Software company Salesforce reports that half of repeat buyers make their second purchase within 16 days of their initial purchase, illustrating the importance of repeat customer engagement. Dylan Whitman recognized its importance while running BVA, his co-founded commerce agency that incubated and grew prominent direct-to-consumer brands such as Kylie Cosmetics and Ipsy.
But bringing customers back was tricky. For one, while loyalty programs were common, the most common type — points based programs — are ineffective at driving engagement and long-term sales; and while Amazon Prime-like loyalty programs were effective, they were costly for retailers to create individually.
Additionally, it’s become harder for online retailers to target customers in part due to Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework, which allows users to opt out of being tracked for purposes of targeting advertising or advertising measurement.
Enter Inveterate, a software that layers onto Shopify to allow retailers to launch their own Prime-like program. The program allows customers to pay a monthly fee that opens them up to discounts on every order, free shipping, or access to exclusive drops. He’d made a similar program for a client at BVA and last summer cooked up the idea to make a software any Shopify retailer could use.
Two-point-eight million dollars in funding and 11 employees later, Whitman launched Inveterate on May 16, his 41st birthday. Reception has been “really, really great,” so far, he said. “Phenomenal.”
Some retailers have already signed on as customers, attracted through LinkedIn — he reaches 19,000 followers on the site, largely people who know him from his BVA days (which he sold to private equity in 2018 after growing the company to 125-plus employees and eight figures in annual revenue). Inveterate also comarkets and hosts retailer events with adjacent Shopify software platforms like Gorgias and Grin, both of which Whitman was an early investor in.
After settling in the area with his wife last year, Whitman said Greenville’s a great place to do business because of the large, educated workforce; in his world, there’s not a ton of competition for talent. What surprised him, he said, was the thriving startup scene. “I think it’s a good opportunity” to do business here, he said. “A rising tide.”