When I first heard about OrderGroove, I immediately got it — from a technologist’s perspective it’s like an RSS feed of products you can subscribe to! I was going to be building a platform that would allow people to receive products in a continuous fashion, allowing them to manage the process all along. I thought this was going to be a straight forward initiative.
You see, on the most basic level OrderGroove can be seen as a single component: a tool to allow people to place an order with a given frequency. Just add a form element with a date select whenever people are adding products to their cart and then simply place the orders as requested. As an engineer I could see this specific aspect being developed in a relatively short period of time.
I was about to be pleasantly surprised. Here are some of the things I discovered while building the RetentionEngine platform and have realized are absolutely crucial for a successful subscription program:
It’s all about the customer
One of the most important pieces of the platform is how easy it makes it to maintain the customer relationship all along. This is far from being an easy task. The amount of learning I received, thanks to years of experience with real life clients and customers was amazing, and any client that uses the platform immediately inherits this knowledge — it’s like a Wikipedia of continuity. From the My Subscriptions Interface that allows customers to edit, change or cancel any part of their subscription workflow, to the Customer Service Admin that allows clients to support administrative tasks, OrderGroove enables any company to have the platform and tools at their disposal to become a continuity expert in a matter of days. This is powerful and ultimately what is driving customers to sign up and stay with the program.
Data and Analytics are king
OrderGroove allows clients to track, in real time, how their programs are performing and track their customer engagement — down to the smallest details. There are a number of benefits from this: from inventory forecasting to subscription monitoring, the platform feels like a Google Analytics for retention and lifetime value. Does your marketing team want to know how frequently your subscribers are purchasing? Or how about the five year dollar value of these subscribers? The dashboard provides complete insight into these critical metrics.
Another huge value is the fact that OrderGroove is learning every single day what works and what doesn’t for our clients and what to innovate and iterate on next. Everything we learn is incorporated in the platform without our clients needing to write a single line of code or modifying anything on their site. We release new code all the time and clients automatically get this benefit as part of their relationship with OrderGroove.
Implementing a basic continuity program, from scratch, at first appeared straightforward to me. I quickly realized there was a fundamental difference between launching a basic functionality and an effective and successful subscription program that makes real money for companies. There are a lot of moving parts: from the subscription offer optimization, order placement, performance tracking, customer service, email notifications to the customer facing control panel. And the moment you release it you are going to need constant tweaking and innovation. With OrderGroove, this process can happen in as little as 30 days, including Q/A. This allows a client to offer, in little time, a full subscription platform without having to divert engineering resources from critical aspects of the business
At the end of each client implementation I have a moment I’ve enjoyed immensely every single time. It’s right after the production launch, when the client’s engineering lead tells me how easy it was to implement OrderGroove, but how complex the whole system behind it feels. They look like rock stars to their organization.
And me? I just enjoy seeing my baby grow every single day.