PickFu Dives Deep Into Their Market Research Platform



Another Friday Feedback has come and gone.  

On April 12th, 2019 our own Andrew Maff sat down with PickFu Director of Marketing, Kim Kohatsu. They discussed how their platform is allowing e-commerce sellers to easily gain market research in imagery, logos, copy and much more.

Join us every Friday at 3 PM EST as we go LIVE on our Instagram page with the e-commerce industry experts and top sellers that you want to hear from! --



Follow along with pickfu

Kim Kohatsu: 
So PickFu is basically a survey software. But unlike, basically just any kind of software that just builds forms, what we do is we actually bring people to respond to your surveys for you. So in the context of eCommerce, you can pull things, like for Amazon for instance, which brand names you like better. And you can say, "I want to ask 50 women." Or, "I want to ask 50 homeowners." Or, "I want to ask 50 dog owners", and we can actually bring those people to you. And what's going to happen is you can say, "okay. Do you like this one better, or this one better?" And not only will they vote, but they will write a comment explaining their vote. So you can see both qualitative and quantitative feedback about which of your creative options performs the best.

Kim Kohatsu:  So what's great about it is you can really test any kind of creative idea. So you can test a business name, or you can test packaging ideas, or a logo design, or any kind of landing page headline, or really anything you can think of. You can get it in front of 50 to 500 people in an instant, and get your results back very, very quickly. And the nice thing, too like I mentioned, you can really define what that audience looks like. So if you have a very specific customer niche, we can help you reach those people to bring you unbiased feedback.

Andrew Maff:  So, first immediate red flag, I'm sure you guys get these questions all the time, is when ... how do you make sure that the people you're getting answers from aren't just trying to mess with you? Because it's the internet, and no one trusts the internet.

Kim Kohatsu:  That is a great question. We actually spend a lot of time on quality control. And so we have a lot of internal processes in place to screen people out who don't, or may not take your question seriously. And so, we do a lot of work on the backend to make sure those people never get to your poll. But we also have quality controls after you submit your questions. So for instance, if you really think that an answer is inappropriate or wasn't serious, you could flag that and we can take actions on our side to make sure that person doesn't come back and what have you. So we've actually spent a lot of time on those quality controls and you can take a look at other people's polls to get a sense of the quality of our answers. But I think you'll find that the people that come to answer the polls are very thoughtful. And I think what they reveal is always very interesting for the people that are running polls.

Andrew Maff:  So, forgive me I can't remember his name, I met you guys at Prosper.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah. Justin [crosstalk]

Andrew Maff:  Justin, thank you. That was it. And so, I remember talking to him. The most interesting thing was, and so you guys didn't originally start out trying to get into eCommerce, it just kind of fell on your plate.

Kim Kohatsu:  That's right.

Andrew Maff:  The big benefit, at least at that show, obviously there's a ton of other benefits to it. But the biggest benefit that we saw was like Amazon sales, you can't AB test anything. You just throw it up and you just kind of hope it works. So, we spoke with them about AB testing different images and things like that to see which one would be more enticing to purchase and all that. Which I thought was great. I'm like, "That's amazing that you guys built out this company and then found an entire industry you didn't even think about going into."

Andrew Maff:  So in laymens, it's a online market research, right?

Kim Kohatsu:  Exactly. And the best part about it, I think, is you're right. I mean, there are softwares out there that can help you split test your Amazon listings, right? But the problem with those kinds of tests is, number one, they take a long time. You've got to get like 1,000 clicks or hundreds of clicks to your listings in order to get any data. What we do is we provide something that's very fast. Most of our polls complete in about 15 minutes.

Kim Kohatsu:  The other thing is if you're going to try to do a live test, in order to get sort of that critical mass of clicks, usually you've got to pay for ads, right?

Andrew Maff:  Yeah.

Kim Kohatsu:  You've got to drive paid Amazon PPC ads to your listing. This takes place outside of the Amazon marketplace and so you can really just get it in front of 50 to 100, 200, 500 people and say, "What do you think?" And you can get your data back very quickly.

Kim Kohatsu:  The other thing, is because you're saving on the ads and everything, that tends to be a less expensive option. The other thing that I would say, is that if you are doing a live test, obviously you can get click through rates, and you can get data like that. But you don't get the written comment. You don't get the people saying, "You know what? This is confusing to me." Or, "I didn't get X, Y, or Z." Or, "I really like this color over that color." So all of those things are kind of, benefits that we bring by being outside of that live setting.

Kim Kohatsu:  The other thing too, is if you're doing a live test on your product, and let's say your new version of whatever performs worse than your old version, than that's lost revenue. So that's a risk you take when you do those kinds of tests. And so, what's nice about what we do is it's something that you can do before your product goes live, or if you product is live, than you can test to see if the changes you think about making will help and getting a sense of, "Okay. I have a good sense that this is going to do better. This is going ... people kind of respond better to this one over that one." So, all of those things are a little bit different running surveys with PickFu versus doing those live tests.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. So, to speak to Amazon specifically, I think another one of those problems too is that those softwares, I don't use any of them, because mainly we find people shop differently on different days. So some of the software's like, "Okay. We'll change it every other day." Like, great but my Saturday is much worse than my Sunday. So now my data's skewed. And then you also have the issue of when you push a listing, even if you do it yourself, Amazon goes through ridiculous amounts of whether it actually goes live or not. So sometimes the problem there too, is you don't even know if it actually switched. You can't even really tell.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yes. And the results really tend not to be definitive, I find.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah.

Kim Kohatsu:  Whereas when you [crosstalk]

Andrew Maff:  Oh, kind of.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah, exactly. Right? It's like, "Oh, there was a little bit of a difference." But I find that in polling, people are very clear about their preferences. I mean, I was just looking at a poll today, right, where it was for a fitness band. And what we found was that women and men reacted very differently to these two product images being tested. So, men definitely liked, "Oh, I like the sexier picture." Women were actually very turned off. So if you discover an insight like that, maybe that helps you determine, "Okay. How do I market this product? Is it for women? Is it for men?", etcetera. So I feel like you uncover a lot of things outside of just which photo should I use? Or which brand name should I use? You kind of start to discover how to message your product and really what your target customer is.

Andrew Maff:  I know doing like an actual classic Mad Men style market research can cost like thousands of dollars to have 20 people sit in a room for an hour and tell you what it's like. Now I know they're not sitting around answering questions for an hour, but still. How does a pricing work for something like that?

Kim Kohatsu:  Okay. So, yeah. It's funny that you mentioned the Mad Men style [crosstalk]

Andrew Maff:  That's what I always think of.

Kim Kohatsu:  Focus group. Because I used to work in advertising. I had to sit behind the mirror.

Andrew Maff:  I want one of those mirrors so bad.just to say that we have one.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah. Exactly. So, the way that it works on PickFu is we have a number of different plans, and pricing tiers. But to answer your question, at a starting level, you're looking at $50. And for $50 you will get 50 responses from basically what we call a general audience. Meaning, the first 50 people who respond to your poll will then respond to your poll. And so you kind of get a mixed bag of women, men, age groups, and what have you. It's kind of a first come, first serve. So that is basically the base product.

Kim Kohatsu:  Now you can add more people. For instance, if you want to poll 100 people instead of 50 people you can do that. You can also more clearly define who you want to poll. So, you could do things like, "I only want to poll college graduates." Or, "I only want to poll vegetarians." Or, "I only want to poll people who drink coffee." We have a lot of different sort of demographic and behavioral traits that you can use. And those will all change the pricing slightly. And as you build your poll, it's only going to take you a minute or so, but as you build it, you'll see the pricing calculator update based off of how many people you're polling, the kinds of options you use, and how many options you're testing.

Kim Kohatsu:  So it tends to be different based on your needs, but it starts at $50.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. Yeah. Still, it's 50 bucks.

Kim Kohatsu:  Exactly.

Andrew Maff:  Like for some of the stuff, like brand name testing or logo testing, that's stuff that you usually pay like thousands of dollars for sit in a room and get some guy to tell you about it. So how truly specific can you actually get with demographic? Like how narrowed down can I actually get so that I'm hitting as close to my target audience as possible?

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah. So the way that we work it is, we have kind of a lot of parameters that you can use that are obvious, right? Men, women, age groups, education, things like that. One of the things that is particularly useful, I think, for Amazon sellers is you can also target just Amazon Prime members. So people who have an Amazon Prime membership.

Andrew Maff:  There you go.

Kim Kohatsu:  So that's actually a really great option for our Amazon sellers. Now, the way that we do it is, you can actually add up to four demographic traits. So let's say, for instance, you want to do female, Amazon Prime members, that would be two. Right? If you want to narrow it even more you could add an age group, you could add whatever else we've got. But, the caveat I would give is obviously, the more you specify the smaller the universe of people we'll have in our respondent pool to get to you. So we say, most polls complete in 15 minutes or less and that's true. But if you're going to get very specific, than it's going to take a little bit longer. [crosstalk]

Andrew Maff:  Take longer.

Kim Kohatsu:  And it's going to cost more. But we've got all of those targeting kinds of behaviors in there and it's just really interesting. You can mix and match based off of what you need. But I found, kind of as a bang for your buck kind of thing, people love just polling Amazon Prime members.

Andrew Maff:  How big of a list do you guys have right now of people that are part of your poll?

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah. I mean, we've got thousands. But again, we don't just take anybody. We take the time to do a lot of quality control. And so we do screen these people. We do have backend sort of quality controls. But the list is extensive. And I've run polls, for instance, where I have polled married women, and something like that with two traits, right? Married and women, it still took less than an hour. So, it's a large pool, but obviously the more specific you get, the smaller and smaller the circle's going to ...

Andrew Maff:  Can you request ... so if I said married women, right? I would get 50 people if I did the minimum. But I can do more, right? If I said married women but I want to do 500 of them.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yep.

Andrew Maff:  Right?

Kim Kohatsu:  Yep.

Andrew Maff:  That's awesome.

Kim Kohatsu:  And if for some reason we can't meet the demand, for some reason there's ... obviously [crosstalk]

Andrew Maff:  There's not enough people. Yeah. Awesome. So I'm sure you know I love keeping these short and sweet and straight to the point. So, obviously I really appreciate you doing this with me.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah.

Andrew Maff:  I would love if you would kind of give just some closing remarks. Let everyone know where they can find out more about PickFu.

Kim Kohatsu:  Definitely. So again, I assume that most of you guys watching are eCommerce sellers. And so, I would definitely encourage you to check out Pickfu.com/eCommerce. You'll see a bunch of examples where eCommerce sellers just like you tested things like their product names, their product images, their descriptions. And one nice thing too, is that before you commit to inventory you can actually run polls based off of which design do you like? Which color do you like? So, if you're thinking about what product options to even offer, that's something great you can do by testing mock ups before you actually go into production. So I think all of those applications are very useful for ecom.

Andrew Maff:  That's awesome. Much appreciated. Thank you so much. Obviously, anyone who sees this now or sees this later on YouTube or on our blog or all that fun stuff, feel free to ask any questions. I'll send them over to PickFu and make sure we get everyone covered. But, I really appreciate you doing this with me.

Kim Kohatsu:  Yeah of course.

Andrew Maff:  I'm sure you guys will hear from me soon, because I can already think of like 10 things that I just want to like send out.

Kim Kohatsu:  Wonderful.

Andrew Maff:  But, I really appreciate it. Thanks so much. Enjoy your Friday, all right?

Kim Kohatsu:  All right.

Andrew Maff:  Have a good one.

Kim Kohatsu:  Bye.

Andrew Maff:  Bye.

New call-to-action



Gain access to our exclusive list of top rated events for e-commerce sellers


Get E-Commerce News Right To Your FB Inbox!