Subscription services continue to rise in popularity, with most providers charging consumers between $29.99 and $299.99 monthly. It’s attractive for ecommerce business owners as their subscribers commit to purchasing your product and creating a stable income stream. Consumers subscribe to pet supplies, beauty products, medications, meal kits, and more. It’s become a standard way of doing business online. Here are some suggestions to help you maintain a successful subscription ecommerce business.
Listen To Your Customers
The voice of the customer is critical to the success of a subscription service. Understanding your customer’s needs, interests, and satisfaction with each subscription box is increasingly essential, and receiving continuous feedback will prove invaluable to keeping them happy.
If your business does not offer subscription options, listen to what your customers are asking for and look for trends of buying the same product repeatedly.
Provide Amazing Customer Experiences
Providing excellent customer service to your subscribers is more important than for your typical customer. The acquisition cost is usually two to three times higher to gain a subscriber. Having a great customer experience begins with building a great internal client experience team or partnering with a call center that will reflect the experience you want your customers to have.
Make sure you respond promptly and professionally to customer inquiries and concerns. Offer multiple ways for customers to contact you, such as email, chat, and live phone support. Ultimately, having a 24/7/365 solution will set you apart from your competition. A 360-degree feedback loop will create a vehicle for regular customer feedback and, more importantly, brand involvement.
Put The WOW In Every Box
Product curation has become increasingly important and, in many ways, more complex, with customers receiving product month after month. Ensure that their expectations are met with high-quality products that meet their perceived value. Consistently deliver fresh, exciting products that align with customer preferences. Each box should contain a surprising, unexpected product and elicits a “wow” reaction, so they look forward to the next month’s subscription.
Ensure Your Subscription Services Offers Options For Frequency
A successful subscription ecommerce business requires more than just a great product. Managing your product line is critical to keeping your customers content and subscribed.
The length of the average subscription service can vary widely depending on the industry, product, and business model. Some services offer monthly subscriptions, while others provide annual or longer-term commitments. In general, most subscription services offer flexible options, allowing customers to choose the length of their subscription based on their preferences and needs.
According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, the most common subscription length is monthly, with 54 percent preferring monthly subscriptions. The same study found that 15 percent of consumers preferred weekly, 11 percent wanted quarterly, and 10 percent would choose annual.
Make It Easy To Manage Subscriptions Online
Optimize your website to be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and provide a seamless customer experience. Ensure your website can be found by search engines, then use analytics to track user behavior and identify areas for improvement.
Allowing subscribers to have a say in future boxes provides continuous engagement, buy-in, and potentially organic endorsement and recommendations to other potential customers. Allow customers to customize their subscriptions and make changes easily. Offer a range of options, including different frequencies, products, and payment plans. Most importantly – keep it fresh!
Incentivize Your Subscribers To Buy More
Offer incentives, such as discounts, loyalty programs, and referral bonuses, to encourage customers to remain subscribed and refer others. Loyalty programs built on a point system will create a sustained environment for the customer to stay engaged. Ideas could include a “bonus” box after twelve consecutive months, a discount for the next year’s subscription, or a gift box provided to a “friend” of the subscriber.
Move That Slow Inventory
Managing inventory becomes increasingly important as you balance having enough with too much stacking up over time. Invariably, overstock becomes a chokehold on the business from a capital requirement perspective. Over time, leftover inventory stacks up, and each additional SKU creates a bigger burden on managing the resources of space, time, and waste. Use the excess inventory to entice subsequent subscriptions, offer them at the individual item level, or donate them to make the best use of each item and reduce costs.
Look At Trends In Your Data
Use analytics to inform your decisions about pricing, product offerings, and customer behavior. This data will become essential in your decision-making process. Understanding which product within each box works and the cost associated will lead to better future decisions. And look at your data regularly so you can compare your predictions with reality and pivot quickly.
Don’t Let Challenges Set Your Business Behind
While subscription ecommerce businesses offer many advantages, there are also several challenges to consider. By addressing these challenges proactively, you can increase your chances of success.
There are significant benefits to outsourcing part or all of your operations to a third party. Outsourcing your areas of weakness or things you don’t like managing allows you to focus on what you do best.
Are you interested in outsourcing your fulfillment or customer service functions? We can complement your operations with a full suite of order fulfillment solutions, from direct-to-consumer (DTC) to B2B. We’re a full-service third-party logistics provider (3PL), and then some! We have a long list of custom services available.
Plus, you can outsource your customer service to us. We have several call centers in the U.S. and internationally to manage your customer engagement 24/7/365 expertly. We can handle social media messages/comments, email communication, live chat, and live person calls.
You can maintain a successful subscription ecommerce business and keep your customers engaged and loyal by following some of these tips.