If you like the sound of year-round sales, it might be time to create a subscription option.
Is your business’ goal to reach more customers and make a sale each time? Why not think bigger by starting a lasting relationship of repeat sales? If this appeals to you, it might be time to consider a subscription service.
So, what exactly is a subscription service?
Traditionally, a customer will pay for each product they buy, but this isn’t the case in a business with a subscription service. Instead, customers pay weekly/monthly/yearly to get your product or service on an ongoing basis. This means shifting your approach from simply selling products, to building lasting relationships with customers, and keeping them excited about what you’re offering.
If you’re unsure if a subscription service is right for your business, or where to start, read on.
What kind of subscription service is right for my business?
Something to consider before getting started is what kind of subscription service meets your customers' needs. Some examples:
Replacement: replacing the same, or similar products weekly/monthly/yearly. For example, a monthly delivery of toiletries
Access: offering special access to member-only items or services. For example, exclusive movies or tv series on a streaming platform
Curation: providing personalised products, services or experiences based on their preferences, such as a regular delivery of personalised business cards
You can always mix and match these approaches or make your own if it would better suit your business. There’s so much room for creativity when it comes to subscription services, so don’t be scared to try something you haven’t seen before.
What makes a great subscription service?
Taking a customer-centric approach is essential when developing a subscription customers will want. So, before you make any decisions, you should research your customer as much as you can. Learn about them inside and out: their shopping habits, the challenges they face, what they care about, how things have changed for them in the past two years. If you can design your product/service and customer journey around them and their interests, the chances are you’ll create something that will really help or intrigue them.
If your customer base is mostly Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen-Z (born between 1997 and 2021) or younger, there’s good news. These generations are very engaged with subscription services, as a third already have a subscription, and another third say they’d like to try one out. So, by shifting to a subscription service, you could be fulfilling your customers wants and needs.
The key is creating something valuable that customers could benefit from. Do you run a bakery that could offer a monthly sample? Perhaps your floristry could send flowers? Or maybe your clothing brand could send fresh socks? Use your business’ niche and explore what subscription your customers would use. And remember, for a lot of consumers, it’s about convenience. So, make the process as easy and convenient as possible by having multiple automatic payment options like PayPal or WePay – and always make sure the product or service is delivered on time.
Although the aim is to keep your subscribers for life, if they want to cancel or change their subscription, make this as easy as possible. No-one wants to be tied into something forever, and you want to keep the relationship positive, even if they leave. You never know, they might be back one day.
It’s all about keeping your customers long-term
A subscription service can really pay off if done well. It can give your business a steady, predictable monthly income, and useful data on your buyers and their habits. And there’s real potential for getting long-term customer value.
Just remember that once you’ve turned your occasional buyer into a subscriber, keeping them is key. Do this by making sure to nurture your relationship and by innovating your product or service, so it stays relevant for them. After all, enhancing the service you offer is important for increasing loyalty and brand love.
Wondering how to shift to a successful subscription service? Speak to our V-Hub Digital Adviser for free, impartial guidance
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