In today’s market, it is rare to find any retail business that does not also participate in e-commerce, even if they have a brick and mortar facility.
The availability of e-commerce shopping saves consumers time and money. This is especially true when e-commerce tends to offer perks like discount codes, online coupons, free shipping deals, and more.
Because of this success, retailers are now looking for another avenue to stand out from the completion. As a result, subscription based services have become more and more prevalent. While this new medium may not be suited for every type of retailer, if it is suited for your business, there is an art to making it an incredible success.
What Are Subscription Services, and How Do They Work?
Subscription services in the e-commerce world can be used for products, services, or software. Some common examples include the Dollar Shave Club, Netflix, and Dropbox.
The common thread with all of these is a payment structure that allows customers to purchase or subscribe to a business for a set amount of time. Traditionally, they can be bought on a monthly or yearly basis. This model is practical win-win for all parties involved because:
- The process is automated, which streamlines delivery
- It provides vendors with ongoing revenue
- It provides consumers with what they need, and when they need it
Tips and Tricks of the Subscription Service Model
In order to be successful, it’s important to have a product that lends itself to repeat business. In other words, it must be sustainable. For example, you can subscribe to groceries, clothes, and toiletries, which are all needed items. Subscribing to TV and movie streaming, like Hulu, means consumers have continual access to new media.
Whatever you offer, there must also be some compelling element as to why your consumer would choose you over the competition or from shopping for your product outside of their home.
They’re getting a deal:
Usually, subscription models factor free shipping into their pricing model, but you don’t have to limit yourself there. Perhaps you can offer a deeper discount for purchasing a one-year subscription vs. month by month. Either way, the consumer should feel like they’re spending less money with you than they are with another vendor.
It may help to compare your brand with “other” stores or companies. Get with your graphics team and create a side by side chart to show how your pricing and features add up to even more convenience.
They feel part of a culture:
A successful subscription service must focus on brand culture to form long-term relationships. For example, members can be entitled to benefits that others simply can’t get. Provide additional resources, access to webinars and private Facebook groups, podcasts, interactive mobile apps, and other exclusive content. All of these suggestions are inexpensive to put together but make a lasting impact.
This also means having a strong presence on social media and having a high-quality customer care team to address any questions or concerns. When clients feel “heard”, they are more likely to want to stay within your company’s culture.
They enjoy the “experience”:
Having freshly-ground coffee or new beauty products delivered to your door isn’t a necessity. But sometimes that’s what consumers want – the feeling of participating in a luxury experience. The way that you send subscription product should have as much thought put into it as the product itself.
Adding little details such as premium packaging will make your consumer feel special. Infrequently include a free or bonus product for loyal customers, or give them a 25% discount on your other services “just because”. It’s all a part of the subscription experience!
Subscription Service Made Easy
If you are looking to add subscription services to your e-commerce website, contact SEO Brand. We have mastered the art of e-commerce and our experts help develop your subscription based e-commerce businesses no matter your expertise.