Customer loyalty is the name of the Ecommerce game and the rules are simple – keep your customers happy by nurturing them long after the first purchase.
One of the ways you can do is by curating Subscription Boxes for your customers to receive at regular intervals. But there is another way – turning your customers into members.
The Subscription Box Phenomena
If you buy or sell products online you’ve likely noticed that Subscription Boxes have everyone talking. It seems that every other business has a version, or is thinking of launching a subscription box service. From pet food companies to personal care and meal kits with recipes you can easily make at home, there’s almost no limit to what can be sold in a subscription box. And whilst subscription boxes aren’t the new kids on the Ecommerce block (they’ve been growing in popularity since 2004), there has been a sharp increase in the subscription box economy. According to Small Business Trends, 54% of online shoppers are now subscribers.
And there are some very good reasons why Subscription Boxes are so popular.
Benefits for Subscription Box Consumers
- Value for money
- Variety/access to products and brands they wouldn’t normally buy or haven’t tried before
Popular Subscription Box types include pet, baby and hair and beauty products. But during the Covid-19 lockdown speciality subscription boxes like, pamper and activity boxes have been in demand. Virtually anything a consumer buys on repeat or would enjoy receiving regularly is a good candidate for a subscription box.
Benefits for Subscription Box Sellers
- Increased profits because the cost of retaining a customer is up to 5 times less than the cost of acquiring a new one
- More predictability when it comes to forecasting stock levels, costs and income
- Customer Loyalty – the rise in popularity of subscription boxes is proof that consumers like buying on subscription. Build a great customer experience into your service and your customers will stay loyal to your brand and not question that regular debit to their credit card.
But what if subscription boxes aren’t a good fit for your business, or you’re looking for another way to deepen your relationship with your customers so they stay around long after they’ve made their first purchase?
Time to think outside the ‘subscription box’ and consider the Membership Business Model.
Nurturing Customers with Membership Programs
Memberships are another way to convert a one-time customer into a loyal customer and if it’s good enough for businesses like Amazon who have enjoyed huge success with the Amazon Prime membership program, it could be good enough for your business too.
Memberships deliver many of the same benefits to consumers and sellers as Subscription Boxes, but there are some important differences.
A Membership Program is a reward offered by a seller in exchange for a customer’s loyalty. The decision of what reward/s to build into your membership program should be based on what your ideal customer will find most valuable.
Options to consider include;
- Tiered discounts that reward customers for buying more
- Exclusive offers
- Free shipping
- VIP shopping days
- Gifts with purchase
Whilst both Subscription Box Models and Membership Models are strategies for retaining customers after you’ve acquired them, the Subscription Based model focus is value for money and convenience, whilst the Membership Model focus is delivering long-term value to a consumer to encourage them to keep shopping with you over an extended period of time.
The essential ingredient every
Membership Program must have:
A seamless and satisfying shopping experience is the essential ingredient of every successful membership program. Your customers have to enjoy shopping with you – otherwise they won’t keep coming back, regardless of how big of a discount you offer them – there’s too much choice out there.
We’ve made that easier for sellers at Keesubscriptions by developing an App that integrates seamlessly with your Maropost Commerce Cloud Store. One-time shoppers can easily be turned into Members at the point of sale, or with the click of a ‘button’ from within an email you send them after they make their first purchase.