This episode features Gen Furukawa, the Co-Founder of Prehook. He shares how they drive sales and engagement with an e-commerce quiz.
He discusses the shoppers who are receptive to quizzes and the right data needed to obtain to personalize a recommendation.
He dives deep into some of the ways that can personalize interactions with browsers and he shares the conversion according to their case study.
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ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal, who was recently named to the Best of Los Angeles Awards’ Fascinating 100 List, is the founder and managing partner of True Online Presence, author of the Make Each Click Count book series and Founder of Make Each Click Count University found at https://www.makeeachclickcountuniversity.com.
He is a certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience and counting helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal visit https://www.trueonlinepresence.com (https://www.trueonlinepresence.com), read the full story on his blog at blog.trueonlinepresence.com or shop his books on Amazon or at https://www.makeeachclickcount.com (https://www.makeeachclickcount.com).
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast and on Make Each Click Count at https://podcast.makeeachclickcount.com
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is Personalizing User Interaction with Quizzes and more. This week's guest is the co-founder of Prehook, a leading quiz platform for Shopify merchants, as well as the host of the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast Cart Overflow, where he shares what the best brand operators agencies and tech platforms are doing to grow their e commerce revenues. A big hello to Gen Furukawa. Hi Gen.
Gen Furukawa 1:21
Hey, Andy, thanks so much for having me.
Andy Splichal 1:23
You know, we're excited to have you this seems to be a real popular topic as far as personalizing user interaction. So I'm excited to learn more from you.
Gen Furukawa 1:32
Andy Splichal 1:33
So let's let's get right to it. What is going to be probably the most important pieces interview, how do you drive sales and engagement with an Ecommerce quiz?
Gen Furukawa 1:47
Yeah, a great place to start. So I think the best way to think about a quiz is if you if you can think of walking into brick and mortar store and you're dealing with a sales associate, or you're at a restaurant, and you're dealing with someone Yeah, or barista, but it's basically as a person to learn more about what your goals are what you're looking for, just to get to know you then understand what they have to offer kind of like match the two and then just simplify the buying process. So they're saying like, Okay, Andy, what are you looking for? How can we help? Maybe what your price range is, what problems are you trying to solve, and then they give you a recommendation. And with that recommendation, there's the supporting evidence of, here's why it makes sense. And then you get into the sales and marketing element of it. But ultimately, it's so that you can know your customer or your potential customer better and serve their needs more specifically. And of course, the beauty is with Ecommerce, this is done at scale. So quizzes, you know, you set it up, you might have some some ways to personalize and then so that you understand what the different personas are, and then you're recommending the product. So it's really about finding ways at scale to learn about customers, capture a contact info, whether that's an email or a phone number, and then recommend the product. So yeah, that's how it we're focused on driving sales is essentially making it easier to buy accelerating list growth. And then thirdly, which is actually maybe most important, since we've launched last year is capturing zero party data.
Andy Splichal 3:29
Now, are shoppers receptive to quizzes? And how are you seeing like the opt in opt in rates on those?
Gen Furukawa 3:38
Yeah, totally. Great question. So I, you know, it runs a spectrum, like I've seen great quizzes that add a lot of value. And I've seen some that are a little bit fluffy and take the users through some circuitous paths that maybe aren't super valuable. So I think if you're a brand and you're starting to consider the need of a quiz, like you're looking to find a way to engage new users to build your list, to maybe increase your conversion rate. The first thing I think the foundational premise is how can you add value to the shopping experience? So one common way is with a personalized recommendation, like like a been describing or another and this is kind of more common to those that are like health related is almost like a customer intake form, or lead qualification where you're like saying, okay, is Andy actually like in the right market for our product? Or can we actually serve and so this could be for something that might be that you'd ingest or put on your body say like, hymns or Romans and that's kind of like a health supplement. And yeah, so I think if you can get if you can get a customer to understand what they're getting into, be curious. So you're kind of playing to the curiosity gap. Of Okay, I will get something out of this engagement. And then exchange offer a little bit of information about myself, I'll provide contact information maybe. And then that's how they engage with the store. So to answer your question, I think it kind of depends on the brand, and then how much value they're putting in. Because there are definitely more brands that are including quizzes as part of their shopping experience.
Andy Splichal 5:27
So as a business owner, how do you know what the right data that you need to obtain to personalize a recommendation?
Gen Furukawa 5:36
Yeah, so I think probably most helpful is if you're thinking in terms of your communication strategy, and how are you segmenting your user? So, you know, I mentioned the term zero party data earlier, maybe I can go back and clarify what that means.
Andy Splichal 5:52
Yeah, that'd be great.
Gen Furukawa 5:54
So yeah, zero party data is data that customers or shoppers, willingly and proactively shared with brands. So this is more of the why they're buying. Compare this to first party data. And lots of brands are by default tracking first party data, because it's stuff like transaction history. So what you purchase, how many times you've purchased, maybe extracting from that where you live from, you know, based on the Billings that for the ship, shipping, zip, and then website engagement, like abandoned cart, or email engagement, like how many opens or clicks that they had. But if you can get to the zero party data, then you can really play to what the customers are looking for. And ultimately, this is, this is where you're able to ramp up personalization. And I think, you know, there are stories and studies of how consumers expect to interact with brands. And those brands that do nailed a personalized marketing strategy, are able to capitalize on higher average order value, increase conversion rate, more repeat purchases, and ultimately, higher lifetime value. So yeah, in terms of like what type of data you're used to capture, I think it's this, this notion of like, why people are buying, because ultimately, as a marketer, that's what you're trying to address, you're trying to bring them from, where they currently are, to where they hope to go their aspirational self, and your brand, or your product is bridging the gap to bring them there. So if you can understand where point A is, and point B is and how to connect the two, then you're in a far better place in many marketers that you might be competing against.
Andy Splichal 7:38
So let's talk a bit more about personalization. What are some of the ways that you can personalize your interactions with with browsers? Yeah, so
Gen Furukawa 7:50
I think that if we talked about maybe like what a quiz flow might look like, there are different points that might illuminate that point of personalization. So the first is, you know, let's just say for example, it's like a supplement brand, and you're filling out the quiz. Common question is, what problems are you currently experiencing? Or what are your goals, and then to the first step in personalizing, that is kind of like a small, maybe like micro personalization. And that's just simply like, reusing the responses that a customer already gave. So, you know, it could be as simple as like, what's your name? Your name is Andy, you know, and you type it in? And then Hey, Andy. Okay, great. So then then you What problems are you selling for and say it's like, problems with sleep? You're, you're using those responses in future questions. So you're bringing them down a trail of questions specific to what Andy has spoken about. So you're able to drill down more specifically, then from there, the recommendation area is definitely personalized, because you're able to tick down the list of all the things that Andy has shared in his quiz, which will be different from the way that I filled out my quiz. And you know, and so again, gets a different recommendation. So it's that personalized recommendation part. But then it can go in infinite directions. Once you get to the post quiz flow. If you're you know, you're using Klaviyo or Omnisender as your email service providers or SMS. Because then you can pull together all of these bits of data, customer data that you've gathered in the quiz, to personalize it, you know, literally, you know, almost on a one to one basis, for example, if you're using SMS marketing, and I think that's where the data captured is super critical just because of the intimate nature of SMS.
Andy Splichal 9:54
Have you found that certain types of Ecommerce companies are more successful than others when it comes to integrating, or I guess the success with these personalized interactions?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, you know, so I just have like one data point that I can I have access to to view and the merchants that you work with. And that's basically revenue attributed to the quiz. And I think, to the extent that I see the brands have much higher over indexing ROI, or those brands that have taken the time to strategically build out their post quiz communications. So for exampleAndy Splichal:
Is it post quiz, so after they purchased?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, yeah, you know, so, so, statistic that a lot of markers kind of like, benchmark against is that email and SMS revenue might compensate for maybe 25 to 30% of all online revenue. But if for those brands that are really granular and thoughtful in how they're creating the segments, how they're incorporating the messaging, and kind of like the dynamic personalization, which you can very powerful with tools like Klaviyo or Omnisend, where you're able to build ones, and then scale infinitely, because you're dynamically inserting these things like, I mean, far beyond just the first name, but in terms of say, the benefits or features that you're putting forward to the customer. And I think, when a brand can, can narrowly focus on what they know about the customer and speak to them as an individual. Those are the brands that are making the best use of the data. And I think, from what I'm seeing, are producing the highest ROI from their quiz.Andy Splichal:
You know, I hear all the time, people saying how do I compete with Amazon? When I'm selling my products? On my own website? You know, they're so big they their customer, sir? I mean, how do I compete with them? I would think that being able to integrate this type of interactive experience, is a fantastic way on what you can do the Amazon cannot. Would I be right in saying that?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, I mean, I think so. And there's like the multibillion dollar question how to compete with Amazon, even, you know, Walmart is scratching their heads in some ways, because it is so hard. But yeah, there's, there's the, the ability to interact with, with a customer and use that data. So when you're, yeah, you're an Amazon brand. And I've sold on Amazon and worked with a lot of Amazon sellers in previous lives. There's there's very limited access that you as a merchant have to the customer. So whereas Amazon is very focused on an SEO game, you know, you're searching for a blue widget for men or, you know, whatever this search queries, the goal of an Amazon marketer is really to get the to optimize the listing for specific search queries. You know, and so that's the Amazon game, the Shopify game is is slightly different. Of course, there is this SEO element of it. But I think that there's far more in terms of bringing for the brands or the founder story, the benefits of the product, and then that, that it's not just kind of like a transactional one shot deal. But it's you kind of like unfolding the story and the benefits over time. And so the more data points that you have, that you can kind of create this narrative, based specifically around what what you know about your customers, because as an Amazon merchant, you really don't you're not privy to any of this. You're just just know what the search queries on.Andy Splichal:
Right and you can't and you can't contact right so you can't even use it. Hey, do you have a favorite success story you could share of one of your clients using your software?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, you know, I think probably one of my favorites is tea elixir. So, tea elixir is an adaptogen, mushroom brand tea Elixir. And so, like, what is a mushroom an adaptogen, or mushroom brand? And I think like, I don't know, I actually haven't had it until I tried it. But it illuminates what the value of a quiz and how it can be used in several different ways. So the first is the benefits of the different teas. Like there's a even though for example, an adaptogen is an ancient healing medicine or supplement, something that like, has been around for a long time, the modern consumer is very unfamiliar with it. And so there's, there's this educational component of it, where you can, you're the brand is asking what the customers are looking for, because each of their products have different needs, whether it is for, like anxiety, or joint pain or arthritis. So that's kind of like the baseline of what problem are you solving, then there's an element of kind of like personal habit, and, and preferences and flavors. So the quiz has been really successful for tea Elixir in terms of product selection, helping guide customers to a to the most appropriate product, customer satisfaction. And then they've they've done a great job, I think maybe three or 4x their normal opt in rate of gathering leads. So they've if you go to their website now, you can probably see that haven't checked in a little while. But you'll see, you know, take the quiz, fix at the very top of the homepage, and you'll see it on the header. And then you'd see the hero image and UTM on exit intent pop up then UT, on their site, they have it as a landing page for their paid ad. So they're really using it as a try to get everybody into the quiz funnel. Because the quiz funnel, once it goes in that, you know, they might be seeing like a 758 percent completion rate. The value of that contact in Klaviyo is so much more powerful than what they might get with an opt in, you know, like pay join our donor list. Or even if they're having a coupon, you know, that's, that's, you know, eating into profits and perhaps diluting the brand equity.Andy Splichal:
What about conversion?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, great question. So, you know, the case study, we do the case study on our homepage, I think it might be like 3x revenue per, per customer, or percent of those who take the quiz versus those who do not?Andy Splichal:
And how many typically, I mean, I know when I'm doing some research for and it's not really interactive, it's nothing in this might get into your competition, but Hotjar Yeah, example where they're doing, you know, I'm trying to figure out what some of the conversion issues are on the website. So it's, it's not really that interactive, but not that many people fill them out typically, how I mean, how many people are filling out as a percentage wise for your clients?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, so we're seeing, you know, like, 60, 70, 80% completion rate. And again, it it depends on the quiz. And this is where I think like when I'm my quiz, best practices based on have probably seen hundreds, thousands. At this point, with every quick question that a customer takes, the likelihood of completion will decrease. So it's kind of a logarithmic curve. And so you really want to be thoughtful about like, is every question or every data point that you're asking helpful? And just curious,Andy Splichal:
Just curious, what's the sweet spot?Gen Furukawa:
Of number of questions?Andy Splichal:
I mean, are, you know, it's nine second attention span or something you whatever it is, is rapidly declining? I think probably five to seven questions. On the higher end is pushing it but like I was saying, if it's, if it's a more robust quiz, kind of like, by definition, you know, if it is something that relates to the health or it is something that's like, more, more lead qualification is necessary. Sure. You can, like, nudge that up. But I think as little as possible, and then also, in terms of sequencing of questions, that it's always best to kind of like work on smaller micro conversions build up to the bigger more important questions, like for example, what's your phone number or what's your email address. Those are questions where you don't necessarily want to ask upfront, to immediately get a customer on their heels. That is just so much more important to, to kind of like build that trust, get their buy and get their investment of time and resources to go through it. And then like, yeah, sure, I'll add my phone number so that you can let me know what my personalized recommendation is, or help educate me more about the things that I shared with you.Andy Splichal:
So our is your system, it's going to email them or call them with a personally, it's not going to give them the personalized recommendation right online. How does that work?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, so we do have the ability to give the recommendation online or, you know, like, as part of the quiz. And so that's kind of like common, a lot of the brands will take you through the quiz, capture the lead, then recommend the product in terms of sending the email. So we don't do the actual sending of the email. But it's, it's relatively straightforward to set it up in your email service provider, like Klaviyo. So you're, you're triggering a flow once, you know, they get their product recommendation. And then you're building out the flow at however you want to customize it. And we send all the data through with a direct integration. So it's really easy like plug and play no technical expertise required in order to send really like honed in and thoughtful follow ups, whether email or SMS.Andy Splichal:
One of my favorite questions that I ask each of my guests is, personally, are there any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, I think probably one of the more recent ones that I've read that kind of resonate with me I like is Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield. He's an author and a very interesting personal story. He's already kind of like, as a as a long haul truck driver. But his the quote that stands out in my mind is basically there to two points in life before turning pro, when you're an amateur, and then turning pro, and and essentially, it's about the mindset, the discipline, the lifestyle, in order to just sit down work through the hard stuff. And kind of like, turn pro, and as opposed to the amateur who might shy away from certain challenges due to fear or anxiety or lack of willingness. But having that mindset, I think, is critical. And so that's one that sticks in my mind, maybe because I read it a little bit more recently, but I do highly recommend it.Andy Splichal:
So when did when did Prehook turn pro?Gen Furukawa:
You know, I would say it's still a continuum, I think when we, when we launched, that was that was a big milestone for us. Because, you know, I been working with my team, you were part of the founding team of jungle scale, which is an Amazon product research tool. And so my two co founders were developers and product. And I think, yeah, as we, you know, like, there's a lot of talking and planning and preparing. And then all of a sudden, once the app is live, and you're on the App Store, and you're getting like direct feedback, and every customer matters, if there is a there is a huge, like pressure almost in order to satisfy the customers. And so at that moment, when you're you're, you're so grateful that a customer will give you the chance and implement your tool to interact with their customers who they also put in a lot of time, effort or money to, to get that customer on their site, get them into your quiz, and you don't want to fail or violate that trust. So I say once we're working with real customers and merchants whose livelihood depend on some of the partly, you know, the tool that we're building, that was a big moment for us.Andy Splichal:
And so you're on the Shopify app store, it said, Do you guys interact with any other ecommerce platforms?Gen Furukawa:
We do not for Ecommerce platforms. So we integrate directly with Shopify, obviously, then, then it's really the a lot of value is in communication tools. So Klaviyo and Omnisend, which do email and SMS and then attentive and postscript are kind of SMS only. And we directly integrate with those forAndy Splichal:
Now do you need to use Klaviyo for your ESP? Or if you're using a different email service provider?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah. Klaviyo or Omnisend. And there are we do have some brands that are for example, on drip. The only thing there is it's more of a manual process to export and import. But yeah, you can certainly use it if you're on Shopify,Andy Splichal:
What if you're using even I hate to say lower tiered but something like a MailChimp?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah. Yeah, same thing. It's just exporting and so with an export you get the lead, and then the relevant data that goes along with itAndy Splichal:
So with Prehook, what problems? Are you guys solving for your clients? And how is your agency standing apart from the competition?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, great question. So our main focus is to help merchants learn more about their customers. And in that process, kind of like the, the benefits are improving conversion rate, accelerating list, growth and capturing zero party data. So yeah, it is a software tool. Although you know, our customers, I really do consider them like partners. And in the same way, we have the communication and interactivity with customers in the same way an agency might. And in terms of differentiation, I think that's where we do differentiate is, it's a small team. But we take the approach of being partners with it, which means I jump on the phone, on video calls all the time, helping people build out their actual quiz helped them design it, give them ideas on the strategy, then all the all the way through to how it extends in their post quiz communication, and how they might want to, to leverage the data that they're gathering. So in that, in that sense, it is, in some ways, like an agency relationship where we're helping them strategically.Andy Splichal:
So let's talk specifically what services are you guys offering?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, for quiz stuff, building out the quiz sharing quiz ideas. I also have a pretty, pretty good idea of like, based on niche or based on goal, the brand's goal, what would be helpful, all the way through to, you know, helping with the integration with email and SMS flows, campaigns, and then ideas on, you know, down the line, how does this strategy build out? Because in some ways, it's maybe best, you know, like, crawl, walk, run, and then to start, you build out a more simple quiz. But then, like, how can you make this a little more sophisticated or granular, because I think, you know, a data gathering play is important. And it's only getting more important. And I think the earlier you start, you know, ideally, you'd started yesterday or a while ago, but it kind of compounds. So getting more data upfront is only going to serve as a benefit down the line with a caveat, of course, that you're not asking, like, so many questions in this in, you know, as we were talking about long quizzes, reducing completion rate.Andy Splichal:
And how our clients charged, is it based on different tiers on users? Or how does that work?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, it's a pure play SaaS, so it's a monthly pricing, no commitment, cancel anytime. So we have a 14 day free trial, do everything for free. And then basically, plans start at $35 a month. And it's based on usage on engagements, and engagement being somebody answering one questionAndy Splichal:
And who is the perfect client for your company? If they're out there listening now? They should absolutely take that 14 day free trial.Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, you know, I think a Shopify merchant, who is basically like, has more than one SKU in their inventory.Andy Splichal:
If you really, so any Shopify merchant with more than one SKU?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah. And I say that because like, if it's one SKU, it's not really about like, customer data, that's as helpful as maybe it is direct response at you know, copywriting or something. But yeah, if if your product would benefit from having a, an in person sales associate, explain the product to the customer and learn more about them at scale, then I think a quiz would be beneficial to you. And so I'm very proud of the product that we've built. And I think it is one of the best product wise on the market. But this is kind of agnostic to any quiz product. It's just it's always helpful to learn. Even if it's, you know, like Klaviyo now has multi step opt ins, you know, like, you can check one box and then add your email or add your phone number. And I think that like their recent rebranding repositioning kind of speaks volumes to what we've been discussing.Andy Splichal:
And how can an interested listener, perfect or not learn more about working with you?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, totally. So my email is again firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find pre hook on the App Store on the Shopify app store or just go to the website prehook.com. But yeah, I highly encourage anybody just, you know, if you have any questions, reach out by email. I'm also on Twitter again through color. And that's probably, you know, one good way to start. And then the other thing is on our website we have, you know, because I've been going through and taking so many quizzes just to get an idea of how people are using it, I do have a free repository of quizzes no often required. And you can find that are on our website prejook.com.Andy Splichal:
And before we go, what is one piece of actionable advice that you would give someone who wanted to start working on trying to personalize their users experience on their website?Gen Furukawa:
Yeah, I think probably understanding the why, understanding like the buyer intent, and the buyers challenges, and then how your product can fit in and how it differs, how the positioning and the copywriting would differ based on what those problems are. And so if you're, if you're already gathering that, like, some brands are already doing it, for example, in a post purchase, inquiry or survey, like, that's great, but I think if you can understand kind of at a deeper level, why customers are on your site, why they're buying or what they're looking for, that can unlock a lot of insight into how you're marketing, how your copywriting how your email flows, and SMS flows would play out. And I think that, like I mentioned before, that can translate directly into increase revenue.Andy Splichal:
Well, this has been fantastic. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we wrap it up today?Gen Furukawa:
No, no, no, I think, you know, like, with iOS 14 third party cookies being deprecated all these like GDPR and privacy laws, increase cost per clicks, and therefore cost per acquisition increasing. Like I think building a direct channel between you, immersion and potential customers is critical and urgent. And whether it is a quiz or whether it is a multi step opt in form on Klaviyo like I think getting some customer data channel or strategy is critical and will only increase in and it's important.Andy Splichal:
Well, this has been great. Thank you for joining us again.Gen Furukawa:
Likewise. Thanks so much, Andy.Andy Splichal:
Well, that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts. Leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding Prehook or connecting with again, you will find the links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available at www.makeeachclickcount.com. We have compiled all the different past guests by show topic and included each of the contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services that I've discussed during previous episodes. In the meantime, remember to stay safe keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.