Athena Club is a personal care one-stop-shop focused on improving the ways people practice personal care. The brand offers high-quality yet affordable products across Body, Skin, Wellness, and Period Care through a convenient subscription service via its direct-to-consumer e-commerce website. Athena Club’s award-winning products—such as the best-selling Razor Kit—are made in partnership with experts using high-quality materials, effective ingredients, and innovative patented technologies.
“[Our custom solution] definitely served its purpose at the time, but we outgrew it and were looking for something more sustainable that can handle scale and was proven in the market, that also had a robust enough API to be able to build upon if we needed to.”
Software Engineering Manager, Athena Club
Subscriptions have always been core to Athena Club’s offerings as a subscription-first brand. They wanted to offer high-quality self-care essentials at reasonable prices while also offering flexibility that was hassle-free, so subscriptions was a logical facet in connecting with their customers.
Previously, they utilized a custom-built PHP-based REST API to run their subscriptions, but it quickly became hard to navigate and leverage at the rate that they were growing.
At the end of the day, they needed to find a solution that would reduce the time and effort they were spending in maintaining their subscriptions interface, to allow them a greater capacity to develop new features and scale to the next level.
With a fully headless build on WooCommerce, they were looking for a robust and scalable API solution to support their customizations. Athena Club ultimately decided to migrate from their homegrown subscription solution to Recharge, as they were attracted by Recharge’s well-documented and mature API. During the migration process, they were also able to rely on Recharge’s partner, Absolute Web, who were well equipped to assist in migrating their headless build over to Recharge and ensure a seamless data transfer.
Athena Club implemented a bespoke bundling functionality with the API to create custom subscription bundles that customers could choose from, with discount tiers based on the items their orders contained. With the use of Recharge’s webhooks, they were able to achieve control over subscriber actions, like managing discount tiers based on whether items were removed or added.
They also revamped their cancellation flow—where they previously had no deterrent for cancellation in their fully custom customer portal—allowing them to offer incentives to help customers with their specific problems and prevent cancellations.
Recharge’s dunning capabilities have been another prime feature in Athena Club’s retention strategy. They have seen great results by being able to configure how many times they want to retry customers’ cards after failed charges, and the time between attempts through experimentation with different cadences.
Through Recharge’s Account Management program, Athena Club has had access to Recharge’s roadmap and key stakeholders so that they could have meaningful impact in Recharge’s ever-growing product. With the insight into the product roadmap, they’ve had the ability to provide feedback as a merchant to work on the features that are important to their growth, while also receiving support for any questions they had through regular health checks and data-driven consultation. Plus, with Recharge’s robust API and Absolute Web’s support and experience in custom builds, Athena Club’s migration was smooth and successful. As a result, they experienced zero hours of downtime and a 20% reduction in time spent maintaining their subscriptions—bringing it down to zero hours of subscription program maintenance.
All of these elements combined have contributed to a powerful and comprehensive self-running subscription program, that has allowed Athena Club to shift their focus to optimizing for scale and take their subscription-first business to the next level.
“The way that I would measure success in this migration is no downtime and no technical debt to work on after we migrated. [...] A lot of work went into maintenance of the system—something we no longer have to worry about. Products get shipped out on time correctly, with the right amounts. This was a huge stress relief off of our shoulders and we were able to focus on building new features that actually deliver customer value with Recharge.”
Software Engineering Manager, Athena Club