Case Studies

Targeting High-Value Customers and Subscriptions for Sustainable Growth at PetMeds

Bryan Bumgardner
March 15, 2023
“Northbeam has been instrumental in making sure we find and recruit high-value customers who are likely to repurchase in the future for growth. We’re able to have visibility - by channel - into acquisition costs and lifetime value to make sure we’re keeping them at healthy levels.”
–Dan Pingree, CMO, PetMeds

Founded in 1996, PetMeds makes buying prescription medication online easy and convenient for pet owners in the US and Canada. As pet ownership and spending continue to rise, PetMeds found it difficult to navigate complex customer journeys that spanned dozens of touchpoints to identify customers who could drive recurring revenue with subscriptions or repeat purchases. To complicate matters, competition has only intensified with other brands over the past several years. The team needed a new solution to identify which marketing initiatives were profitably acquiring new customers who would be more likely to return.

Data Silos and the Limitations of Platform-Native Data

Prior to Northbeam, PetMeds relied on a variety of tools including SAP Commerce and Google Analytics across their marketing and sales teams, which meant much of their data lived in separate, siloed databases. The accuracy and quality of this data was also unreliable due to inconsistent implementation, resulting in an incomplete and fractured view of commercial performance. Due to these data silos, the team struggled to identify which marketing strategies and customer touchpoints were actually driving impact and revenue, and couldn’t effectively leverage all of their data to make opportunistic media-buying decisions. As a result, PetMeds often overspent on their top channels, leading to wasted marketing dollars that could’ve been better allocated elsewhere. 

Furthermore, these solutions provided mostly blended metrics and didn’t distinguish between first-time or returning customers. The team had extremely limited visibility into performance by customer type, obscuring their ability to identify actionable insights into what was actually driving repeat purchases.

“We couldn’t figure out how to efficiently recruit new customers, and were losing ground to our competitors,” said Dan Pingree, CMO at PetMeds. “Keeping acquisition costs at healthy levels is crucial for our business, but we were struggling to find a solution to help us do that.”

How PetMeds uses Northbeam to Find High-Value Customers

Using native integrations to many popular ecommerce tools and platforms, PetMeds was able to break down their data silos by using Northbeam for all of their digital marketing channels. The team took full advantage of Northbeam’s proprietary pixel to start collecting and utilizing first-party data, instead of relying on ineffective third-party data in a post iOS14.5 world. With all of their marketing data consolidated on a single platform, PetMeds suddenly had a much clearer picture and understanding of campaign performance across all channels.

Next, the team focused on keeping CAC healthy by acquiring valuable customers more likely to purchase again in the future. They used Northbeam’s Clicks Only attribution model to compare acquisition costs and revenue across different channels side-by-side to identify the strategies that were driving the most success at the top of the funnel. Ultimately, the team identified the biggest opportunity on Google. Instead of spreading budget between multiple channels, they scaled their Google spend because it accounted for 36% of purchases from new customers.

Finally, PetMeds looked to increase customer retention by honing in on subscriptions and repeat purchases that could sustainably drive lifetime value. The team used Northbeam’s Customer Type feature to split out key KPIs such as ROAS by first-time and returning customers, revealing clear insights into what campaigns were converting throughout the funnel. This feature also allowed PetMeds to uncover previously hidden opportunities that didn’t look promising at first, but were highly impactful at driving return purchases. For example, paid retargeting campaigns only saw a +6% increase in first-time ROAS, but a +74% increase in returning ROAS.

Fueling Sustainable and Profitable Growth

Using Northbeam’s advanced attribution-modeling, PetMeds gained a deeper understanding into which prospecting campaigns and strategies were performing well and which weren’t. By identifying the exact touchpoints and customer journeys that were driving traffic from new customers, PetMeds decreased overall CAC -21% while increasing the number of orders by +26%.

In addition, PetMeds increased attributed revenue by +21% and ROAS +74% despite decreasing spend -24%. Unlike previous campaigns where decreased budget would lead to a decline in performance, PetMeds was able to identify what was working and focused on those campaigns and ads.

PetMeds continues to explore new ways of using Northbeam to grow their brand – including using the LTV tab to track customer lifetime value by the first product a customer purchased. This data not only ensures that customers are coming back and repurchasing, but also helps inform the team on which product(s) to push during key selling periods.

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