The Smartrr Product Monthly Review - March 2024

Smartrr's Director of Product, Bianca Tompkins, shares a recap of what product feature updates were launched in March as well as the reasoning behind the updates and our product philosophy.

Table of Contents

    This is our first installment of our Monthly Product Review. Each month we’ll be posting a recap on all things product at Smartrr. This will include key product releases, why we built the features we did, the outcomes we want to drive for our clients, and a look ahead at what is to come.

    Our Product Philosophy

    Bianca Tompkins, Smartrr's Direct of Product, has spent a lot of time in the last few months thinking about what we stand for and how we can bring the most value to our merchants and their customers alike. We came to the conclusion that there are three main product principles we live by and require any new features to accomplish:

    1.  All new features must help our clients get to market faster. This means our features must be easy and quick to set up.
    2. The user experience must be seamless.  There is meant to be little user management with our features.  Our product should handle edge cases so when anyone logs in to the Smartrr platform you come to celebrate your wins and add to your customer experience, not manage errors.
    3. All new features should have a tangible impact on revenue growth. Our mission is to help merchants of any size grow.

    Why We Built What We Built

    To help guide our work in March we went straight to the source: our client tickets and inquiries. We found that our top merchant inquiry was actually around paused subscriptions, about 20% of all merchant queries to be exact. After further investigation, we discovered there were four main reasons why subscriptions were paused.  

    1. The customer had an invalid payment method (e.g. expired credit cards, low funds on issues, 3DS authentication, etc.)
    2. A product in the subscription order might have been OOS (out of stock)
    3. A product in the subscription might have been deleted by the merchant (for example, this can happen when merchants change the SKU of a product).
    4. A product in a subscription might have been archived.

    As you can see, four completely different issues caused the same reaction: subscriptions were paused, merchants couldn’t bill and users didn’t get their orders.

    This problem was a no-brainer for us to tackle as it would clearly satisfy two of our product principles.

    • Principle #2: The user experience must be seamless → This was causing disruptions and unexpected delays for subscribers, so had to be addressed.
    • Principle #3: We help merchants grow. Reducing paused subscriptions for reasons that merchants may be unaware of is an obvious revenue opportunity.

    What We Shipped in March

    Improved Resolution of Paused Subscriptions

    We addressed each of the three factors leading to subscriptions being unexpectedly paused:

    1. For invalid payment methods, we automatically retry the payment three more times in case the issue was temporary, add a banner to the subscriber portal alerting them that there was an issue with their payment method and we would retry another X times (dependent on the retry configuration in the merchant portal), and also alert the subscriber via email with a payment failure message and ask them to update their payment method.
    2. For 3DS issues we added a configuration that allows merchants to dictate how many days after a billing attempt the user has to authorize the charge.
    3. For OOS Items we pause the subscription, email the customer and let them know there is an item in their next order that is OOS and they can choose to delete the item (if it isn’t the only item in the order), swap the item (if the merchant configured swapping) or doing nothing and waiting for the item to come back in stock. We also add a banner and a message on the subscription card in the account portal letting the customer know once more they need to take action to get their order.
    4. For deleted and archived products the customer gets an email letting them know one or more items in their next order are unavailable and receive the same actions and banners as the OOS case.  In addition, we send the merchant an email when they delete or achieve a product that belongs to a subscription letting them know which product is responsible and how many subscriptions are associated with that product so that they can decide to swap the product or make changes to the subscription program itself.

    We’re happy to report these changes have drastically reduced the number of paused subscriptions our merchants are seeing resulting in better subscriber experiences and more revenue for our clients.

    More Klaviyo Triggers

    ​​We’ve added four new triggers that will be sent to customers’ profiles in Klaviyo when the following happens, 

    • (1) an item in a subscription goes out of stock,
    • (2) an item in a subscription is deleted from Shopify,
    • (3) an add-on item in a subscription goes out of stock, and
    • (4) an add-on item in a subscription is deleted from Shopify. 

    These triggers can all be used to start flows in Klaviyo targeted specifically at improving the subscriber experience.

    Add-on Filters in the Customer Portal

    A big win for merchants looking to increase AOV (aka every merchant). Within the Smartrr Subscriber Portal, subscribers now have the ability to find the perfect subscription add-on they’re looking for by selecting from a set of predefined filters.

    If you have any questions about the new features or how to set them up, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

    We’re thrilled about what we have on the roadmap and can’t wait to get these new features into our merchant's hands!

    Bianca Tompkins, Director of Product