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Blog/Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani is the cofounder and CMO of Obvi, one of the world’s fastest-growing health and nutrition brands. Since launching in 2019, Obvi has surpassed 250K customers globally while bootstrapping its way to $40m in sales in just 40 months. We sat down to discuss how subscription brands can maximize their Meta strategy.

Q: What do you see as the most important element or tactic to get a first-time prospective customer to convert on a subscription offer?

Ash: I think the subscribe and save model is dying. Most of the time brands are showing a 15% discount if they subscribe, but they also promote a 15% discount on their main pop up. So there really isn’t any incentive to hop on a subscription. 

What I do think brands need to do is offer value elsewhere. This can be in the form of free shipping on subscription orders, free gifts with subscription orders, or maybe even access to a private community for subscribers only. I have seen brands also outline certain things they unlock as they progress through their subscription and with Stay.AI a lot of this stuff is possible which is why we love working with this platform.

Q: Do you highlight subscription at all in your ads, or is that messaging saved for post-click? And how do you think about the full purchase journey as it relates to promoting subscriptions?

Ash: As of right now we don’t really highlight any mentions of subscriptions in our ads. The messaging in our ads are purely meant to target the right consumer and get them to our website. Then when it comes to landing on our website, that’s where we will do everything we can to sell the product and also give the customer an option for opting in to a subscription or not. We see brands force customers into a subscription and I don’t necessarily agree with this. If the product is good and the brand is relatable, people will naturally opt in if they see value. 

You can definitely use the tactics I mentioned before to highlight the benefits of subscribing on the first order but it’s not the end of the world. In fact I would be weary if you have too many people opt-ing into a subscription for their first order. It might mean you have too high of a discount that people are just taking advantage of. You may see this reflected by a high churn.

Q: Brands are seeing creative have a much higher impact on performance than targeting, calling creative the new targeting. How have you shifted paid social strategy alongside Meta’s constant platform changes and diversification?

Ash: Whether its a video or a static the main goal of our creatives is to do one thing and one thing only: make sure that I can get the RIGHT person to click on my ad and get to my landing page. Sounds obvious but a lot of people are still doing this wrong. They think Meta will do the heavy lifting for you and even while those days are gone, Meta still is king, you just have to give the algorithm better inputs.

Let’s take our static ads for example. Each ad has a massive headline on each one of them. Each headline has the job of attracting the eyeballs of the right person who we believe our product is the best fit for. If we’re able to get the right person to click and engage with our ad, Meta starts to see this as a positive signal and starts to show this ad to similar people. Now if those people start to convert on your landing page that’s an even better signal back to Meta showing them that this experience in general is a positive one and now they’ll start to optimize for the right audience and conversions.

So our entire creative strategy is based on getting the right people to our landing page and really optimizing our landing pages to increase conversion wherever possible.

Q: What unconventional strategies have you experimented with on Meta? Can you share examples of successful campaigns that utilized unique approaches that boosted conversions?

Ash: My whole approach when it comes to Meta, especially now a days, is to leverage Meta to amplify what’s going on in my business.

What I mean by this is I utilize cost caps in all of my campaigns. This allows me to set my target CPA and Meta will only deliver me results if they can hit this target. Now in order for me to scale my ad spend I need to focus on two things. My organic visibility for the brand and improving my conversion rate on my landing pages. If I can introduce TOF traffic and introduce net new eyeballs on my brand and generate that awareness outside of Meta, Meta can now leverage this data and amplify it further by funneling down these people to become buyers by showing them the right ad at the right time. I don’t have to rely on Meta to generate demand and awareness for my brand. This is where I think a lot of people waste their time and money.

The second point being CRO, if I can continuously improve my CVR and Revenue Per Session, I can afford to spend more and account for rising acquisition costs. I am not sure many people think like this but this has been my strategy in 2024. 

Q: Recently, you said that one of the easiest ways for brands to increase revenue by 10-15% would be to sell on Amazon. But for DTC brands that offer subscriptions, selling subscription on Amazon can cannibalize direct subscriber sales (on-site) and lead to 3rd party fees and smaller margins from your most loyal customers. That said, how can subscription brands respond to Amazon subscriptions? Is there a way to have the best of both?

Ash: If a customer decides to set up a subscription on Amazon vs your site you have to ask yourself one thing. Would that customer have bought from the website? For us we have seen an incremental lift of 10-20% every time we have products available for purchase on Amazon. If we are doing $50k in revenue per day on the website, and then we send some inventory to Amazon, we’ll start doing an additional $8k-$10k. There are customers who will ONLY shop on Amazon and I want to cater to those people. If I can prove there is incremental revenue, automatically I know that is incremental profit. No matter the margin difference, I do not believe there is cannibalization there! 

Q: What tips and tricks can DTC brands leverage today to maximize conversions and impact on Meta?

Ash: There are 3 levers every single operator needs to pull –

  1. Increase your creative pipeline. Assume that you will have a 10% hit rate on all the new ads you test. If you’re testing 10 ads a week, you can expect MAYBE 1 to hit. If you test 50 ads a week, your odds are finding a winner are way better. Some people may disagree and say they would rather work on 10 quality ads than 50 not so quality ads. To that I say, there is no possible way anyone can accurately predict what is going to work and not work when it comes to creative testing. So test as many things as possible. 
  2. Focus on CRO. Ad costs will continue to rise. It’s an inevitable truth. If you can increase your conversion rate and revenue per session on your website/landing pages at a higher rate than ad costs rise, you will always continue to win. Simple as that.
  3. Focus on Organic visibility. Work with influencers, build up your own social channels. Don’t rely on paid media to drive awareness for your brand. Use paid media to amplify what’s happening around you. It will make things much much easier for you.

Q: Last but not least, for new DTC brands vs. more established players, how would you allocate acquisition spending to maximize results and move toward breaking even / most quickly achieving profitability?

Ash: I think most brands should aim to be profitable on the first order. It makes life easier. If that means you grow a little bit slower than you’d like then the trade off is a cash healthy business with a solid foundation. If you want to grow quickly and would rather play in to a CAC to LTV model, then make sure you are looking a tight window for LTV. Don’t look at 2 years don’t look at 1 year, maybe look at 6 months but definitely start with 3 months. We cannot predict what the future looks like in 3 months. Macro headwinds, political issues, platform issues, etc. If you are relying on time to make your money back and you can’t guarantee that, then you may end up in trouble. Book the profit first in my opinion! 

Thanks for chatting, Ash!

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Blog/Rand Owens QA: Boost AOV with Subscription-Oriented CRO

Rand Owens QA: Boost AOV with Subscription-Oriented CRO

We sat down with our friend Rand Owens, VP of marketing at Nostra, to unpack all things CRO and dive deeper into optimizing your subscription-oriented CRO strategies. Nostra helps top DTC brands drive conversions and lower cost per click through faster site speeds. Learn more about Nostra here.

Q: In your experience, what are the most effective methods for an emerging DTC brand to identify areas of improvement on their landing pages and increase conversions across their marketing funnel? What key metrics do you prioritize in their CRO analysis?

Rand: Emerging DTC brands must harness the power of personalization and prioritize site speed to boost conversions. Analyzing user behavior through user testing and heatmaps will highlight opportunities to personalize the landing page experience. Segment your audience and tailor content, offers, and layouts to match their interests or how they found your site. This could mean highlighting related products, offering personalized discounts, or showcasing specific items relevant to their previous browsing.

Closely monitor crucial metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate, time on page, and page load time. This data will expose how well your landing pages convert and whether your personalization and speed optimizations are working.

Q: How do you approach funnel testing and CRO experimentation specifically within the context of subscription-based services, considering factors like trial periods, differed pricing models, and landing page customizations?

Rand: For e-commerce subscriptions, focus your funnel testing and CRO efforts on the subscription box or product page. Emphasize the value proposition of the subscription – highlight variety, personalization, and the potential savings over individual purchases. Experiment with different themes, product assortments, and introductory discounts to entice first-time subscribers. Flexibility is critical, so test variations in subscription lengths, the ability to skip boxes, and even levels of customization over the box’s contents. If gifting is an option, ensure a seamless gifting process and consider special promotions to encourage this type of purchase. Test upselling tactics to boost order frequency and average order value for subscriptions offering replenishable items.

Remember that visuals are crucial throughout your CRO experiments – invest in high-quality product photography and unboxing videos. Leverage social proof with testimonials and user-generated content specific to the subscription experience. You can even try incorporating a quiz to personalize the matching of visitors to the ideal subscription box for them. Ensure site speed is at its best, especially at checkout, as slowness leads to abandoned carts. Track key metrics like free trial conversion rate, churn rate, customer lifetime value (LTV), cart abandonment rate, and average order value (AOV) for a holistic view of funnel performance.

Q: Offering too many SKU options can lead to fewer conversions, resulting from choice overload. How can subscription brands strategically leverage product bundling to simplify decision-making and boost AOV?

Rand: Subscription brands can combat the overwhelming effect of too much choice by strategically implementing product bundling. Focus on curating bundles based on specific needs, use cases, or customer profiles. A skincare brand might offer an “Acne-Prone Skin Essentials” bundle, providing a complete solution rather than forcing customers to research individual products. Offer bundles in tiers (like Starter, Complete, and Premium) to appeal to different budgets and encourage upselling. For optimal results, strike a balance between curated bundles and flexibility – allow customers to swap specific items within bundles for a more personalized experience.

To further increase average order value (AOV), promote volume-based bundles or multi-packs for consumable goods with bulk discounts. Strategically cross-selling add-ons that complement the core subscription enhances the overall customer experience. Where possible, leverage AI and customer data to personalize bundles dynamically. This ensures that each shopper is presented with bundles that perfectly match their needs and preferences, boosting conversion rates.

Q: For a lean, early-stage DTC brand looking to optimize its main landing and product pages, what 2-3 funnel testing strategies would you recommend to boost CRO? Conversely, what 2-3 tactics would you recommend to a later-stage DTC brand that already maintains a steady pulse on CRO but is seeking to go a step further?

Rand: For early-stage DTC brands, I’d focus on –

  • Headline and Value Prop Clarity: Experiment with different headlines that clearly articulate your unique offering and core benefits. Test taglines that resonate with customer pain points, and ensure your hero image supports the messaging.
  • CTA Optimization: Test variations in your call-to-action copy (like “Buy Now” vs. “Start Your Trial”), as well as button color, size, and placement. For multi-step funnels, refine CTA wording along each step to encourage progression.
  • Social Proof and Risk Reduction: Strategically add customer testimonials, reviews, and trust signals (press logos, badges) near key CTAs. Emphasize free shipping, trial periods, and guarantees to alleviate hesitation.

While for later-stage DTC brands, I’d focus on –

  • Streamline Your Funnel: Identify potential areas to reduce friction—experiment with streamlining checkout steps, using lightboxes instead of separate pages or pre-filling form fields.
  • Hyper-Personalization: Leverage customer data for dynamic customization. Tailor page content, offers, and CTAs based on traffic source, location, device, past behavior, etc. Implement segmentation for targeted campaigns. Use AI tools for intelligent product recommendations and bundling suggestions.
  • Proactive Conversion Assistance: Test the use of a chatbot or proactive live chat assistance for hesitant users. Utilize exit-intent popups offering potential incentives on abandonment, and add elements like progress bars or “low stock” indicators to nudge hesitant shoppers.
  • Site Speed Optimization: For late-stage DTC brands, even milliseconds of delay can impact conversions at scale. Ensure your site is lightning-fast through image optimization, efficient code, and an Edge Delivery Engine. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help you pinpoint areas for improvement.

Site speed is critical – every second of delay hurts conversions. Optimize your site with image compression and efficient code, and leverage a solution like Nostra. Nostra’s smart caching and global distribution network combat latency, the #1 reason shoppers abandon their carts. Nostra expertly deciphers what elements of your site should and should not be cached in order to make it the fastest on the internet without any embarrassing hiccups.

Remember:

  • Mobile-First Focus: Prioritize the mobile experience for both stages.
  • Never Stop Testing: Even early-stage DTCs should regularly revisit core elements as they scale.

Q: I like to end these conversations with a fun question. What is the most unconventional CRO strategy you’ve seen that’s had solid success?

Rand: Lush Cosmetics employs an unconventional tactic with their handwritten product labels. These labels, often including the name of the product’s creator and quirky descriptions, feel far less polished than mass-produced cosmetic labeling. This tactic effectively reinforces Lush’s handmade and natural brand image. The personalized touch and playful descriptions add charm, making the products and brand feel more unique and memorable.

While this strategy wouldn’t suit every brand, it perfectly aligns with Lush’s core values and target audience. This highlights how unconventional CRO tactics can boost customer engagement and conversions when deeply connected to a brand’s identity.

Thanks for chatting, Rand!

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Blog/Varun Kundra QA: Unlocking Post-Purchase Subscriber Revenue

Varun Kundra QA: Unlocking Post-Purchase Subscriber Revenue

We sat down with our friend Varun Kundra, co-founder of AfterSell, to unpack subscription-oriented upsell strategy and post-purchase optimization. AfterSell is a software that helps eCommerce merchants scale their stores to 8 figures and beyond with post-purchase upsells and more. AfterSell was acquired by Rokt in Feb 2024. Let’s dive in.

Q: For customers who have just purchased from a brand for the first time, what key moments, timing, or behaviors are most valuable in evaluating and sending them with a post-purchase offer? Are there any upsell or cross-sell strategies you find to be the most “sticky”?

Varun: Our post-purchase offers happen right after checkout, so we encourage merchants to trigger targeted offers based on what was purchased (or collection it was purchased from), cart value, country, and many other options we have available. We have seen merchants who have a deep understanding of their customer behavior, segments, and consumer psychology succeed the most. One of the surprising strategies that is really effective, especially for CPG brands is just to cross-sell more of the same product at a slight discount.

Q: For subscribers specifically, cross-sells and upsells are a great opportunity to integrate more of your brand’s product catalog into their regular routines, whether you’re selling a monthly beverage subscription, toothpaste, supplements, you name it. Do you have a specific strategy around targeting subscription-oriented upsells and cross-sells compared to other customers?

Varun: For sure! One of the things we find the most effective is upselling a one-time product to a subscription. We have been pioneering this with Obvi where we can replace one-time products with subscription both in checkout and immediately via post-purchase upsells. 

Q: In what ways can brands integrate various marketing channels (ie. email, social, retargeting ads) to maximize the effectiveness of post-purchase reactivation campaigns without fatiguing their customers?

Varun: With AfterSell, you can target upsells on the UTM level. This means you show different upsell experiences based on where your customers are coming from. For example, you may want to show a different experience to customers coming from your abandoned cart emails versus those that are returning customers.

Q: Let’s say I’m a new Digital Marketing Manager for a DTC food & beverage brand that does not currently implement any upsells or cross-sells. What would be the easy wins for me to immediately knock out to increase AOV?

Varun: The easiest win right off the bat is a post-purchase upsell with the exact same product the customer just purchased at a 10-30% discount. Offering “more of the same” works great for consumable businesses. If you are providing a sizable discount, you can even test having higher minimum quantities for the upsell. For example, get 20% off if you purchase 2 more packs.

Q: Now let’s say I’m the Growth Manager for a larger, more established DTC brand that already implements the usual post-purchase flows you just mentioned. How metrics and tests could I perform to best optimize and boost existing post-purchase conversion rates?

Varun: Various components can be tested to improve post-purchase performance. There are 3 main factors you should test to achieve the best results. I have included a couple of questions below to ask yourself when you are working to improve your upsell offers.

  • The product you are upselling: How expensive is the product you are offering in relation to your AOV? Does it fit well with the product the customer just purchased?
  • The offer: How much of a discount are you providing? How many quantities does the customer have to purchase to receive the discount? Make sure you are optimizing for the right metric. In many cases, you may want to optimize for product profit per visit (PPPV) rather than revenue per visit (RPV)
  • The layout and copy: Are you showing multiple products on your upsell page or only a single product? Are you using social proof, urgency, and exclusivity in your copy?

Thanks for chatting, Varun!

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Blog/Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

This week, to celebrate the launch of our new-to-market Digital Punch Card feature, we sat down with Karin Brashears, Stay AI’s Director of Product, to unpack all things Digital Punch Card!

Q: Digital Punch Cards are here! What would you say is the “TLDR” of Digital Punch Card for those who haven’t heard about it yet?

Karin: Digital Punch Card is a revolutionary idea that takes on rewards and loyalty with a fun, gamified customer experience. We’ve taken a nostalgic punch card and “digitized” it on the customer portal for your subscribers to actually see their progress and how they’re tracking toward a reward. Merchants have ownership over setting up a free order or a free product and can track those throughout multiple orders. So, it really is just a new take that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the marketplace for loyalty and retention. 

Q: Are there any specific elements of Digital Punch Card that you’re most excited about?

Karin: I’m really excited and interested to see how our merchants use the data we provide on the merchant portal already to tie into their Digital Punch Cards. 

We’ve set up some really cool analytics within the Executive Summary Dashboard that can be used to figure out the most optimal way to set up your Digital Punch Card. For instance, using AOV to determine your brand’s maximum free order value. Additionally, ExperienceEngine’s A/B tests can lead merchants directly to determine which products make the most sense for retention and should be used as incentives.

I’m really excited to see how merchants’ use of Stay’s features comes full circle in terms of application to using Digital Punch Cards.

Q: Can you tell me more about how Digital Punch Card weaves into Stay AI’s existing analytics suite and how it works in tandem with ExperienceEngine? 

Karin: So what I would do is set up an A/B test in ExperienceEngine with whatever products I want to offer as a promotion. Let’s say my brand is trying to determine whether a free shaker bottle or a free key chain optimizes retention best. I would set up a free shaker bottle on order three and A/B test it against a free key chain. Through that A/B test, I can see which one has the highest success rate for retention and see how the product and order cadence drive AOV. Because ExperienceEngine allows for fluid tests, I can swap out those products and order cadences to continuously gauge optimization. 

That data will directly impact how to set up Digital  Punch Cards, allowing me to make data-driven decisions when selecting which product and order number should apply as the Digital Punch Card incentive.

This is how Stay AI sets brands up for success with real data-powered analytics, backed by rigorous split-testing, to then apply to a more sticky and long-term Digital Punch Card that will run for six months, a year, or however long you want it to.

Q: What makes Digital Punch Cards different from other reward tools or features that exist in the market?

Karin: Digital Punch Cards offer a few differentiating factors. Firstly, it’s a simplified no-point loyalty system. Tracking points can be complex and overall challenging, whereas with a punch card system, you either earned a punch or you didn’t. 

For customers, the biggest thing with point acquisition and tracking rewards in that way is that it’s a variable reward at the end. So typically, point programs require in-depth messaging and explanation for customers to understand the benefit and justify the purchase. When it comes to Digital Punch Cards, it’s a one-to-one experience. You know that your punch will equate to a free order or product. The direct association of purchase to reward is extremely impactful in training customer behavior. 

Additionally, it’s really exciting to integrate the Goal Gradient Theory, the idea that the closer customers see themselves reaching a goal, the more likely they are to come back and order again until they reach it. We are truly putting that into place in a digital format.

Digital Punch Cards give customers a feeling of success, coupled with a dopamine hit after a successful purchase. That gives the user more impetus to continue being a repeat purchaser compared to maybe earning something that you can’t see or just aggregating points in the background.

We’re able to have customers see their action as an accomplishment and then further want to experience that dopamine hit over and over again, inching them towards that end reward.

Thanks for chatting with us, Karin!
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Blog/Tiffin Q&A: Bridging the Attribution Gap with Effortless In-Store Offers

Tiffin Q&A: Bridging the Attribution Gap with Effortless In-Store Offers

Q&A with Tiffin from Aisle

Aisle allows brands to turn any marketing channel into an attributable, verified in-store purchase when customers text a photo of their in-store receipt to Aisle and receive a cashback reward within 24 hours. Brands can also leverage Aisle to retarget submitted customers with additional redemption reminders, winback flows, and more.

Tiffin, CEO and Founder of Aisle, sat down with our team to share his insights on how DTC brands can bridge the data attribution gap between DTC and retail. Let’s dive in.

Q: Thanks for chatting with us today, Tiffin! We’re stoked to hear more about what you and the Aisle team are up to. I’d love to know, what inspired you to create Aisle?

Tiffin: My boss back at Super Coffee would say ’Tiffin, you’re spending all this money on ads and you can’t tell me who’s buying in-store?’ After hearing that every day for two years you’re like, I’ve gotta solve this problem. We had no idea who our in-store shoppers were, we had no idea why they were buying, and most importantly, we didn’t know how to get them to rebuy. And if you think about all the tools that existed, all the cashback apps that tried to solve the problem of how to activate someone in-store, they didn’t work for two reasons. The first was user friction, and the second was that all of the current solutions weren’t built by people in the [ecomm] space. There’s no customer empathy.

Q: For brands that have traditionally kept their DTC and retail channels separate, why should these omnichannel players care about creating a bridge between the two in their overall strategy?

Tiffin: A lot of people will give you a much sexier answer and use lots more buzzwords, but very simply it’s because you can sell more units. I avoid using words like “connecting the online shopper and in-store shopper” or “omnichannel attribution” because at the end of the day, what matters is providing these brands an opportunity to sell more in-store because it’s going to be their retail and units per store per week that get them acquired. 

Aisle allows brands to turn any marketing channel into an attributable, verified in-store purchase when customers text a photo of their in-store receipt to Aisle and receive a cashback reward within 24 hours.

Explore Aisle’s Features

Q: Do you think a direct-to-consumer brand must have a retail presence to get acquired or to have a competitive edge, then?

Tiffin: I’m going to speak to what I know. When I was at Super Coffee, DTC was a nice accelerator and made revenue bigger, but at the end of the day, the questions we were being asked were ‘Did you sell in Walmart? Target? Sprouts? Did you sell in Middle America?’. DTC brands will win on the coasts, LA, NYC, but can you sell to Karen in Wisconsin who goes to church every Sunday? If she’s buying her stuff in-store and she’s buying your product, you have a much better chance. Look at Essentia Water which got acquired by Nestlé – they didn’t get bought because Patrick Mahomes talked about it on their Instagram. It’s because of the crazy volume they were moving at retail.

I’m the biggest believer in DTC, but ultimately, if you’re a consumable, you’ve gotta get into the big box retailers.

Q: Hypothetical: Let’s say your brand boosts spending on Facebook Ads, and you see a low ROI on the platform but a spike in retail purchases at the same time. On one hand, you could assume there’s some cause/effect relationship there, but at the same time there could be any number of other factors at play, like if there was a shift in end-cap displays or the sales team had a big week. With so many attribution factors to consider, how can brands develop a cross-DTC-and-retail attribution strategy that doesn’t rely too heavily on assumptions? 

Tiffin: Good question. For us on the DTC side, it’s very easy to point to something and attribute it, like changing a button on a PDP and then it converts better. But think about you as a grocery shopper. On one hand, you literally can’t assume because any number of things can change from store to store. Did the shelf packer display the product right? Were we on a store promotion? Was the product expired or even put out on the shelf? There are factors you can’t even begin to model there. Or even if your brand runs a Superbowl commercial and you run the ads based on zip codes and see a 20% lift – even then, you’re just guessing, right? There can be a legitimately limitless amount of stuff that influences retail success that I don’t even think it’s worth it. But the short answer is you can’t make any assumptions because they’re all wrong.

Q: So what you’re saying is that, in regards to retail, there are so many factors that you can’t possibly have a sustainable direct attribution model.

Tiffin: Exactly. With DTC you control every part of it, you can control what percent of traffic goes where, what percentage of the population that lands on your site will see this page, and more because you’re essentially the traffic director. You’re in control. But with retail, you just hope and cross your fingers. There’s some directional stuff, but beyond that, you’re just taking a guess.

Q: Where does Aisle step in to solve that attribution problem, then?

Tiffin: Verified purchase. We say hey, take a picture of your receipt and send it to us and get cashback. That’s proof that a person saw an ad, scanned a QR code, or clicked a widget on your website, put in their phone number, and now we know 1:1 where a shopper came from, right down to the ad placement. So the short answer is that instant verification from the rebate gives us the proof to 100% tell you where a customer came from.

When Meta provides incrementality lifts, I think that’s kind of like hocus pocus. For us, at any time we can export their transactions, which shows you the customer ID, when they converted, and what store they purchased at down to the zip code. So when brands overlay Aisle’s transactional data with store-level sales data like IRI, SPINS, or Nielsen, the connection is incredibly clear. There were no assumptions or hypotheses. Is it this person, yes or no? Is that data reflected in the units per store per week scan data?

Q: If a subscriber cancels their DTC orders but starts buying at retail, do you view that as a good, bad, or neutral thing?

Tiffin: I always like to put myself in the brand operator’s perspective. I’m going to say this is Tiffin coming from Super Coffee, not Tiffin from Aisle. I think Tiffin from Super Coffee doesn’t care, because at the end of the day, going back to units per store per week, that person might say I don’t need my subscription anymore but now is picking up a bottle a day at their local store. At the end of the day, revenue is comprised of wholesale, retail, DTC, etc. It doesn’t matter as long as that person continues to buy.

I also don’t believe in this whole death of DTC thing. DTC will still be here, people will still shop on Amazon. Shoppers are gonna want to buy where they want to buy. It’s just more convenient.

And customers like Karen in Wisconsin will probably have a higher lifetime value. She’ll be buying it every single day. People on average go to three to four different grocery stores whether per week, or per month, what people like is variety, but it’s still a habit. You want that person buying in-store because they’re gonna buy from you every single day. Right? Like me with some energy drinks that I love, all my energy drink brands, I drink them all the time, and I’m not buying them online, you know.

So there are a lot of brands that are running pop-ups that are like “Do you want $20 off online, or do you want a BOGO in-store?” They’re allowing users to pick.

Q: How can DTC brands use a solution like Aisle to keep subscribers retained or maximize the value of their digital subscription program without inadvertently losing them to retail?

Tiffin: I believe there’s a better chance of a customer going from DTC to in-store, I’m not sold on in-store to online yet. Right now it’s a one-way attribution channel. People will go from DTC to in-store but people in-store like in-store, they’re not going to DTC. We’ve had some brands give some crazy offers online, like 50% off, an amazing deal, and nobody takes it – because nobody needs four things of toothpaste. But to answer your question, we surprise and delight. Aisle can be placed right in their subscription portal and brands can offer a BOGO deal as a loyalty perk retention play.

The second thing is knowing that churn is going to be inevitable, so instead of waiting for them to churn, let’s give them another option and also track attribution. Let’s say someone is going to cancel because they have too much coffee, you don’t wanna offer them 15% off – they’re literally telling you that they have too much. Instead, let’s say hey, sorry about that, thanks so much for letting us know. Here’s a free bottle of coffee you can redeem in-store. Now, at least if the customer churns online, it’s because they wanted to buy in-store, and we know that because they converted on a surprise and delight offer

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