Red Bay Coffee is a Bay Area favorite bringing artisanal roasts, sourced from sustainable coffee farms, to everyone from Facebook’s HQ in Menlo Park to loyal subscribers across the country.
We sat down with Ranier Gadduang, head of Red Bay’s marketing function, to dig deeper into the brand’s subscription workflow, frustration with Recharge, and upcoming growth on the horizon.
Prior to Skio, Red Bay initially ran subscriptions through Recharge, specifically its older Legacy platform which didn’t support native Shopify checkouts. But, according to Ranier, one of the largest headaches of Recharge Legacy was its unintuitive dual cart design that forced users to checkout with two separate carts, and in turn, create two separate user accounts.
This structure meant each individual customer didn’t have just one account registered with the company, which would have allowed Red Bay to much more easily locate a customer’s purchase info and run support for them. Dual carts also led to significant time wasted on simple tasks like creating promotional coupons. Red Bay’s marketing team would have to go in and first create a coupon in Shopify, then recreate it again in Recharge — twice the effort for a basic workflow.
Another key issue was a lack of engagement and customer support from Recharge. In Ranier’s words, the platform’s status as a large company meant less focus placed on each individual user experience, an ethos that trickled down quite noticeably for Red Bay as a customer.
When the team submitted tickets for support requests, Recharge was either slow to respond, typically taking up to 36 hours, or sent boilerplate replies that didn’t address urgent issues.
By the time the Red Bay team had decided to shop around for a better alternative to Recharge, Ranier was introduced to Skio through a popular newsletter and decided to reach out.
In his words, he was first impressed by the Skio team’s immediate response time — a level of attention which hasn’t dwindled even after Red Bay was onboarded and secured as a customer.
An additional motivator that sold him was Skio’s native Shopify checkout, a critical feature that Recharge failed to offer. Regarding the migration itself, Ranier recalls the speed and fluidity of onboarding, completely free of hiccups or roadblocks that might slow his team down.
This rapid turnaround was also crucial for Red Bay’s operations, given that their subscription base is a huge pillar of the business and a large source of their total eCom revenue.
Notably, they followed a migration plan where new subscribers were brought onto Skio, while older ones continued on Recharge. Once enough new members had been onboarded and the process was solidified, the team landed on a date to migrate the rest of the subscriber list.
This sequence gave Red Bay the chance to reach out to loyal users and explain improvements to come with the system switch, such as Skio’s unified cart experience and passwordless login.
Since switching to Skio, Red Bay has noted distinct improvements on both customer and administrative ends. In terms of customer support, rather than waiting on responses for a full business day at a minimum, Ranier can expect a thorough reply from Skio in less than an hour.
Additionally, Skio’s user interface lends itself far better to a modern and intuitive customer experience, one with a unified cart and the ability for users to maintain their own accounts.
Now, Ranier says the Red Bay team can maintain peace of mind, trusting that tasks don’t have to be repeated and their work product actually compounds throughout the entire system, given Skio is Shopify-native both operationally and on the customer's end.
Even prior to the migration, Red Bay’s subscriber count was reliably trending upward, meaning they’d require a steady system of operations overhead to maintain both quality of support and customer experience. In fact, the brand anticipates revenue to double from this year to next.
And now, Skio has prepared them to actually make that happen. As a brand that needs to be regularly repurchased by loyal consumers, Rainier’s team has come to trust Skio to help them grow and scale their repeat buyer funnel and onboard future subscribers to come.