Episodes > Season 3 Episode 16

ChargeX Hit Subscribe podcast cover art (part 1)

Conversations at ChargeX with SUBTA, BattlBox, Malomo and Rebuy

What's in this episode?

In early May Recharge hosted ChargeX, the global ecommerce subscription conference that connects merchants, agencies, and tech partners to delve into industry insights, predictions, and best practices.

Hit Subscribe recorded several mini episodes over the three day event brought to you here in this podcast! In this four part conversation we chat with SUBTA about proactive retention strategies, BattlBox about the difference between Partners and Vendors, Malomo about turning a cost center into a marketing channel and Rebuy about cross-sells and upsells.

Connect with Chris George on LinkedIn.
Connect with John Roman on LinkedIn.
Connect with Noah Rahimzadeh on LinkedIn.
Connect with Aaron Roper on LinkedIn.

So let's get to it!

Episode transcript

Chase Alderton: Welcome to Hit Subscribe, a podcast by Recharge, created to educate, inspire, and connect this subscription ecommerce space. We recently hosted Charge X 2022. Recharge is annual user conference, focused on the future of ecommerce, where we were able to sit down with merchants, partners, and industry veterans live on site, to hear their biggest learnings of 2022, and how they're strategizing for growth into the future. I'm your host Chase Alderton. So let's get into it. Chris, thank you so much for joining us.

Chris George: Of course, happy to be here.

Chase Alderton: Tell me a little bit about yourself, and a little bit about SUBTA.

Chris George: Yeah, so I'm Chris George, I'm the co-founder and chairman of SUBTA, the Subscription Trade Association. We have a great partnership with Recharge, so thank you again for all your support to SUBTA.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Chris George: We also run the large event Sub Summit, which I know you guys will be at, and that's where we bring together all the DTC subscription brands into one room for one event. And again, happy to be here at Charge X.

Chase Alderton: Awesome. So I know you have a topic that you're pretty high on right now you want to talk about, intro that for me.

Chris George: Yeah. So I feel like so many brands are so focused on acquisition, right?

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Chris George: And I'm a big retention guy. I think with retention it's sometimes it's more than just like, how do we keep the customer? Or how do we win them back? But being able to dive deep in the data and learn about, what are some proactive retention things we can do?

Chris George: So, we may look at somebody trying to cancel, we ask the reason why, we give them some offerings. What I want to dive deeper into is like, what do we do to prevent them from even getting to that stage? So somebody might say, well, I've got too much stuff. And then it's like, okay, well here's an option to pause, or here's a discount to stay on. How do we stop them from getting to the point where they're clicking 'let's cancel'?

Chris George: And so, I think what becomes really important and what brands need to do, is really dive into the data. And sometimes it's getting a data scientist or somehow doing it internally. I know we don't all have all the resources to do that, but the big brands do, and the smaller brands can solve this. And I think it's starting to take the demographics of the individuals based on certain... Like let's say we ran a marketing channel towards a certain demographic. Let's dive deep into like, what's the true LTV of that specific marketing campaign? Or that specific demographic?

Chase Alderton: So not an LTV as like a whole company or as a season more of like, what are we doing with just that one push?

Chris George: Yes. Or like this specific set of individuals. So, we might find out that on black Friday, because there's all these great deals, the LTV is so small there, right?

Chase Alderton: Right. Usually a lot of discounts.

Chris George: A lot of discounts, right. And as you probably know, I hate this whole discount codes, I talked about it earlier. But if we were to segment the data and know that, like this is just an example, that males 25 to 38 living in New York, with an average income of over 80,000 a year, tend to stay on for nine months on average, what can we do on month eight, to get them to stand on month 12? Now there's a lot of ways to think about it. Maybe all those individuals on month eight, I send them an offer to join annually at a 30% discount.

Chase Alderton: Okay. Speaking of discounts?

Chris George: Yeah, right. But in this case it's to increase LTV.

Chase Alderton: Because it's an annual contract, so it keeps you there a lot longer.

Chris George: Now they're there for 20 months. I just decreased churn and increased LTV from eight months to 20 months, that's a huge deal, right?

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Chris George: Or it's a situation where, maybe we need to include an extra item in that month's box. Or do we put a handwritten note, "Thank you so much for being with us for the last eight months. We appreciate all your support. Here's a token of our appreciation." That like maybe $5 incremental cost, or $30 discount on the annual is still far cheaper than what you're paying to acquire a brand new one. And so, those are some really good things I think brands can do to sort of help with the proactive retention. Look at when they're more than likely to cancel, and put some kind of offering to keep them going.

Chase Alderton: Very interesting. I think Recharge data shows it's between five and 25 times more expensive to acquire customer than is to at retain them.

Chris George: Insane.

Chase Alderton: Which is, I mean, fancy way of just saying, retention should be more top of mind than acquisition for a lot of these brands.

Chris George: That department should be just as big, right? If not big-

Chase Alderton: Exactly, especially with subscription brands.

Chris George: Yes.

Chase Alderton: Totally understand a lot of brands out there that do one time purchases you have to keep refilling the bucket, because as soon as they purchase once they're out. With subscriptions, obviously that retention element is built-in, but you still have to find ways to keep them there, and arguably, it's more important once they're already in there.

Chris George: Right. And I think too, like when you're enhancing the customer experience, like that's a huge way of helping with proactive retention as well. So, how quickly are responding to customers? What's that response time look like? If there's an issue, how are you handling it? We get caught up sometimes over a couple bad apple customers that are thinking of taking advantage of the system, like look, package is missing, it shows delivered, big deal, send another one. Enhance that experience. On social media, somebody tags your brand, somebody hashtags you, somebody in your team's got to go in there and comment back.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Chris George: That's enhancing that experience, that's a form of proactive retention. The brands that are transactional, they're the ones have the more likelihood of failing. Brands that enhance that experience think about proactive retention are seeing the most success.

Chase Alderton: Another thing you were talking earlier about on stage at Charge X is, this idea of using excess inventory. There's a lot of inventory issues going around right now, shipments either show up later, they don't show up at all, or sometimes there's too much inventory, whatever it is. Why can't you use that as a surprise and delight?

Chris George: 1000%.

Chase Alderton: You add that into additional box, you're talking month eight, bring that into month six. Try to boost the LTV a little bit earlier, whatever the data shows, but there's a lot of different ways to get creative. I think brands get stuck on the fact like, oh everyone's leaving at month eight, okay, what are you proactively doing, to make sure that doesn't happen?

Chris George: And even so like, use that inventory. So let's say the item it's a $30 value item and it costs you eight bucks.

Chase Alderton: Okay.

Chris George: If I was to give you 25% off to sign up, that might cost me 15 bucks or 10, but I'd rather you say, sign up today and get this $3 item for free, than a 20% off discount. Essentially it's cheaper for you. It moves that inventory, and you're getting more dollars in the first purchase from the customer, than one that looks for a discount. What does that do then? It gives you a higher quality consumer, less likely to cancel. So-

Chase Alderton: And you're offsetting your acquisition cost anyway, because that first purchase is actually profitable.

Chris George: When we were at gentleman's box when we had that business, when we shifted to our $99 a quarter subscription, so instead of 29 a month, it was 99 a quarter, essentially they're spending more. We were getting a higher quality consumer, LTV doubled, and acquisition... I'm sorry, LTV 4X and acquisition only doubled.

Chase Alderton: Is this like a scarcity play then? Making sure that people can only get this every quarter? Or-

Chris George: Yeah, it's quarterly, you had to apply, in order to get approved, in order to be in the system. And then also we were getting a higher... They were willing to spend 100 on first purchase, a very different consumer than the one that wants to spend 15, yeah more [inaudible 00:07:12] income. Yes.

Chase Alderton: I spend $15 on accident every hour.

Chris George: Yes.

Chase Alderton: Yeah.

Chris George: Exactly.

Chase Alderton: $100, you have to go out and intentional.

Chris George: You're thinking about it, for 100 bucks you're like, okay... Even if you've got a ton of money, you're thinking about it. All right, do I need this for 100 bucks? And so all those things add up to proactive retention, and big advocate of it and more brands to focus on that, if they're going to really build their business, especially with what we talked about with iOS issues, according to customers is harder than ever. So let's focus on retaining them.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Chris George: Yeah. Cool.

Chase Alderton: I think that's really, really important. I appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.

Chris George: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Chase Alderton: John, thank you for joining.

John Roman: Thanks for having me, man.

Chase Alderton: Tell us a little bit about yourself and about Battlbox Carnival Club.

John Roman: Sure. John Roman co-founder CEO of Battlbox and Carnivore Club. We launched in February, 2015, made the mistake of launching on Cratejoy initially. But we finally came to our senses and we migrated a few years ago over to Shopify and Recharge.

Chase Alderton: Battlbox is one of our longest standing merchants at Recharge. So we're super pumped to have and have a great relationship.

John Roman: Are we really? I didn't know that.

Chase Alderton: One of the longer ones, yeah.

John Roman: Wow.

Chase Alderton: Yeah. Recharge started in 2014, we started to grow in scale in the '16s and '17s. And by the time you guys migrated, you were one of the earliest and longstanding.

John Roman: Yeah, because we were one of the first subscription boxes, because it was Subscribe and [Saveroy 00:08:33] for the most part before then.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely. Yeah, that was just becoming popular, so you were definitely one of the earlier ones, you get the title, early title. So today we're going to chat through actually kind of that whole idea about being longstanding partners, and being with one platform for so long. So I know that you write fairly frequently. And one of your recent posts that you wrote about, is about this idea of a vendor versus a partner. And I think that's super important when you talk to the platforms and when you talk about integrations and all this kind of things. So, I'll start there, and I'll let you kind of kick off the conversation.

John Roman: Sure. So it's as simple as that, right? Like a vendor is not necessarily a partner, and there's so many little variables besides just that the tech solution that matter. So Paul Hughes, he's our account manager at Recharge, and Paul is amazing. The calls we have with Paul, so we have a couple calls every month, we have a pre-renewal call, a post renewal call. And then, I think every other month we have a pure just strategy call. But on all the calls we're talking strategy, we're talking about what's working, what's not working. It's behavior like a partner, right? Like someone that actually fricking cares, right?

Chase Alderton: Yeah, we're investing in the future.

John Roman: But that's how it should be, right? Like your success is our success, and our success is your success.

Chase Alderton: Totally.

John Roman: If you have a new tech solution that can impact revenue where it goes up, that means we make more money, but you guys make more money too. So there's no reason to not be partner and be aligned, but you see so many companies that just don't do that, or it was a core part of their business initially and gotten that initial success, and then somehow through scale and growing, they lose that piece. And so we were talking about before we were recording right now, Clavio and MailChimp, and we've actually, we started with MailChimp went to Clavio, went back to MailChimp and now we're going back again. And MailChimp, anybody listening before you, like, how is this guy on MailChimp? It's fully custom built. We have an integration with Recharge that Praella built. Like it has all the segmenting we could ever want. So-

Chase Alderton: It's years in the making, this has been a long time.

John Roman: Yeah. So it runs very well. It's not like MailChimp, like most people would have, so it meets our needs. And they're a really example of a vendor, like nothing against them, that's their model. It's very self serve, figure it out. We were with them off and on now for six, seven years. And we've had two phone calls with them.

Chase Alderton: In seven years?

John Roman: In seven years. And those phone calls, really nice lady, it was the same lady both times, but like there was no value. She had done zero research to even understand like we were a subscription, or anything like that. Didn't ask any questions on like anything of importance.

Chase Alderton: Strategy-

John Roman: No, there was zero strategy.

Chase Alderton: Okay.

John Roman: And then you have the full pendulum swing the other way, like Paul, the calls we're talking about. So Paul is in a cool spot because he came from BVA, right?

Chase Alderton: Right.

John Roman: So he gets the agency side too. So we can have these high level strategic discussions where we're talking about our ad agency, we're talking about our affiliate agency, we're talking about all that, and he gets it, and he cares, and we're trying to come up with, how do we get subscriber account out, up. And it's those cool conversations. So at a surface level, that's the easiest way to separate a vendor from a partner. Are you having those strategic calls? Are you aligned? But then there's other parts that have value, so like Chase you and I, right? Like we saw each other in shop talk. We obviously saw each other here, other members of the team, [Hartag 00:12:44], Anna, like these are relationships where you're not directly in the day to day of our business. But as a partner, we've fostered relationships in different departments. And that kind of... That's the exception not the rule, that doesn't happen very often.

Chase Alderton: And that's what I was going to go to is like how important is just the peer relationship?

John Roman: I think it's very important right. At the end of the day, no vendor or partner is perfect. Mistakes happen on both sides, on the merchants side, on the Recharge, stuff is going to go wrong, it's the nature of tech. And having those relationships, everyone is on the same page, everybody wants to get it resolved, I think it's very important. And it's something that's often overlooked, but it's such an easy and beneficial to both side behavior. I ripped another vendor in that piece, which we won't go into too much detail, but it's another example. So you guys have scaled from when we first came to you guys, and you had a couple dozen team members to multiple 100 now, but you kept that core competency and belief, and part of y'all is like mantra as a business to be that partner. But then you see these companies that are scaling at a rapid pace too, where it just gets lost in the mix, and it becomes less important. And then when you don't have that, you're just a vendor, you're so easily replaceable. Like there's no stickiness.

Chase Alderton: Exactly. Purely being used for the product. If you figure out, hey, there's an issue here, what's next? It's very easy to just drop them, pick up a new vendor. Most businesses have competitors at this point.

John Roman: Everybody has a competitor. You have a competitor, I have a competitor, we all have competitors, and if you can't separate yourself and have that, just like when I spoke yesterday on stage, we were talking about community, and building community as a DTC brand. But as a B2B brand, it's the same thing. You're building that community. And when you have that community, like the stickiness, the retention. It's not even in our thought process to even... We're not looking at another option. Recharge is our partner, they care. It's just interesting to see, especially at an event like this, where there are a bunch of tech vendors, seeing them and being like, okay, they're just a vendor, they don't care.

Chase Alderton: We definitely appreciate the kind words I know you've been at Recharge a long time. I'm not paying you or forcing you to say this, let's get that on the record here.

John Roman: That is confirmed.

Chase Alderton: So, let's maybe dig into a little bit of like how you become a partner, and how you kind of avoid just being a vendor. What are the things that you think some of these vendors are just missing? Is it just relationships? Is it like a really quality product? Is it all the above? How do you build that sustainable relationship?

John Roman: So, we have some vendors where it's a really quality product. Like it's a good product, and there's some stickiness when a product is just good. But if there's Apple's to Apple's product that's very similar and they're saving money, it doesn't matter if it's just the product. So how do you build it? I think it starts, and just to clarify, I think it's only vendor partners where the merchant is spending, probably it's a dollar amount, where you would expect that. You could argue it's 500 a month, it's probably 1000 a month or over, where like you want a partner where you expect it to be a partnership.

Chase Alderton: At least sort of measurable revenue I think, I mean, depends on size of the business-

John Roman: Right, it's relative.

Chase Alderton: ... should be a higher number than the other smaller brands.

John Roman: Exactly. But having some sort of regularity and cadence with communication, proactive versus reactive. I think after we already mentioned MailChimp, so I'll say it again, it's a very reactive, both times we had phone calls with them, is because we needed help with something.

Chase Alderton: Something got wrong.

John Roman: Something was broken and we needed to figure it out, while the flip side I'll Churn Buster, [Wonder Can 00:16:58], I'll talk about some other partners we have, instead of just talking about how great you guys are, but there's other partners, Churn Buster is a good example of it. They're having a regular cadence of communication with us. Even if it's not scheduled, it might be schedule in there, and where there's a touch point. They're saying something, listening your customers, coming with new products. I'll go back to you guys again with this closed beta of the predictive churn tool. It's such a cool product, and you guys are wanting to listen to the customers, and get feedback so you can make tweaks to it, so when you roll it out to everybody it's a great product. That's what a partnership does. So I think it's product roadmap, it is relationship, it's regular cadence of calls.

John Roman: I think a good test is when something does go wrong, because something will go wrong with every relationship. How fast is it resolved? And not only that, but like how quickly are people on it. And I think that's where a partnership excels. Something happens, that's unavoidable and breaks. How quickly is the team coming together and figuring it out?

Chase Alderton: And I might even add, how many steps or are there steps being taken to avoid that happening again in the future.

John Roman: Correct.

Chase Alderton: Going back to your proactive approach, full break and you have to be reactive to the points, but how proactive are you going to be to make sure that doesn't happen again?

John Roman: Exactly.

Chase Alderton: Very cool. Parting advice. I think I have an idea of where you're going to go with this, but is there an exercise you would recommend on looking back at your vendors and trying to figure out, what your vendors, what your partners, which have great relationships, which don't?

John Roman: I mean, I think if you're listening this and you're wondering like, what category are they in, your vendors, you already know.

Chase Alderton: They're a vendor.

John Roman: You know, right? If you don't know, they're a vendor, because partnerships are real, partnerships are special, and you know when you have one, 100%.

Chase Alderton: We're happy to be partners with you. I appreciate your time. Thanks John.

John Roman: Cool man. Thanks.

Chase Alderton: Noah. Thank you for joining us.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Thanks for having me super excited to be here, and enjoying the Santa Monica weather, it's hard to beat.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely. Tell us a little bit about yourself and about Malomo.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Sure. So yeah, I'm Noah Rahimzadeh, I am heading up our partnerships program now at Malomo, as we just talked about four weeks in or so, so fairly new to the game, but I've been tracking Malomo for a very long time. I actually started a company out of school called Safekeeping, as health IT company that basically allows family members who have loved ones in long term care facilities, get daily updates on the health and lifestyle of their aging family members.

Chase Alderton: Interesting, so not new to the whole tech world then.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Not new to the tech world, but it kind of came full circle to me because the founders of Malomo were running a development shop at the time, and they actually built our wireframes and our early MVP for our product. So, I've known Yaw and Anthony, the co-founders of Malomo for seven or eight years now. Knew about Malomo before they even had a name for it, and been following very closely. So when I left my company Safekeeping, I have a co-founder who runs that day to day now. I went on to spend the last five or six years or so on the enterprise MarTech side of business, so always in partnerships there. And as Malomo has continued to scale and grow, I've followed along closely. And luckily happy to be here, timing worked out well, and so now I'm four or five weeks into the new gig.

Chase Alderton: Love it. So give us kind of the low down on Malomo then, what's what's the value prop there?

Noah Rahimzadeh: Yeah, absolutely. So Malomo is an order tracking platform, basically, the goal that we set out for is to turn what historically has been the cost center of shipping products to consumers on the B2B or B2C side, from a cost center to a highly profitable and engaging marketing channel. So we basically give brands back the control they've sort of lost in this direct to consumer world. So rather than going to a FedEx or UPS landing page when you're going to track your package. We power branded tracking pages that increase not just brand awareness and education around products that are being sent to customers, but also driving lifetime value, repeat purchases, cross-sell, up-sell, and subscriptions.

Chase Alderton: So Malomo is a super cool one that I've been intrigued with for a while, because we always talk about, or I guess personally, I have been talking about additional ways to drive value for the customer in like creative and unique ways. Like everyone obviously has landing pages and the customer portal, and while those are important, finding those unique creative ways to drive more value, is insanely important. Unboxing experience is one of my favorites. Nobody records the unboxing experience, the actual box itself, putting handwritten notes, things like that inside the packages, those go such a long way. I think this tracking page is such a genius idea that I don't know why this wasn't built sooner, but it makes so much sense.

Noah Rahimzadeh: I tend to agree with you, right.

Chase Alderton: It's such a cool spot to just add value again. What are some of the kind of things you've seen, built on those pages?

Noah Rahimzadeh: Yeah, absolutely. So I think two or three key areas why brands reach out to us, one is they're experiencing a lot of WestBow tickets, a lot of where are my order tickets? We help with that by sending more proactive and personalized shipment tracking notifications throughout the entire post-purchase journey. So from the time an order is purchased with that order confirmation email, to the time that it arrives at the door, and we can even send follow up emails later in the journey to ask for feedback and things like that. So one, cut down on those WestBow tickets. We've seen up to a 50% in reduction in customer support tickets from the WestBow support, which is obviously tremendous value. But while we're doing that, we're also, like I mentioned earlier, providing educational content, brand awareness.

Noah Rahimzadeh: So especially when you think about more nuanced products, like Caraway is a great example, customer of ours. Caraway is not going to be driving, hopefully, actually not a ton of repeat purchases after they sell very high class cookware material. But what they found is, because it's a newer product, it's built a little bit differently, a lot of customers were having trouble when they wash their pans like they normally would, and we're actually ruining the quality of the pan.

Chase Alderton: Oh, interesting.

Noah Rahimzadeh: So Caraway uses us actually, not just to drive lifetime value brand awareness, but more so actually to drive educational content so that customers know what to expect when their order arrives, and how to properly care for it so that they get the most bang for their buck, and longest use.

Chase Alderton: So something like on that landing page just like, hey, your order is going to be here in X amount of days or whatever, like just to get ready before it comes, here's how you treat the pan, here's how you clean it, things like that.

Noah Rahimzadeh: That's exactly right.

Chase Alderton: So it's a proactive education.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Exactly.

Chase Alderton: On another wise would've been a boring brown and white UPS page.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Exactly. And then the other major kind of pain point that we drive is just opening up this, like I said, cost center that brands had no control over to a revenue driving channel. And we do that through cross-sell, upsells and things like subscription. So obviously, we have integrations with the leading players in the space, like obviously Recharge. We also have a great integration with Rebuy, so we can power personalized product recommendations in those post-purchase emails. So let's say I bought a shirt, an outwear brand might show me, okay, every... Or, we are seeing a lot of people who bought this specific shirt also by these pants.

Chase Alderton: Totally.

Noah Rahimzadeh: And that's a great sort of Rebuy use case. And then for the long tail of customer lifetime value, which you were talking with Brandon this morning on the D to Z podcast, and Brandon and Electric marketing are great partners of ours as well. So...

Chase Alderton: Likewise.

Noah Rahimzadeh: ... love sort of the ecosystem coming together, but subscription is huge, and so we can basically build out flows based on the status of each unique customer that a brand is serving. So for example, if I'm a subscriber and you're not a subscriber, Chase, what we can do is send, basically build out of the box unique flows to target us based on where we're at in that customer journey. So for me, because I'm a subscriber, we're not going to show me sign up for our subscription program and here are the benefits, they're going to show me new product offerings, maybe even offer me because I'm a loyal customer, a sneak peek at stuff that the other customers aren't seeing. Whereas for you, we obviously want to get you in the subscription program, so that's the first thing we're going to show you in the post purchase experience.

Chase Alderton: Some sort of here's your value, this is why you would want to subscribe, pick the timeline, all that kind of stuff.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Exactly. Amongst other things, like that educational content, maybe we throw some use of generated content in there to show that social proof. It's really... We gave our brands the control to do what they want on those landing pages, that's kind of the whole point, because the logistics companies have kind of taken that away by offering their own instance of this. And so the whole idea is to give brands back that control, but just some ideas and use cases that we're powering.

Chase Alderton: That's super cool. And it's right on topic. Some of the sessions at Charge X have been talking about this idea of continually building a brand. And there's a lot of stuff going on in the world obviously, supply chain issues, like the shipping issues, there's a ton of crazy things happening, but instead of focusing on those issues, you should always be constantly trying to build your brand and grow the brand. So this is just one more place that you can continue to put, like you were saying, the educational pieces, the upsell, cross-sales, like all of those kind of things continue to build the brand, keep the community strong. And then the shipping stuff is almost the back layer, even though it's really what it's built entirely around.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Right. Exactly. Yeah. It's interesting you say that, because, and most brands have no idea, but consumers check their packages almost five times on average per order.

Chase Alderton: That's crazy.

Noah Rahimzadeh: So if you're not taking advantage of those touchpoints, and making sure that's a branded and personalized experience, you're really sort of missing out on one of the most engaged aspects of the customer journey.

Chase Alderton: And it's a weird time too, not a weird time, it's a great time, but touchpoint is one of those buzzword, but it's worth diving into. When a customer is waiting for their package, they're so engaged, because all they want to do is-

Noah Rahimzadeh: Maybe the most engaged.

Chase Alderton: ... the package show up. Exactly. So it's such a great spot to have a high touch point, and again, not to use the buzzword, but taking advantage of that and showing content, or showing educational things, or putting high products, or really well recommended products in those spaces. It's such a great idea because that's where your customer's attention is highest.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Right. Absolutely. And on the flip side, customers don't come back if they have a bad shipment tracking experience.

Chase Alderton: Totally.

Noah Rahimzadeh: It's about 85% of customers won't come back after just one bad order experience. So, that's what we're sort of setting out to do, and again, the Recharge partnership is a huge, huge part of that. I actually have a question for you based on the podcast that I listened to this morning with you and Electric on D to Z. I'm curious when you have seen subscription signups be the most effective in terms of like, where in the customer journey is it? Do you recommend that brands sort of push subscription after the first purchase? Or is it sometimes later down the funnel of that customer life cycle?

Chase Alderton: I think as with all really tough questions, I think the answer is, it depends. And I think in this case, it depends on the product. I think that there are use cases for subscriptions that make absolute perfect sense upfront, things like protein powder, things like toothpaste, things like deodorant, those kind of things that you need and you use every single day, there really isn't a reason to wait and see, hopefully this person comes back a second time, and then we'll try to loop them into the subscription, that just makes perfect sense. When you have other creative use cases, t-shirts actually was one of mine. I subscribe to a brand called Woven and it's just t-shirts. And I go through t-shirts so often, I sweat a lot, surprisingly. But it didn't get me until I think the third or fourth purchase, because I went on and I got a red one, and I got a white one, and I got a black one and then I ruined my white one and I had to buy another white one, and was like, this actually makes a lot of sense.

Chase Alderton: Why don't I just stock up on some of these. I think kind of, sometimes it depends on the product, you have to figure out what makes a lot of sense for the customer, which is not the world's fantastic answer, but it depends on what you're selling and where your customers are.

Noah Rahimzadeh: Sure. Yeah. I think that's sort of like a fascinating intersection because obviously you want to ensure maximum lifetime value, right?

Chase Alderton: Totally.

Noah Rahimzadeh: You don't want to push something before the customers had a chance to really experience a brand, and know whether or not it's something that they're sort of signing up to build a relationship with you for indefinite period of time.

Chase Alderton: But it's kind of like saying, when is the right time to ask a girl out on a date? It's like, well, it kind of depends on a lot of things happening, like if it's going well upfront, yeah, maybe it's a good time to ask, if it's not, you maybe could have to kind of fill it out and use some other creative tactics. So that was a kind long shot of a metaphor there, hopefully that landed a little bit.

Noah Rahimzadeh: No, I love it. And I think the other cool thing about our partnership is a lot of times we'll sort of lean on one another when we bring on new customers, to figure out what is best for them as their unique brand and their unique offering.

Chase Alderton: Yeah, absolutely.

Noah Rahimzadeh: And so those partnerships in the ecosystem, obviously I'm a little bit biased, but something that I'm really, really excited about and appreciate you having me on man, this has been super fun.

Chase Alderton: Totally. Thanks for joining us, Noah.

Noah Rahimzadeh: All right. Thanks man.

Chase Alderton: Aaron, welcome.

Aaron Roper: Hey, good to be here.

Chase Alderton: Tell me a little bit about yourself and about Rebuy.

Aaron Roper: Yeah. I am the director of agency partnerships at Rebuy, until recently I was at Recharge as... Where I was there for a little over two years, and yeah, just love the space, love that.

Chase Alderton: Awesome. And you're at Rebuy now.

Aaron Roper: I'm in Rebuy now, yeah.

Chase Alderton: Because is Rebuy is pitch.

Aaron Roper: Rebuy is pitch, yeah. Well, it depends on who you're asking, but we're massaging the product marketing at the moment, but it's personalization through upsells and cross-sells, onsite and offsite. So anywhere that you want to create a personalized content or product focused experience for your customers, use Rebuy to power those experiences, all throughout the customer journey.

Chase Alderton: So a lot about what we're talking about at Charge X today is relationship focused. All the content's been really good so far, but when you talk about relationships, we're not talking strictly acquisition costs here, how does Rebuy continue to grow those relationships with these upsells, cross-sells?

Aaron Roper: Yeah, so what's really exciting is, when a brand is using Rebuy, they can, based off of customer profiles, knowing who the customer is, based off of like the actual customer themselves, or tags on the customer within Shopify, you're able to personalize their experience to them, also based off of where they're at, geolocation, where they came from in terms of the URL, if there's UTM parameters that are involved, so maybe an influencer campaign or a certain type of experience that kind of guided them through. That experience, being able to do more and more for the customer related to who they are and what their experience might be like is huge.

Chase Alderton: So you're meeting the customer where they are essentially not to use the buzz phrase, but that's been going on a lot, you want to make sure that the customer is ready to receive all the marketing that you're doing.

Aaron Roper: Yeah. So, I mean, imagine someone comes in to a store, we work with like 4,400 brands on Shopify right now, and a lot of them are Recharge customers, and the brands are coming in or a customer's coming into a brand, to look for a subscription product, and I just heard from like Bite Toothpaste in there on the panels. Say Bite was using Rebuy, they would be trying to find ways to surface the right product, to compliment the product that they're already searching for, to do a little bit of a cross sell or, or maybe like an upsell opportunity into like a larger pack or something like that. What's powerful about Rebuy, is the fact that you can be focused, not only on those product based interactions, but the customer based interactions, marry the two, carry that all the way through the journey, all the way to the post-purchase experience. And what's really also about Recharge is, Recharge has done a great job with Novum, and Prima, and Theme Engine, to be able to have this customer portal experience. It's very easy to manage subscriptions.

Aaron Roper: Rebuy now allows for customers to see recommended products within that customer portal for any Recharge merchant. So, like we're able to surface up product recommendations, literally anywhere a subscriber is going to be interacting with a brand, that's huge.

Chase Alderton: And I think Bite is a perfect example, because it's a really consumable product< they're like little toothpaste tablets. So, pop in your mouth, you bite them off, and they start to foam, you brush your teeth with them. So there's a lot of cross all opportunities there, cross-sell and upsell, because there's just a lot of routine surrounding that activity. So if you're talking toothbrushes, if you're talking mouth cleaning, or fluid, or any kind of that, those are all opportunities that you may be able to surface in the customer portal. You know there are obviously loyal customers because they're subscribing, and then you can show these different opportunities and kind of create that conversation, and continue the conversation, after purchase obviously, and all through their customer journey. Aaron Roper: Yeah. It's extremely powerful. And so, I mean, we're thrilled that we get that opportunity in the Recharge portal. We're thrilled that we get the opportunity to help brands take more control over their experience. I mean, we heard Chris George earlier talking about the fact that you got to build a brand, it's not transactional, you build a brand.

Chase Alderton: Absolutely.

Aaron Roper: Okay. That could be more true, and something like Rebuy being able to come in and be a partner alongside the merchant on that journey, it's huge.

Chase Alderton: What about the customer portal is super appealing to you? I mean, that's obviously the place where merchants come in, and I'm sorry, not merchants, customers come in and really own their subscription, everything from swap, skips, cancels, any of that kind of stuff. What do you see is super powerful about that? Is it a customization option? Is it just giving them the power? Is there an education piece in there that's super important?

Aaron Roper: Yeah. So, I mean, you're aware of this, Chase, is that some of the brands that are doing really well on Recharge are doing these customer portals that are very content like community focused. So I think about like Craft Gin Club back in the day, like their experience is very much about the customer experience. The ability of something like Rebuy to then come in, you're looking at your subscription, you're looking for maybe changing the next shipment date or the quantity or something like that, and then you see a very targeted, recommended product for you, language specific for you, the widget tailored to you. That experience is totally about the customer, it's not about some other person, it's not about some other experience, it's about them and what they need. And the merchant has the ability to build all of that using Rebuy and Recharge, it's huge.

Chase Alderton: So it's a huge customer relationship tool then? I mean, everything that a lot of people are building into Recharge and Recharge itself really, is all about generating customer relationships. But Rebuy will take that to the next level and kind of enhance that all throughout the customer journey.

Aaron Roper: Correct.

Chase Alderton: Aaron, any parting advice for brands who are starting to scale, and you're not allowed to pitch your product here.

Aaron Roper: Yeah. I really, really loved what the panel was talking about earlier today, which was, focus on optimizing for the business conditions that you're currently facing, but don't lose focus on your brand. So you focus on the ability to meet your supply chain needs, your customer acquisition needs, but you always keep that brand first and foremost, don't lose that, don't trade that out for something.

Chase Alderton: Because there will always be challenges, there's always things to face throughout the year seasonality, any of that kind of stuff, but keeping the emphasis on the brand is really the main focus.

Aaron Roper: Yeah, always going back to it, you have to.

Chase Alderton: Awesome. Very well said. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate your time.

Aaron Roper: Yeah. Thanks.

Chase Alderton: If you're looking for more of our episodes, check us out or getrecharge.com/hitsubscribe. And to get the latest episodes, remember to hit subscribe on whatever platform you're listening from.

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