Subscription Commerce Tips to Keep Customers Coming Back

Learn how to retain subscribers to avoid growing acquisition costs. Extend customer lifetime value and grow revenue with these subscription tips.


May 10, 2023

subscription commerce customer opening package

As inflation rises alongside acquisition costs, subscription merchants need to buckle down on retention to maintain success. While subscriptions already tend to attract higher-value customers than one-time purchases, subscription merchants can extend customer lifetime value even further by offering their customers value and service not found elsewhere with the help of technology, data and retention strategies.

Take Control of Involuntary Subscription Churn

If you have ever unknowingly stopped paying for a subscription simply because your credit or debit card expired, you’ve accidentally joined the involuntary churn club. Many businesses don’t actively work to reduce involuntary churn, letting engaged customers slip through the cracks without their knowledge. To combat unnecessary subscription churn, merchants can adopt technology to automatically update credit card information, home addresses, emails and other customer data. Involuntary churn can also happen when a bank flags the payment due to suspicions of fraud. To avoid risking a flagged payment, merchants can use tools to charge subscribers’ payment methods at the safest date and time.

Use Data to Target At-Risk Subscribers

While involuntary churn can be a cause for concern, voluntary cancellations may indicate an even larger issue within the customer journey such as a lack of communication or shipping delays. Merchants can uncover the root of their churn problem by analyzing customer data to find patterns among churning customers. For instance, many at-risk subscribers will start skipping orders more frequently or remove items from their usual subscriptions. While this could be an attempt at cutting costs, it could also be caused by shipping delay frustrations, excess product or other common factors that push customers toward churning. It’s up to the merchant to recognize the signs of an at-risk customer and understand what may be causing them to disengage. Once that’s understood, it’s important to nurture them with deals and personalized offers to ensure they stay subscribed and engaged.

Focus on the Subscription Commerce Experience

According to our April 2023 Subscription Commerce Readiness Report, 59% of customers use subscriptions for convenience and enjoyment. Hence, the subscription experience should be fun and easy to navigate, with very little conflict throughout the buying process and subscription journey. The first experience a customer has with the merchant sets the stage for their entire relationship — the online buying experience should be short and sweet to avoid churn later on. After the initial purchase, merchants should continue to keep the customer in the loop with order updates and personalized offers. The more valued the customer feels, the more likely they’ll continue the relationship into the future.

subscription customer receiving package.

Connecting With Your Subscribers

The most efficient way to retain subscribers is through building deep relationships with your customers by creating a data-backed personalized experience. While subscriptions provide the data on customer patterns, it’s up to the merchant to use that data to keep their customers satisfied.

Get the right tools and technology to build your subscription retention rates. Read the "Ultimate Guide for Starting and Scaling Your Subscription Business."

The Ultimate Guide for Starting and Scaling Your Subscription Business