Food & Beverage

Seamless Checkout, Boosted LTV, and FOMO: Obvi’s App Success Story


Lift in conversion within app vs. mobile web


Revenue in the app


App user retention

Featured image of the case study

About the Brand

Meet Obvi, the maker of top-quality, obvi not-boring supplements for women.

Open up Obvi’s fantastically fun app, and the aesthetic alone will tell it to you straight: this isn’t your grandma’s vitamin cabinet. The fuschia-forward company has put a youthful spin on its top-quality, crazy-researched products, which range from collagen protein powders in flavors like birthday cupcakes and fruity cereal to energy-boosting, bloat-busting dietary supplements.

With a 70K+, super-supportive Facebook community and a serious social media following, Obvi’s mission-in-progress is to become the top choice for health and beauty products in every household.

The Challenge

Obvi wanted to make completing a purchase as easy as possible.

Like many brands that sell consumer packaged goods, Obvi’s executives knew the value of making checkout seamless for their customers. This, of course, is why many CPG-selling brands adore subscriptions: they guarantee repeat purchases for the company while making customers’ lives even easier. But not everything—even for CPG companies—can be sold via subscription.

That’s what got Obvi’s CEO and co-founder, Ron Shah, intent on building an app. After all, Obvi wanted a customer to complete checkout in one or two clicks—and 9/10 times, only an app can provide that level of convenience. 

“Once you've acquired a customer and they want to buy from you again, you should make it as easy as possible because they've made the hardest decision already. And what is the easiest way for someone who's decided to buy, to buy again? We believe that the app is helping solve that.”

Another reason why Obvi decided to invest in an app? Soaring customer acquisition costs. According to Ron, there are two ways to counter that rising CPA (cost per acquisition):

  1. Be better, all around. This means finding media efficiencies to reduce acquisition costs or improving your landing page, creative, or product to offset high CPAs with better retention… or both. 
  2. Prioritize lifetime value (LTV). You paid to acquire this customer. Now, what can you do to bring that CPA down more and more over time? You’ll have to find a way to encourage those customers to stick around and spend.

Ultimately, LTV was something Ron believed an app could help with. (By the way, Ron—as usual—would be very right. To date, Obvi has seen a 100% lift in conversion within the app vs. mobile web. App customers also have an AOV that is 15.2% higher than web customers. 

“We get customers to buy more often and more in general because of the convenience promos, FOMO, exclusivity, etc., all baked into the app. We're just able to double down and bring that blended average down.”

The Solution

Obvi turned to Tapcart to build an excellent app in a matter of weeks.

When it came time to choose a developer for its app, Obvi selected Tapcart because “it was something that a lot of the brands we idolize were also using.” He also said Tapcart had “garnered a lot of trust as being the best in class.”

Once development began, Obvi was pleased to discover that the support, flexibility, and ease of use promised during onboarding were, indeed, as excellent as promised.

“Tapcart would turn design around in 24-48 hours or less — taking all our feedback on how we wanted to position the app for our customers, what integrations we wanted, the quality control was incredible. When it comes to working with a third party to build something, it was probably the most seamless process we've ever had.”

Once built, Obvi’s new app allowed the brand to start relying on free push notifications for both brand-building and strategic, segmented, sales-oriented customer communication. Over the past few years, more and more companies have grown weary of the increased cost of SMS marketing, and many of these brands have discovered that free push notifications delivered directly to their best customers’ home screens are far more effective, anyway.

Obvi has learned that, too. According to Ron, Obvi uses push notifications (to its over 137k subscribers) for three reasons:

  1. For almost daily, friendly communication with customers. These notifications, which are sometimes as simple as a little nudge to drink water or make time for a walk, aren’t intended to generate revenue but to build the brand and align company values.
  2. For highly-strategized, segmented communication with specific customers. Based on previous purchasing behavior, Obvi decides what customers to target with which products, suggestions, and offers. Best of all, the results of these often creative micro-campaigns can be measured, analyzed, and repeated from the backend of the app. 
  3. For new product launches, where Obvi’s app customers receive first access to new products.

Obvi relies on “FOMO” and “app exclusivity” to encourage app downloads and transform regular customers from email, paid advertising lists, or its online communities into avid app users. 

“Sometimes we'll go live in our community of 70,000 women and be like, ‘We just launched a new product. If you want to check it out, go on the app to see it. We won't even disclose what the product is. The only way you can even see it is the app'.”

Obvi also emails customers to let them know that restocks will only be offered on the app. Between restocks, launches, promos, month-long Black Friday previews, and “FOMO promos,” where they release minimal units of something, Ron knows that it’s not just less expensive to engage with app customers—it’s also better for business because the app provides such detailed data and insights. 

“If you don't incentivize customers to use the app, why would they do it right? We all know why our app is so important. We get to see the back-end data, but a customer, they don't understand why it's important. That's why it has to be done through gimmicks, marketing and different tactics.”

Another reason Obvi likes to launch products or test out offers on the app? Well, according to Ron, if you’re most loyal app customers aren’t responding well to a product or promotion, why would you ever expect less-engaged customers to respond any better? 

The Results

Beyond lightning-fast checkout, Obvi’s app also unlocks a closer connection between customer and brand.

Obvi’s app—which the company manages internally in just a few hours a month—has been a game-changer for the soaring supplement brand. But it’s not all about revenue for Obvi, either. The company has some serious community-building and long-term loyalty goals, and the app has served as a holistic platform that has brought the brand closer to its most valuable customers through education and engagement. 

“We started to realize that the app isn't just a gateway for people to buy quickly. It's also  to completely consume the brand on a much more formal level post-purchase.”

That’s precisely why Obvi houses so much content on the app, including popular blogs and its beloved recipes. People actually read these articles, so it makes sense to house them somewhere a customer might want to consume them, perhaps between sets at the gym, on their lunch break, or when unwinding at night, when they might otherwise scroll through social media. 

One final takeaway? In a pinch, with all his budgets cut, Ron is adamant that Obvi’s app—or the free push notifications to 137K+ subscribers—is something he would never let go. 

“Push notifications are the strongest weapon in our arsenal.”

Find out how Obvi and other top CPG brands like Truff, Outer Aisle, and Art of Tea are breaking boundaries and sales records with Tapcart. Let's chat.

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