The Subscription Prescription | Kim Stiefel from Repeat

There are plenty of items around the house we need daily—toothpaste, tissues, vitamins, soap. Or maybe we need them monthly. Or bimonthly. And that’s the problem for both consumers and sellers. Buying as we need can be a pain, but subscription services often give us too much or too little and at the wrong times.

Kim Stiefel discovered this when she started her own subscription service. But instead of just solving the problem for herself, she decided to solve it for everyone. The result was Repeat, a company that offers an e-commerce platform designed to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.

In this edition of UpTech Report, Kim talks about how she came to identify this particular problem in the way we buy and sell certain products, and the technology she’s developed to give consumers a more reliable purchasing experience, while helping companies retain their customers.

More information:

 Kim Stiefel is the co-founder/ CEO of Repeat; a  headless commerce platform that enables Consumer Packaged Goods brands to turn one-time buyers into *repeat* customers by making it easier for customers to reorder products.

Repeat software leverages machine learning to analyze one-time shopper behavior, automate reorder notifications, and deliver personalized replenishment carts that aid in up-sell and cross-sell efforts.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Kim Stiefel 0:00
For brands that causes a different problem, which is this problem of repeat, and that and so so we’re solving a replenishment problem for consumers and by proxy, solving a repeat problem for brands.

Alexander Ferguson 0:17
Welcome, everyone to UpTech Report UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at Today, I’m very excited to be joined by my guest, Kim Stiefel, who’s based in Los Angeles. She’s the CEO and co founder of Repeat, which is Now, welcome. It’s good to have you on Kim.

Kim Stiefel 0:34
Thank you. It’s good to be here. Yeah.

Alexander Ferguson 0:36
So your product is a smart replenishment platform for consumer products goods. So anyone out there anyone out there, if you’re involved with a CPG brand and are trying to turn one time buyers into repeat customers, then this might be a platform you want to check out. Now on your site, Kim, you state combining rich customer profiles with powerful automations to deliver a delightful replenishment experience every time great marketing piece right there. What problem tell me did you initially see and set out to solve?

Kim Stiefel 1:07
Yeah, so um, yeah. So again, just to repeat, no pun intended, or maybe pun intended? Yeah, so we enable CPG brands, so brands that sell replenishable, or consumable products like toothpaste, vitamins, toilet paper, etc, to turn their one time non subscription buyers, right, that’s kind of key into repeat customers. And to your point, from our website, we do that through a combination of logic, automation and some other cool features. And essentially, what we’re looking to solve is, I guess the the problem we’re solving is twofold. Really, the replenishment experience for consumers. Buying everyday essentials on online isn’t a great experience, right? Like, it’s it’s laden with too much friction, or in the case of subscription, which removes the friction, it causes all these other problems, like maybe I have too much of something, maybe I don’t have it when I need it. What ends up happening is I cancel that subscription, right? And for brands that causes a different problem, which is this problem of repeat, and that and so so we’re solving a replenishment problem for consumers and by proxy, solving a repeat problem for brands.

Alexander Ferguson 2:19
This company about two, three years ago, you started right?

Kim Stiefel 2:23
Yeah, yeah, we have had an interesting journey. Yeah.

Alexander Ferguson 2:26
I’m excited to hear more definitely stick around for part two of our discussion. We’ll jump into that. But to give a taste, if you can know one thing that you knew now that you know, now, two, three years ago, what would you wish you had known?

Kim Stiefel 2:38
Oh, wow, that’s a really good question. If I knew one thing that I knew if I if I could know one thing, now that I knew, then I don’t even know how to answer that question. You’re like,

Alexander Ferguson 2:50
you throw a curveball every once a while.

Kim Stiefel 2:52
It’s definitely a curveball. There’s just so many things that I wish I knew now. Or then. I don’t know,

Alexander Ferguson 3:01
this is your you’ve been in this space? For a long time. Right in replenishment, like your previous ventures, right? Yes, this is not new to you. But it is a new angle that you’re that you’ve gone on. Right that yeah, calling from a different perspective.

Kim Stiefel 3:17
Yeah, I mean, it will I mean, it does get into the journey, right? It is a new angle, because I guess I won’t talk about this too much right now. But my co founder, and I started a subscription product business. And so that’s how we uncovered the problem. And when we looked for a solution to the problem, there really wasn’t one. And so by nature of that we built something for our own brand that worked and, and then brought it to the market, you know, to serve other brands. So I think just by nature, that we’re doing it a little bit differently than than other folks. Well,

Alexander Ferguson 3:50
we’ll dig into that more in a second. But the technology itself, what can you share? How is it different than from anything else out there?

Kim Stiefel 3:58
Yeah. So essentially, the way the product works is, when a brand signs up, for repeat, we look at their historical order data. And so or the system looks at their historical order data, and strips out any subscription data, any wholesale data. And really, what we’re looking for is to understand the interval or average time between purchases down to a SKU level. And then we leverage that logic to determine when to send replenishment notifications to consumers. So the big difference there is one more analyzing single purchase SKU data to learn about individual and household replenishment cadence for various everyday essential products. So that’s one major differentiator. The other piece of this is that we’re giving the agency back to the consumer by by prompting them when they might be ready, but not necessarily like auto delivering or auto shipping or auto charging their credit card, right. We’re saying, Hey, we think you might be ready. Are you ready? If they’re not they can snooze and remind them again, but it’s it’s giving them an agency back making

Alexander Ferguson 4:57
it simpler for them to say, Yeah, Do and click on it, but it doesn’t force them into a contract of having to sign up for Exactly. Now this model, how does it a use case? Give me an example of an everyday is it effectively an API connection just hooks in? And then just does it? Or is it another dashboard that a company would use? And utilize? Tell me does it work?

Kim Stiefel 5:19
Yeah, it’s a good question. Because, um, so I guess I still we have an app, Shopify app. So so if your Shopify brand, we essentially connect our app to your Shopify store, and then pull in the order data through the Shopify API. And then, so that’s on kind of on the logic side of things. But because we’re essentially a b2b to see platform, right, so the brand license is our platform, but but like, we’re building technology that touches the consumer. Um, so there’s no real like dashboard, per se. But what happens is, if you go to a website, of a customer of ours, like you to the people, or bloom, or Osia, or fat snacks, right, these are brands on our platform, if you go to their website, and you buy products directly from these brands, and you check out but you don’t subscribe, you’ll be prompted with an opportunity to opt into smart replenishment, which is powered by repeat. And then again, going back to what I mentioned earlier, will leverage the logic or the learnings from the from the historical order data to prompt you when we think you might be ready. And then if you already you click through and you’re taken through a very low friction, really much more delightful reordering experience. And we power that all the way through, right up until the point that you get into the the actual transaction itself. And then Shopify takes that. So there’s no real dashboard. But it’s we’re powering that consumer journey. And then and then like on the brand side, they can log in and see like different stats about how the product how repeat is performing, whether it’s like opt in rate or number of opt ins notification sent repeat revenue, etc.

Alexander Ferguson 6:58
What’s your business model? And how does it work? If someone wants to say I want to sign up for this is it is it a per transaction, a monthly SAS script?

Kim Stiefel 7:05
Monthly SAS B plus we charge a variable based on like opt in list size, but it’s a pretty straightforward monthly SAS fee, we don’t take a cut of revenue we don’t want to get into that brands have enough to deal with in terms of various companies taking a piece of their revenue. So

Alexander Ferguson 7:20
for someone that’s involved in this role of CPG brands are trying to get more repeat customers and doing things if you give a word of wisdom to their role, even apart from your own product, just a word of wisdom of what they have to do, what would you share, for the

Kim Stiefel 7:34
brands on our platform, focus on retention early I like so many brands go into this thinking, thinking about acquisition, not thinking about the cost of retention, and it, it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one. And so when you’re kind of early on in your journey as a brand, think about retention and focus on retention, like from day one, that would be my biggest kind of feat, whether it’s with us or someone else, it doesn’t really matter. Really, it’s just retention is everything. And especially in the CPG industry. It’s a replenishment business by nature. So it’s a repeat business by nature. So if your customers aren’t repetitively purchasing your products and using your products, and you don’t have a business,

Alexander Ferguson 8:20
and this concept is only going to increase the people just want to be able make it easier and just purchase things online. And people aren’t gonna want to go to stores because of today’s environments. So the the trend for more buying more and more online is only increase. What feature are you most excited about right now that is just released are coming up that you can talk

Kim Stiefel 8:41
about? Well, that’s interesting, a subscription actually. So we got into this because subscription, we felt like subscription was the only option to achieve repeat. And the subscription software that’s available today is the problem is that it’s fixed in time based, right, like fixed at certain intervals, 3060 90 days. And it’s really rigid. And that’s the problem, right? And so we are working on building the first what we’re calling this sort of like dynamic, flexible, soft subscription software. And the reason that we’re able to do that is because we do focus on analyzing single purchase skews, which helps us understand or single purchase behavior, which helps us understand actual replenishment cadence. And we’ll leverage that intelligence to bring a more personalized, dynamic, flexible subscription software to market and so we’re working on that right now. And I’m very excited about it.

Alexander Ferguson 9:40
What can you share then of your just future vision of where you guys are headed and what you’re effectively working to build with?

Kim Stiefel 9:49
We want to suck we want to fix subscription. It’s broken, it’s it’s completely broken. It works for services, right? They may it makes our life better like Spotify and Netflix. But when it comes to products, it just it doesn’t work. And, and, you know, there’s really again, there’s really like two major problems. You know, I think if we start on the consumer side of things, you know, when we are in shop mode, we’re on a journey. When we are in buy mode, we’re on a mission. And when it comes to the everyday essentials, it’s by mode, right? Like you find the product key, like, you just need to get it again, the least amount of friction wins, which is why subscription was supposed to work, but it doesn’t because it’s fixed and rigid and time based, as you know, I mentioned earlier, so. So I think like solving that problem for consumers is a huge opportunity. Because if you’ve solved that the replenishment problem by proxy, again, it solves the repeat problem for brands. And you know, CPG is a it’s a six $700 billion industry in the US alone. It’s massive. And it’s a repeat business, again, by nature. And so yeah, that’s that’s kind of that’s where we’re going. That’s the vision, that’s what I’m most excited about is actually fixing that

Alexander Ferguson 11:02
subscription. And yes, eg the need is there, the size of the market, definitely bears needing help from from mobile perspective. So I’m excited to see where you guys go next. For those that want to learn more, definitely go check out and go to And you can book a demo. Thank you so much for sharing what you guys are doing now stick around though, for part two of our discussion, we’re going to hear more about their the journey that she’s been on the last couple years and the insights that she can share. So we’ll see you guys next time. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview you can nominate them at UpTech Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you’re subscribed to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.



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