One of the most exciting trends poised to take the E-commerce industry by storm is buy and subscribe. Simply put, this is a model whereby customers can sign up for subscriptions to products or services.
For businesses this model is great. You can forecast revenue further into the future and plan long term, safe in the knowledge that you have customers paying regular subscriptions to receive your products. You are guaranteeing yourself a steady, constant flow of revenue and what could be better for business than that?
For customers, subscribing to your products via your E-commerce site, there are also advantages. It means that their personal admin is being taken care. If you sell a product that is of recurring use to your customers, then it makes sense that they will want to order it on a continuum and save themselves the hassle of setting monthly or weekly reminders, to make these purchases. In short the main benefits of the subscription model for E-commerce retailers is that it allows E-commerce companies to gain regularly recurring income and theres even the option to up-sell at will.
Subscriptions are a great way to garner customer loyalty. In the time between the delivery of products or services, you can send your customers product news and offers. You will have sustained their interests in the interim period between deliveries, enough for customers to be engaged with any successive contact you have with them. Your customers have committed to you and you have their attention.
Make sure you keep your customers happy by regularly upgrading their subscription value. Study the market and see what your competitors offer as part of their subscription fees. Listen to feed back and above all make sure your service runs smoothly. Dispatch items on time and ensure the collection of payment is straightforward and smooth.
There are of course many different types of subscription E-commerce service options. As discussed above, there is the model where by you are offering your customers the chance to purchase various products that are needed on a recurring basis, saving your customers time and effort. Then there are sample boxes. Sample boxes is where as part of their subscription to your site, customers receive periodic samples of new products. This is a great way to maintain interest in your brand and increase sales. It has become increasingly popular amongst consumers in areas such as sports nutrition, vitamins and food. Thirdly, you can offer your customers first dibs on exclusive offers and early bird discounts as part of a monthly/ yearly subscription fee. Any one of these subscription E-commerce service options, will help get your brand out there and noticed. The positive response your subscription offers gain, will no doubt result in positive word of mouth.
One thing to bear in mind is make sure the details of subscription pricing is extremely clear and easy to understand for your customers. You want to avoid making customers feel trapped or tricked which will ultimately earn you very bad publicity. This is easily avoided though and should not detract from the simple fact that subscription models are excellent ways to engage your audience and increase sales.
Subscription services can be built into both Magento Community and Enterprise, a service that we offer here at Superb. You can contact us for more details on this.
We cannot rate subscription services in E-commerce more highly. It is a fantastic way to increase your sales and keep your customers coming back to your site time and time again.