1. What’s your name and title, what do you do day-to-day in 20 words or fewer?

Nick Belanger, Lead Partner Manager

Being a partner manager at a startup means wearing multiple hats. I often cycle between working closely with partners to troubleshoot issues, organising and co-hosting IRL events and connecting merchants to agency or tech partners who can solve their challenges or help them double-down on opportunities in their business.

2. At Skio you help brands increase their conversion rates with simpler 1-click checkouts and more inviting subscription schemes. Can you give us a success story for a D2C brand you’ve worked with? E.g. what was the problem? What did you do? What were the results?

Skio helped Gains in Bulk grow their subscription program by 400% in 3 months, without increasing paid ad spend. 

This was largely the result of improving the UX for subscribers, which reduced the total number of support tickets they received. In turn, Gains was able to provide faster support overall, creating a better customer experience.

By implementing a cancel flow which logs the reason for cancelling and offers smart redirects, Gains was able to prevent a significant number of customers from cancelling, redirecting subscribers to adjust their subscription frequency to better suit their consumption habits, or encouraging them to Skip rather than cancel.

By “saving” these subscribers, Gains enjoyed the compounding effects of subscriber growth, creating a stronger recurring revenue element in their business.

3. You specialise in subscriptions for shopify stores – what piece of advice would you give to DTC brands who want to improve in this area?

Most DTC brands don’t have a true subscription offer. This is where I’d start. Rather than default to subscribe & save 10%, consider adding a free gift or bundling products together into a starter kit to create compelling offers for your customers.

4. What do you think the biggest challenges facing eCommerce/D2C businesses will be over the next 12-18 months?

CACs will likely continue to rise, making it more challenging for new brands to break out and scale.

Only brands that have their acquisition funnels and back-end strategy dialed-in will be able to bear these increased costs.

5. Complete this sentence – DTC brands that survive and thrive in 2023 will …

…think about their retention strategy (how they’ll secure repeat purchases)  from day 1. Acquisition and retention strategies need to function together, or you risk acquiring customers who are a poor fit and never repurchase or subscribe.

6. Name three D2C brands that are killing it and whom you recommend others to emulate/learn from.