Curated subscriptions and brand differentiation are Stumptown’s perfect blend for more recurring revenue


of eCommerce revenue is recurring from subscriptions


recurring revenue growth year-over-year


of subscribers enrolled in a curated, rotating subscription

Beloved for their ethical approach to coffee sourcing, Stumptown Coffee Roasters has been helping farmers grow the best coffee they can and serving it up to loyal coffee enthusiasts since 1999 when they first came on the scene in Portland.

With their brick-and-mortar brand well-established with cafes in Portland, New York, and Los Angeles, by 2015 it was time to expand their presence online. And it wasn’t long before they identified subscriptions as a golden opportunity to dial up recurring revenue and customer lifetime value.

“Subscriptions were a no-brainer for us,” said Dave Oliva, Sr. Manager of eCommerce Growth at Stumptown. “Coffee is a daily experience for people, so they need a steady supply. As a company that sells coffee, how could we not sell subscriptions?”

Switching to Ordergroove to perk up the subscription experience

It made perfect sense in theory. But in practice, delighting subscribers was a tall order with their previous subscription vendor.

“We always had issues with the user interface,” said Dave. “But we held out until 2021 when we overhauled our tech stack, which included a migration to Shopify, and we needed our subscriptions to plug cleanly into our new stack — and handle the scale we were taking on.”

Enter: Ordergroove.


Their smooth migration was the first good sign of success to come. Now, more than half of their eCommerce revenue is recurring reliably every month thanks to subscriptions — and with that figure continuing to grow year-over-year, they haven’t looked back.

In fact, they’ve become a best-in-class example of how subscriptions can look in the coffee category. From a curated subscription offering in addition to a subscribe and save experience, to the clever ways they’ve made subscriptions the preferred experience for their DTC customers, they’ve found the secret to sustainable business growth.

Spoiler: It’s standing out from the crowd with a unique subscriber experience.

Curated subscriptions bring more brand differentiation — and recurring revenue

While the early 2020s saw more brands than ever offering the same subscription benefits — and would-be subscribers getting more selective as they dialed back on spending — Stumptown saw an opportunity to expand on their existing subscribe and save model where customers receive the same type of coffee in every order.

“While some people want consistency with their coffee every morning, there are plenty who want variety — especially in the specialty coffee space,” said Dave.

So, they developed two curated subscription experiences to surprise and delight subscribers with a rotating selection of coffees in each shipment, designed to appeal to their two distinct coffee drinker profiles.

For high-end coffee drinkers who prefer to change things up, the Roaster’s Pick curation gives subscribers a different coffee every two weeks, hand-selected by the same people who source, cup, and roast their coffees — some of which are exclusive blends available only through the curated subscription.

And for those seeking simplicity and convenience in their morning routine, the Blend Shuffle curation gives subscribers a rotation of Stumptown’s most iconic blends — switching it up every two weeks, while saving subscribers a trip to the grocery store.

“Flavors vary wildly from brand to brand, and that’s part of the fun of developing your coffee palate,” said Dave. “Whether they’re totally uninitiated or already knowledgeable about coffee, exploring the whole gamut with curated subscriptions is the easiest way to get started.”

Stumptown’s subscribers aren’t the only ones benefiting from their curated subscriptions — as subscribers get introduced to new coffee flavors, they develop new interests and tastes that keep them excited about each new order instead of churning due to subscription fatigue. So, customer relationships last longer and are more profitable.

And Stumptown gets predictable inventory management thanks to the merchant-controlled product discovery that curated subscriptions enable. “It’s easier to plan the volumes we need and plan inventory months in advance with our curated offerings,” said Dave. “If our sourcing team gets an opportunity to purchase an exciting green coffee, they can buy it up with confidence knowing that the coffee is already sold to our curation subscribers,” he explained. “Or if a particular product isn’t moving as quickly as expected, we can always feature it in our curation to keep things moving.”


Altogether, one-third of Stumptown’s subscriber base is enrolled in a curated subscription offering. And, this is the tea: Those curated experiences keep the subscription fresh, leading to longer purchasing cycles and better retention.

On average, Stumptown’s curated subscriptions have 6-7% better retention up until the third recurring order. They found that if curation subscribers do cancel their subscription, it’s often because they found a particular coffee they like enough to subscribe to on its own — so they remain loyal customers.


Making subscriptions the preferred DTC customer experience with personalization

Stumptown would be the first to tell you that personalization works wonders when it comes to making the subscription experience stand out — and that potential subscribers should not be overlooked when it comes to delivering a tailormade online shopping experience.

To that end, Stumptown makes sure that their homepage offers a personalized experience for both subscribers and non-subscribers, with subscriptions taking center stage in both.

When a non-subscriber arrives onsite, they’re met with a subscription offer right above the fold to remind them about subscription savings and perks, like the convenience of never running out.

In fact, Stumptown’s subscription offers are accessible to site visitors at every turn. “It’s important to us that potential subscribers can easily find all the details about our full subscription offering so they can choose their own adventure,” said Dave. So, Stumptown keeps their subscription information page visible on the top navigation bar, so they can find exactly what they’re looking for — no matter where they are.


And when one of their many loyal subscribers is logged in and hits the homepage, they’re greeted with a hero image with an instant upsell offer tailored to high-end specialty products subscribers are particularly likely to be interested in — which they can add to their next order in one click, right from the homepage.

For curation subscribers, Stumptown makes sure to keep the product detail pages — and marketing emails and SMS flows — for each curated subscription up to date with details about the next coffee blend being shipped. Beyond the cold hard facts, Stumptown takes the opportunity to mention any fun information or unusual tasting notes as a way to personalize and educate consistently, and at the same time.

And these are just a few of the reasons that 66% of Stumptown’s ecommerce revenue now comes from subscriptions – up 15% year-over-year.

With flexible subscription technology and powerful analytics, there’s no limit to profitable growth

While many brands are held back by subscription technology that limits innovation and optimization, Stumptown uses Ordergroove’s flexible technology to continuously test new approaches and make data-driven decisions to their competitive advantage.

Whether they’re testing out tactics to drive enrollment like prepaid subscriptions, a subscriber affiliate program, or incentives with different discounts and timeframes — or using Ordergroove’s analytics to identify their most valuable subscriber cohorts to craft targeted winback campaigns — Stumptown is always looking at the data to understand exactly what works so they can do more of it.

With a subscription solution that’s committed to supporting the world’s top brands with technology that grows alongside them and their subscribers, it’s safe to say that Stumptown is ready to not only meet subscriber expectations today, tomorrow, and into the far off future — but set a whole new bar for the subscriber experience.

Watch this space, because something tells us that curated subscriptions are just the beginning of Stumptown’s category-leading innovation.


of eCommerce revenue is recurring from subscriptions


recurring revenue growth year-over-year


of subscribers enrolled in a curated, rotating subscription


Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a coffee roaster and retailer based in Portland, Oregon, United States whose flagship café and roastery opened in 1999.

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