This episode features a conversation with Debarshi Chaudhuri. He is one of the founders of Maverick at trymaverick.com, a startup that uses AI-generated deep fakes to help ecommerce brands create personalized videos at scale for their customers.
We discuss how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Tech are having an impact on ecommerce marketing today.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- How to make the shopping experience of your customer as personalized as possible
- How videos play a vital role in merchants’ success
- Where to get customers' data
- How to make AI-generated videos for your customers
- What sort of equipment to use for video recording (Basic or High end)
- And more
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guest: Debarshi Chaudhuri
Debarshi Chaudhuri was born in New York, grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and now lives in SF. He studied chemical engineering and economics at MIT. As Co-Founder and CTO at Maverick, he helps e-commerce stores create personalized videos for their customers using AI.
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Claus Lauter: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the e-Commerce Coffee Break. Today we want to talk about a interesting combination of artificial intelligence and deep tech. So what does that mean? Now, most of the shops nowadays know that video is very important to convert. Business to attract customers.
Obviously also, personalization is very important as a multiplier on top of that. But how do you combine that? Now, there's some interesting ways on how to deal with that, and therefore I have Debarshi Chaudhuri with me. He's one of the founders of Maverick at trymaverick.com, a startup that uses AI generated deep fix to help e-commerce brands create personalized videos at scale for their customers.
So let's dive a little bit into there in this topic. And I say hello to Depa, how are you?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Doing well. Thanks so much for having me.
Claus Lauter: Debarshi, gimme a bit of a background. What got you into e-commerce? What got you into.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: yeah. Yeah. , happy to share. The origin story starts, , really almost 10 years ago, , when my co-founder and I met, So my co-founder and I met, , at Pocket Gems, which is a mobile gaming company here in San Francisco. , and then reconnected at this point, probably three and a half years ago, , discovered that we both, , always wanted to start a company and realized that we really loved working together and.
So, started working together on ideas back then. , we went through, oh boy, let me tell you so many ideas. We probably launched and killed like over 20 different things before landing on, Maverick. After launching and killings, So many things we're like, okay, let's like focus on an area, an area where we like, have some expertise, have some knowledge, and are really excited.
After failing for basically two years, , you start to empathize with the entrepreneur a lot, right? You're like, Hey, You know how hard it is to start a business. So let's talk to other people who are starting businesses. We ended up focusing on e-commerce businesses. My co-founder, who's from Bolivia, had actually run a Shopify store for a while where he was in importing.
Alpaca goods, , like sweaters, hats, , from Bolivia to the United States. , so we're like, Okay, let's talk to Shopify merchants and e-commerce merchants specifically. , and we kind of combined that with, , some of the work that I had done in artificial intelligence. Developed content and generated content.
So I launched an app that was called Quote. It would basically take a picture and identify what was in the picture and match it with a relevant quote. , so had some , exciting knowledge about AI and content. And those two paths merged. We ended up blending e-commerce and ai, , to create maverick.
Claus Lauter: Okay, Sounds great. Now video is the most engaging form of content route. Now there everything is moving towards video. It becomes more and more important, and a lot of merchants are already using video in one. Other form, and I recommend to have video even on a product detail page, but you can go further.
The other big topic right now, and you see that all over the place, is personalization. You wanna make your shopping experience or the shopping experience of your customer as personalized as possible to give them sort of a white glove service. Now, how can you combine these two things?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Yeah, totally. This was one of the insights that led us to Maverick. , w we were talking to a bunch of, , eCommerce merchants, and we saw that some of them did this, like really interesting behavior , for every order that they got, they. Pick up their phone and they'd record a video like, Hi Klaus, my name's Debarshi.
I'm the founder of X, Y, Z. Thanks so much for purchasing. And the merchants we talked to were like, Hey, this is by far the most engaging piece of content that I can make. The customer loves that. I'm like recording it for them. I'm calling them out by, , but once you get past, five orders a day, 10 orders a day, you can't like spend all your time recording videos, right?
And so this was the seed that led us to Maverick, where like, hey, what if there was a way to allow merchants to retain that, personalized, authentic like video, , message feel while allowing them to scale it as well and have that kind of personalized touch.
Over video with every customer. , and so what we landed on, Maverick basically uses AI to generate those videos.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I have seen this on photos. I have seen that, , you basically have a photo that you send out with your order confirmation form, and then the team is holding a sign up when the customer's name is in there. Now photo is one level, getting something done like this in video, completely different level.
, so tell me, how does it work? Coach me through the process.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: We've tried to make it like pretty easy and streamlined , for an e-commerce merchant to get up and running. , basically, , we just need three things. So number one, you like record a video that's , whatever the message is that you want to send. So let's say you're recording a video to recover an abandoned cart and be.
Hey there, Saw that you left some items in your cart. , here's a discount code, , for your purchase. , would really love to have you as customers, something like that. , so you record that base video. , and then the second thing that you record is a 15 minute audio script that we provide you. , and that basically allows us to take your voice, take the audio, and then personalize the video.
And so what we'll do is we'll actually take the audio, generate it. Put it in the video, , generate the video frames to match, so like the mouth moves, , to match , the name that's said and actually looks like the person , is recording that live. And that's basically how the video is generated and it's really just those two pieces.
, and then the. Third thing we kind of need is just a hookup to whatever CRM you're using. So we can see when orders are coming in or carts are getting abandoned, , and then can just generate and send the videos to your customers. So it's really, just those three things.
Claus Lauter: Okay, you just explained a possibly very technical, , challeng. Us , in very simple virtues. I like a lot. So now we are talking about , a generated deep fakes. I think that's like the name that is out there. Now, if you implement that into your store, one or the other version might a bit scared of.
One of a sudden, his voice basically his video, his pictures is out there and doing things they never Have you done any kind of testing? What was , the response from people seeing this for the first time?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: That's a great question. These were some of the concerns that we initially had when we started , the company as well, or Are people gonna think this is weird? Like, are people not gonna like these? And we've found, , so far at least, and we've sent a few hundred thousand of these videos at this point, , we've found that, people are generally like, Pretty open to the idea on the merchant side.
We only use the merchant's information like for this very specific purpose, like we're never gonna use it to generate anything outside that purpose. , and then, on the customer's side, , we've found that, , first of all, people are delighted when , they receive these videos.
They're like, Wow, I can't believe that you actually reached out to me and sent me a video calling me out by name. , and then sometimes people do realize it's a deep thing. Sometimes people like watch the videos and they're like, Wait, something's a little off, but by and large what we've seen is the people that recognize that it's a deep then like, Oh wow, that's really cool.
Like, I know you didn't make it just for me, but it's still really cool. , and I'm glad that you're like trying something creative. , so that's the response that.
Claus Lauter: Okay. You said you have already done a couple of hundred thousands of these. So what's , the general, experience from your side? How a video like this should be? Structured. So the kind of style of video that should be presented in this.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Yeah. Yeah. So we found that, you want something that doesn't feel overproduced, like you want something that really just looks like, Hey, I like picked up my phone, like recording a message just for you. that's what customers want also.
Like they love seeing the faces behind the brand in some kind of real way. , instead of something that feels like overly produced. And , that's, , one thing that we've seen, short and sweet, I think is always good. Keeping the message to like maybe 20, 30 seconds I think, can really help just get customers to watch the entire video.
And then like typical, e-commerce, things such as, hey, for an abandoned cart, like offer a discount code within the video and that'll convert higher. , things like that. We've really seen work really well.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Now, talked about abandoned cards. There's many other touch points on a customer's journey. In which touch points would you recommend to use a tool like yours?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: I think that customers really just appreciate that personal touch, , throughout their journey, right? Like from the moment they hear of you like. Until they've , been a customer with your store for years, made dozens of purchases. And that's what we've seen as well.
We've seen merchants use Maverick throughout the customer journey. specific touchpoints are like, when someone signs up for your mailing list, , when somebody abandons a cart right after they make their first purchase. , if they haven't purchased in a while, maybe you haven't seen them in 60 days or 90 days.
Sending a video is part of a winback campaign. For loyalty program signups, , we've seen merchants, across the journey.
Claus Lauter: Now talking about integration, obviously it's integrating in Shopify. Which other kind of apps do you integrate with? Like Clavio or. How does that work? From where do you pull the data?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: So we've built the product in a way that, Pretty straightforward to integrate with really any crm. , as long as the CRM has the ability to send some sort of notification to Maverick, like, whether that's through an automated email or, , say a web hook that you can configure on the CRM side, we can support it on our end.
, and on top of that, we do have a, a Shopify app as. That merchants can go and download to get the process started.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I wanna know a little bit about how long does it take to produce a video? Where's the video hosted? So from the technical interest, How, does that work?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: I love it. I love that we're getting in depth on the tech side here. , yeah, so on, the technical side, videos take, , on the merchants side, , maybe 30, 45 minutes , to produce like, Hey, you've got your 15 minute script recording, and then you've got your 32nd video.
But maybe you do a couple takes, Maybe you want to do multiple touch points across the journey. So you film a few videos. We see that that process typically takes about 45 minutes for a merchant. , and then , once the videos are sent over to us, , typically it takes. A few days to a week to get a merchant up and running, and that's, hey, we've processed and generated all of the videos.
we are integrated with the merchant crm, , with the stores crm, , and to your question about like, hey, where are the videos hosted? that's actually, I'm really glad you asked me that. Today they're primarily hosted on a Maverick website. , so it's a landing page that we build that a brand.
can customize with their logo and brand colors and other branding. , but we're actually in the middle of, , building a feature that allows, , stores to embed the videos directly on their sites as well. , then your customer will go directly to your site and watch the video.
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, that sounds great. From the production perspective, what kind of technical knowledge or equipment does the merchant have? Is a webcam good enough? Is a cell phone good enough?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: we wanted to make it so that, , any merchant could record a video. You don't need like a fancy studio setup or anything. Just a cell. with a decent camera is more than good enough, to film the videos. , and again, we recommend that because it gives a direct connection to the brand.
It doesn't feel like you sat in a studio. It's like, Hey, I picked up my phone, I recorded a message for you.
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, sounds great. I wanna go a little bit wider away from Restore cause you are so much on a topic. , I wanna know,, what's your prediction? How will AA generated deep fakes change the landscape of marketing in general or eCommerce marketing?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Yeah, that's a great question. It's something that we talk about quite a bit. The really nice thing about, AI generated content is that it opens up, the ability to create like, Visual content, audio content, even text content. it opens that up to people who don't have art skills, don't have design skills like me, for instance.
Right. On the visual side, you have, , libraries like Dolly two and stable diffusion that like allow you to generate art even if you're not an artist. , you've got a G P T three that like will. Marketing and copying for you. , and so I think that, AI generated content is really making this process a lot easier for people who don't have , the underlying skills around content creation.
, and I think this is just gonna continue. I think it's gonna get easier and easier to make different types. Content. , we are focused on the video side obviously, so we're trying to make it easier to make personalized video content. So I think it's just gonna like help democratize this over time.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Now, a lot of this digital dinosaur source like me will then be out of a job ,
Debarshi Chaudhuri: We're always gonna need like humans to, have the eye who can actually, direct the models, pick the best outputs, things like that. I think you're always going to need that.
Claus Lauter: who's your perfect customer? So which kind of merchants do we have experience with?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: We try to serve, , brands across , the spectrum in terms of revenue. The one thing that we do see is that it typically takes , a sufficient level of volume before you really start seeing value from Maverick. If you're only getting. Say three, five orders a day.
You're probably not going to have enough volume to see value from Maverick. you really want to do this, a, you might actually just wanna pick up your phone and record a message. , but we see once stores crack, like the, . 500 K in annual revenue, mark. , that's when, Maverick really starts to kick in and provide a lot of value for them.
, and then we've worked with customers like up to 50, a hundred million, , year in revenue as well. The spectrum there, is a good customer for Maverick. I will say that most of our customers are probably in one to 25 million range today.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Do you have any kind of numbers on how the positive impact of, , your solution is on conversion rates? On revenue increase?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent. , this is something that we track really closely. , we firmly believe that the only way for us to succeed is if we help , the brands we work with, connect with their customers better, actually generate more revenue from these videos. And so we pay a lot of attention to that.
What we've seen is that, , from an ROI perspective, , brands that are kinda like up and running with, , revenue generating use cases, , they'll see like between 10 to 30 x roi, , on the videos that they're sending. So, hey, for every dollar you spend with Maverick, you get $10, , in revenue.
If you track like email engagement rates, if that's important to you, , we typically see like three to five x higher than the base campaigns , that merchants are running in terms of things like open rate, click rate, engagement, , on the page, things like that.
That's what we're seeing today.
Claus Lauter: Okay. These are some very impressive numbers and it shows that video is quite important in nowadays landscape. Now gimme a bit of an idea on your pricing. Obviously it's not for free, so how do you structure your pricing?
Debarshi Chaudhuri: We do a monthly subscription, , fee. , that is based on two things really. Number one is volume, and number two is like number of use cases , or like touch points in the customer journey. , and so if you're like trying to send everywhere across your customer journey, like gonna be a different price, , based on the volume that you're sending.
Are packages start at $100 a month. , that's on the low end. And then we'll scale, , pricing, to what makes sense volume wise, , past that? A hundred dollars a month, , monthly subscription. , actually for anyone who's listening to this podcast, , if they want to just mention the podcast, , and talk to us, we're happy to give the first month free also for that a hundred dollars a month
Claus Lauter: Okay. I appreciate that. So just. Coffee break and then you get a, bonus there. One question or one thing that I wanna know from you, you're doing this now for a while and you're deep , in this topic, one golden nugget that you would tell someone who comes new to the topic of AI generated content.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: I would actually tie the, AI generated content, back to, the core needs of the, brand , and the customer. Right? Like I think, one of the great things about online shopping is it's super convenient really easy.
You just go on a website, click a couple buttons, like the thing shows up at your door the next day or two days from that. , but we've lost a lot of that personal touch. Like you, we've lost, Hey, you show up to the store, you like talk to someone who works there about the different product. Get recommendations, , like we've lost that.
and that's the gap that Maverick is trying to fill, like helping brands create that personal connection, , with their customers. , and we think that AI generated content, lets you deliver that personalized experience that is like, Hey, I'm not just an order confirmation number, I'm actually a person and I'm talking to someone, , in the store.
AI helps you do that, but at scale across all of the customers that are visiting you.
Claus Lauter: Okay, cool. Where can people find more about.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Yeah. Visit email@example.com. , that's T R Y M A V E R I C k.com. , and you can also find us on the Shopify Apps store.
Claus Lauter: Okay, sounds great. I was on your website. I would put also link in the show notes. I had a look at the different examples that you have there and it's quite impressive. So I would only recommend to go there and get your feeling if you're listening to this, , on how it works. It's quite impressive.
Hibachi, thanks so much for your time. I really appreciate giving us an insight in this very new topic and into your solution and talk soon.
Debarshi Chaudhuri: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me class.
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