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ChargeX23 Recap

Last week I had the pleasure of attending ChargeX Beyond in my old stomping grounds, Washington, DC. This conference was filled with new app releases, insightful thought-leadership, and a conglomerate of business solutions. Spending a few days surrounded by conversations on the wild west that was the beginnings of e-commerce, the zero and first party customer-focused present, and an AI-powered future, reminded me of the sheer need for adaptability in this industry.

“ChargeX Beyond is really a vision of where we think Recharge is going, where commerce is going, and how we need to all change in this new time.”

Oisin O’Connor, CEO/Co-Founder at Recharge

Recharge’s Product Roadmap and Insights on Customer Retention

The first full day of panels unveiled some incredible updates over at Recharge; game-changers for merchants and developers alike. New items that will be boosting subscriptions and the merchant-experience within the coming months:

  • Bundles: Curate or customize product bundles and soon will offer dynamic pricing
  • Memberships: Create paid membership programs to increase recurring customers
  • Rewards: A potent suite of options, including cash back and store credits, to build loyalty
  • Flows: Implement customized workflows that improve the customer experience and reduce churn

These new offerings are designed to provide merchants with an out-of-the-box functionality of Recharge. They will provide a powerful toolkit for us to further help merchants quickly grow their customer base, increase average order value (AOV) and lifetime value (LTV), as well as strategize even more customization. With Flows, for example, merchants can (or we can help them) implement proven CRO strategies directly into their customer journey; guiding shoppers through the purchasing process, making it easy and convenient to buy. By drilling down as granularly as possible within the customer journey, we’ll be able to create highly targeted and personalized experiences at scale, building long-lasting customer relationships.

Oisin O’Connor, CEO/Co-Founder at Recharge

Another update released during the event, and one of the more requested subscription enhancements, was the Affinity Customer Portal. This offers businesses a highly customizable, no-code customer portal where customers can easily manage their subscriptions from any device through Affinity’s modern and user-friendly interface.

Thursday Takeaways

Later that evening, I was treated to the choice of wine or whiskey, to which I ruminated on the other panels while enjoying delicious South African wine, guided by sommelier Tinashe Nyamudok

A highlight of the panels that day was 10 Steps to building a retention program for your merchants with Brandon Amoroso, Founder of Electriq Marketing (a DRINKS company). The key takeaway from this talk for me is that customer segmentation and personalization are critical for merchants to deliver a 1 to 1 experience that meets the needs of their customers at scale. To do this, merchants will need to leverage customer data effectively, make reordering easy, and create loyalty programs that are tailored to their customers’ motivations, whether it’s free swag, badges, or tier programs. Quality customer service is crucial for building strong relationships, and merchants should go the extra mile to win back customers who have had negative experiences. Additionally, merchants should audit their tech stack to identify the best tools and techniques that will help them achieve a better ROI and consolidate their experience. By doing all of this, merchants can improve their bottom line and build long-lasting relationships with their customers.

As many of the attendees migrated to a beautiful evening at the LINE hotel in DC for food, drinks, and dancing, the conversations around optimizing the customer experience did not stop. Across brand categories, there are an incredible number of customized strategies for increasing current revenue and predicting future hurdles. On the horizon, we’re talking about everything from recession concerns, to GA4 transitions, and an AI-powered future. If I look at it through an objective lens, I’m incredibly fascinated by what’s next.


As Friday came, we were treated to a series of engaging presentations and discussions, as well as an insightful chat with Jonathan Van Ness about their personal journey and the success of JVN Hair. Throughout the discussion, Van Ness emphasized the importance of deeply understanding your audience, while also touching on the critical role of relationships and technology in supporting effective decision-making and strategy development. They highlighted the value of leveraging your passion for the industry to build community and engagement, as well as the need to stay true to your original vision and sense of self as a business owner. 

“These are our babies…and the higher you go, the more razor’s edge that is, and the higher you can fall.”

– Johnathan Van Ness

Through being extremely clear on their personal mission statement, “spread self-acceptance by modeling joy and curiosity”, Johnathan has been able to fuel decisions toward fulfillment both as an individual and as a merchant. Sometimes, (most times) we can get so wrapped up in competition and optimization (although essential to success) that we can forget the baseline of good business: relationships and authentic storytelling. Overall, the discussion was expertly moderated by VP of Strategic Alliances at Recharge, Lindy Crea, and a valuable reminder of the key principles that underpin successful e-commerce ventures.

Rounding out the evening, the e-commerce energy was lush, and I am invigorated and re-ignited in Ambaum’s approach of moving merchants forward through our expertise and excellence. If you have thoughts on your business needs, and how we can help, check out our work, and drop us line today.

Taylor Payne, Partnerships Marketing Manager

ChargeUp New York 2022

Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend a lovely and rewarding day in New York attending the ChargeUp event hosted by Recharge. This was my first event since the pandemic began, and it will not be my last. With the inspiring thought-leadership (and impressive hors d’oeuvres pictured below!), Recharge has proven to be truly apt in their event planning in the new post-pandemic tide.

After checking in, I was met with accessible high-top tables and enjoyed delicious breakfast items (most importantly; Coffee).

Welcome & State of the Industry // Recharge Product Roadmap

Led by the VP of Strategic Alliances, Lindy Crea, we discussed how undeniably there has been a spike in ecommerce growth during the lockdown, and we’re now seeing the gradual descent as we settle back to stasis. In addition to this, merchants are facing supply chain issues and clogged shipping channels, which has disrupted a significant amount of delivery flows.

The supply chain is not just backlogged, but it is getting more expensive. Customer acquisition cost continues to increase in the “cookie-pocolypse” causing merchants and consumers alike to pull back from social spend. 

This has made the need for reliable revenue evermore evident for merchants.

Succeed with Subscriptions: Attract Subscribers

We then broke out to discuss one of the foundations of reliable revenue and successful, scalable, business being on customer retention, the marketing track led by Christy Ottesen, Senior Product Marketing Manager. One of the foundations of the panel; 32% of customers are prepared to abandon their loyalty to a company after one very bad experience. In a very interesting correlation, 80% of stores feel they’re delivering a great customer experience, where only 8% of customers feel they’re receiving a great experience.

Customer Experience (CX)

To add more on a merchant’s plate, buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), is forecast to grow by 19.3% by 2027. Whether or not this is already cultivated, this will grow into a more significant vertical for merchants as the post-pandemic stasis levels out. 

Finally, research has shown that through conditioning from big league experiences such as Disney, consumers will be expecting the utmost in response time and excellent customer service. As a merchant, you are expected from customers to perform within the same parameters as those big leagues with your customer experience. So, customers are not only expecting you to outperform your competitors, but they’re expecting you to provide the same level of customer service as a multi-level, thousand-employee-marketing-team, with granular operations, and nearly 100 years of honed experience.

I know. Like, what? How the heck are you supposed to do that?

There is a ton of strategy around the best CX, and this will change as the market does. Recharge has broken it down into three major principles:

  • Speed
  • Convenience
  • Friendliness

Speed: Attentiveness in responding to your customers is key to making them feel heard and understood. Recharge has partnered with Gorgias to serve and resolve subscription questions faster. This integration allows the sales team to re-active, refund, or cancel subscriptions all within the same window, so there is no need to switch between tools. 

Convenience: RechargeSMS is a free tool for Recharge merchants that allows for subscription management through customer self-service via SMS. Providing the flexibility for customers to manage their own subscription dramatically increases customer lifetime value (CLV). All functions of the customer portal can be completed via text and this tool has proven to increase CLV up to 30%.

Friendliness: Providing an excellent customer experience on an omnichannel strategy is key to retention. Average customer behavior has been proven to pay a premium for additional benefits such as early access, a customized experience, and long-term discounts.

Understandably, lunch was buzzing with subscription strategy conversations and methods to increase retention, and decrease churn. I discussed a few areas of nuance with merchants of varying demographics such as customizations for subscription-pause, specifically around the school year, and how to automatically resume after summer and winter breaks. I also discussed how difficult the transition can be from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus without support, and how to decrease the churn that comes with customers needing to enter additional information or create a whole new profile on a new platform. 

This event quickly made me realize that as our tech partners here at Ambaum begin to scale, these merchant needs are where our services can really step in to help. Through years of agency experience with over 30 active merchants, we are able to quickly identify this low-hanging fruit to then build long-term solutions and strategies for the merchant’s success. By working with many of our preferred partners within the first few years of their conception (Recharge for 4+ years!), we are able to travel parallel with their updates, step in, and solve these types of customizations that merchants need.

Case Study: Optimize your Subscription Business with Customization and Integrations // Happy Hour

The conference ended with a case study between Klaviyo, Wandering Bear Coffee, and their Shopify tech agency, where we covered their transition into e-commerce over the pandemic. Taking on Klaviyo for email and SMS, the merchant was able to take their sales to a new level. As Recharge provided the flexibility for customers to manage their own subscription, they saw their CLV soar. Through this panel discussion we answered the question: When do you start the conversation with your customers? The answer: Either now, or yesterday.

After wrapping up the conference, we finished with a happy hour on the terrace rooftop, and plenty of in-depth discussion about what is on the horizon for subscription services. Recharge has new updates upcoming including a way to understand the entire customer experience in a single view, data consistency between Recharge and Shopify where you can perform bulk discount imports with one click, and a widget for Shopify Plus for an incredibly easy subscription service setup. As these updates roll out, you can be sure we’ll cover them here, so sign up for our newsletter now (if you haven’t already!).


I thoroughly enjoyed the day from the organized setup, to discussing poignant thought-leadership with peers and partners over the bustling city below. I look forward to the next event with our partners here at Ambaum, and new updates from our partnership with Recharge.