According to The Subscription Trade Association, by 2023, 75% of businesses selling
While customers always want convenience, online sellers need reliable, recurring revenue to succeed in a highly competitive ecommerce environment. A subscription business model checks all these boxes!
Even if you didn’t launch your business as a subscription service, you can incorporate it into your online store to reap the benefits and keep your customers engaged and satisfied. Consider this blog post your guide to accomplishing just that.
And if you’re an Ecwid merchant ready to sell subscriptions in your online store, click the button below to learn about how to enable subscriptions right away.
What Are Subscriptions?
With a subscription business model, a company provides ongoing products or services on a regular basis in exchange for payment.
It’s highly likely you’ve already bought a subscription
Benefits of Selling Subscriptions
As a consumer, you might already have an appreciation for the unique perks of buying subscriptions. Convenience is king: you don’t have to
But what are the benefits of selling subscriptions as a business?
We’ve already mentioned it, but it’s an advantage worth repeating. When customers purchase subscriptions, they’re locked into buying products and services for specific periods — up to several months or a year. That allows you to forecast your sales, which makes running a business way more predictable and sustainable.
If you run a business in a highly competitive niche, recurring revenue is especially important for staying afloat and getting ahead of your competitors.
Easier to Manage Inventory
Apart from a predictable revenue stream, selling subscriptions allows you to better manage your inventory. Since customers subscribe for extended periods of time, you can better understand the amount of product you need to fulfill orders.
Above, we’ve mentioned the benefits of buying subscriptions for customers: convenience and
Retaining customers can really guarantee
Selling subscriptions also helps grow the customer lifetime value (how much profit you have earned from a single customer throughout the entirety of your business.) The more often a customer buys from you, the higher the CLV is.
What You Can Sell as Subscriptions
There are lots of products and services you can sell as subscriptions. The chances are you’re already selling some of them as items for a
Subscription boxes are curated,
Subscription boxes are often based on the customer’s individual preferences, but the range of products you can sell as subscription boxes is endless. Cosmetics, clothes and lingerie, accessories, food, crafts for DIY projects, pet food, you name it. Boxes can contain different options of the same product (say, socks), or various items united by a common theme (a box of cosmetics.)
Apart from attracting customers who love the rush of new product deliveries on a regular basis, subscription boxes are great for selling products that need regular replenishment. Do you own a bakery? Deliver weekly packages of fresh bread and buns. Run a coffee shop? Sell bundles of coffee beans delivered monthly.
As you might have guessed, food makes a perfect product for a subscription (replenishment, if you will) box, from curated gourmet items to regular fresh produce.
Memberships and Access to Services
When customers buy a membership, they pay a recurring fee to access an online or offline service. This works great for services that are provided for an extended period. Say, a cleaning service that is paid weekly, or educational courses that are provided monthly.
Just like subscription boxes, memberships vary. They can provide access to a service as a whole, or additional services. For example, you can sell memberships to attend offline language courses or offer extra lessons to members only.
Memberships also might provide access to exclusive content or events and conferences.
Subscribe and Save Products and Services
The Subscribe and Save model allows customers to save on items they buy regularly. Online stores that use this model often offer both
Just like subscription boxes, the Subscribe and Save model works best with products that need replenishment, like toiletries or food. But what distinguishes this model from subscription boxes is the focus on savings instead of feelings of discovery and delight.
Businesses that sell digital subscriptions provide access to content on their website (to all or a set of content.) It may include exclusive content for subscribers or access to the app.
This model works great for online magazines and stores that sell digital products. For example, an educational resource might sell a monthly subscription to student workbooks.
While this option might not come to mind right away, regular donations work just like subscriptions: customers subscribe to donating regularly, say; weekly or monthly.
If your business supports an important cause, you can set up regular and recurring donations for your online store. Or, you can allow customers to support your small business in case something unexpected happens, like the
How to Get More Subscription
As you can see, there are plenty of options for how you want to run the subscription model in your store. Now let’s dive into how you can attract more repeat customers for your subscription products.
Your ultimate goal is to make sure your customers know that your product is a better value for them when bought on a regular basis. To achieve that, use the ideas below or combine them to suit your business better.
Offer a Special Deal to Subscribers
The Subscribe and Save model is popular for a reason: a discount gives shoppers a clear incentive to buy a subscription product. However, there are lots of other ways to show customers they can get more for their money.
Here are a couple of ideas:
- Offer free shipping on subscription products
- Lower the price for a limited time to create a sense of urgency
- Offer Buy One, Get One Free deals
- Add a gift or bonus for the first 100 subscribers
- Offer a free entry to a loyalty program
- Run a giveaway for subscribers only
- Send free educational content to subscribers (for example, if you sell beauty products, send a checklist for choosing
If you offer products for a
Offer a product that only subscribers can get, just make sure it’s an item in demand. For example, an exclusive product or a bestseller with a deep discount.
Another option is to include a surprise product in the subscription. That creates excitement and a feeling of discovery, as customers get their regular order and something new.
Add Seasonal Offerings
Seasonal specials can also attract customers to subscribe to your product. In this case, you combine two incentives: a
If you sell services, you can also incorporate seasonal offers into your subscriptions. For example, if you teach foreign languages, you can include lessons with holiday topics into an annual subscription.
Offer First Access to New Products
The feeling of discovery can stimulate customers to buy a subscription. This offer can also attract shoppers if you sell products that take a lot of time to make and deliver. For example,
Pay attention to this option, especially if you already have a solid customer base interested in your upcoming products. That creates an opportunity for upselling, or inviting customers to purchase a more expensive item — in your case, a subscription.
Throw Events for Subscribers
Not only can events for subscribers attract more shoppers, but they also can help grow a community around your brand and promote customer engagement and loyalty.
For example: if you sell flowers, invite subscribers to an offline workshop on floral arrangements. Or, a meal prep company can organize an online Q&A with a nutritionist.
But that’s not all, folks! For more ideas on making your subscription product attractive for repeat customers, listen to our podcast with
How to Start Selling Subscriptions
Ready to grow your recurring revenue with subscriptions? We’re here to help!
With Ecwid, you can:
- Sell popular
subscription-basedproducts such as food, cosmetics, subscription boxes, access to memberships, replenishment items.
- Set the billing cycle to daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
- Collect recurring donations for your store or
- Enable recurring subscriptions along with
one-timepurchases to provide more options for your customers.
- Easily manage subscriptions. All of them are preserved in your Ecwid admin, including active, canceled, subscriptions with failed charges, and the ones that need to be confirmed.
- Contact subscription customers if you need to specify the delivery address or clarify subscription details.
Here’s how it works: after you enable subscriptions in your Control Panel, you create a product in your store that customers can subscribe to and receive on a repeated schedule.
Once shoppers subscribe to your product, they’ll be charged automatically according to the subscription period. Customers can cancel their subscriptions or change payment details in the customer account.
Every time a customer is charged during the subscription period, you will receive an email, and a new order will be placed automatically. If the subscription is canceled or there’s an issue with payment, you’ll be notified about that too.
We’ve set it up so that everything should work smoothly: you set up a subscription product once, and it starts generating sales. Customers don’t need to
Ready to sell subscriptions with Ecwid? You can get started in no time:
- Sign up with Ecwid. You’ll be able to set up an ecommerce site or add an online store to your existing website.
- Add policies for purchasing subscriptions in your Terms & Conditions. Make sure to cover your refund/return/cancellation policy and delivery details.
- Add a subscription product to your store using this
To learn more about setting up and managing subscriptions in your Ecwid store, read our
Start Selling Subscriptions
We’ve done our best brainstorming, but we bet you have some even better ideas for selling
Need help with setting up your subscriptions store? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Care team. And if you’re a seasoned subscription seller yourself, feel free to share your experience with our readers.
Next week we’re going to dive into one of the most popular products sold with this business model — a subscription box. We’ll share dozens of ideas for