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The Anatomy of an eCommerce Retention Manager: Eli Weiss, Director of CX at Olipop

by Jessica Meher in , March 4th, 2021
ecommerce retention manager olipop

Over the years, a shift as emerged among eCommerce companies.

That shift? Growth for the sake of growth is out. Creating customers for life: that's in.

The playbook that contributed to the rapid success of early DTC brands has lost it's luster. In the days of yesteryear, it was easy to just turn on Facebook ads, see sales pour in, and define top-line growth as success.

Nowadays, happy customers is a brands greatest growth lever.

Retaining customers in the world of eCommerce isn't easy. Consumers have a million options. Their expectations are high (thanks, Amazon), and knowing intimately what makes customers stick around is hard to quantify.

This is especially critical for subscription brands. When your model is based on the premise of customers not cancelling that next shipment, creating amazing products and experiences is everything. Todays brand marry acquisition and retention for a holistic customer journey.

One brand dedicated winning hearts and minds is Olipop, an alternative soda brand (which, I personally love - gotta try the Cherry Vanilla flavor).

And the person behind that brand? Eli Weiss, Director of CX.

Eli is my go-to on all things retention. He not only gets it, he leads by example. He is constantly dropping wisdom and tips like this and honestly I can't get enough:

I knew there was something special about Eli because he's always customer-first and not tactic-first. More importantly, he thinks proactively vs reactively. I don't want to spill the beans on his interview, but in my mind, this is what sets Olipop apart.

So I wanted to ask Eli, what does a Director of CX actually do? Why is this important to him?

Let's dive in!

1. What is your title and how would you describe your role at Olipop. Also, what part of the org do you report into?

My current title is Director of CX at OLIPOP, and my core focuses are CX, Retention, and SMS marketing.

I report to the cofounder of OLIPOP and sit most closely to the marketing team.

2. What would you consider to be your #1 priority?

My current priority is to make sure that whether or not a customer loves our product or not, every interaction with OLIPOP as a brand is a positive one.

3. What are the biggest challenges of being a retention manager?

Historically, retention has been viewed from a marketing lens as a way to win back customers that already left. My goals are ensuring we can leverage CX to deeply understand if/when customers are looking to leave before they do. Ensuring we can have a handle on the most actionable data and acting on it quickly is the biggest challenge I’m facing at the moment.

4. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for brands who are looking to invest more in retention or for those who want to work in retention?

Of course! I think that as CAC’s go up, sustaining a business with FB ads etc will prove to be difficult. Retention is going to a super important part of building a profitable business, and proactive retention vs winback retention is probably the most opportune place to start.

5. What other teams in the org do you collaborate with and how?

From what I’ve seen this far, the most important part of both CX and Retention is ensuring that the data and feedback from customers gets back to the correct department. From Ops to Marketing and R&D, we’re always passing along feedback and keeping that feedback loop tight so that we can keep learning and iterating.

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