How Obvi Saves 12% of Their Topline Revenue with CashBack

Supplements brand Obvi was founded by CEO Ron Shah, CMO Ash Melwani, and Chief Brand Officer Ankit Patel, veterans of the industry who have been disrupting the status quo in ecommerce for years. They saw an opportunity to make some noise in the Health and Wellness space—specifically in the world of collagen. Rather than launch Obvi as a standard supplement brand, they decided to create a company steeped in great flavors, a thriving community and by making collagen feel fun. And over 400,000 customers later, they’ve nailed it.

The team decided to capitalize on their knowledge of SMS collection before Obvi’s official launch in June 2019. “Our overall [marketing] strategy is to reach people where they are. Leveraging that power is super crucial to the brand,” says Melwani. “Like yeah, you’ll get an email and you’ll check it when you can, but you get a text message, you’re automatically checking that notification.”

Obvi Hero


Top line revenue saved for every $100k in sales


Increase in Conversion Rate for Subscribers who opt in via CashBack popup


Increase in Opt in Rate on Popup


Increase in Customer LTV for customers who claimed Obvi gift cards

Ash Melwani

Ash Melwani, Co-founder and CMO


“We were trying to limit the amount of cash that’s being removed from our bottom line and CashBack really did that.”


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The Need For An Alternative Solution

While taking a deep dive into their margins, Shah realized they were giving away too many discounts. “We had to reconsider how to compete with these brands who were discounting huge amounts,” says Melwani. Their discounts were working, but they were seeing customers shopping for brands, not creating returning loyalists. The Obvi team didn’t want to outright stop offering incentives because they didn’t want it to hurt conversion rates or decrease their leads. And that’s when CashBack came into play.

Trying CashBack on For Size

Before running tests of their own, the team at Obvi was sold on the breakdown of CashBack. For every 100 shoppers who get CashBack, 50 of them won’t claim their CashBack - that’s money the brand saves. 20 people end up getting a gift card back to the brand and the remaining 30 people end up taking CashBack in the form of a PrepaidVisa. 

“The data that backs CashBack was what really sold us.” After understanding how CashBack could improve the profitability of their store, Shah and Melwani wondered how much they could test what offers converted more—and how this might impact their bottom line. “What ended up happening for us is that we had all positive net across the board,” says Melwani.


Let’s Talk Numbers

The Obvi team originally offered 15% off with coupons so they decided to test a 20% CashBack offer. After A/B testing the two offers, the Obvi team saw a 10% opt-in rate on their popup and a 25% increase in conversion rate after implementing CashBack. “Instead of 15% coming out of your top line [with a coupon], your only exposure is really the percentage of people that ask for a PrepaidVisa card,” says Melwani. “That’s money back into our ecosystem.”

When offering coupons, Melwani said that for every $100,000 in sales they made, they were giving away $15,000 of topline revenue. With CashBack, Melwani explained, “now for every $100,000 in sales, we are only giving away $2,600. I mean, it’s incredible.”

Turning One Time Buyers Into Raving Fans

One of the biggest post-purchase levers Obvi pulled when implementing SMS and CashBack was an added bonus offer for buyers. “The cool thing that Fondue does is we can do a bonus offer where if you get an Obvi gift card, we can offer an additional 25% more CashBack with that Obvi gift card to inherently give customers more value. The minute someone buys for the second time, the chances of them buying a third, fourth, fifth time are dramatically higher and I’m increasing the odds of turning that one time customer into a second time customer by increasing the incentive with a little more value in a gift card. That’s how I think CashBack has improved retention. I’m literally giving you money to come and shop at our store, you’ve already claimed the CashBack, why not use it?” Melwani said.

During Obvi’s Memorial Day sale, they offered 30% CashBack sitewide and saw an increase of about 20% more first time customers becoming second time customers because they utilized their CashBack gift card back to the store.

“CashBack not only helps improve retention, it helps build affinity to the brand,” Melwani said.


CashBack Delivers More Value to Customers

“I think the reason [SMS and CashBack] work super well is because it feels instant. Just that experience of ‘I instantly got a text message after signing up, I can click on the link in the text to apply my CashBack, I’m committing an action so I know I am saving, then I’m going to shop on the site,’” says Melwani. “It feels very seamless when it happens through SMS”.

One of the risks Obvi did need to consider before implementing CashBack was customer confusion with their rewards program. However, as Obvi tested out CashBack, they saw that it complimented their rewards program nicely. “If you look at it from a customer experience, they have their points and they are getting more points by using CashBack.” Melwani went on to explain that if a customer applies a 20% off coupon on a $100 product, they’ll pay $80 for the product and receive points on an $80 purchase. When customers purchase the product at the listed $100, they are receiving $100 worth of points.

Overall, offering CashBack has helped with delivering a higher perceived value. “We went from offering 15% discount to 25%-30% CashBack. As a customer, you feel like you’re getting more value out of it. When it comes to the backend and financial side, you’re giving so much value but you’re really adding back to the bottom line substantially,” says Shah. “It’s very rare to see a win win on both [the merchant and customer] sides and this is the example of that.”

Solution and results

Obvi has optimized the perfect pairing of CashBack and SMS. Offering CashBack has helped Obvi protect their bottom line all while improving their marketing metrics across the subscriber lifecycle. They’re acquiring and converting more subscribers faster, see an increase in engagement metrics such as CTR on their initial Welcome Series message, and have a boost in retention for customers who opt into a gift card back to Obvi.

Note: All results are accurate as of June 10, 2023.


Increase on opt-in rate for CashBack popup


CTR For Initial CashBack Welcome Series SMS


CashBack popup opt-in conversion rate


Increase in LTV for Customers who opted to receive Obvi gift cards

Ash Melwani

Ash Melwani, Co-founder and CMO


“I think the reason [SMS and CashBack] work super well is because it feels instant. Just that experience of ‘I instantly got a text message after signing up, I can click on the link in the text to apply my CashBack, I’m committing an action so I know I am saving, then I’m going to shop on the site.’ It feels very seamless when it happens through SMS.”


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