Episode 22: Creating an intelligent shopping experience for your customers

Episode 22 aaron rebuy 1

On this week’s episode of Retention Chronicles, we’re joined by Aaron Dungca, Director of Merchant Success at Rebuy, a personalization platform that creates intelligent shopping experiences. Aaron, Noah, and Mariah chat through;

  • How merchant success and retention relate

  • Taking a consultative approach to help rather than sell

  • Creating lasting relationships

  • What it means to have an intelligent shopping experience and how to create one

  • KPIs to look for

  • How to increase your AOV (average order value) and ROI (return on investment) on ad spend

  • How to navigate building partnerships with other technologies vs building out product features

Be sure to subscribe to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands at gomalomo.com. Try our free trial today!

Episode resources: The Leader Who Has No Title by Robin Sharma, The Customer Success Professiona’ls Handbook by Ashvin Vaidyanathan, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Malomo Resource Library.

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Mariah Parsons, Noah Rahimzadeh, Aaron Dungca

Mariah Parsons 00:03

Hello and welcome to retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo, a shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking into a profitable marketing channel. On this podcast, we welcome leading DTC brands and experts to chat about all things customer retention, and E commerce. We absolutely love highlighting all the amazing things that our customers are doing in the post purchase space. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out our website go malomo.com. Maybe you'll even be featured on this podcast someday in the near future, who's to say to help us continue to bring new guests and information to you. Please be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you like to listen. On this week's episode of retention Chronicles, we're joined by Aaron dunka, Director of merchant success at ribeye, a personalization platform that creates intelligence shopping experiences. Aaron, Noah and myself chat through how merchants success and retention relate how Aaron takes a consultative approach to helping their merchants rather than really trying to sell their merchants. He's had a bunch of different roles that he walks through during the episode. And he expresses how he doesn't vary from that consultative approach no matter who he's talking to or what position he's in. And it's a very interesting conversation. We also talk about creating lasting relationships, what it means to have an intelligent shopping experience, and how to create one as well as KPIs to look for how to increase your ARV and ROI on adspend. And we also talk about how to navigate building partnerships with other technologies bursting out, bursting versus building out other product features. Hello, everyone, and welcome to retention Chronicles. Super excited for our guest this week. Aaron, thank you so much for joining. I know and I today. I know we're both really excited. We were just saying how much we love the ribeye team. So super excited to welcome you today. If you could walk us back through like your background, your position at ribeye. What is ribeye? That'd be great.

Aaron Dungca 02:21

Yeah, excited to be here as well. The feeling is definitely mutual. So yeah, my name is Aaron. I lead up the merchant success team over here at ribeye. So director of merchant success. How I got here is kind of a long story. So I had a pretty unique experience growing up in that, like, I moved around a lot as a kid, you know, by the time I was 16, I lived in five different countries went to eight different schools. being the new kid in a school kind of forces you to be adaptable. And it can be really difficult if you don't learn to be a people person. So you have always enjoyed meeting new people being curious about like their background and their priorities, which is kind of what led me into this type of role. So a little bit of background about me, I've always been passionate about technology, the internet entrepreneurship. I used to watch Shark Tank religiously. So after doing my undergrad in business and marketing, I went to go work at a marketing consultancy firm for a year before transitioning my career into sales. And about four years into my career as a sales leader, I saw a posting for a little company based out of Ottawa called Shopify. And it seemed like a great fit like a great intersection between technology business entrepreneurship. So I joined and had a four year run there and various teams at the company. So it was in the customer success or business development, enterprise sales. And that's how I learned about rebuy as part of you know, the solution for Shopify, and Shopify Plus a lot of the time. So as I started to talk to rebuy, I thought, like, wow, this sounds like a very early Shopify. And I had always kind of wondered to myself, you know, what would it have been? Like if I joined Shopify, you know, maybe five, six years earlier? What would pre IPO life changing equity look like? For me? How much faster could I make an impact? I've accelerated my career. So yeah, in talking with a ribeye team, you know, there's just very clear obsession with creating value for merchants through product. So I joined ribeye last year in August as their first sales hire. And in January was subsequently tasked with building out and scaling our Merchant success organization.

Mariah Parsons 04:42

Yeah, that's wonderful. So, I mean, there's so many aspects of your background that can tie into your current title right with merchant success. And so before we dive into more details around that you said you mentioned creating value through product right for your merchants. And so is that kind of what drew you to that role of merchants success is how can you really like retain your customers? And how can you develop that relationship? Or has that been a central point of, you know, your career of maintaining those? Those relationships?

Aaron Dungca 05:21

Yeah, I always say that merchant success chose me. So think about like my, my career in tech, had worked in customer success and worked in support. I've worked in sales, merchant success. And I always tell people that I speak to you that like, these roles really aren't so different. What you are doing is you're gathering context, you're providing value, you're offering solutions. Sometimes it's just the KPIs in which you're met, you measure success that are slightly different. But I feel like my role over the course of the career has just like, not changed too much. I'm still doing all of that, you know, either fits for merchants or consulting with my colleagues as far as how we can best solution for merchants reposition, provide value. Just make people more successful on our platform.

Mariah Parsons 06:13

Yeah, yeah, I love that. So rebuy all about, you know, that personalization aspect, driving a Ovie product, Rex. And so obviously, this podcast is about retention. That's what Malomo is all about why Malomo And ribeye works so well together. And so in your, in your own words, how do you retention? And then merchant success? How do they relate to each other? How do they you know, how is it like they add to the flywheel and kind of boost each other up?

Aaron Dungca 06:41

Yeah, so they definitely positively correlate with each other. And then yeah, to your point, add, like a really great flywheel. So if we take a look at, like retention, the higher retention rate, the more successful someone is going to be, the more successful someone is going to be. They're going to uncover, you know, new things that they're looking to solve, or new ways in which you can try value. And through having those discussions with your counterpart on, you know, the solution side in the merchant success team, we can then funnel that back into product to drive more value for our merchants, which increases our merchants ability to optimize their KPIs, which makes them more successful, which makes them sticky on the platform, which then helps inform the product. So yeah, couldn't have put it better myself really great flywheel in terms of, you know, creating value for merchants, and just making them more successful.

Noah Rahimzadeh 07:43

Right. I'm wondering if you don't mind me jumping in Mariah? Aaron, you mentioned KPIs, and I'm happy you brought that up, because I think they're, you know, there's really an infinite amount of KPIs that you could consider relevant to retention. So from your standpoint, you know, whether you want to tie this question directly back to ribeye, or more broadly, how do you think about the most important KPIs for retention? And then maybe we can dive into like, what, what good and bad looks like on those KPIs as well?

Aaron Dungca 08:21

Yeah, well, I mean, you are, I would say, are the the retention experts at Malomo. For us, a ribeye, really like from a KPI standpoint, we take a look a lot, a lot of things. So really firmly believe that there is no e commerce KPI that personalization can't solve for, if you look at just at what the heart of personalization is, is, you know, getting the right offer to the right customer at the right time with the right messaging. And merchants, what we've found is, you know, initially we created ribeye, as a solution to create these smart shopping experiences. And the main problem that merchants were looking to solve for was like, How do I increase my ARV? How do I increase the average order value for the customers by recommending the right products. And as our product and our Merchant base started to evolve, and these new problems began to emerge, like, started to realize like, Oh, by creating better shopping experiences, this is how we actually increase your conversion rate. This is how we actually increase your retention rate and, you know, get customers to come back and just be delighted with an awesome experience that that they're presented with on your store. From a retention standpoint, as well, like with all of these shifts in technology that have been happening over saturation of advertising online with a pandemic supply chain bottlenecks, like retention is top of mind for a lot of the enterprise merchants that we work with and even the smaller merchants that are just looking to compete, right, we're spending so much money on these advertising dollars. How do we get the most out of this? How do we to increase our return on adspend. And, you know, how do we get relevant products to the customers, that is not just a static, you know, offer, we want this to be truly personalized based on who this customer is what they're adding to the cart, how they click through over here. So, yeah, on top of that, what we're looking at is subscriber acquisition, right? A lot of the verses that we're working with, you know, in CPG, you know, direct to consumer beauty cosmetics. When we're getting a good paying customer, can we secure this customer as someone who's always coming back and then recurring basis? So I don't know if that fully answers your question. But there's always a ton of KPIs in our mind. And, you know, at the heart of our conversations that we're having with our merchants is like, we really want to deeply understand what is going to be most valuable for you. Because typically, we'll hear merchant saying, yes, we want to increase average order value, but like, what is the root of this problem over here? And then, okay, based off of that root problem, where are some other KPIs that we can help through our feature set or partnerships that we have as well?

Noah Rahimzadeh 11:15

Yeah, no, that's, that's super helpful. Great context. And yeah, I totally agree. Like there's so many different metrics, you talked about ao V, but I like going one step deeper into like, okay, but like, why? Or, you know, is there diving deeper into that, like, maybe, maybe driving subscriptions might be more beneficial to like a brand rather than just naturally increasing? AOP? Right. So like, really understanding the root problem helps to identify like what you should be probably solving for from a KPI perspective.

Aaron Dungca 11:47

Yeah, definitely. And sometimes we talk to brands, and they say, okay, yeah, subscriber acquisition is the goal. And if we dig one level deeper, is like, why is subscriber acquisition the goal? And they say, it's because our subscriber retention is actually quite low. And we think, okay, so maybe there's some other ways like, how can we better influence subscriber retention? And, you know, encourage Chern subscribers to come back? Should the offer that you're presenting, if I came to your site, and I'm a customer, and I've been a subscriber in the past? Should we be presenting the same offer in the same way as if I were a new customer? Probably not. Right? Like, if you think about the most exciting experiences that you've had, you know, shopping in person, if you're a regular at a coffee shop? Would you expect the barista to treat you the same way as if you're someone who's completely Nope. I don't know. Probably not. So, yeah, lots of different ways in which we look at things and really just looking to get creative with our solutions. And I think part of what's really exciting about working in Merchant success in an organization like ribeye, and get to work with partners, like Malomo, is we are working with like, truly super innovative brands that are really pushing the boundaries of like, what you can do with personalization, what types of campaigns that they're running. And then through understanding those merchants problems, and goals, and, you know, finding out what the solution is democratizing that, and sharing that knowledge with the wider audience so that we can truly like just get these types of experiences out there at scale.

Mariah Parsons 13:30

Yeah, that's great. Do you have like off the top of your mind any examples? You don't have to name them by name, if you don't want to, but any examples of those, like really creative, those innovative brands that are like taking personalization to the next level? Like in those campaigns?

Aaron Dungca 13:48

Yeah, so we've got like Black Friday, right around the corner, right? And a lot of brands are like, Okay, we don't want to do just like a blanket discount at Black Friday. It's just not exciting enough, like, we're not going to just compete on okay, you're doing X percent discount, we're going to do a y percent discount, and that's why you should come with us, right? So how do we create like, really, really interesting experiences, and perhaps one of the, the most exciting ones was, I was working with a merchant and they wanted to do a gift with purchase campaign. And the goal for this merchant was to increase the return on adspend. So they wanted the gift with purchase campaign to basically give the customer a unique gift based off of how the ad actually click through. So imagine this you have all of your different marketing channels as a merchant, right? And you're doing paid advertising through like Instagram, maybe you've got some influencers campaigns as well too. And depending on how I click through to the site, so if I come in as an organic visitor, I make a gift a right if I come in through an influencer campaign, I'm apt get gift be and as we're are, you know, presenting gift be in the cart, we're saying, you know, this is your influencers, top pick, right so that way, not only are we personalizing the experience based off of who their customer is how they click through to the store, but we're also, you know, providing that social proof to encourage the conversion for that order even more. So that was like one campaign that I was like, wow, this is so so cool. Because we're increasing return on adspend. We are increasing conversion rate, and we're increasing average order value, as opposed to just like, discounting heavily. And as far as like, basically meeting whatever their objective is so

Mariah Parsons 15:45

right, yeah, yeah, that's, that's a really cool, a cool way to incorporate the social proof. And we had a webinar around Black Friday and Cyber Monday and just like seeing all the different trends, and it stood out to me that it's kind of assumed now that there's some type of discount, right? Like, that's not anything new. That's what a consumer is expecting. So hearing, you kind of walk through that use case of, oh, now you have different like segments for how the customer is clicking through the gift that they're getting. I'm like thinking about that from a consumers perspective. And I'm like, you know, if I saw that I was like, Oh, this influencer that I really like, this is their product, you know, I'm going to love that. That's the gift that would be associated with my purchase. So I love that that's, that's a use case that you shared. And I think that's so cool that ribeye is able to enable a brand to do so.

Aaron Dungca 16:42

Totally, yeah. So the way that we approach like merchants success, and basically like sharing these types of strategies with our merchants, I alluded to this before, and that, you know, we're democratizing a lot of these strategies, which are typically reserved and functionality, which are typically reserved for like enterprise size purchase, I think, like, really, really parallels kind of like the evolution of how ribeye started. So not a lot of people know this, but ribeye in its early days, we were a bespoke agency, and we're working with Shopify Plus brands, and we're building these experiences kind of as like a one off solution. And kind of similarly to that we're seeing, okay, these brands are doing some really cool stuff and rebuilding it, how do we get this to a wider audience? Like, is there an opportunity to amplify this and, you know, get this type of functionality to merchants of any size. So like, I always think of, you know, merchants success are the people that a merchant is going to be interacting with, on the solution side of things almost as an extension of the product. So really just trying to, you know, follow what our product has been doing from a strategy perspective.

Noah Rahimzadeh 18:00

That that backstory, Mariah reminds me a lot of

Mariah Parsons 18:03

Malomo is gonna say, Yep,

Noah Rahimzadeh 18:07

I know, the last time we told this story on the podcast, but very similar, Aaron, we are founders. We're running a dev shop, and over time had a couple of E commerce merchants come through the add this order tracking problem, and like you said, built, you know, bespoke solutions, and then over time, had to figure out how do they bring it to a wider audience, because they saw that this is probably probably not a unique problem for their couple, you know, clients in the DTC space. But one thing I think, I've noticed ribeye does really, really well. And I like to think that our founders and now our entire team has taken a similar approach is like, you set out to solve this very particular solution, right? Or a particular problem. But you didn't want to become all things to all people. Like even in the UGC example that you just gave and, and leveraging influencers. That's like really a complimentary offering to what you have. But it's not something that you like thought, Oh, we must build this ourselves with the Shopify ecosystem and the App Store the way that that it is like, if you if you go to market thinking, you know, you're going to be all things to all people, you're going to struggle going against his best in breed solutions. And what I what I've really loved about ribeye is like sort of knowing what you're really, really good at, and then leveraging, you know, other app partners and even agencies to help round out a fuller solution. So would you would you sort of agree that that's been ingrained since the early days?

Aaron Dungca 19:46

Totally. Yeah, there's, it's interesting, because there's a lot that we do, and yes, sometimes we have to say no, and we have to say, You know what, that is a great feature request. So that's the Create, like problem to be solving, we actually know who would be much better at solving this as well. And that's where partners like, you know, Malomo and a CLEVEO, tentative, right, like, recharge for subscriptions like these all come in and, and basically, what we're looking to do is be highly integrated with a merchants tech stack, right? Like, working at Shopify, I've worked with many merchants, and you know, they're always kind of like adding apps. And sometimes these apps don't really work well together, and just a really, really super frustrating experience from a merchant perspective. Whereas, you know, if you find a solution, and you say, Okay, does it play nicely with this? Does it play nicely with that? And the answer is yes, then you know, okay, this can be a trusted solution. And we're just going to avoid any headaches in the future. So yep, definitely, you know, we want to focus on the 80% that we know we do really, really, really well. And, you know, the other 20%. You know, that's, that's where we have great friends.

Noah Rahimzadeh 21:06

I think I think when you you said something in there that made me think of John, your founders. He just recently posted something on LinkedIn. That said, I think it said like, we're going to become the best personalization tool in E commerce by becoming the most integrated personalization tool on E commerce. And so just sort of giving some some proof from the top level that that certainly is the focus. And you guys do, you know, as good if not better a job of that than any, you know, any of the other personalization tools in the space as far as I can tell. So it pays off for sure. When we look at Joy client success.

Aaron Dungca 21:45

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And, like, we our goal, of course, is to be the most integrated and part of that means us integrating with, you know, other solutions. And another big part of that is like, okay, how can we get other solutions to integrate with us, like our smartcard as an example is a huge, huge hero feature that, I think from a merchandising perspective is incredibly powerful to customers and to merchants. So, you know, opening up our Smart Cart for development so that app developers can say, hey, here's something that I think would work really well in your cart, so that when they're going to other merchants, and they're selling their solution to other merchants, or providing, you know, their their technology to the merchants that they're working with? They don't have to say oh, no, we don't play well with rebuy, right. Like they can say, oh, yeah, we buy, we know them, they're great. We work seamlessly with them, too.

Mariah Parsons 22:43

And so when we're talking about being able to decipher like integrations, partners playing really well with each other. How would you say like, how do you how does your on your team, you and your team navigate? where that line is between like, oh, we know that? Our partner does this really well. And we partner with them? That's an integration we have versus say you get a product feedback from a brand or a merchant or one of your teammates, right? Like how do you how do you make that distinction between Oh, we have an integration with our partner? Let us refer you to them. We worked really well versus how you build out new features in within the rebuy platform.

Aaron Dungca 23:33

Yeah, that's a really good question I want like, it's almost like tribal knowledge, right? Where it's like you've been, you've been here, you know, okay, this is our bread and butter. Yeah, we can do that totally makes sense to kind of like fit this into the product, product roadmap, let's just pass along this feedback to our product team. And sometimes it's like, oh, we're not great at that, like, well, we just have to build it from scratch. And, like, we know that there's a clear, clear leader here who's providing a ton of value that is much better positioned to solve this problem for us. So really, just being aware of who the other players are in your space, and how you can complement each other. think is the biggest key thing over here. Because really just want to continue to drive value together.

Mariah Parsons 24:22

Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I like talking it up to that awareness and just knowing the Shopify ecosystem in general. I like that answer a lot. I know it's more of a umbrella meta question, but it came to mind. And so another question that also came to mind is when you're considering when you're talking with a brand, when they're considering like other tech solutions, of course you have your partners. But what do you think in general is important for a merchant to when they're looking at how to build out their tech stack? What do you think like they should be considering is it like they As the more most important thing, is it really it depends on their specific goals. What would you what would you kind of say to that if you were advising, you know, a specific merchant?

Aaron Dungca 25:10

Yeah, it's a really good question that I think the answer is almost like implied in the question with the word solution. Right. So I think the main thing that anyone should really be looking for is, what problem does this solve for? Right? And, you know, even digging a layer deeper, like we talked about before, like, what is the root of this problem that solves for or better yet, is the solution that I'm evaluating able to solve multiple problems. So I think that is definitely like a key thing that I relate to a lot, because oftentimes, we get, you know, people hear about ribeye, oh, yeah, increase your EO V, you know, cross sell upsell, and they come to us for that one specific thing. And as we start to learn more about the merchant who's here, okay, so what's top of mind for you is yes, of course, you know, increasing average order value, but what about your conversion rates? What about your retention rates? What about your customer lifetime value? Like? How are those stuck up on the priority list with you? So? What problem does it solve for? Is it able to solve multiple problems? Or better yet even? Are we able to solve problems that you did not even know that you had? And I think that's something that comes up a lot more often than merchants anticipate is, you know, through a deep understanding of the business, are we able to unearth some other value adds and solutions that we can provide for problems that they didn't necessarily where they weren't necessarily aware of? And then on a second part of that is like, do you have to compromise in terms of the solution? Right? Like, is this going to solve all of your pain points at 100%? And then, you talked about this with the analytics is, how do we quantify the value of the solution? So depending on what the problem is, it could be, you know, specific metric, it can be measured via ROI, like, does the solution that you're looking at, provide those insights so that you can make data informed decisions about the investment that you're making in your business? And sometimes, it's very clearly quantifiable from a revenue perspective. Other solutions, you know, we're looking at things like, how much time are we saving you? Right? Like, if, if this is something that you had to get a developer to create and maintain? How much time are we saving your team from a lead time in being agile in executing your marketing promotions? To basically, you know, as opposed to having, you know, this need to go to development development needs to turn it around, you know, two to three weeks turnaround time it comes back, it's not fully baked out by then marketing's chance of plans have changed, right? Like, is there an opportunity cost to you not being agile? Or what is the opportunity cost for you to not have the solution?

Noah Rahimzadeh 28:11

What I thought I thought is really interesting, when you talk about like, solving problems that merchants don't know, they have, especially in the case of rebuy when like personalization is a majorly hot topic right now. So imagine that if merchant, you know, if any merchants are not already thinking about personalization, it's coming very soon. And then taking that one step further. Like obviously, all merchants are keenly aware of their ao V. LTV is a huge, huge metric that that most if not all, are tracking. So I'm curious. With that in mind, I'm sure that you get a lot of like, just inbound, you know, traffic when people try to solve those big macro problems. But then when you dive in, are there any issues that you're seeing come up more and more these days? Or things that like merchant, you know, you regularly see, but that merchants really haven't identified when they do come to you?

Aaron Dungca 29:06

Yeah, this is a really good question. So based off of the conversations that we have, with merchants, as I mentioned, like a lot of them are coming in, because they want to increase their average order value, like that's kind of what we're known for today. And as you know, merchants start to learn more about ribeye and we start to learn more about the merchant. I'd say like, one of the biggest trending things that I've seen is just like increasing return on adspend because that's not something that they don't necessarily say explicitly. But, you know, maybe sometimes merchants are coming in because they want this one spot of their store. Let's say for example, like the checkout optimized with, you know, a cross sell opportunity or an upsell opportunity. But as they talk to our team, we can kind of like, take a look at their existing solution and say, okay, you've got some recommendations here. You got some recommendations in the current like Howard He's pulling in Are they are they dynamic, we take a look at your homepage, you just showing the same products on the homepage every single time, regardless of who the customer is how they click through what the purchasing history is. So yeah, kind of all over the place. But there's a lot that we can often uncover where it's like, okay, sometimes merchants are coming in because they want to add specific functionality. But what we want to do is we want to create an intelligent shopping experience throughout the entire customer journey. So oftentimes, I think merchants are very narrow minded, or rephrase, merchants come in with a very specific part of that customer journey that they're looking to solve for. And then through our discovery of the merchants, goals and priorities, we can understand, you know, the entire customer journey, and where we can provide additional value throughout that.

Noah Rahimzadeh 30:57

I'm curious and kind of piggybacking off of that, and thinking about the entire customer journey. Because, you know, for Malomo, for example, it's very, very clearly a retention play, like, we are a post purchase tool. So like natively, you have to buy something before we can really provide value. But I think for ribeye, and please correct me if I'm wrong, like you can theoretically provide value on both sides, the acquisition and retention. So I'm curious one, I want to make sure that that's accurate. But to you know, when when merchants do come to you, I'm just generally curious, like, what's the general problem that on? What side of that fence? Are they trying to solve for? Is it acquisition? Or has it has the shift to retention that we all know really, really well, right, like in terms of the value that it can provide? Has that made its way to the merchant side yet? Or is this is the focus still heavily on acquisition?

Aaron Dungca 31:54

Yeah, I would say the focus has historically been very heavily an acquisition, and it is something that the market is starting to learn more about in that, you know, personalization is really a play on whatever metric you choose for it to be a focus on. So yeah, typically, they'll come in with an acquisition type of goal and through, you know, learning about our solution, they'll realize, okay, this is actually very, very helpful from a retention standpoint to

Noah Rahimzadeh 32:30

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I think that there's still a lot of education to be done on the value of retention. So I was curious if that had made its way to what you're doing yet. Just wait

Aaron Dungca 32:42

until after Black Friday, like, after Black Friday, people are like, Okay, now what it's like, we just did all this work for acquisition during Black Friday. But now, how do you retain those customers? For, you know, the next month, the next six months, the next year? Five years? Right, like, what is the longer term plan the longer term vision? So I think there's definitely, you know, based off of what I've seen, and working with brands, starting to be a shift priority towards retention, which we fully fully embrace.

Mariah Parsons 33:19

Right? Yeah. No, and that's why, you know, I think we talked about this a lot, Noah, as a company of we're starting to see and through this podcast, right, we get the opportunity to chat with a bunch of folks. And of course, we have a focus on retention. And so we always like to ask that question of like, oh, from your point of view, where do you see that kind of that switch? Or that relationship of acquisition and retention coming into play? Because it's super interesting just to hear from everyone's point of view and rebuy especially like know what you said you can have an intelligent shopping experience, like throughout the whole thing, right? So pre purchase, all the way up till post purchase. And so with that, do you see we've kind of been talking about like patterns and perspective opinion, do you see like, certain patterns where you know, a brand is coming in and trying to increase their ad spend or increase their ARV is are there any differentiators in terms of like the industry that you typically see, oh, this pattern is like really specific to this industry or this type of product? Anything like or like, subscriber in one shot, anything like that, that you've kind of seen throughout your experience?

Aaron Dungca 34:35

Yeah, I'm trying to think because we've worked with so many so many different brands.

Mariah Parsons 34:40

It's kind of tie it all in. Like I definitely

Aaron Dungca 34:43

would say that, you know, health and wellness beauty, you know, CPG like, those brands tend to have like a higher emphasis on retention subscriber acquisition. subscriber churn prevention, right when back of churn, I would say those come up more often on, you know, it's like a top three type of like KPI goals on a conversations that we have with merchants, whereas and it's interesting like, so for those types of brands like it would make a lot of sense to remarket a product that a customer has already purchased. Whereas in something like an apparel or a jewelry space, right, like, it's very, very rare that it makes sense for a customer to be presented with the exact same product that they've previously purchased. In fact, it's probably the opposite. You know, if you're Merchandising Products, and you have a certain limited amount of shelf space, you probably want to ensure that they're not showing those same products again, too. So yeah, I would say, across across all industries, return on adspend is seem to be one that seems to be coming up quite a lot. And it's usually through like the initial foundational setup of rebuy were the same, okay, first, we're going to optimize for acquisition by ensuring that each step of the funnel, you know, has got the right piece to offer this smart shopping experience. And then we it's almost like we kind of go through a customer journey for each of these merchants, right, like start to finish. So from a brand new customer, how are they landing on your site? And then they're converting what's happens after they converted to their order? Right. Yeah. Tough to say that to say, but that's kind of overseeing?

Mariah Parsons 36:50

Yeah, I think there's still insights in that even though you know, these questions, there's never gonna be a rarely will there be a one size fits. All right. So even just to hear you talk about some of the differentiators, even though it might be more general, I think it's still helpful and interesting to listen to. And you had mentioned like walking through the customer journey, I think that's a huge part of it, right? Like seeing putting yourself in the customer's shoes, seeing how they're going about because I think, you know, unless a merchant is has someone who's dedicated to doing that, it might seem because you're in it, right, you're in your brand. You it might make sense to you, but to have kind of a, you know, a technology provider, someone else walk through that customer experience and be like, Oh, that that doesn't make sense to me, or that should be personalized. Something that's personalized in the journey, I think makes a ton of sense.

Aaron Dungca 37:46

Yeah, for sure. And it's like, these are things that at ribeye, we it kind of goes back to one of your your earlier questions, no. Which is like, how do we know when, you know, perhaps we're not the best person to advise on this sort of solution? Like, we talk about these sorts of things all day at ribeye, right. But if a merchant really wants to hone in on the post purchase experience, and retention, like we can give some high level overview over there. But we know that the ones who are true subject matter experts are going to be our partners, right, like Malomo. So now just a thought. Yeah, I

Noah Rahimzadeh 38:31

feel like that's sort of a shift in a way for you as well, specifically Aaron in your changeover from like direct new business sales to merchant success. And I'm curious how you think about beings being consultative in this space, because because of what we've talked about a couple of times now, like, there's so much out there that you could advise on that you have some knowledge on. And I'm, I'm curious, like, from a professional standpoint, how you've thought about your role shifting, when you went from new business to merchant success, and sort of what that I'm sure very like consulting type of approach that you guys are taking, because I know that you're recommending Malomo. And I know that you're recommending, you know, other tools in the stack, like rebuy for subscriptions, sorry, recharged for subscriptions. And I'm just curious how you like think about that approach when you're serving serving your clients.

Aaron Dungca 39:31

Yeah, so even when I was in sales, my approach has always been incredibly consultative, right? Like and what's really nice about ribeye is like the breadth of our product is oftentimes we have a solution for a pain point, like the just the sheer number of problems that we solve makes us a great fit most of the time. That being said, we're not afraid to walk away and say you know What, this is just not a great fit today, this could be something that could be a really great fit based off this very particular use case. And, as I mentioned before, like I feel like my roles have never really changed. Like it's all been solutions based consultative, whether you call it selling or success, right? And part of my role now is just like, Okay, how do I enable those that I work with, to be incredibly consultative for the merchants so that whatever we're recommending is just going to be what's best for the merchant? And if that includes ribeye, great, right, if it means that we have to put a pause on ribeye for today, and you know, take a look at it later on down the line. That's fine, too.

Noah Rahimzadeh 40:49

Yeah, that's, that's a really well, first of all, I think that's the by far the best way to sell and provide that sort of hands on consolidate of white glove experience from start to finish really, you know, obviously, as they're evaluating solutions in the space and knowing like, what not only ribeye can solve for but your other partners, consult fours goes a long way and sort of like building trust, right is like shoving product down your clients or prospects throat, and you're actually providing, you know, value throughout the sales cycle. And then once they sign as well, I think that's, that goes a long way in, you know, retention for for SaaS companies to just like it does on the merchant side. So that that is awesome. And I'm, you know, I think that we, we like to think that we take a very, very similar approach and, and really understanding the whole ecosystem. And, you know, what, what our partners can also solve for?

Aaron Dungca 41:52

Yeah, for sure. And then it actually You just reminded me as you were kind of chatting through that it, and it kind of circles back to the earlier question in terms of what should a merchant be looking for when they're looking at a solution? Like? So to be clear, like, sometimes there are things that ribeye does not do out of the box. But is the solution that you're looking at extensible? Like, is it something that is easy and flexible to mold into doing something that you're looking to do, and I think that is going to be a huge, huge thing, especially for enterprise size merchants that have very specific needs to have something that is moldable to suit, whatever it is your needs are and just been really fortunate. You know, joining rebuy, I didn't know how extensible it was until after I started here, but just got really, really lucky that, you know, we've got a super talented team, the way that the product has been built has been built in a way in which we can definitely make some adjustments to it on the fly and one off scenarios to make it fit merchants particular use case. So

Noah Rahimzadeh 43:05

yeah, so when. So when merchants you know come to you and now now if they have revised like this to your point, right? You can you can solve a lot of problems. It's like this personalization suite almost right for for Shopify merchants. I'm sure that there are some things that are sort of like a nice to have or like maybe one day you'll you'll reach the scale where this can really this one feature in our platform can make a huge difference for you. But maybe, maybe not everything that ribeye has to offer is like a great fit for most merchants. And so I'm curious, like, when a merchant comes to you and thinking about personalization, what is like the table stakes thing that they should look out first, to sort of grow from there?

Aaron Dungca 43:49

Yeah, so I would definitely say everything on site, right? Like everything on site is typically the main priority for the merchant in terms of first optimizing. And that's kind of what our foundational lever level is, is good. Let's take a look at the onset experience everything on your store, take a look at each step of the customer journey homepage collection, page PDP, what does your cart look like? Right, we have a lot of data and a lot of experience with working with merchants, as far as like how we've typically seen these sorts of pages convert and perform in a specific vertical, right. So definitely the onsite stuff is what I would say, you know, comes first, and that's typically the foundational element. And then as we dig deeper, you know, some of the nice to haves are okay, how are we managing? So first, it's just like, from a functionality perspective, right? Like, are we getting products recommended at each stage of the journey? And then as we dig deeper, it's like, okay, but now how are we recommending these products right? Is it based off of who the customer is? Is it based off of what they have in their cart? Is it based off of what they looked at? Is it based off of, you know, a specific URL that they click through a customer segment, and making relevant data informed decisions as far as how you're merchandising those products as well. And the knowledge that I like to use always and the team often use when speaking with merchants is just like, think about like the best in person shopping experience that you've had and think about, like what has been merchandise to you around other products at every step of the customer journey? How're the sales associates interacting with you? Right? Like what is the language that they're using with you to help influence and create like a really, really awesome shopping experience that would encourage you to come back? So I'd say those two parts first, and then typically, once the that foundational element is in there, we've got, you know, all of the spots, with the right merchandising widgets, and the merchant merchandising modules, all of those widgets are being powered by the correct logic that makes sense for that stellar customer journey based on who the customer is. But then we looked at Okay, what about all the things that happen? After the purchase from a retention standpoint, right, like? Are the offers that are being presented on their tracking page, right, like relevant based off of their order like this? Is this something that makes sense? If subscriber is acquired and they churn? How are we asking for that subscriber back? Does it vary? Depending on what product that they purchased? Does it vary depending on how long they were subscribed for? What does it offer incentive that we get for getting that customer back to even if you have a follow up email, right, like, what are you recommending in that follow up email? Do you have ways for the customer if you're in a CPG space to quickly reorder and easily checkout and purchase the same thing again? So lots of lots of different things like the customer journey doesn't end on site? And yeah, just really looking at, you know, how can we best optimize this experience holistically? You know, regardless of who the customer is, or where they're at, in their own customer journey?

Mariah Parsons 47:17

Yeah, I love how we've been talking about how you can enable the merchant and optimize like, for all the different areas that ribeye or Malomo, can touch upon. And one thing came to mind. And you had mentioned, you know, enabling the merchant beforehand. But I'm curious now being director of merchant success, how do you enable your team to also do so? So it's a little we're switching? A little bit, but I'm curious, just before we wrap up, you know, how do you kind of provide take all the perspectives, everything that you've learned from your background and apply it in, tell your team about, you know, help navigate, help them navigate? You know, what would be best for a merchant?

Aaron Dungca 47:59

Yeah, so my approach to leadership and enabling a team is very similar to my sales approach, like incredibly consultative start from a point of understanding first, okay, based off of where we're at today, what are our priorities? What are our goals? How are we feeling like at the end of the day, we're all people I alluded to this the beginning of our call, like, I've always been a people person, right? And then based off of that, like, once you understand what the personal goals are, and you start to take a look at, okay, one solution is not, it's not a one size fits, all right, like you have to come from a point of understanding and say, okay, based off of the situation at hand, what is the low hanging fruit here? What like, that's, that's often how I work with merchants. And that's how I work with my team as well as like, okay, based off of current state, what is the low lift potentially high reward behavior that we can start to build habits for, to continue to hit our objectives, whether that's from a business standpoint or from, you know, being consultative from our merchants and enabling merchants? So that is at like the heart of, of what I do. And that's what I say, all the roles that I've had have not really been too different. It's just a slightly different audience, and maybe a slightly different measurement of success.

Mariah Parsons 49:23

Yeah, yeah. I love that. And I appreciate you sharing, kind of like how you operate and I love seeing the consistency, right, like in how you operate in daily life. I think that's wonderful. And so as we're wrapping up this episode, one of the things we always love to ask is resources that you could use that you would recommend. So this can be just for you know, ecommerce, DDC space in general, or specific to rebuy, merchant success, kind of anywhere you want to take it, what would you say?

Aaron Dungca 49:55

Yeah, I've got a lot so specific to specific to like just like leadership I would say a leader had no title. I really liked that one that one's Sharma got a few over here for Customer Success Customer Success professionals handbook I think that one has been really insightful for me for just understanding how to best manage relationships drive success for your organization for your customers, or gents and then how to win friends and influence people I would say like that one is really really defining read for myself in my professional career. I often revisit snippets of that book and you know, just as like a nice reminder as far as how we should be operating

Noah Rahimzadeh 50:58

by far my favorite business book ever and not just not just business but like life in general in life in general. Yeah, totally. That was a that was a game changer book for me for sure. Mariah if you don't mind, I'm gonna shout out a resource as well. So normally we talk about like blogs or books or you know podcast but today I actually want to shout out our CSM team met Malomo and the CSM team at rebuy like Aaron's talked about this entire time, right we both take a very consultative approach. So whether it's about ribeye or about Malema specifically, or you just want to talk about, you know how to get the most out of our tools, even integrating them across the rest of your stack, always here for that. And then on top of that we are running a mutual promotion. So rebuy customers can get a special offer on Malomo. And vice versa. So if you're a rebuy customer reach out to your rebuy customer success manager to get more information on that. And same goes for Malomo customers. So that's the resource today.

Aaron Dungca 52:05

Yeah. And I definitely have to give Malomo a shout for like the marketing content that you push out as well like super, super informative as well. Yeah, or anything personalization related. You know, we've got a ton of content coming out as well to the replay side.

Mariah Parsons 52:27

Yeah, I love those. I love all the more resources. So even after this episode, if you have more, we'll be sure to put them in the episode description. We'll link all those. But Aaron, this has been so much fun having you on the podcast today. I know a ton of the valuable information was shared. So really, thank you for making the time. We'd love you in the rebuy team. And we can't wait for this episode to be out there for everyone else to listen to.

Aaron Dungca 52:52

Yeah, the feeling is mutual. We love Malomo Thanks so much for having me. It's been a blast. Yeah.

Noah Rahimzadeh 52:59

Thanks, Aaron. Thanks, Mariah.

Mariah Parsons 53:01

Cool, everyone. Bye. And that is it for this week's episode. I hope you enjoyed it. We do not have a fact check for this episode. But I did want to mention that we are wrapping up Season One of retention Chronicles so if you've been listening consistently, or if you've just listened to this episode, thank you and we hope that you'll subscribe and listen to more. There's a lot of exciting stuff that is coming into play for season two. So definitely stay tuned for that.