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How the Subscription Business Model Has Helped Smartypits Grow

by Mallory Whitfield

April 24, 2019 / Updated: September 23, 2022

Stacia Guzzo’s company, Handcrafted HoneyBee, has seen a 918% increase in income since working with us a few years ago on a rebrand and custom Shopify website. As her company has grown, Stacia began to realize that she wanted to focus on her most popular products: a collection of aluminum-free deodorants. She also saw the potential ROI in switching to a subscription business model.

We recently worked with Stacia on a new brand identity and Shopify website development for her aluminum-free deodorant line: SmartyPits.

First, we designed a new logo and quick brand guide for SmartyPits that could be used for her new website as well as in her social media and email marketing efforts. Knowing that strong print and packaging design can make or break a business like Stacia’s, we also designed new product packaging for the SmartyPits deodorants.

SmartyPits Aluminum Free Deodorant
Smarty Pits Custom brand identity for natural deodorant brand

With the launch of the new website, Stacia switched from the Bold subscriptions app to ReCharge, which simplifies the management of her subscription-based business. ReCharge migrated Stacia’s current subscribers over to the new site for her, and our developer Jon Manning customized the new Shopify website to make the customer experience of ordering subscriptions seamless.

We recently caught up with Stacia to learn more about her experience re-branding, working with us for the second time, and how adopting the subscription business model has helped her grow her business.

Can you share how the process of working with us on the new SmartyPits website went?

This is our second time designing a website with Aeolidia, and the process, as always, was incredibly organized and efficient.

One of the things I love most about working with Aeolidia is the brain power & talent of so many minds focusing on producing the best possible outcome for our business.

There was a clear timeline from the beginning, focused objectives, and timely delivery. I’m so pleased–and I know I’ll continue to be an Aeolidia client for years to come!

Smarty Pits Custom Shopify website for natural deodorant brand
Smarty Pits Custom Shopify product page for natural deodorant brand

You moved from Bold to ReCharge with the launch of the new site. Can you share why you decided to change, and how ReCharge has been working for you?

We’re about 4 months into working with ReCharge, and so far I’m very pleased. I think both apps have their pros and cons, but on the whole ReCharge has been a better solution for us. At the end of the day, with Bold we had too many customers that were having confusing user interface experiences.

As we grow our subscription platform, we want the user experience to be as clear and easy as possible — a solution that ReCharge has provided for us.

I especially like that ReCharge can give us a direct link to any customer subscription portal, which means they don’t have to be logged into their account to change their subscription (as long as they have access to their portal link).

How has using the subscription business model impacted your business?

One of the best things about any recurring revenue stream is dependable income. This means I can more accurately budget, create reliable projections, and plan to have certain amounts of raw materials & finished inventory in stock.

It also helps with the ebb and flow of buying seasons–while deodorant in general isn’t a hugely seasonal product, there are times of the year when people are more or less ready to spend. Having a solid subscription system in place makes those buying cycles far less stressful.

Smarty Pits Custom Shopify subscription page for natural deodorant brand

What made you decide to sell subscriptions?

When we first started our subscription program, SmartyPits wasn’t available in very many retail locations. Because of this, we had to rely on the customer remembering to order their SmartyPits online at least a few days before they ran out of the previous stick — if they forgot and waited until the last minute, it opened up 2-3 days when they would have to find an alternative. We didn’t want them to be looking elsewhere for their deodorant, even for a few days! So the subscription was the perfect solution for that.

It also gives us the chance to reward our most loyal customers: in exchange for their pledge to purchase our deodorant every few months, we are able to give them 10% off and free shipping for each subscription order.

What have you learned since starting to sell subscriptions? Has anything surprised you about selling subscriptions?

We learned one big lesson the hard way: ReCharge gives you the option of making the subscription option the default. We tried this for a few months, hoping that perhaps it would encourage people to consider subscribing as their first option. Unfortunately, we learned that a lot of people don’t read through their options — and even though we thought we had made it clear in several steps along the purchase funnel, we still had people saying they never meant to sign up for a subscription and wanting to know why they were getting a subscription reminder. Unfortunately, this also meant we covered the 10% off and shipping cost of their first order…and they never made it to the second because they wanted to cancel the subscription they never meant to fill. It increased our churn rate, and it was a lose-lose on both sides. We recently changed the default choice back to one-time purchase for that reason.

On a brighter note, I will say: many of our subscription customers are our most loyal customers, and I love to treat them that way. We have special boxes, stickers, and notes that I use exclusively for subscription packaging. Every once in a while we’ll throw in some surprises for them, too. It’s fun to honor these customers who commit to using SmartyPits exclusively!

Behind the scenes at SmartyPits headquarters

What has the customer response been about your subscriptions?

I’ll be honest — I think in my space, subscriptions are more of an expectation than an exception. For the most part, I think customers appreciate that the subscription option offers them savings, but I also think it’s somewhat expected for a product like mine.

Besides ReCharge, are there any other tools are you using to offer subscriptions to your customers?

We use ReCharge for our primary subscription app, but I’ve also found some integrations I really like. For example, we use Gorgias for our customer service platform, which syncs with both Shopify and ReCharge. A customer’s entire purchase history is listed in a column when an email from them comes through, including their subscription history and current status. If they want a change in the subscription, you can do a lot of it right within Gorgias without having to go into Shopify and then ReCharge. It’s a great integration!

View more projects in our portfolio »

Could a rebrand or narrower focus help your business grow?

When Stacia decided to narrow her focus to her most popular products, it created a big opportunity for her business. A new name and fresh look for SmartyPits, paired with the subscription business model, are helping her increase her revenue and streamline her business.

Whether you need business naming, product packaging design, or a new logo, we’ve got you covered!

Contact us to learn more about how Aeolidia’s team of ecommerce experts can help you grow your business.

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