Subscription services have become a favorite choice of eCommerce businesses to help generate new customers; however, for many businesses, subscriptions have not developed returning customers. According to research analyzed by footwear industry experts FN, 96% of customers cancel their subscriptions for avoidable reasons. What this should show eCommerce businesses is that their subscription services can be tailored in such a way that they provide real value for your business by generating a new customer base that can be relied on in the future.
The positive news for subscription services is that there is plenty of market interest. As CNN outline, private investors poured $562m into startup schemes in 2019, evidence of the overall appetite of the market to continue seeing these services flourish. With money in hand, how can you secure longevity? The key is in variety – but not in arbitrary products. If you’re looking to boost your business, or to overhaul your subscription service, look at already successful boxes and how they provide a wide but well-thought out selection of different products. Give your customers something they will always want, but keep their curiosity piqued rather than confused.
Knowing your customer base
Demographics are an important part of the subscription box outlook. As outlined by Forbes, it’s a certain section of society – young, high-income and digitally native – that will be more attracted to subscription boxes. If your service doesn’t fit that demographic, don’t pursue it. However, there is still an opportunity for a subscription service of another type to prove fruitful. A box of selected products doesn’t need to be the only way that you provide a preview of your plans and service to customers; even something as simple as regular newsletters, or Patreon-style access to limited features to customers who undertake a subscription can be a powerful retention strategy.
Customer service at the heart
As subscription boxes and services are a direct line to the customer, a monthly interaction that is valued rather than detested (in direct contrast to many marketing emails), it makes sense to put customer service at the heart of your service. According to Customer Think, this should include customers who have canceled their subscription. According to their research, 43% of companies save up to 25% of would-be cancellations simply by offering incentives but, crucially, no barrier to exit. Market your subscription service in the spirit of when they first emerged: light-hearted, intended to be fun and unique, and a way for your customers to get to grips with the full range of your products.
Putting these theories together when constructing your subscription plan will help you to retain customers and develop brand loyalty. A subscription can underpin a successful marketing strategy, but it needs to be done effectively in order to be successful. Make your subscription service a well-planned and targeted venture, rather than a scattergun approach to showing off your products, and you will place your eCommerce business in good stead to grow.