The recurring revolution is here in full force. eMarketer predicts that 3% of U.S. ecommerce sales will come from subscriptions in 2021. Moreover, ecommerce subscription sales are projected to skyrocket to $38.2 billion in 2023.
Brands not yet taking advantage of the power of subscriptions risk getting left behind. sticky.io CEO Brian Bogosian explained the power of subscriptions to grocery and CPG brands during Groceryshop 2021 in Las Vegas. Learn why brands and retailers should bet on subscription commerce.
In the past, brands selling products online faced a range of challenges with ecommerce technology. The platforms lacked sophistication and were costly. They didn’t provide the solutions to flexibly sell subscriptions and one-time purchases, and matters grew more complex when selling subscriptions and one-time purchases at the same time.
Moreover, brands did not have the data to deeply understand which products and marketing strategies best resonated with certain consumer segments, resulting in a one-size-fits all approach that didn’t quench customers’ thirst for a tailored online shopping experience.
Subscriptions provide convenience to consumers, especially as customers look to buy replenishable CPG goods such as razors, paper towels, vitamins and batteries. When many brick-and-mortar stores closed or limited hours because of the pandemic, shoppers went online to buy essential and non-essential items. Now that stores have reopened, many consumers continue to utilize digital channels to tackle their shopping list. Subscription programs amplify the convenience of online shopping because they enable consumers to take a “set it and forget it” approach to buying replenishable products.
When brands leverage a robust platform, subscriptions also deliver flexibility for both the merchant and consumer. Customers should be able to self-manage their subscriptions by pausing, editing or restarting their subscriptions with a few clicks. Customers should also have the capability to add additional products to complement their subscription purchase. For example, a shopper buying a wine subscription should be able to quickly add a wine opener during check out. Not only does this enhance the customer’s buying experience, it also increases average order value for the merchant.
Brands that leverage subscriptions are also poised to provide their customers value. Consider the subscribe-and-save model that enables customers to save money when they subscribe. Prepaid subscriptions also allow customers to pay for a subscription upfront, usually for a reduced price. It’s essential to offer various subscription cycles and billing options so consumers have the power of choice.
1. Know and engage customers — Use quizzes, questionnaires and content to learn more about your customers. Whether you’re selling subscriptions or not, collecting answers and feedback from customers will unlock their preferences and buying habits.
2. Create personalized experiences — Sitting on a mountain of data won’t benefit brands or their customers. Use customer data such as order history, shipping preferences, birthdays and average order value to create personalized offers customers can’t pass up.
3. Build lasting relationships through subscriptions — Subscriptions not only open new revenue streams, they also increase customer lifetime value. Offering subscriptions tailored to customers’ tastes, budget and shopping habits create lifelong brand champions because consumers want to stick with companies that genuinely understand their needs.