Cannabis e-commerce platform Olla creates a frictionless loyalty program with Stytch’s SMS OTPs
Olla is the only fully white-labeled e-commerce platform for cannabis, helping retailers provide customized, on-brand digital shopping experiences from product browsing to checkout. To boost engagement, drive sales, and build loyalty among shoppers, they needed an authentication solution that would keep customer storefronts and end-user data secure—without the extra friction. That’s when they found Stytch’s SMS one-time passcodes. In partnership with cannabis marketing service Springbig, Olla became the first platform in its field to offer online loyalty programs from enrollment to redemption.
- Olla is committed to avoiding clunky accounts and passwords for their customers. Stytch’s smooth SMS OTPs take care of authentication, so all end-users have to do at checkout is click.
- Using Stytch’s smart session management solutions, Olla could create users’ loyalty programs, unlock rewards, and generate ongoing brand trust for partnering retailers.
With Stytch’s clear, easy-to-follow documentation, it took less than two weeks for Olla’s small dev team to integrate.
Cannabis is a crowded and heavily regulated industry, and it can be tough to stand out in the marketplace—especially given its relatively recent entry to the digital sphere.
Olla’s CTO, Kristofor Erickson, explained how cannabis is still catching up when it comes to tech.
“In the wider e-commerce space, everything integrates,” he said. “Shopify has a million apps, and it’s all happy. But many states didn’t allow cannabis retailers to lean into e-commerce until the COVID-19 pandemic, so the industry is still technologically immature.”
As a result, onboarding and checkout flows are often inconvenient multi-step processes, leading to high user drop-off and low engagement—not to mention questionable security.
“Our competitors make retailers and consumers register on their platform with an email address and password,” said Erickson. “And users have to log in every time they want to check out and connect to their loyalty program in a way that’s probably not very secure.”
“At Olla, we put a lot of focus on checkout flow conversion. For many retailers, it’s phone number, name, checkout—that’s it. We kept that in mind when considering an interstitial step where users would have to create and remember a password for a platform they’re going to use sporadically.”
For Erickson, finding Stytch was a lightbulb moment. With Stytch’s SMS one-time passcodes, Olla can register and verify end-users instantly via text—sent to a phone they already have in their hands—plus sync with Springbig to easily unlock and redeem rewards.
“We never wanted user accounts,” he said. “We didn’t want to add that friction to checkout. So when we saw what Stytch could do and dug into the possibilities of OTPs, it just clicked for us on the product side. It’s ideal from a conversion standpoint, because it limits the amount of fields to fill out and tasks to complete at checkout. Since over 95% of our end-user traffic is on mobile, it just makes sense.”
At first, Olla considered building an OTP flow in-house—but once they started on the engineering, they decided to bring in an expert partner.
“Our communications service offered a solution, but it was ridiculously expensive,” said Erickson. “We landed on SMS OTPs because of the cost, the security, and the conversion rates—and we needed the economics to work for us.”
Stytch’s thorough documentation and hands-on support made the integration process simple.
“Stytch was the first partner where we looked at the documentation and said, ‘Yeah, let’s do that,’” said Erickson. “We jumped right in and knocked it out. We were able to integrate in under two weeks, and we’re a super lean team. Honestly, out of all the partners I’ve integrated with this year, Stytch was the easiest.”
Stytch’s smooth end-to-end experience has helped Olla stand out from the competition—especially when it comes to lucrative loyalty programs where customers see $50 or even $200 off an order.
“That gave us a real advantage against other platforms, where you can’t enroll in or redeem points or other rewards online,” said Erickson. “Stytch really helped us out by making that functionality secure and easy to use for consumers.”
Best of all, using Stytch’s SMS OTP and session management solutions, Olla can blend loyalty features effortlessly into a retailer’s checkout flow, so shoppers encounter zero added friction as they reap countless rewards.
“We’re excited about the extra services and verification we’re able to offer as we bring end-users through checkout,” said Erickson. “Thanks to Stytch, we can do it all without making our customers and their customers manage complex user accounts.”
Moving forward, Olla is eager to apply Stytch’s passwordless authentication solutions to other parts of their platform and build toward an even more frictionless e-commerce experience for both end-users and retailers.
“We’re working on refreshing our back-end application that retailers use to manage their inventory and process orders, which still runs on a classic email and password flow,” said Erickson.
“That’s always a pain. We want to be able to meet users where they are, so they can just click a link from an email or text to log in. That’s what I love about Stytch’s products. On our back end, there are definitely opportunities to use a lot more fun, passwordless solutions as we grow.”