by Kim Kadiyala, Partnerships, Zapier

How a Monthly Shave Club Uses Shopify, Zapier, and Autopilot to Cut Into the Competition

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 11,000 times—and it’s time to create a better razor. That’s the number of shaves Oscar de Vries estimates it took before seeking a superior solution to mainstream shaving products.

After working in the shaving industry for over a decade and fueled by his own frustrations with pricey razors cutting into his budget, Oscar was determined to flip the script on the big retail brands. His goal? Provide high-quality razors at a fraction of the cost with the convenience of home delivery.

For the past 3 years, the team behind Australia’s Oscar Razor has been doing just that, offering premium razors and natural shaving preparations on a subscription.

oscar razor

By prioritizing the customer experience and maximizing the marketing tools in their arsenal, Oscar Razor is able to keep a sharp edge in the market. Here’s a peek behind-the-scenes at the tools and workflows in their marketing stack.

Selecting a marketing technology stack

As a small player in the billion dollar razor industry, Oscar Razor knows they need to market smartly in order to be noticed. Without the deep pockets and specialized staff of the bigger brands, it was initially a struggle to find a marketing automation platform that both fit their budget and was intuitive enough to manage on their own. Discovering Autopilot was a lightbulb moment for co-founder and marketing lead, Ellen de Vries.

“As a lean startup, the few members of our team have to adapt to a wide range of roles,” explains Ellen. “Not only was Autopilot more affordable than many of the other platforms we researched, the simplicity of their dashboard appealed to an inbound novice like me.”

Choosing a storefront was much more straightforward, they’ve been with Shopify since day one.

Oscar product page

Most appealing to the team was the price point paired with a long list of features to grow into as they scaled.

After landing on Shopify for eCommerce and Autopilot for customer journey marketing, the team learned they needed app automation platform, Zapier, to move data between them. With these three tools, Oscar Razor solidified a robust marketing stack on a lean startup’s budget.

“We have been overwhelmed by what we’ve been able to achieve with such a reasonable investment of time and energy,” says Ellen.

Automation magic connects Shopify + Autopilot

Oscar Razor depends on Zapier to connect the dots from one app to another. For example, every time a customer places a trial order online, Zapier adds them to an Autopilot list automatically.

By mapping info like the order details, customer history, and promo code used, the team has everything they need to kick off a welcome sequence that nurtures new customers into purchasing a recurring shave plan.

Here’s one of Oscar’s actual lead nurturing emails.

oscar email

Notice the strategic timing behind this email: “It’s been a couple of weeks since you received your Sample Pack and I hope you’re loving it!” As opposed to sending this a day after the person receives the sample pack, Oscar offers the subscription upsell after the person experiences the product’s value.

The email then lays out the program’s benefits:

  • Best price
  • Set-and-forget-convenience
  • Cancel anytime

Together, these benefits create a compelling case to give the Ultra-Lite Shave Plan a shot. I love the “Subscribe Now” button at the end that calls recipients to action—it makes subscribing drop dead simple.

Competing with giants: a customer-first strategy

Up against the goliaths of the shaving industry, the team needs to be nimble and shine where their competition falls short. For Ellen, that means prioritizing the customer experience to ensure smiles on the faces of their cleanly-shaven customers. She regularly takes measures to improve the user journey from start to finish—or in her case, from subscription to shave.

For example, every new order triggers an Autopilot email sequence introducing Ellen as the “Head of Customer Happiness” and setting a friendly, approachable tone to the company’s communication.

ellen email

But sometimes, customers will reach out with questions ahead of placing an order via their help desk, Groove. In those cases, a welcome note would feel out of place and inauthentic—definitely not the impression the team wants to make.

Their solution? Tailored communication powered by automation.


(View high-res version)

By hooking Groove into Zapier, any customer who opens a help ticket is added to a separate “Groove Customers” list in Autopilot. They still receive a friendly hello, but the messaging is framed a bit differently than brand new customers.

Thanks to the extra info piped in from Groove, the automation feels human, not robotic. Ellen estimates 20% of recipients respond to say how grateful they are for the note—a big plus for the Oscar Razor customer experience.

“By connecting the programs we’re already using, the customer experience is so much better,” says Ellen. “We’re able to really ‘know’ our customer and tailor the experience accordingly.”

Sharpening the shipping experience

The time between a new order placed and a box arriving in the mailbox can feel like an eternity to an excited new customer. A recent win for the Oscar Razor team was discovering they could automatically keep customers updated on the shipping status with a simple automation. Now, whenever an order changes to “fulfilled” in Shopify, a customer notification is triggered via Autopilot, pulling in the tracking details from the Australia Post. That way, everyone is fully in the know on the the status of the order.

Oscar Razor’s goal from the beginning was to create a one-stop shop for men who value quality and convenience without paying a fortune to stay well-groomed. By linking the apps that run their business to Shopify, it’s been a centralized experience for the team to boot.

When all of your apps can talk to one another, your time is freed up to work on the big picture thinking that matters most. Discover Zapier + Autopilot’s most common automations, or get started with one of the Zaps from this article.

Author Kim Kadiyala, Partnerships, Zapier

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