Dropdown icon
Dropdown icon

Community-First Subscriptions: Bubble

How Bubble built a consumer-obsessed brand with a community optimized for subscriptions.
Beauty & Skincare
Acquired 600+ subscribers in 2 months
Launched With

We spoke with Bubble’s Head of Customer Experience and eCommerce, Emma Standing, for everything from building an authentic community-led brand perfect for subscriptions to sales blowing up from a viral TikTok moment. Since launching with Smartrr two months ago, Bubble has already acquired hundreds of subscribers. Here’s how:

Building a Community-Led Brand

After finding a gap in the skincare market for Gen Z consumers, Shai Eisenman set out to create an affordable skincare brand with high-quality ingredients. From the start, community was at the core of Bubble’s strategy, with 5,000 consumers giving feedback on each component of the brand–from planning to developing to testing new products. This resulted in her creation of the first modern, affordable, science-backed skincare line that cleans, balances, and hydrates young skin. Each Bubble product is formulated with vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free ingredients, and all are under $20, making them ideal for younger consumers.

While Bubble initially launched with Gen Z in mind, as the company has grown, they realized that their products are great for anyone looking for a gentle yet effective skincare routine. Emphasizing how self-care is more than just skincare (and should be just as accessible), Bubble donates 1% of all proceeds to non-profit organizations that support young people struggling with mental health issues. Not only this, but Bubble also goes above and beyond in educating consumers on skincare by offering a skin type quiz, helping create a tailored routine, debunking skincare myths, and much more in its Skin School

Leaning heavily into their community proved to be a huge success in developing strong relationships with their loyal customer base. Bubble’s brand ambassadors lead the entire Bubble community in addition to receiving perks like exclusive access to brand updates, product testing, chatrooms, and more. This tight-knit crew is key to Bubble’s growth, as the team uses direct feedback from customers to continuously help them improve upon their customer experience and product offerings.

A Natural Fit for Subscriptions

With a tight-knit community comes a high demand for products, naturally leading Bubble to subscriptions. With so many repeat customers requesting a subscription option to ensure that they are never running out of their favorite products each month, subscriptions just made sense for the brand.

Previously onboarding with another legacy subscription app but having issues with getting through the final steps and a lack of support from their team, Bubble pivoted to Smartrr after a recommendation from Create CX

“The experience of launching Smartrr was 1,000 times easier than the other subscription option we were considering, and the team has been incredibly supportive. We were able to onboard in only a week, which allowed us to have things up and running ahead of the huge holiday rush.”
– Emma Standing, Head of CX and eCommerce at Bubble

After officially launching subscriptions with Smartrr, Bubble did a huge email campaign announcing the new program, offering an extra 10% off in addition to 15% off for subscribers to incentivize subscribing. Following the campaign, Bubble quickly saw significant growth in its subscriber base. 

In addition to offering a “Subscribe and Save” option on their PDP with a subscriber-exclusive discount, Bubble has also leveraged Smartrr’s Trending List feature as well as the Instagram Feed feature directly in the customer account portal to provide a beautiful subscriber experience. 

“Our customer success manager, Samantha, does an incredible job of proactively introducing these new features and optimizations to us so that we can take full advantage of them. I love the fact that she is constantly approaching us with updates so that we’re continuously refreshing our offerings, which our customers really appreciate. The fact that our subscription program has already grown to over 600 subscribers within the first month and a half shows that it has already been ultra-successful.”
– Emma Standing, Head of CX and eCommerce at Bubble

With most customers subscribing at a 30 or 60-day cadence to their star product, the Slam Dunk hydrating moisturizer, and a few other single SKUs, the Bubble team cites Smartrr’s advanced analytics as a key feature. Frequently digging into their subscription analytics and already seeing success since launching subscriptions, the team is looking to focus on retention in the coming months. 

“Comparatively to what I saw on other subscription platforms, Smartrr’s analytics are more robust and definitely give us more insights into our customers’ purchasing patterns and what they want to see from us.”
– Emma Standing, Head of CX and eCommerce at Bubble

Leaning Into Virality

With the popularity of beauty haul videos on TikTok, it comes as no surprise that Bubble products are a popular topic in creators’ videos. Bubble started off the year strong with a viral moment on TikTok. Within days of the video featuring Bubble’s Slam Dunk moisturizer blowing up, the brand saw its products flying off the shelves at retailers like Walmart and Ulta, ultimately falling into all channels of distribution–making it crucial that their eCommerce business is also set up for success. Bubble’s DTC website saw a 700% increase in sales!

“Subscriptions have played a huge part in keeping this viral TikTok moment for us more sustainable. Subscriptions are allowing us to build in this retention aspect into our acquisition strategy since so many new customers are already signing up for subscriptions on their first order.”
– Emma Standing, Head of CX and eCommerce at Bubble

What’s Next

This past year, the Bubble team has been most proud of launching their first over-the-counter product, an anti-acne serum, as well as their retail launch with Ulta! 

In 2023, the brand looks forward to numerous product launches, including additional over-the-counter products–a top request from their community–and will launch internationally with a few select retailers. In addition, the team is also planning on leaning into more subscription-focused marketing campaigns throughout the year to keep subscriptions top of mind for Bubble customers.