Subscription models are growing in popularity amongst customers and businesses. For buyers, subscription models make items more affordable, as payments can be spread out over several months.
Customers also enjoy predictable price points for a diverse range of products. Likewise, subscription models make it easier for businesses to track and project their revenue. Sellers can also offer subscription tiers which increase the likelihood that leads will turn into buyers.
While subscriptions are usually linked with services, such as streaming platforms or periodicals, products can also be sold through the subscription model.
One of the most common examples is the subscription box. These businesses bundle together items and send the products directly to subscribers’ doorsteps. Most models fall into three categories.
Curated boxes send an array of sample items based on customer preferences. Replenishment boxes deliver disposable household goods on a predictable schedule. Access boxes share exclusive products that are only for subscribers.
There are subscription boxes for virtually every niche and interest, from beauty and health to pet and baby needs. The subscription box industry is expected to surpass $18 billion in annual revenue by 2026.
The subscription box space is competitive, and very few boxes exceed 1,000 subscribers. Scaling a subscription box business is challenging, but possible. Growing a successful subscription box company takes more than hard work and tenacity.
Companies must differentiate themselves from similar subscription programs through the following strategies.
Focus on Customer Service
There are thousands of subscription box offers on the market, many of which serve the same customer segments. Responsive customer service is an ideal way to stand out from a sea of competitors.
Subscription boxes become a predictable part of a customer’s routine, so it is understandable that buyers will want errors addressed right away. If finding a solution takes too long, unsubscribing is usually the next step. Companies in the subscription box space should invest meaningfully in the customer service experience.
Setting up a Frequently Asked Questions section on the company’s homepage can help resolve customer issues easily. The FAQs should be easy to find, as customers will not spend too much time searching through web pages for answers.
Live agents should be made accessible to handle more complex inquiries. Since customers will use all communication channels, including social media posts to seek support, companies must be able to respond quickly to messages across different platforms.
Measure the Right KPIs
KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are the vital signs of a business. Subscription box models have unique KPIs, including subscription refunds and cancellations, monthly recurring revenue, and repeat subscribers.
These numbers can provide companies with important insights about marketing, products, and customer retention. However, value can only be derived from KPIs that are managed and tracked accurately. Specialized subscription analytics software can enable businesses to automatically track KPIs and identify trends.
More granular KPIs can be used to track the performance of specific products. For example, customer data can determine if a product’s popularity differs by region, season, or consumer demographics.
Most subscription boxes deliver items that have a practical use, such as refillable toiletries or meals. Boxes that align with niches, such as beauty or hobbies, can introduce customers to new items or brands.
However, to remain competitive, companies must give even more value to their customers by also serving as an authoritative source for related information.
For example, a baby clothing subscription box business can publish informative blogs written by pediatricians on its website, while clothing subscriptions can offer advice for styling different body types.
This approach becomes even more effective when advice is personalized for each subscriber. Companies can leverage data from past purchases or surveys to curate unique product combinations for each subscriber.
Keep Customers Hooked
Retaining customers is the ultimate priority for subscription box companies, as this lowers customer acquisition costs and reduces churn rates.
Boxes that consistently include high-quality products that customers find exciting and useful will boost customer loyalty. Employing a personalized approach also reduces the likelihood that customers will receive inappropriate items.
Companies should also consider ways to engage customers in between shipments. Social media campaigns that encourage interactions, such as giveaways or photo contests ensure that customers are talking about and anticipating their subscription boxes while awaiting delivery.
Some boxes can even serve as the foundation of an online community where subscribers can congregate and share their interests with others.
Subscription boxes can also delight their customers by adding details that enhance the unboxing experience. Many boxes feature branded packaging, handwritten notes, and colorful tissue paper to create a premium experience.
As a bonus, curated unboxing experiences will encourage customers to include the subscription box in their social media content. This type of consumer-led marketing is an effective way to publicize the subscription service.