In an inundated DTC beauty market, Stryx stands out from the pack as a cruelty-free cosmetics company built
exclusively for men. As broader behavioral trends around fashion, skincare,
and makeup shift sales toward genderless options, Stryx has experienced
enormous growth, both at national retailers like CVS and through its custom
We sat down with Stryx co-founder and CMO Jon Shanahan to dive deep
into how the brand leverages Skio to design and scale a best-in-class digital
“As we ramped up subscriptions, what we really needed was peace of mind and a
clean customer experience. That’s exactly what Skio delivered on.”
The Early Days: Headaches and Cost Centers
Before onboarding with Skio, the Stryx team launched subscriptions using
Recharge for nearly a year and a half. Within weeks, expensive roadblocks and
issues began to quickly pile up.
According to Jon, nearly 20 to 30% of customer support attention at Stryx was
needed to constantly manage subscription bottlenecks due to Recharge — a ratio
that was gapingly disproportionate to how much revenue was actually being
generated by subscriptions.
Customers couldn’t even manage their own settings, resulting in back-and-forth
emails every few hours. This additional resource misallocation was doubly
frustrating, Jon notes, since it could’ve been avoided entirely if Recharge
simply gave customers full subscription control.
Stryx also struggled with bugs in the antiquated platform’s checkout
Cost centers soon piled up as capital was needed to pay freelance developers
to fix ongoing subscription issues. Jon recounts one horror story in
particular: a checkout issue on Recharge that lasted a full 24 hours before it
was fixed. As a result, an entire day’s revenue was flushed down the drain.
Coming full circle, after 18 months of sunk costs and cycling through
thousands of customer complaints and technical failures, Jon and the Stryx
team knew it was time for a change.
“While the headaches and overhead costs associated with Recharge had been
piling up for some time, what really broke the camel’s back was losing an
entire day’s revenue. At that point, we were done. We needed to switch.”
Making The Jump: Speed & Seamless Migrations
Once the decision was made to leave Recharge, Stryx began looking into
alternatives for their subscription management software that was also
Shopify-compatible. Before discovering Skio, Jon and his team had actually
kicked off the migration process to a different platform.
However, engineering headaches piled up and the new partner was unresponsive
to service requests. During this new migration headache, the Stryx team was
connected to Skio.
Right after the first demo call, Jon drove home the differentiating
factors: responsiveness and speed. Full stop.
Jon recounts that, unlike other options on the market, the migration was
effortless from Stryx’s end and was completed over the course of 2 days. He
also drives home the compelling draw of Skio being native to the Shopify
ecosystem, where other platforms tend to be agnostic.
Finally, Jon points out that Skio’s tech stack was built specifically for a
DTC brand like Stryx, with the clear end goal of providing reliable
subscription experiences on a clean, secure platform.
“We switched to Skio in 48 hours. They seamlessly migrated our end-to-end
subscription portal with almost no effort needed from our end. And, more
importantly, the migration yielded zero disruption to our subscribers.”
Moving Forward: A Bedrock for Rapid Growth
After making the switch, the Stryx team saw a hefty 25% decrease in customer
support tickets. Jon remembers, “It was like a switch flipped. I didn’t hear
about a subscription issue for weeks.”
In addition to the benefits around speed and ease, Jon notes that Skio’s
password-less login and secure checkout features drove a sharp decrease in
customer service overhead. For example, just months before while still on
Recharge, a significant portion of support rep time had been dedicated solely
towards adjusting subscriptions and password resets.
In Jon’s words, it was a massive relief to finally put the team’s full trust
in a platform and know there wouldn’t be a random drop in conversion due to an
external issue messing with checkout or a sudden afternoon spike in customer
churn due to buggy subscription management tools.
Prior to migrating, when Stryx would allocate spend towards acquiring
subscription customers, they were never 100% certain that new subscribers
would stick around and not churn within months. Put simply, the company’s core
subscription offering wasn’t airtight.
Using Skio, the Stryx team is now able to project predictable revenue over
a long-term time horizon.
Finally, according to Jon, less time and capital spent on subscription
management has allowed his team to allocate valuable attention elsewhere,
including product development, customer acquisition funnels, brand strategy
and storytelling, and ongoing conversion optimization.
After expanding from two to seven products in just 12 months, Stryx is
preparing to continue rounding out its consumers’ care routines. Their next
release? A custom-formulated daily moisturizer with SPF that they expect to be
one of their most popular sellers. And, the product is meant to last for a
30-to-45-day use cycle, meaning even more subscriptions are on the horizon.
“As Stryx scales, we know that the customer experience is going to be rock
solid. Skio enables us to deepen customer relationships based on a clean and
seamless subscription experience. That’s what will set us apart.”