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About this episode

“Really think of us as a replacement for a full service digital marketing agency. So, not just to help you create the content, but essentially also let you know what kind of content you should be doing.”

— Siddharth Sinha on their vision for DoMyShoot

Siddharth Sinha is the CEO of Dresma Inc, a start-up enabling the democratization of visual content creation for eCommerce. Siddharth is a 4th generation entrepreneur from Bihar, India and this is his 3rd venture with their latest product DoMyShoot, a platform intended to solve the challenges of Amazon sellers in optimizing their product content. He has over 20 years of experience in building management systems, compression technology and traditional brick and mortar businesses in industries like cement manufacturing. He had also done his undergrad from Cornell and has an MBA from INSEAD.

Listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Podcast addicts, Castbox. You can also watch this episode on YouTube.

In this episode of AIMinds, we had the opportunity to chat with Siddharth Sinha, the co-founder of Do my Shoot, which streamlines the process of listing and promoting products online. With an intuitive interface for both mobile and web, DoMyShoot allows an ease of use to sellers with limited or no design skills to create professional quality outputs for product listings, marketplace creatives and on brand marketing content. This episode provides a fresh take on the struggle of online sellers and how AI is transforming the e-commerce marketplace.

Here is a quick glimpse of what's inside this episode:

  1. Discover Siddharth's Journey: Learn about Siddharth's early interest in tech, his experiences in product marketing, and how he identified the issues faced by online sellers, inspiring the creation of DoMyShoot.

  2. Understanding the Customer's Pain Point: Siddharth discusses the main challenges for online sellers, dispensing invaluable advice about focusing on the customer rather than the technical aspects of the solution.

  3. Leveraging AI for E-Commerce: A thorough examination of how AI can automate the tedious process of managing product listings. Siddharth demonstrates how his platform can generate content, recommend creatives, and even fill many of the fields required for product listings.

  4. Tackling Challenges: Siddharth shares insights into the biggest roadblocks they've faced while growing the business and discusses various strategies they've employed to surmount them.

Fun Fact: Sellers on platforms like Amazon often have to coordinate with several different agencies for product photography, image cleanup, graphic design, and promotional content. DoMyShoot aims to consolidate all these services.

Show Notes:

00:00 Introduction to Siddharth Sinha.
03:28 Co-founders addressed frustration of e-commerce sellers.
08:10 Simplify product listing with AI tools.
11:15 DoMyShoot eases content creation for Amazon sellers.
15:03 Making technology usable and impactful is challenging.
17:12 Challenge in shifting away from self-use tools.
23:16 Analyzing competitors for market insights.
23:58 Find inspiration in diverse places for success.

More Quotes from Siddharth:

“What's really interesting now is with the generative AI tools and the large language models that we have, a lot of it can be pre filled. So just from a product image you can extract enough information to probably fill about 70% of the sheet.”

— Siddharth Sinha

“There are effectively (typically with product cycles), four types of agencies involved. There is somebody who's actually doing the product photography. There's somebody who's actually cleaning up the images and making them to spec, to upload to Amazon or for other requirements. There is a third agency that's doing all the graphic design work for all the infographics that need to go. And there's typically a fourth agency that's managing all the promotional content that goes onto Google Ads or Amazon ads. It's a whole slew of different skill sets and capabilities that come together to get all the content in place.”

— Siddharth Sinha

“They [sellers] really don't have the time available to create all this content manually. This is a human in the loop model. Basically we are delivering ready to use content that is professional quality. It's not something that the sellers needs to go in and tweak and like in Canva be able to tweak the content and it looks right.”

— Siddharth Sinha

Transcript:

Demetrios:

Welcome back, everyone, to the AI Minds podcast. This is a podcast where we explore the companies of tomorrow being built. AI first. I'm your host, Dmitri Yos, and this episode is brought to you by Deepgram, the number one voice AI API on the Internet today. Trusted by the world's top conversational AI leaders, startups and enterprises like Spotify, Twilio, NASA, and Citibank. We are joined today by the co founder of do my shoot, Siddharth. How you doing?

Siddharth Sinha:

Great. Demetrios, great to meet you. Excited to be here.

Demetrios:

Likewise, man. I'm excited to hear your story and also really dive into what we were talking about before we hit record, which was the customer and the problem that inspired you to create do my shoot. Before we jump into that, I think it's only right if we hear a little bit about your story and how you got into tech.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, so I've been actually been interested in tech for a long time. Growing up, tinkering with what used to be transistor radios at that time, trying to get them to work, break them up first and then trying to get them to work. Always been a tinkerer, always liked to make products. My first job built hardware, software, get product out the door. After that, was involved in quite a few product launches, did product marketing for a while. So really got to know about customer problems, customer pain points and how to solve them with technology. So that's what really gets me excited.

Demetrios:

What do you feel is one of the main learnings that you had from diving into product that you've brought with you till this day?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yes. I mean, at the end of the day, the customer really doesn't care how you solve the problem. It's much more important to him that the solution is there and it's reliable, it's robust, and it's cost effective.

Demetrios:

So that's so funny that you mentioned that. I was just talking to a friend and they were saying how they would get distracted with the new shiny tools, especially when it comes to a new tech stack or a new cool open source tool that comes on the market. And at the end of the day, they would lose a lot of time or they would waste a lot of time because they were diving into these new tools that potentially could get them further. But then, like you just said, the customer doesn't care about any of that that's on the backend. They just want their product to work.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, I mean, the customer value that really matters. At the end of the day, the technology in some sense is secondary. I mean, having said that I think we are living in an age where some of the technologies that are coming out are really transformative in the sense that we can really deliver customer value at a scale that was really not possible. And that's really been through the mobile and the AI revolution. That's something that's really caught on in the last ten years or so.

Demetrios:

So when did you realize that you wanted to start your own thing?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yes, when we started working on Domy shoot, my two co founders, they used to run a photo studio working with sellers primarily on Amazon and Flipkart, which is the, the indian version of Amazon. Their customers were extremely frustrated with the whole process on how products got listed right from the photo shoot to getting the listing white background images that you need to start selling online and then creating all the promotional content. Just the whole process was broken. And if you look at the ecommerce value chain, this is an area that really hasn't seen a lot of technology or had not seen a lot of technology being deployed. So that's where we started. We really looked at Amazon sellers and sort of tried to see how we can solve this whole content hurdle piece for them. It really is something that holds people back from focusing on their core business. They spend too much time and money trying to get good quality content online.

Demetrios:

So is the pain point then me as a seller, I don't have the right photos. I don't know what copy I should be using or how to optimize. My listing best is that kind of where the pain comes through.

Siddharth Sinha:

So if you look at online purchasing, 90% of the decision is based on the imagery that the customer sees. That's really the piece of content that gets them to stay on the page and start deep dive into the content that you've put up. So images are really key to online success and just the amount of time, effort and money it takes to get good quality imagery and increasingly higher engagement content like short form videos or infographics, just creating that content just takes too much time and money.

Demetrios:

Okay, interesting there. So to create, because the other piece I imagine is that as soon as you create one piece of content or one piece of creative, it's already stale and you're thinking about the ten new ones that you have to create.

Siddharth Sinha:

So when you look at, I mean, imagine even a small Amazon seller with 2030 products to sell, they have to create 100, 150 pieces of content to just be live in any meaningful way. So just getting just, even that quantum of content up is difficult. And as you want to grow, as you want to go from those 30 skus to 300, it just becomes an overwhelming task.

Demetrios:

And why do they have to create so many? Forgive me, I'm totally in the dark about this whole the Amazon selling.

Siddharth Sinha:

If you look at trust in an online purchase, want to be able to see at least three or four angles of a product before you actually get familiar with it. Then you probably want to see the product in some sort of context. If it's a dress, you need a model wearing a dress. Or if it's a bag, a model carrying a bag. So you need that context image as well. Then you need a little bit more content on what the bag is made of, capacity, things like that. So key features and that too most of the time is most relevant done through an image, through an infographic.

Demetrios:

Yeah, I think about Amazon listings that I've seen and that I've appreciated most. And I also enjoy seeing very clearly what the dimensions are of the product. And so I imagine that's just another piece of creative that you have to lay on top of it.

Siddharth Sinha:

Exactly. So it's really, and contents become very competitive in the sense that you're not the only seller on Amazon by far. So when you're looking to get to a buying decision from a customer, it really is a competition between content at the end of the day. Yeah.

Demetrios:

And this is only the creative aspect, but I imagine there's a lot of hoops that you have to jump through when it comes to the business aspect also and filling out forms and all of that. Just knowing I have like a Shopify store where I sell t shirts from and it's a headache as some simple as t shirts. There's so many things that you never would think about that you have to put on there.

Siddharth Sinha:

I mean, Shopify is relatively simple. If you look at Amazon typically for, you know, fashion product, you are, you have to enter 30 to 40 pieces of metadata before the product can go live. These are everything to do with colors, color combinations, material, what style the item is. And the marketplaces have their own nomenclature. So getting a seller to do all of that is difficult. So what's really interesting now is with the generative AI tools and the large language models that we have, a lot of it can be pre filled. So just from a product image you can extract enough information to probably fill about 70% of the sheet.

Demetrios:

Yeah, that's cool. That is very cool. Just being able to take that load off of the seller.

Siddharth Sinha:

Imagine doing that. So for example, if you are so one of the great things about these marketplaces is they are fully international. I can be a seller in Guatemala and selling into the US market and I can access that market. But imagine a native, native person from there trying to fill out the same pieces of information in a language that is not native in nomenclature that they are not familiar with. It's a huge hurdle for these sellers to be able to access these markets.

Demetrios:

Yes, 100%. I see that I can recognize the inspiration behind do my shoot.

Siddharth Sinha:

That was the inspiration behind do my shoot. So the whole idea was that you should be able to pick up our mobile app, download the app, take a couple of product images of your product, and pretty much have enough content to be where to go live. Wow.

Demetrios:

So basically with some shots of your product, the AI is going to fill in the blank.

Siddharth Sinha:

It's going to fill in the blank. It's going to suggest some creative imagery for you to use. It's going to suggest some infographics for you to use. It's going to fill out the title and description and give you all the metadata that it can extract from the images as well.

Demetrios:

Is it also generating new images?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yes. What we do is we use some of the diffusion models that are available now to essentially create the context imagery. So if you've clicked an image, for example, of your handbag, it'll place it in honor dresser in a living room, appropriate stylistically. And we are building a entire brand customization layer. So you can tell our system, like this is the kind of content I like. Pick a few images from your social media or aspirational brands, social media, and the system will learn and give you appropriate images.

Demetrios:

So talk to me about the customers and how things have changed.

Siddharth Sinha:

So I mean, we have some, a lot of our audience is us based right now. So you have people running 510, even $15 million businesses on Amazon with five or ten people. So they really don't have the time available to create all this content manually. They're typically working with three, four different external agencies today to get all of this content in place. So what we are real offering is that it's a single platform that the seller can come in, they can capture product images using our app and then come on to our listing tool and get all the content there. This is a human in the loop model. Basically we are delivering ready to use content that is professional quality. It's not something that the sellers needs to go in and tweak and like in canva be able to tweak the content and it looks right.

Siddharth Sinha:

We deliver content that's that they can just download and go online with.

Demetrios:

So you have someone that is actively filtering out those random hallucinations or the random shots. All of that don't really fit.

Siddharth Sinha:

None of that the seller has to worry about. So if you've tried any of these diffusion models, you know how many times you have to generate to get the right image?

Demetrios:

Yeah, it's quite a lot of work to. That's what prompt engineering is, a skill, prompt engineering.

Siddharth Sinha:

And I mean, these are diffusion models that are, by design, random in nature. And that's a good thing. But you do need, at the end of the day, you need an image that works for you. Right. So it does take, take some time and effort to get that right. And the other thing that we always are very mindful of. So these are all generative tools. Right.

Siddharth Sinha:

You need to have an image and a description of your product. Not just any product. It has to be your product. So the imagery has to be true to your product.

Demetrios:

Oh, I see. And that way it will give you more to work with and your platform more to be able to explore. Yeah. And what you said there is, I can't just like, gloss over it. I want to double click on the idea of ten to $15 million. Businesses are being run by five people, and they're using three to four outsourced services. What are these outsourced services doing? It, presumably someone from my brand will send product samples to an outsourced service, and then this outsourced service will take all the photos and write all the descriptions.

Siddharth Sinha:

So there are effectively, typically with product cycles, there are four types of agencies involved. There is somebody who's actually doing the product photography. There may be. There's somebody who's actually cleaning up the images and making them to spec, to upload to Amazon or for other requirements. There is a third agency that's doing all the graphic design work for all the infographics that need to go. And there's typically a fourth agency that's managing all the promotional content that goes onto Google Ads or Amazon ads. It's a whole slew of different skill sets and capabilities that come together to get all the content in place.

Demetrios:

Yeah. And so you're saying, hey, we can do all that.

Siddharth Sinha:

We can do all of that. We can do all of that on the platform. Instead of six weeks, you can be live in 3 hours.

Demetrios:

Wow, that is incredible. Now talk to me what some of the biggest challenges you faced while growing the business have been.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yes. I mean, obviously there are lots of different parts and pieces to the technology. So that's one aspect of it. But I think that's less of a challenge than just making the product usable, to be intuitive to having to designing the whole, to the customer experience. That's actually been a tough challenge and it's a fun problem to work at. But it does take a lot of effort to make sure that the product is self obvious, that people aren't spending hours trying to understand what's happening in the system. So that's one aspect that we do spend a lot of time on and effort on. And two is, and the go to market strategy has been very challenging.

Siddharth Sinha:

But as I mentioned, these are large operations being run by very few people that just don't have the time and time of day to do it, to hear anything. So it's very difficult to sit them down or just get five minutes of their mind space. And that's a real challenge in selling to this segment.

Demetrios:

On the product side of things, how are you tackling this issue? Are you having user interviews? Are you using a tool like hotjar or something to look at heat maps of how people are using the product?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, so we used hotjar or a similar product early on in our design journey. So the first couple of iterations of the app and the web app, we had it enabled just to understand how users are interacting with that, with the system, a good visual way of doing it. Now that the product is a little bit more stable, we do it primarily through event tracking. We have sufficient fidelity in our events to understand what's happening, where the drop offs are, when people. Where people are getting stuck. So that journey mapping has been an important growth tool for us.

Demetrios:

Where is one place that people are getting stuck that you did not expect? And it came as a surprise to you.

Siddharth Sinha:

One of the things that is a problem in some sense is that people compare us primarily to self use tools, which essentially require them to sit and fiddle with the imagery or with the content, rather than essentially describing what they want and just press go, for example, or press play in some sense. So that's been the sort of journey switch that we'd wanted to make as obvious as possible to sellers. But that's something that has been a bit of a challenge because it's not something that they're used to. And every other tool or content creation tool is a sit and tinker journey, which is not where we want our sellers to be.

Demetrios:

Yeah, because it's basically like reiterating that value prop and reiterating the experience for the users so that they understand.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah. So that's been a customer educating or education journey that I think we could have done better in the first go, but that's something that's a bit better now.

Demetrios:

Well, it feels like people won't believe you when you say that. Oh, yeah. You just upload the photo?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, it's quite a different journey. They've been used to coordinating with photo studios and having products pulled out of warehouses, shipped out to get imagery taken. So all of that gets in some sense goes away, because with our mobile app, you can actually do the product photography anywhere. Your product doesn't have to leave the.

Demetrios:

Warehouse, and so you can have somebody at your warehouse be taking those photos.

Siddharth Sinha:

So actually, when we launched, our first version of the app was in COVID, and India was under severe lockdown at that time. And some of our early pilot customers, they were stuck because they couldn't get anybody into their warehouses to do the product photography. So they just actually, the security guards in the warehouses did the photo shoots.

Demetrios:

They didn't realize how valuable they were. So you've been doing this since COVID How were you doing it before the advent or the explosion of large language models and diffusion models?

Siddharth Sinha:

Yes, initially, where we had focused primarily on white background imagery and the initial listing imagery that was required. So that was our first product that went out, which was essentially a photography app tailored for product photography. So it essentially guided users. It still does guide users through the entire photography journey. If you're selling handbags, it'll tell you which angles to click. Shows you how to orient the camera, whether the lighting is correct, all of that is it's a guided photo shoot so that anybody can actually pick up the phone and get professional quality outcomes from it.

Demetrios:

Hence the name do my shoot. Now it all makes sense.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, that's how it started.

Demetrios:

So basically you have a professional director or creative director that is helping you along the way.

Siddharth Sinha:

So there it was a lot more CNN and GaN models to do the background removal, to do the image enhancements, draw the shadows, all of that. So AI was a different set of tools, but still very useful.

Demetrios:

And now are you plugging directly into Amazon so that people can just say, all right, looks good, upload it, or are you giving someone a file?

Siddharth Sinha:

No. So we do both. So you can actually sync directly to your Amazon seller panel. So for all of your listing content, you can do that. And there are a couple of pieces that are missing there that we're adding in, or you could download what's called a CSV file, because sometimes what happens with these sellers is they actually are so used to doing this through CSV is they actually like to see the CSV file before they upload, make any corrections, changes. So we do both. We give set of options to do both.

Demetrios:

Well, I'm excited for what you are doing and I actually, it makes me want to start my own Amazon shop because it seems like it's way easier than I remember it. When I looked at it in like 2014, I tried to go through some courses and was like, woof, man, this is difficult at least.

Siddharth Sinha:

But now at least the content piece we have you sorted for the product.

Demetrios:

Discovery and figuring out what I want to sell.

Siddharth Sinha:

Probably that's another thing you're on your own for.

Demetrios:

Yeah, I got to figure that out on my own. That's good. And then the whole way of getting people to buy it, I think you add a lot of value there. But you're not necessarily helping me with Facebook ads.

Siddharth Sinha:

So we do. Ad management is not something that we are doing. That's something that our longer term goal is. Really think of us as a replacement for a full service digital marketing agency. So not just to help you create the content, but essentially also let you know what kind of content you should be doing. What should be your cadence for your social media posting, what kind of posting should you be doing? Because with these large language models, they can automatically monitor your competitors. They can see what's happening in your space. They can tell you what kind of content is working, what's not working.

Siddharth Sinha:

So build all of that intelligence into the platform.

Demetrios:

Wow. You just gave me such a good idea of something that I hadn't thought about as a use case with llms, and that is aggregating all of your competitors social media posts and then giving reports or giving status updates to someone, the boss and saying, here's what your competitors have been doing. Here's what's been.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah. And what kind of traction, you know, different topics are getting.

Demetrios:

Yeah, different topics. What's been most powerful, what's gotten the most traction? I had not thought of that before, but that is so cool. And that feels like a fun weekend project to build a nice little rag and constantly be pulling from different sources and say, what are the competitors doing? Or what are they posting on their different social accounts? And even looking potentially at their ad accounts and saying, what kind of ads are they running? It's like getting insights because I do that, and I know I have a lot of friends that do that manually. Right. You're going into the Facebook ads library and you're checking.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah.

Demetrios:

What's happening, what's working, what's not how can I be inspired from this? What can I take from other people? And it may not even be in my industry, but it's, like, in what I'm trying to do. Like, if someone's trying to put on a conference and it's, let's say it's like a pickleball conference, you don't necessarily need to be looking at what all the other pickleball conferences are doing as far as advertising. But you can get an idea on what are people advertising who are putting on conferences, and how are they going about it on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever platform of your choice. TikTok I like it a lot, and I'm excited to see where it goes. Thank you for doing this. Siddhartha.

Siddharth Sinha:

Yeah, great talking to.