Redefining the subscription experience for everyone
Ira Concept was launched to redefine health and hygiene for women in Thailand by innovating this underserved market with organic and biodegradable sanitary pads. The brand takes on a holistic approach – combining innovation, products, and efforts to tackle societal taboos surrounding this space.
Ira Concept has created an e-commerce platform complete with subscription service, enabling their users to customize plans that best fit with their personal needs. With platforms like Netflix and Spotify available in the market, Thais have grown accustomed and are now more receptive to this type of service.
The team has leveraged Opn Payments' (formerly Omise) Schedule API and Charge Schedule to build a subscription-based platform and provide its users with the best possible end-to-end experience.
Building a conscious brand
Branding for feminine hygiene products has never been easy, especially in a hyper-competitive market like Thailand where major players are leading the market and entry barriers are sky high.
But for Varangtip Satchatippavarn, founder & CEO of Ira Concept, winning and accomplishment reinforces what we already know how to do; challenges are opportunities for growth. Realizing the potential for product innovation, she launched Thailand's first organic and biodegradable sanitary products. Ira products are a sustainable option for better hygiene care and are easily accessible. Most of all, the brand aims to break the social stigma and ensure everyone has access to sanitary pads.
Modern consumers tend to spend more on brands that exhibit social and environmental consciousness. This conscious branding trend is on the rise, and many companies are competing to implement sustainable practices into their products and services. For me, having a clear standpoint allows us to reach consumers who understand our value and want to help us grow as a brand. said Varangtip.
Subscription model for period care
Varangtip believes innovation is in everything, not only the product but also in the form of brand communications, way of work, and mindset. To unlock innovation at pace, Ira Concept has introduced a subscription-based platform and has catered the experience design specifically toward customers in the feminine hygiene care market.
Adopting the subscription lifestyle
“We strive to create a subscription model that gives our customers the flexibility they deserve without lock-in membership. This is something I’ve never seen in Thailand. For a product like Ira, a monthly subscription makes perfect sense.” As Varangtip explored the subscription landscape, she realized its potential in increasing customer retention and building a loyal customer base for the brand in the long run.
“E-commerce has helped us better understand our customers’ behavior. We’re able to gather qualitative data and generate actionable business insights. This has allowed us to create the most suitable experience for our subscribers.”
Thinking outside the (subscription) box
Customer retention is about creating value, not lock-ins. Chris Vibert, the CTO of Ira Concept, has been behind the growth of the brand’s platform from the beginning. Chris focuses on creating flexibility and increased personalization for customers, allowing them to manage every aspect of their subscriptions whenever they want.
While many subscription-based businesses these days try to trap their customers with lock-in membership and complicated cancellation processes, this often results in short-term revenue benefits.
According to Chris, short-term gains are only part of the story. Brands that excel in creating customer experience will lead to revenue growth and customer loyalty over time.
Hiding things like the cancel button might lock your customer in for an extra month or two, but it comes at the cost of customer satisfaction. It will make them unhappy, and unhappy customers don't return. I have data to prove that satisfied customers are more likely to reactivate their subscriptions in the future. And therefore, more revenue further down the line.
Enabling a frictionless subscription experience
For Chris, exceptional customer experience is key. The payment gateway needs to integrate seamlessly with Ira Concept’s subscription model. Their customers must be able to opt in and out at any time.
Optimize payments journey
“We definitely thought about the payment solution very early on. For Ira Concept, payments are more than just the checkout flow, but we needed to make sure that the entire process from registration had to be as simple and brief as possible to reduce customer drop-offs. If customers did drop off and decided to come back later, we make sure that they can just pick up right where they were and that it's easy for them to make payments.”
For example, the customer can complete the first two steps and not make the payment right away, but when they return, they can continue to the payment stage and complete the subscription process.
Integrate payment solutions
“We use Opn Payments’ Charge Schedule feature to handle recurring payments. Customers can choose to subscribe and pay every one, two, or three months. The Charge Schedule feature enables us to flexibly manage subscriptions. Whenever a customer edits their subscription, our system uses the Opn APIs to change the Opn Charge Schedule automatically.”
Chris explained, “However, there are some rare cases when this cannot happen automatically, in which case our team will make the change manually through the Opn Dashboard.”
In addition to powering recurring payments for Ira Concept’s platform, Opn Payments subscription capabilities are customizable. This means that each subscriber can choose a plan according to their personal needs.
“The integration process was smooth. As an engineer, I find Opn Payments to be very developer-friendly. It provides the best documentation and, of course, has all the features necessary to develop our subscription platform,” said Chris.
Simplify checkout process
In addition to the subscription-based platform, Ira Concept sells through its e-commerce website, where customers can go and make their one-off orders. PromptPay, credit and debit card payment methods are all processed by Opn Payments.
Since integrating PromptPay into the website in early 2022, nearly 70% of all website orders are paid through PromptPay. Having access to payment insights and customer behavior helps the brand uncover new opportunities for future growth.
Future is for everyone, period.
At Ira Concept, we believe everyone should have access to female hygiene care. And as a new brand, we want to increase brand visibility and provide customers multiple channels to choose where they feel comfortable buying, from online to offline, in supermarkets and specialized stores across Thailand. Varangtip explained.
In addition to its direct-to-consumer approach, Ira Concept is now expanding its market reach through B2B (business-to-business) partnerships. One of the very first collaborations is with Kirimaya Khao Yai, a luxury resort offering Ira's products as part of their complimentary toiletries.
“Kirimaya understands that sanitary pads are a necessity and has an aligned vision with us. They normally buy sanitary products every two months, and we offer lower prices for wholesale. Hopefully, we can build a B2B subscription platform for customers in this segment some time in the future.”
“We want to drive change and create impact in Thailand. Female hygiene products should be easily accessible and available in places like hotels, workplaces, and schools. Normalizing period care and creating an inclusive and sustainable community are central to Ira Concepts’ development outcomes. Supporting a holistic approach can yield lasting results that will have a positive impact on future generations.” Varangthip stated.
For corporates or institutions that are interested in partnering with Ira Concept, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org