5 Benefits of Adding a Subscription Option to Your eCommerce Store
These days, consumers are looking for personalized convenience. This trend has intensified with the need for social distancing. No one wants to go shopping for items they can get delivered to their doorstep, but shopping online to replenish supplies or buy new clothes can be time-consuming or frustrating.
Enter the subscription. Subscriptions have been a boon for eCommerce platforms, giving business owners a new way to engage with their customers and attracting a somewhat dependable revenue stream in the process.
These subscriptions can range from a simple email connection that keeps customers up to date on your company’s latest developments and discounts (like Black Buffalo’s email list), to an entire deluxe box of curated items from your catalog every month.
What Do Your Customers Need?
When you’re thinking about how a subscription option will benefit your business, you need to think about what they need. Verma Farms, for example, knows that its customers want to have a dependable source of the best CBD gummies for anxiety, sleep, and other problems, so it offers a monthly restock of its products along with a discount on your order.
Verma Farms benefits from this arrangement by having a dependable income stream and developing a relationship with loyal customers. Maybe your company doesn’t necessarily offer something that runs out on a predictable schedule, so the way your company will benefit depends on what your customers need and how you can fill that need.
1. Newsletters Incentivize Shopping
There are several different directions to go with a subscription. Newsletters with valuable information may not directly generate revenue, but it creates a relationship with your customers. Sending out a monthly email keeps them engaged, reminds them that your company is ready to meet their needs, and including a special discount code gives them the incentive to shop.
It usually doesn’t take too much time to put together an email with all the latest information about your industry, but it goes a long way in reaching hundreds (or potentially thousands, depending on your list) of customers to establish your company as the authority. When you do this, readers know where to turn when they have questions or need advice on the subject of whatever your business offers.
2. Refills Stabilize Your Income and Inventory Stream
Refill subscriptions are super popular for general household goods, office supplies, and anything else that runs out at a predictable pace. Offering a discount to your customers for having these products sent automatically reduces your revenue, but it makes your stream more predictable.
Not only do you know approximately how much money will be coming in from subscriptions, but you know how much inventory needs to go out as well. Obviously, there will be ups and downs, and there may be some surprises. However, things get a lot more predictable when you know your customers are counting on your paper towel refills every month.
3. Curated Boxes Make Customers Feel Good
Here is another area where you are only limited by your imagination for how you serve your customers. You could get completely personal by curating a box based on answers to questions you’ve asked your customers to understand their preferences—or you could simply send a box of your favorite items themed to fit the month without knowing a thing about each individual.
Regardless of which direction you go, even just adding a note of thanks to your shipment will help customers feel like you had them in mind when you put their order together. It adds a touch of whimsy to life to get a surprise in the mail every month, and your items should always reflect that.
Another awesome thing about curated boxes is that you can customize them to catch people at every budget level. You may have shoppers who can’t afford the super deluxe monthly box with everything and a special surprise. But maybe they can afford a bi-monthly box with a sampling and a regular surprise.
4. Samples Pique Curiosity
Another great way to gain loyal customers and get them to spend more money on your products is to offer a monthly sample box. Sending a sample size of your best items will whet their appetite for more.
You have to make sure that what you’re sending is your best stuff, but customers who have an opportunity to try your products are going to be more likely to buy the full-sized option when they find they’ve run out of that face cream that reminds them of a day at the spa.
5. Subscriptions Keep Customers Engaged
Your customers are going to keep coming back for more if they are getting something from your company that they love. They will become loyal fans and probably even recommend your eCommerce business to their friends and family.
Whether it is through a newsletter, a monthly supply of your best chocolate covered pretzels, or a full variety of items that you put together just for them, you keep your business on the forefront of customers’ minds with a subscription.