As an up and coming eCommerce shop, you’ll be on the lookout for new ways to enhance your sales and get the word out about your products and services. So have you heard about subscription-based businesses?
Of course, you have. These are the sites that for a small regular fee deliver a lovely box of goodies to their subscribing customers every month, to make their brand feel a bit like Christmas. The contents are usually wrapped up beautifully in tissue paper and ribbon, but the model isn’t just for beauty products or chocolates. Even if you sell spanners, it can be a great way to add a feel-good factor to your marketing. You’ll encourage a sense of brand loyalty, try out new products on a willing audience, and be well positioned to personalise your marketing in a really proactive way to a mailing list of eager recipients.
Subscription models tend to work well for perishable goods that need regular purchasing. Food is a good example, although in practice supermarket grocery shopping doesn’t seem to excite as much interest in subscription sales as more niche goods. Specialist brands and gourmet foods are more successful, for example, businesses that deliver vegan foods, or organic vegetables. Pet products do well with a subscription model. Beauty and fashion are also major players, and of course, wine is an old favourite.
There are advantages and disadvantages of course. Packaging subscription boxes is more labour intensive because you’re not just parcelling up orders in the quickest and cheapest way possible. However, because subscriptions are placed in advance, this means that planning and fulfilment is more straightforward. You can organise your stock in advance and not have to deal with so many unexpected eCommerce orders or overstocking issues. The fact is, whatever you’re selling by subscription, you get to choose very carefully what you want to include and how to present it. You might find your customers keeping products they wouldn’t normally go and buy, just for convenience. You might find them more ready to branch out into new sales decisions with the products there, literally on their doorstep. How’s that for marketing?
Have a closer look at subscription eCommerce. Personalised shopping isn’t just a passing trend. For some businesses, it’s increasingly the way to go.