online. We’re taking one step towards improving that,” adds Prakash.

“Using Windsor, ecommerce founders can easily mass create 1,000 ads by recording one single ad, and then they’re all personalized to cities or states.” 

The Benefits of Personalized Video 

Video is the new frontier. Over the past few years, synchronous communication moved to Zoom. Asynchronous comms moved to Loom. Entertainment moved to TikTok, YouTube, and Netflix. 

“I spend more time talking to my mom over video than I do in person,” notes Prakash. “Video is going to last a long time.” 

Unlike other forms of communication, there’s an opportunity to show a product and how it works (how it comes to life) in video. Going back to the brick-and-mortar store analogy, many people shop IRL because they want to see a product in person. Video creates a similar opportunity. 

From a quantitative lens, what’s the impact of personalized video? 

Windsor can improve bottom-line metrics, especially as it relates to retention. If you send a thank you email, people will engage and buy more products or share that email with friends. If you send an abandoned cart video, more carts can be recovered. 

Peel, a Windsor customer, sent over 10k personal thank-you videos to customers in 2 months and saw an 87% increase in return purchases from post-purchase videos—a staggering metric.

The less obvious piece is UGC. Some customers post Windsor videos on TikTok, Instagram Stories, or YouTube. Sometimes influencers post them as well—when they’re talking about why they love certain stores. Windsor has gotten a few new customers from that, but more importantly, so have the DTC brands using the platform. 

The Future of AI and Ecommerce

Right now, Prakash is closely following the live selling space as well as AI-first ecommerce enablement companies that help brands with upselling and retention. Repeat is one example. They harness data, automation, and personalized reordering experiences to help brands nail down when’s the right time to send a marketing/reordering message.

Prakash is also tapped into what’s happening with paid ads. Right now, paid media is good at optimizing itself. It’s often better to trust a platform to figure out the keywords, targeting, and bidding strategies than have a human do it. He wants the same to be true for retention and video. 

Prakash’s goal? Become the best channel for retention and help DTC founders scale their stores.

“We’re trying to do to retention what paid ads did to acquisition. The brands we work with are seeing the lift in real-time, and we’re just getting started.” 

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