Find out how Equator Coffees achieved 372% subscription growth by switching to Ordergroove
Subscription sales growth
Online revenue from subscriptions
Equator Coffees is a small, nimble roaster so when consumer demand for their products shot through the roof during the pandemic, they knew they needed to migrate to a subscription platform that was easier to manage and delivered a top-tier consumer shopping experience.
Long-time subscription advocates, Equator Coffees launched a subscription experience with a well-known subscription provider in 2016 – and saw rapid growth. The company’s goal was to acquire 100 subscribers; today, they have more than 2,500.
“In 2016, we realized that as direct-to-consumer continued to grow and people were becoming more and more comfortable with buying food products online, that subscription could be another way for us to connect directly with our consumers,” said Elan Lieber, Senior Performance Marketing Manager at Equator Coffees.
More importantly, Equator Coffees recognized that their subscribers’ customer lifetime value (CLV) was five times higher than customers who made one-time online purchases.
Shifting Consumer Habits Leads to Wake-Up Call
In early 2020, the coronavirus swept the country and forced consumers to stay home. As a result, shoppers turned to eCommerce experiences like subscription offerings to have the products they needed delivered right to their doorsteps.
Equator Coffees’ subscription experience grew rapidly in a short period. However, this boon came with a major downside. The roaster’s subscription platform used a partially integrated checkout. This type of experience — commonly referred to as a “hijacked checkout” — transfers shoppers to a different site and interface to complete their purchase.
Because of their subscription platform’s hijacked checkout, Equator Coffees was forced to duplicate their product catalog. Every time they wanted to update an SKU or run a promotion, they were forced to double their work. This made managing their subscription offering time-consuming, forcing them to focus on operational tasks over growth.
The challenges with Equator Coffees’ subscription platform didn’t stop there. As more and more roasters launched subscription experiences, Equator Coffees realized that they needed a flexible and convenient subscriber experience that would not only differentiate their offering but also actively fight churn, and their subscription platform couldn’t deliver.
“The pandemic really fast-forwarded what our subscription services can offer and what it is,” Elan said. “A big part of our migration to working with Ordergroove… was being able to meet our customers where they were at. And giving them the customization and the flexibility that [Ordergroove] offers was huge for us.”
Making the Switch to Ordergroove
In late 2020, Equator Coffees began evaluating new subscription solutions and after speaking with other coffee roasters, chose to migrate to Ordergroove. They signed with Ordergroove in April of 2021 and launched their new subscription experience in July.
“[Our first subscription platform was] a fine partner to allow us to try a lot of different things, but as the platform grew and our customer base grew, we wanted the ability to increase customer flexibility so they could own and operate their own subscription, as well as integrate further with Shopify.”
Through Ordergroove, Equator Coffees’ subscription experience now allows subscribers to easily pause, skip, or cancel their orders. Subscribers can also swap out products, a simple way to combat flavor fatigue and further extend CLV.
“We don’t have a huge web development presence in our company so having a partner that really integrates closely with our main hosting platform was huge for us because it cut down the amount of challenges when we were trying to run promotions or sales or really anything on the site.”
Equator Coffees’ subscription offering grew dramatically after migrating to Ordergroove. After three months, the experience’s gross merchandise value (GMV), which includes activation and recurring revenue, increased by 260%. Seven months after migration, the experience’s GMV had grown by 372%.
“The biggest thing for us is that we are seeing our direct-to-consumer business continue to migrate further and further to subscription,” Elan said. “Now over 50% of our online revenue comes via subscription.”