You may have seen OLIPOP in Whole Foods, or their beautiful, 1970s-nostalgic ads on social media. And maybe you’re already following their rockstar customer advocate and Director of CX, Eli Weiss, who is inspiring marketers and customer experience experts everywhere with his “call it like it is” approach.
Another way the brand is standing out? OLIPOP customers around the globe are using texting to manage their subscriptions. Wait, what? You read that right: OLIPOP lets their subscribers manage their soda subscription via SMS.
“It’s not just the future, it’s the present.”
Eli Weiss, Director of CX at OLIPOP
Changing the game with RechargeSMS
Let’s take a step back. Recently launched, RechargeSMS allows subscribers to edit their order via text message. This includes swapping out one flavor for another, delaying or speeding up a delivery time, increasing the amount of items on your subscription, and other helpful changes.
And why wouldn’t you want your customers to make tweaks to their orders on the fly, right from their phone?
“Making it hard for customers to engage with their orders like skipping a shipment or swapping out a flavor is not only old school—it’s bad for your brand,” says Eli. “We’ve found that 70% of long-term subscribers have skipped or swapped over their lifetime. Our stickiest customers swapped flavors until they found one they loved, then stayed with it for the long haul.”
Another “pro” for a brand like OLIPOP is that RechargeSMS makes it really easy to get other flavors of their soda into the hands of their customers.
Enhancing the customer experience with SMS
“Our goal is to help our subscribers find their lifetime favorite flavor,” says Eli, “and RechargeSMS makes that possible.” The more convenient it is for customers to adjust their order and try different product offerings, the quicker they can find the go-to flavor they want to order again and again—keeping those subscribers around longer and increasing customer satisfaction.
Eli notes that there isn’t one sole solution that can take a subscription brand to the next level. Rather, optimizing the customer experience is a process that involves listening to your subscribers, incorporating their feedback, and making as many adjustments as is needed to create an easy, convenient, and enjoyable shopping experience.
“There is no silver bullet to subscriptions,” he says. “Brands known to have the best subscriptions optimize the experience for their customers. That’s something at the very forefront of how we think about subscriptions: How can we make it seamless?”
SMS, says Eli, is an essential aspect of that optimization. Not only does it help subscribers customize their orders as much as they like—it also creates a natural touchpoint for customer engagement, which benefits both the customer and the brand.
Ensuring flexibility in subscriptions with SMS
“It’s important to craft a subscription program that can be as flexible as the schedules and lives of customers,” says Eli. “SMS solves the logistical issue [by allowing subscribers to skip or delay a shipment] and helps keep them engaged by suggesting other flavors to try. At the end of the day, both these measures help combat subscription fatigue.”
There are three eternal questions OLIPOP asks as they make plans for their subscription program:
- How do we make subscriptions easy to use and manage?
- How do we encourage people to try other flavors in pursuit of finding their favorite?
- How do we keep people around for the long haul?
“Subscriptions as a whole are opaque,” says Eli. “In our business, if something about a subscription we have frustrates us, we know if it frustrates others.” (Who wants to recall their password to log in to a portal to change their shipment date?)
“People hop in for a discount, but what makes them stay? With RechargeSMS removing the friction, we are seeing more subscribers try out more flavors and make more changes to their orders. Being able to swap or skip via text makes it easy. All these things add up to build customer loyalty.”
For OLIPOP, like many brands, making it easier to skip a delivery actually increases customer LTV (lifetime value). Because of this, it’s important for brands to think about flexibility as a key to their future success.
As Eli puts it, “We’d rather you skip 9 times and then get the 10th shipment, as opposed to making customers sign up off the bat for a 12-month subscription. We want people to be with us for 3+ years. It’s about having that longer-term vision, instead of the cash grab.”
“Over a third of our business is ecommerce, and we care about our subscribers,” says Eli. “We want to keep things fresh and add positive surprises in the mix for them.” One way OLIPOP shows this is by keeping up the subscription discounts even past the first order and by letting subscribers always be first in line to have access to new flavors. These thoughtful perks create a “surprise and delight” effect, showing that the brand is willing to go the extra mile for its subscribers.
“OLIPOP is always going to care about authenticity,” says Eli, “and SMS lines up with that. At the end of the day, we’re building something real, optimizing for the long term, shooting straight, and putting our customers first.”
It’s a strategy that’s clearly paying off—both for the brand and its loyal subscribers.
Interested in starting with RechargeSMS for your brand? Install it today, free to all Recharge merchants. If you’re looking for more information on the benefits of transactional SMS as a whole, check out our brand-new Ultimate Guide to Transactional SMS.