In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, merchants are always looking for ways to improve customer engagement and retention. Recharge has filled that gap by offering subscriptions as a retention strategy that comes with predictable revenue, brand loyalty, and a relationship with customers that extends beyond transactional interactions. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some case studies from well-known merchants and what they’ve done with their subscriptions to improve their businesses and increase customer loyalty.

Key takeaways

  • Offer a customized experience to attract and retain your ideal customers.
  • Stand out from the crowd with a unique experience, like with a landing page or customized checkout flow.

Customization is key

A key theme in the strategy for optimization of established brands is customization. Ballsy, Native, and Who Gives a Crap have all moved towards offering customization as a tool for acquisition and cultivating brand loyalty. In the highly competitive ecommerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) space, being able to offer a tailored experience to customers can help set your business apart from the rest.

Ballsy built a subscriber base with custom subscriptions

Ballsy revamps their subscription flow to allow customers to custom build their own subscription.

Ballsy is a men’s personal care brand that was started by Adam Hendle in 2017. Hendle was inspired to create a line of products that addressed the issues men face in their below-the-belt areas. After launching, Ballsy quickly sold out of all its units in just 24 hour, and as the brand grew, they decided to focus on subscriptions as a key offering and scale the service.

Ballsy partnered with Alpha Omega Agency to build out a brand new subscription flow. The new flow allowed customers to custom build their own subscription by exploring different product categories and selecting the products that best suit their needs. The new product pages break down each product, show the customer how much they save by subscribing, and clarify that they get free shipping. In just the first 14 days of launching the new subscription flow, Ballsy saw a 55% daily increase in new subscribers and a 30% increase in the total number of subscriptions.

Native uses Customer Portal customizations to drive lifetime value

Native uses a customized customer portal to address key metrics like acquisition and lifetime value.

Native came to BVA to migrate their website to Shopify Plus and to create a customer portal that would help them increase subscription adoption, mitigate churn, and increase average order value. BVA helped Native create a fully custom and responsive dashboard that delivered a premium and innovative experience to online shoppers. 

To grow their average order value, Native used Recharge’s One-Time Products feature that allowed customers to add singular products on top of their recurring order. They also decreased the default subscription frequency for customers to tackle the number one cause of subscription cancellations, resulting in an increase in customer lifetime value. BVA has helped Native identify new opportunities to improve their customer experience and provided actionable analytics to track the success of their new features.

Who Gives A Crap grew subscriptions by customizing messages for local markets

Who Gives a Crap uses data to customize their communication with customers.

Who Gives a Crap is an Australian company that produces eco-friendly and plastic-free toilet paper, paper towel, dream clothes, and bamboo tissues. They donate 50% of their profits to building toilets and improving sanitation globally, and their product ships in bulk every 8, 12, or 16 weeks. 

To ensure that every customer receives the correct amount of product on the right schedule, Who Gives A Crap built a customer portal to provide subscribers with maximum flexibility, allowing them to easily skip or delay their shipments. They also partnered with Klaviyo to send subscribers an upcoming order email three days before the next billing and to customize their communication for localized markets.

By integrating Klaviyo, Who Gives A Crap leverages data to deliver relevant messages at optimal times. They adjust delivery times based on where customers live, resulting in a 75% open rate from notifications, and 30% of their customers access their accounts monthly via Klaviyo sent emails. Of these customers, 20% utilize quick actions to make instant adjustments to their subscription. By personalizing communication, Who Gives A Crap encourages subscribers to actively engage with their orders. Over the last two years, their program has grown 250%, and with each order, Who Gives A Crap is helping to build a more equitable world.

The alternatives

What other options are available out there to differentiate yourself in the market? Apart from offering an alternative product like oat milk, you can also provide a different experience. This might sound similar to customization, but while customization seeks to tailor to a specific group, offering an alternative experience seeks to stand out overall. Oatly and Hubble are two merchants who have done just that.

Oatly offers subscriptions for convenience, but without a discount

Oatly uses a subscription landing page to drive customers to subscribe without offering the traditional discount.

Oatly, a Swedish-based oat milk company, wanted to create a direct-to-consumer subscription model in the US to offer customers an environmentally conscious and tasty milk alternative. The company partnered with Netalico, an agency with experience scaling a subscription business, to create a seamless online store experience that allowed subscribers to manage their subscription and purchase additional products as they pleased.

The challenges for Oatly included raising brand and product awareness for their ecommerce platform, overhauling their Customer Portal, and creating a value proposition that offered customers convenience and value outside of traditional discount strategies. Recharge helped Oatly address these challenges by implementing a dedicated Oatly Subscriptions landing page, answering common subscriber inquiries upfront, and allowing subscribers to manage the timing of their subscription with ease.

As a result of these updates, Oatly saw a 188% increase in monthly recurring revenue and a significant rise in lifetime value without offering discounts. The company was able to double their number of subscribers within three months, and customers felt empowered to manage their own subscriptions.

Hubble scaled to over 200k subscribers on Recharge

Hubble is a contact lens brand that sells directly to consumers through an ecommerce, subscription-only model. They offer FDA-approved daily contact lenses delivered to customers’ doorsteps at an affordable price. To optimize conversions, they eliminated the cart pages and created a one-page checkout for subscriptions that creates a cart with JavaScript and also uses a completely separate API to access a doctor’s information for prescription verification. 

As a result, Hubble gained more than 17,000 customers and processed over 600 orders daily within three months of implementing Recharge. They can now monitor email campaigns and assess how they affect retention, and they produced a retention report using Recharge’s API.

By implementing Recharge, Hubble saw a massive lift in daily orders and customer acquisition, increasing their run rate by $1 million monthly. Hubble is now on its way to becoming the fastest-growing contact lens brand in the country, with a goal to make contact lenses affordable and convenient for consumers.

Offer a unique experience

At the end of the day, what these merchants have in common is that they offer a unique experience to their customers. This could be achieved by customizing their offerings to target audiences or by standing out from what other merchants are offering. Depending on the stage of growth of your business, casting a wide net may not yield results that make a difference in your key focus areas. Learn from the best and use your data to your advantage to offer the most optimized experience for your ideal customers


[1] Direct-to-consumer (Recharge ecommerce glossary)

[2] Confessions of a consumer: Know thy customer to boost brand loyalty (Recharge blog post)