Fireside Chat: Peel Dashboard now in Awtomic
As of today, a powerful Peel dashboard is now available to all Awtomic merchants within our app. We are so excited to bring this new level of insight and visibility to our merchants. In preparation for this launch, I sat down with Nicolas from Peel to get his thoughts and insights on how merchants can use this newly available data to understand and grow their subscription businesses.
[Emily] Thanks for taking the time to chat today! I’m so excited to learn more about Peel, and also to announce our partnership. For the first time ever, the power of Peel is available directly in Awtomic as our subscription dashboard. We are thrilled about the deeper level of understanding and access to data this will bring our brands as they grow their businesses.
Peel has always stood out to me as a tool that’s so great at taking extreme complexity and making it simple to view and understand. I think my favorite thing is the “Daily Shout Out” email that summarizes important insights for the business in a way that’s really easy to read. Can you tell me a bit about what inspired you to create Peel?
[Nicolas] Our three co-founders were working at a tech startup doing logistics. Every few weeks someone from the data team would come and say “you wouldn’t believe what I found” and every time we made a tweak based on the insights they brought us it changed the business significantly.
We were inspired by the idea of insights being surfaced to the business right away so that we wouldn’t have to wait for analysis. As we connected with data sources and took a look at where businesses could most benefit from these insights, we stumbled upon Shopify and noticed that brands had a lot of valuable data but weren’t able to mine it and analyze it properly - whether it was because of time, or connecting information across tools.
[Emily ] That’s so true! I often find that insights are hard to find if you’re not an expert, even if you have tons of data available to you.
A lot of brands either are, or aspire to be data driven. What do you think are the most important metrics for them to regularly measure?
[Nicolas] I’m always surprised by how little brands typically measure at all - so if you’re aspiring to be data driven, you’re on the right track! I always start with the top level metrics and avoid going too deep. It helps to stay focused on a few powerful metrics that really impact the business, like revenue or profit, costs, etc. Once you have a good handle on these, you can start experimenting with strategies to impact them and you’ll actually know if what you’re implementing is making a difference.
One metric that a lot of folks don’t think about right away but we recommend keeping a close eye on is the number of orders per customer. This can help you understand how many customers are coming back. If you can achieve a 3 order per customer average, you’ll have a really strong signal that you are driving repeat purchases. This is something that a strong subscription program can help you achieve.
[Emily ] I’m really excited that we now offer a Peel powered dashboard in Awtomic. How do you think the data we’re surfacing together can specifically help folks who are trying to grow their subscription businesses?
[Nicolas] A lot of brands make the mistake of focusing too much on one-time purchases and how to increase the value of a single purchase. They turn on subscriptions and then forget about it.
Developing long term relationships with your customers requires you to learn about them, how they’re using your product and how your subscription offering resonates. You can start to dig into what your churn and growth rate is, why people are churning, when you see jumps in new subscribers, how long people are sticking and these things can inform your strategy for how to continuously improve.
Now that Awtomic and Peel are integrated, we can show more deep and detailed information about Awtomic subscribers than any other platform. This will make it so you’re able to make decisions about your subscriptions fully informed based on your subscriber behavior - no more flying blind!
[Emily ] I’m especially excited about the cohort analysis in the dashboard. How should people think about retention and LTV by cohort? What levers can they pull to influence it?
[Nicolas] The biggest lie in data analysis is that there’s a single value - for example a single average order value, CAC, LTV, etc. If you are summarizing at that level, you’re missing a lot of the important nuance. Cohort analysis is the best way to look at the numbers that are important to you.
Depending on when you acquire a customer, you may have totally different costs of acquisition - for example people who purchase on holidays are differently motivated. They may have purchased because of a special promotion, vs someone who comes on a random day may be a higher quality customer. It’s really interesting to have visibility across different groups to know how the timing of their first purchase can be indicative of their future behavior.
Cohorts also help you see the seasonality of the business and understand if retention or LTV plateau over time. Some brands lose customers at a certain time of year, some brands lose them after a certain number of orders. Knowing these insights will help you understand how you’re selling and when customers get fatigued so that you can try strategies to help keep them engaged. For example, you may want to get customers who join during a specific season to try a non-seasonal product to make sure they see the value and stick around. You may adjust your discount strategy based on the quality or retention of the customers who joined with the discount. You may want to offer a discount or gift after a certain order to get people over a hump where you know a lot of people churn.
As you pull these levers, you’ll be able to see the results in your cohort data. You can think of your business as a series of experiments and use cohorts as a way to see how they play out. Each monthly cohort is the beginning of a relationship and over time you can make those relationships last longer and longer. Subscriptions aren’t just about getting someone's credit card - they give you the ability to stay close to a customer who loves your product.
[Emily ] How do you think people should shift their thinking when they think about subscriptions vs focusing on one-time purchases?
[Nicolas] The way you build strong subscriptions is through building relationships. This goes beyond data into the customer experience - how do they experience purchasing your product, managing their subscription, receiving the physical package, interacting with your customer support.
With one-time purchases we talk about repeat rate, but there’s no commitment. You have to constantly push for the customer to come back. With subscription, they’re your customer to lose because they’ve already committed to purchase automatically. You should think more about how to retain them, show them your value, make sure they are getting what they want, when they want.
Brands who can make subscription work always end up having higher LTV than brands who don’t, but it doesn’t just work automatically. You’ll end up with a lot of drop-off after the first purchase if you don’t invest the time and effort into making sure the subscription experience is great.
[Emily ] Love that! That’s definitely the way we think about it at Awtomic too and why we put so much emphasis on delivering delightful experiences out of the box that are built to retain consumers. We’ve got some really exciting surprise and delight features coming up that will help automate gifts and retention rewards.
For folks who might be interested in seeing data beyond subscription, what benefits are there to upgrading to the full version of Peel?
[Nicolas] You can get a lot of your core subscription metrics on Awtomic now with our integration. I’d recommend upgrading to the full version of Peel if you want to go deeper into segmentation and understanding your customers. We have a lot of really powerful tools to help you go deeper into your data by SKU, product type, etc. We can also pull the rest of your data from Shopify and give you the full picture of your business including one-time purchases, but also how your customers transition from one-time to subscription. I find that using segments is another great way to really build a thorough understanding and see how the data differs depending on certain important aspects of the customer.