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Ahead of the SubscriptionX event, on 14 May 2024, Dal Bamford, chief customer officer at Bento Tech, explains more about the company – founded in 2022 after a year of market research with the premise of taking Gousto’s technology to market.

What does your company do and what is your USP?
Bento Tech is the maker of the revolutionary subscription tech that powers Gousto. We’ve been on a mission since 2022 to give merchants the tools to boost their business with tried-and-tested tech from one of the UK’s leading subscription-first technology businesses. Bento Box is our flagship headless ecommerce subscription platform that radically reimagines the ‘subscribe and save’ model by untethering subscriptions from products, giving merchants complete control over their propositions.

What retailer need do you fulfil?
For retailers ready to rise to the challenge, partnering with an organisation that understands the complexities of subscription-first propositions is key. Subscribers no longer subscribe just to save –– they want an experience. Bento Box helps merchants deliver on those expectations with features that allow retailers to put their subscribers at the heart of their business. After all, for retailers already offering subscriptions, doubling down on personalisation is vital to scaling a stronger, more complex proposition.

How do you deliver on this USP?
At Bento, we want to be at the heart of any subscription technology solution. Bento Box, our headless, API-first platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing tech, whether that is a bespoke solution or off-the-shelf technology. Bento Wasabi is built on a scalable data foundation that can be reusable across separate AI modules. The Bento approach extends beyond technology. We work closely with all our retailers throughout the implementation phase and well into the operationalisation of their tech stack. Bento’s success goes hand in hand with our retailer’s success. 

How would you describe your vision?
Bento’s vision is to ‘revolutionise subscription technology to make our merchants wildly successful’. We are merchant-obsessed.

Which retailers do you work with?
Bento went live with the first tranche of merchants in 2022 and continues to onboard new ones –– Gousto included. Bento is operating under NDA, but plans to release case studies in 2024. Bento operates internationally and is open to partnering with clients in the UK and abroad. 

How would you describe your growth, what have been the main points in your expansion and what has been key to your success?
Bento is still in start-up mode and, since 2022, we have focused on innovating on top of the great technology Gousto built for their business. Our product roadmap has been shaped by working closely with our early merchants, listening to their pain points and understanding where they want to take their propositions. Focusing on their success has been the key to our success –– and our approach has paid off. Now Gousto has migrated to Bento, allowing them to enter an unprecedented era of personalisation and innovation. 

What challenges are you addressing for multichannel retailers who aim to meet peak season demands?
Bento has three guiding principles when approaching a product roadmap. Firstly, all subscriptions start with an empty box, allowing for deep personalisation at the contract level. Secondly, retailer product and marketing teams should have complete control over their propositions (that means a foundation of A/B testing) and last but not least, all functionality should supercharge best-in-class KPIs.

With these principles as our foundation, meeting peak season demands is simple with intuitive tools such as auto-expiring subscriptions that enable seasonal gifting flows; pricing calculators that increase acquisition by allowing retailers to adapt pricing; native support for bundles that allows retailers to change bundle contents; and subscription phasing, which supports retailers as they transition customers from trial or discount pricing to full-price subscriptions to optimise retention, reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value. 

How are you using the emerging technology to support retail growth?
Subscription-focused ecommerce is just the beginning. Bento Tech is also bringing Bento Wasabi to market –– our suite of subscription-first AI modules. With Wasabi, retailers can move from a reactive rules-based approach to proactive, data-driven decisions. Retailers can supercharge retention and win-back by focusing on churn prediction, customer reactivation and cancellation interruption. 

What do you see as challenges for retailers and suppliers over the coming years? How are you prepared to meet those challenges?
Much of the existing subscription technology in the market relies on the conventional ‘subscribe and save’ framework that is inherently limited in its capacity for personalisation. Retailers are left constrained by their tech or forced to develop homebuilt solutions that require significant resources and capital to meet subscriber demand for flexibility and customisation. 

With battle-tested tech from years of innovation at Gousto, we have removed those barriers by untethering products from subscriptiona –– that means no more limitations from the ‘subscribe and save model’. Subscriptions starting with an empty box (the core principle in Bento’s subscription engine) may seem straightforward, but this fundamental framework offers substantial opportunities for unlocking innovation. 

Fundamentally, Bento‘s technology offers a real solution to retailers, allowing them to enhance their ability to proactively personalise subscription offerings and create compelling propositions without incurring significant internal expenses and development resources.

What targets are you aiming to achieve in the next five years?
Over the next five years, Bento remains dedicated to innovation, ensuring our merchants are equipped with best-in-class tools that deliver exceptional subscriber experiences and support scaling their business. We remain focused on continuing to onboard new merchants, including Gousto, who by 2025 will be consuming all of Bento’s products. 

One sentence elevator pitch to be used as a direct quote on how your company/system benefits retailers.
Bento is the only subscription-first tech business founded by a D2C subscription-first business, which means we can leverage unparalleled expertise to create a whole new standard of subscription technology, thereby unlocking limitless flexibility, personalisation and innovation, and enabling retailers to supercharge their KPIs.

Hear more from Bamford in an exclusive video interview. Speaking to Katie Searles, Bamford explains the important relationship between Bento and Gousto; why subscriptions are here to stay; and the vital role of technology.

Registration for her panel at SubscriptionX remains open!

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