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subscribers speak: proven customer retention strategies

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Updated:  

June 10, 2024

Our CEO Brian Bogosian sat down with PYMNTS.com at SubSummit to discuss findings from our Subscription Commerce Readiness Report. Read the key takeaways.

Brian Bogosian and Karen Webster at SubSummit 2023

SubSummit 2023 was one for the books! Attendees gained valuable insight into top retention tactics and trending topics such as omnichannel marketing, generative AI and customer experience optimization.

On day one, our CEO Brian Bogosian joined Karen Webster of PYMNTS.com on stage to discuss brand-new findings from our 2023 Subscription Commerce Readiness Report. They explained the current state of subscription commerce, how to retain customers in uncertain times and how top-performing subscription brands are winning loyal followers.

Retaining Customers in Uncertain Times

The report surveyed 2,094 customers on their current subscription holdings and preferences for select retention features — and concluded that subscribers can be separated into three personas:

  • Loyalists:  30% of subscribers. They’re typically high earners with a longer subscription lifespan of over two years. Their loyalty can earn a merchant more than $2,500.
  • Persuadables: 22% of subscribers. With an average subscription lifespan of two years and an average spend of $25, persuadables’ loyalty can earn a merchant about $1,800.
  • Short-timers: 48% of subscribers. They only hold a subscription for approximately one year and spend as little as $14 on average. Their loyalty earns merchants about $1,000.

While all customers are valuable, merchants can curate the customer experience in a way to attract and retain those high-value loyalists. With about 20% of loyalists planning or likely to cancel their subscriptions, merchants must be more strategic than ever about their feature offerings.

loyalists are concentrated among millenials
Click here to view the full infographic.

Offer Flexibility and Convenience

Convenience is king for subscribers, and many will bail if you don’t offer the seamless experience they expect. This may include:

  • Various plan options
  • Easy cancellation
  • Marketing opt-ins
  • Free shipping and discounts
  • Personalized offers

Inspire Trust and Transparency

Consumers are typically more skeptical of recurring payment models than one-time payments. To ensure mutual trust and transparency, your website should include:

  • Ratings and reviews
  • Product information
  • Guarantee or refund policy
  • Security logos

How Today’s Brands Build Loyalty

The best way to create brand loyalty is by connecting with your customers on a deeper level. Here are three great ways to create loyalists who won’t leave.

1. Build a Strong Community

Truly Free community examplel

Nontoxic cleaning brand, Truly Free, attracts consumers worldwide with its environmental and human rights initiatives. As part of Truly Free’s “Refillable Revolution,” subscription members are helping Truly Free to accomplish their mission of freeing over 10,000,000 homes from harmful toxic chemicals. Not only that, but the brand also gives subscribers exclusive discounts and the freedom to control their own subscriptions from start to finish.

2. Create and Reward Loyalists

Lyre's loyalty program optin

Non-alcoholic spirit brand, Lyre’s, offers shoppers the option to join the Frequent Sipper Club, its free loyalty program. In just a few clicks, consumers can start earning points for different actions such as leaving a review, making a purchase or signing up for their email newsletter. Customers can then use those points on their next order.

3. Make it Flexible and Convenient

UrbanStems, a subscription flower delivery service, relies on its excellent customer service and flexibility features to retain high-value subscribers. The brand combines cost savings, convenience and fun freebies to give customers the most enjoyable subscription experience.

Make Your Subscribers Stick

Sticky subscribers are every subscription merchant’s goal. Our research found that these are the top five ways to retain loyalists and persuadables.

  • Make it flexible
  • Make it easy
  • Make shipping free
  • Make it personal
  • Make payments failure-free

Fortunately, sticky.io helps merchants offer these five features and more! Click here to discover our first-in-class features.

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