This episode features Saksham Sharda, Creative Director and CIO of Outgrow, an all-in-one interactive content platform. Outgrow lets marketers build and launch interactive calculators and viral quizzes that help engage website visitors and generate more leads.
Listen as Saksham defines what is interactive content and why he thinks companies should use it.
Discover the top ways that e-commerce websites are using interactive content to improve the user experience. How does interactive, personalized content fit in with user experience?
Saksham shares some of the quickest ways to grow your e-commerce business in 2022. He also explains the problems they are solving for their clients and how they’re standing out from the competition.
Episode Action Items:
Contact Saksham and his team through firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:02
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy speical. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss the topic which is the power of interactive content for E commerce websites. This week's guest is the creative director and CIO of Outgrow. An all in one interactive content platform outgrow lets marketers build and launch interactive calculators and viral quizzes that help engage website visitors and generate more leads a big hello, the Saksham Sharda. Hi.
Saksham Sharda 1:18
Thanks for having me on the show. Andy.
You know, we're excited to have you on to talk about interactive content. So to start, let's let's define what is interactive content and why should accompany use it.
So anything on the internet that is not static, is interactive. So for instance, quizzes, calculators, contests, anything that your audience can participate in, like assessments, or chatbot, for instance, is a type of interactive content. And this is the future of the internet, because I guess the internet started with static content where you'd have blogs and you'll have articles or ebooks. But as we progress into the next stage of the internet, when there is like a lot of content, there's just too many blogs, too many eBooks, you know, and no one really has the time to go through any blog or ebook on your website or white paper, you know, nobody has the time. So instead, what you offer them is a quiz or a calculator that asks them particular questions, and provides them results of values that are very valuable for them. So for instance, say on a lawyer's website, the primary call to action is just contact me. Now, you know, tons of website have that same call to action. But now imagine if the lawyer had a quiz or a calculator, like see how much I can save you in legal fees. And you know, it asks you a couple of questions like you know, how many contracts does your firm need signed every every year, etc, etc. And then it gives you a personalized value. And so you're more likely to leave your email with this lawyer so that they can contact you back then someone else you found on the internet, and that is the power of interactive content.
So let me ask you is interactive, almost, or is it always personalized as well?
Yes, and that's the whole point of it. Because as the people go about answering questions in a quiz, or when they are, you know, taking a calculator where they're trying to figure out a particular estimate, like, you know, how much is it, how much does the mortgage costs, etc, etc. So, they are leaving particular details about them, which you can collect as marketing data. But at the same time, once you have these particular details in your interactive content piece, it can give them a personalized solution. So a very common B2C example I can give here is like when you want to buy a pair of sunglasses. So in the normal world, like when you go outside to buy a pair of sunglasses, usually there's a shop assistant in the shop, who based on your face shape, your eye color, you know, etc, etc, is able to suggest a particular you know, pair of sunglasses, that would be ideal for you. But we don't have that on the internet. And that's something that the internet has forgotten that, you know, personalized value is always valuable for the client. And that is why a simple quiz like with sunglasses to your face, the best that is able to like filter out sunglasses based on like, you know particular details about you and give you you know, two or three things to pick from at the end is going to be much more valuable for the client than you know, just having all the sunglasses listed on your website, so it's highly personalized.
Now most of the listeners to this show are from the e-commerce realm, and you gave an example with the sunglasses but what are the top ways that ecommerce websites are using interactive content to improve the user experience?
So you can really do a lot so you can also use contests for instance, so you can like one of the ways like this usually happens around the Black Friday period is that a lot of companies you know, give a couple of free things. So if you are a company that makes T shirts, so if you're a company that you know, make some sort of a gadget, so you give away one gadget, and you make an interactive contest for this. So you're gonna outgrow, you can make an interactive contest that already like many templates for these, so you pick one of these. And what it will do is that you make a contest like, you know, tweet about our product, say what you like about it, and you get a chance to win one of these products for free. And the contest automatically every time someone like, you know, shares that hashtag or tags, it makes a scoreboard on your website, and that scoreboard gets automatically populated by which who's on top of, you know, getting the most number of shares or likes or anything. And so that is a very interactive way of getting people to, you know, engage video ecommerce brands. So that's one and the other one that I talked about is, of course, the e-commerce recommendations, which is, you know, sunglasses, but for instance, makeup sets, because like, a lot of e-commerce products are very particular, depending on like, who the person is. So you know, for instance, like this is something we learn from our clients. Actually, the kind of makeup set that would suit you depends on one of the questions that you'd ask in a quiz for this is, what color are the veins under your skin under your wrists. So if you look under your wrist, what color you see is very determinant of what kind of makeup set you should be getting, what kind of foundation you should be getting. So there's a lot of room for personalization in e-commerce and the more personalized your brand can get, the more easy it is going to be for it to sell to different categories of people.
Now, over the last year, Google has updated their algorithm to include user experience. How does interactive content was personalized content fit in with with user experience?
I think the point with the interactive content is because like another word for it is literally interactive experiences. And that is as I was saying earlier, is the way the internet is headed towards in general. And so that is what like in all these big companies are going towards in general as well. And I'll give you an example. For instance, like you know, Tesla, for instance, has literally a 0% marketing budget, they don't spend any money on marketing. Instead, all they have on their website is an interactive experience, which is basically a quiz. And that is a car configurator. So when you know when you go on the website, it says Build Your Own Tesla. So it gives you many options, you know, colors, the kind of ties you want, the kind of engine you want, etc, etc. And that is basically a quiz because it's asking you a question. And it's asking you to pick from like four options. So everything on the internet is now becoming a quiz like it's like an experience that you have to go through in order to buy the product. And so that is what's happening. And that is definitely something you can do on outgrow, because we have more than 1000 templates on how you can customize these quizzes to give the user a nice and fast experience. And this is something you also see for instance, when you walk into a McDonald's and you see, you know this build your own burger menu. But this is also quiz like they ask you like what kind of, you know, meat you want to know burger or what kind of sauces you want to go ahead with it, etc, etc, they give you like options to pick from? It's basically a quiz. And so these are the kinds of experiences the internet is moving towards, instead of like having just static kind of content presented.
What do you think? What do you consider, I guess, to be some of the quickest ways to grow your ecommerce business in 2022?
I think because a lot of stuff has moved online. And because there's a lot of noise online, one of the biggest problems in E commerce now is that there's a lot of product dumping. So for cheap prices. So like how does a company even compete against something like Aliexpress that is just dumping products that like very cheap prices and probably low quality? And so how do you distinguish your product against, you know, what is the right for a titan like that and the one of the ways you can do it is by using interactive experiences, because you really don't need any coding experience or anything to build any of these ecommerce templates that I'm talking about. So like, you know, which watch suits you best. So just have a little pop up on your website or like if someone is crawling too far down your website, looking for watches and they're unable to like find something that suits them, then at that point, have a pop up, you know, come up that says that, you know, let us help you select a watch and then it asks them some, you know, very perceptive questions about what kind of what they would want to do with their watch, like, you know, Nike and Adidas have these on their websites as well right? You know, are you going to use them for running? How often do you run in these shoes, etc, etc. So you're really able to give them you know, personalized pics and this is what a shop assistant does, which I think the internet has forgotten and we need to have these kind of interactive experience shopping systems on the internet.
Do you have any idea what percentage of e-commerce websites are currently using some sort of interactive experience?
Definitely Amazon is using it quite heavily. And then in addition to that, I'm trying to save a lot of merchants on Shopify use it because our product integrates with Shopify, so you can easily have outdoor experiences on Shopify as well. So definitely, Amazon is one of them, one of the ones who use it, and I think also, Nokia was using it as well. And Microsoft uses it as well. But then mostly using contests, Microsoft and Nokia, etc. But as far as using E commerce recommendations go, Amazon has really taken the lead in that.
So you said you integrate with Shopify? Do you integrate with any other website platforms?
Yes, we have like over 1000 integrations with like all sorts of platforms, including CRM tools, as well. So it is very easy to just, you know, click a button and have all the data flow from outgrow to the particular platform and easily embed our Grow widgets and interactive experiences on that platform as well.
Now do you have a favorite success story you could share?
A favorite success story that I could share? Off the top of my head? Well, I have one for real estate. So the point with marketing is that you also have to be creative all the time. And when you are limited by the fact that you have to hire coders and developers to try to make a marketing campaign, then you're never going to be able to make a campaign in time and you're not going to be able to get ahead of the audience because you're always going to be to shackled down by your coders and developers and witches by interactive experiences and interactive content, like outgrow is helpful because you can just go there yourself, no matter what you do, whether you're a podcast host or whether you're like a real estate agent, and you want to build something and you don't know how to code. It's totally okay, you go and outgrow and you build that. So the example I'm going to give is in the 2000s when Airbnb had just launched, and everyone was like kind of talking about Airbnb, one of our real estate clients, they built a calculator that said, how much can you make by Airbnb your property? Now you see a real estate client has no business doing Airbnb, right? So but they what they were really interested in was getting people to buy their properties. So that once these four properties had been bought, the people would Airbnb them, because like, you know, they didn't want to use them. So they had these properties in different locations, you know, in the US. So the calculator basically had stuff like is the property located near the sea? Is it located near some national heritage site, etc, etc. So it really got a lot of clients to be interested in, in just taking this calculator to figure out that they can actually make investments in areas of, you know, the country where people would anyway come to vacation so that investment industrial estate property wouldn't be going to waste. But they used it but they did it by by catching on a popular trend. And by making a calculator that was beneficial to a lot of the audiences but also managed to get them a lot of clients. So that was one of the examples.
If you had a crystal ball, how would you see interactive experience is changing in the next year to 18 months?
I think we've just seen so many creative stuff happening on the outgrow builder that is coming from our clients who I really don't need a crystal ball because our clients just are able to just build so much new stuff that you know every week someone comes and like you know, takes an old template and they make something absolutely new and one The full outfit that is able to get them so many leads and views. And so it is very exciting to see that. But I do believe that the trend in the market as is evident in the case of Tesla using that car configurator is, is is in general that everything is going to become quiz like so you know it is going to be used on any website. And if it's just static content on the website like that one has to read, and people are not going to be interested. Instead, it's going to be like, Hey, let me help you pick a particular pricing plan. For instance, you know, there'll be a quiz to help you pick a particular pricing plan or a particular subscription, or for a podcast, right? If you go to a podcast website, there'd be like 1000 episodes to pick from. And you don't know which one you want to start with, like you don't know what you what kind of podcast episode you'd be interested in. So there could be a simple quiz that a podcast host can have on their website that says, Let us pick the starting episode for you. And then these people who are coming to the website, they answer a couple of questions like you know, what industry they're interested in, what kind of marketing they're interested in, etc, etc, etc. And then you learn more about your audience, the visitors who are coming to your page when they take this quiz, and they get a couple of episodes that are going to be the best fit for them. So that is what the internet is going to become. And so that is I think, what I would see in a crystal ball if it was handed to me.
Now one of my favorite questions I always like to ask my guests are, personally are there any book business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?
Any business books? Not quite, but I do like listening to Naval's podcast is the CEO of AngelList, I think he's able to talk quite well about these matters. So that would be it. Yeah.
Now about your company, what problems are you guys solving for your clients? And how are you standing out from the competition?
Well, standing out from the competition, mostly because a builder is actually very advanced. So there's a lot you can do, quite simply. So that is one of the ways we are able to really stand out from our competition. And the fact that they integrate with so many tools makes it easy for anyone to use our software and easily use it with whatever tool CRM tool, or whatever Shopify or whatever they're using, in addition to that, so that's one of the ways we stand out from our competitors. And they also have 24/7 customer support. So we really do take care of every single client, and that's the difference between like, you know, an enterprise and medium sized businesses that will be really able to cater to every single client in a very personalized way, if if ever they're facing any difficulties of any sort. And your other question was, how are we helping our clients? What problem?
What problems are you solving? Right?
Well, this is it, it's, I think the biggest problem is that there's just too much noise on the internet. And so there's just too much happening. And the only way to stand out is through interactive content. And a lot of people don't know that they want it. But once they kind of get the hang of the things that you know, everything is kind of a quiz or a calculator a chatbot isn't necessarily things to have on the website, because it's going to increase the number of leads you generate, how you're going to qualify your leads, it's all going to happen through a single interactive content piece. So this is one of the ways key ways that we educate our audience that this is something that's necessary for them. And we really help them implement it as well.
So let's talk about services, what what are the specific service that you guys are offering.
So we have quizzes, calculators, chatbots, polls, forms and surveys, and then ecommerce recommendations, and contests. So they're like a total of eight that I get all eight on, I think it's a total of eight. So, and all of these, you can easily build on a builder from scratch, if you like. Or you can also have 1000 templates that are across 21 different industries. So you have everything from real estate, to podcasting, to blogging, to I don't know, finance, like we have calculators and quizzes templates available for all of these, all you really need to do is sign up for a seven day trial actually have a discount coupon code for like a one month trial that we can put in the show notes. I'll just give it to you after the show. Alright, so anyone who uses this, like it's quite simple to it's like an extended 30 day trial. So because you can even just do it in seven days. The point is, you go on our website, you go to the template section, and then you just, you know, pick a particular template that suits you just change its colors change, its, you know, everything and then put your own company logo there and then you have an interactive content piece ready to go. So that is one of the ways in which you can easily use outgrow to really transform your business
And after the trial period, is it based on user views? How many user views? Is it? Just Is it a subscription model based like an ala carte you? Do you pick? Which are the ones you want? I mean, how does that work?
Yeah, after that you have a subscription based model. So it starts from like $14 a month on the freelancer to all the way to $600 a month for enterprises. So it's really up to you, but the, like, several tiers of plans that are like $14 $30 $90 Essentials plans, so you can totally do but it's mostly tiered around like the number of leads you're generating. So like, you know, we don't want an enterprise that's generating like, you know, billion leads to using the software for $14, we want them to pay more. So it really depends on like, how much traffic is flowing, traffic is flowing through your content. So it's actually a very helpful pricing structure for any business. Because as they grow bigger and bigger, then you know, the pricing increases, but as long as you know, they are at a particular level, you're not going to increase the price for them.
And who is the ideal client for your services, if they're out there listening, they should absolutely take a trial.
So content creators of all kinds of bloggers of all kind, you know, small and medium businesses, very good for them, but rarely 21 different industries. So like, you're not gonna be finance people or like real estate people, but mostly content creators, you know, content creators, marketers, and also salespeople.
And how should an interested listener, perfect or not learn more about working with you guys?
Well, they can feel free to email email@example.com for any kind of, you know, idea that may, they may have. And in addition to that, like I mentioned, they can also just try out that one month trial, and see if it works for them. And if not, you know, nothing lost because it was for free, no credit card required to sign up as well. So it's actually quite easy to just get started. And I just recommend, like, if you're starting, it's really good to just start by using templates, because it's easy to just customize templates instead of starting from scratch.
Now, before we go, what would be one piece of actionable advice that you would give somebody that is thinking of being able to upgrade their user experience on their website,
I think one of the things I would say is that you need to stop relying on coders and developers every time you want to upgrade the user experience on your website. And that is why Outgrow is a great tool to use because it really allows you to like put an interactive content piece on there. And then test whether it's working for you or not, you know, you can easily A/B tested, etc. Within the outgrow builder, you can easily see the metrics and that by yourself is very user friendly. And it really just I think the important piece of advice is it really makes you independent from coders and developers. And if you are in your business till now, you know you are there because you do have something to contribute to the market. And that is why your business exists. And that is why your business idea exists. And there's no reason for you to not be able to, you know, express that business idea to the world just because you don't know how to code. And that is why a no code tool like outgrow is so helpful.
So when you say no code tool, how is it implemented on a website.
So there are like seven different ways of like embedding it on a website, or you can literally have your entire website as an interactive experience as well. So you really don't have to do anything you're going out grill, you make a quiz about what you're selling. And that could literally be your website, because you know you really like because I guess the whole idea of like the about me section on the website, or like the this section or that that section section is, is really coming from old age internet, when I go to your website, maybe all I want to do is listen to a podcast. And if you just had a quiz that said, let me pick the best podcast for you. I would just be very happy to just take that quiz and end up on the right podcast. So that is one of the ways but a different embedding types like you can have like inpage beds. You can also embed it on your Facebook page if you'd like. You can have it as a pop up you can have it as a sidebar, or you can have it as a floating rectangle. So the options are quite endless.
Well, this has been fantastic. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up today?
The discount code for
trial would be in the show notes because I'm gonna give you a link it has to be clicked.
Okay. Okay, fantastic. Well, thank you again for that. I'm sure listeners will appreciate it. Well, well that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding outgrow.co or connecting with section, you will find the links in the show notes below along with that discount code. In addition, if you're looking for more information on run 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 in and have included each of their contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services I have 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.