Founded in 2010, Scoutside is a Charleston-based creative and development agency with a focus on enterprise-level merchants in the health, wellness, and food and beverage industries. They’ve worked with brands like Kobe Bryant’s Art of Sport, Neat Nutrition, and Bamboo Juices, helping produce impressive results like an 11% conversion rate (compared to the global average of only 2.86%.)
One of Scoutside’s strengths as an agency is its specialization on subscription ecommerce. In 2015, they developed a custom portal app that integrates Recharge and Shopify. With this proprietary tech, they’ve been able to help merchants deliver a stellar post-purchase experience that helps upsell, reduce churn, and overall eliminate points of friction within the subscription buyer’s journey.
“We’re so glad we leaned in to focus on Recharge a few years back. It’s been so exciting to see how their platform has scaled and become even more flexible over time--they’re a fabulous partner to have.”
Over time, Scoutside started getting more requests from subscription merchants who wanted complex, custom portals to accompany their subscription businesses–but they didn’t know exactly what they needed or how to get from point A to point B. When Art of Sport, a body and skin care company designed for athletes, approached Scoutside, they had a very particular set of needs. The goal was to reduce the volume of support tickets by setting up a smooth backend UI for customers to self-manage their subscriptions.
After realizing that the average customer spends 70-80% of their time interacting with the brand through the portal after the first purchase (doing things like swapping, adding, removing, changing frequency of a subscription, etc.), Scoutside started taking a deeper look at the out-of-the-box solution that came when Recharge and Shopify were integrated.
“For 60% of merchants, the basic solution works,” said McCutchen. “But that other 40% needed something more custom that could deliver an above and beyond post-purchase experience that kept customers engaged and coming back for more.” Capitalizing on the data Scoutside gathered by working closely with their subscription merchants, they decided to commit to building out a proprietary solution that could help merchants retain more customers and empower shoppers to be more in control of their subscriptions at the same time.
The team at Scoutside put their development caps on and built Portal, an app that uses Recharge’s API and integrates with Shopify. This custom tool gives the merchant complete control of the UI/UX customers see when managing their subscriptions post-purchase. The goal was to create a custom, on-brand, beautiful user experience—which has now expanded to include capabilities for increasing average subscription order value through upsells and cross-sells.
“Having this solution is a huge competitive edge for us, as it’s something we can tweak for each merchant we work with rather than building it from scratch every time. It saves a ton of time for merchants, and is a lot more cost-effective for them, too,” said McCutchen. “As Portal continues to grow, we’re finding new ways to create special experiences to subscribers, such as loyalty integration, discounts and limited product only available to subscribers, special customer service chat experiences, better win-back flows, videos and other gated content, too.”
Thanks to the increased functionality and flexibility their custom portal allows for, Art of Sport hit the ground running when they launched in late 2018. From the get go, Art of Sport has reduced the volume of tickets they recieve, reduced customer concerns around commitment, and kept churn low.
Scoutside believes the individualized brand experience is what helps differentiate merchants from the one-size-fits-all approach of Amazon. All customer touchpoints matter and should be cohesive through the entire funnel—from digital ad to landing page, product pages, checkout, email notifications and, of course, into the customer portal. “In modern e-commerce, the merchant owns all of these touchpoints. They are a privilege...and should be considered with intention. That’s why we’re here, and that’s what we’re helping merchants do,” said McCutchen.
“Because of the convenience and sophistication of the Recharge platform, we were able to achieve nearly 4x the average global conversion rate with our Portal app.”