In the last few years, the eCommerce subscription market has grown more than 100%. Attracting many established retailers such as Gillette, Sephora, and even Amazon.
Nowadays, virtually anything can be delivered to your home in a subscription box including cosmetics, jewelry, clothing, dog food, wine, etc. Studies have shown that millennials are particularly attracted to the concept. In the States, over 30% of millennials are already subscribed to these services and nearly 40% are planning to subscribe.
If you are running a subscription eCommerce business, you are probably already aware that the real value is not in the initial sale but in building a long-lasting relationship with your customers. The thing is, convincing buyers that your service is worth their money is not an easy task, so you need to find a way for every new delivery to bring excitement as the first and continually delight them. By taking a customer-centric approach, you can manage to build meaningful connections with your customers, increase your revenue and, as a result, grow your eCommerce subscription business.
Here are 5 ways to make your subscription eCommerce model successful.
1. Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
The first thing you need to do is understand your customer’s journey. Where are your customers coming from and what do they expect from you? What do they need to know right after they sign up and how can you make sure to provide maximum value from the very beginning?
Use your initial emails to establish a connection from day one. After a couple of months, your customers should become accustomed to getting emails from you and your products will become a part of their everyday lives. If you put in the effort to establish trust and effective communication. You will build a solid foundation for a long-term relationship.
2. Provide Outstanding Customer Support
eCommerce subscription services rely heavily on communication and experience. So, be sure to take a closer look at how you are interacting with your customers at every stage in their relationship with you.
This is especially important when it comes to dealing with customer issues. Are you proactive or reactive in helping your customers? Outstanding customer support is much more than simply solving customer issues. It means being proactive and doing everything you can in order to provide the best possible experience with your product.
3. Use Knowledge Base Software
Besides the standard customer support channels (email, phone, and live chat), consider also offering a knowledge base. This can be easily made with a knowledge base solution and will not only provide another place for your customers to find solutions to their issues but also reduce the burden on your support team. In addition, because your knowledge base is usually public and indexable by Google, it will bring a number of benefits for SEO and marketing.
You can use knowledge base software for an internal knowledge base too. For instance, you could use it for the members of your support team to share important information about support tickets.
4. Engage Regularly
One of the problems with subscription eCommerce services is that they can easily become part of the routine. This is not necessarily bad, but there is a danger that your product will be taken for granted over time. So, what can you do to stop your subscribers from simply running to the store and buy the same (or similar) brands you’re offering in your subscription box?
The answer is engagement. Engaging with your customers is the most effective way to remind your audience that you consistently provide value in their lives and demonstrate how they benefit from using your service.
There are quite a few ways you can engage your community. You can use your social media pages to interact, share fun and relatable quotes or images, address major Q&As, and even allow them to take a peek behind the scenes. You can also use an email newsletter and include pamphlets in your product packaging – whatever you decide to do, community building is crucial when it comes to keeping customers for the long haul.
5. Offer Exclusivity
We all want to feel appreciated by the companies we use. Exclusivity is a hot commodity, and your subscription eCommerce business can take advantage of it by concentrating on the specific benefits that your customers get.
Consider offering special deals and discounts to customers that sign up for your membership program. You can also establish a loyalty program: for instance, customers who have received 5 of your boxes could be upgraded to a platinum membership with extra perks and benefits such as gifts, early access to new products, etc.
The aim is to create a long-term relationship with your customers and provide consistent value. By doing this you’re offering an extra layer of experience and, as a result, reducing churn. But most importantly, by doing this you’re building trust. With the physical aspect of most eCommerce subscriptions, there is a big emphasis on customer trust. The physical subscription gives the company access to the customer’s shipping address and opens the door to regular deliveries.
6. Build Hype
Building some hype into your communications is a great way to retain your existing customers, increase their LTV and, as a result, grow your eCommerce subscription business.
Tease customers with exciting highlights, present new ways for them to use your products, and try to build a sense that even more exciting things are yet to come. This can achieved through social announcements, emails, or even physical items inside the box.
Don’t forget that the main reason people subscribe to a box is to have an experience. If it is just about the products in the box, they’ll simply go to Amazon. The secret lies in providing exciting stories packed in amazing content.
Building trust and maintaining your customer’s sense of excitement are the two main elements needed for growing your eCommerce subscription business.
Even though the first impression is vital, how you proceed will establish the pattern and connection moving forward. Your goal is to make your products exciting enough to delight time and time again and become a part of your customers’ lives.