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Online Subscriptions and The Small Business

15 April 2019

onlinesubscriptions smallbusiness

There has been a recent growth in the use of online subscriptions. Customers love the convenience and businesses love the guaranteed income. People are taking out subscriptions for food, wine, personal grooming products, TV and films, nappies and even pet food. The possibilities appear endless.

 

The premise behind online subscriptions is that customers pay monthly for a selection of products that the company curates and then delivers. This is a brilliant way for businesses to bring in a regular income and ensure repeat custom. Customers love the fact that they can try new and interesting products that are delivered to their door in a convenient way without the need to take the time out to search for them.

 

Getting the model right is vital

 

However, it is crucial that in order to build a successful online subscription model for your business, you get the details right. First of all, your customers must understand that the subscription is ongoing, and that money will be debited monthly from their account. Unless this is explicitly clear, you are likely to face a negative backlash from customers who are shocked and angry that their monthly fee has been deducted. Equally, it needs to be easy for them to unsubscribe at any time. Customers don't like to be trapped into long-term contracts. Your business should understand that your customers’ needs will change, and they should be able to adapt their package accordingly.

 

The importance of service

 

It also helps if you can commit a good standard of responsive customer service. People who have chosen a monthly subscription expect a level of loyalty in return and like to be able to offer feedback, ask questions and receive a timely response. They also enjoy being able to have a say in the products they receive. If you don't offer a selection process when it comes to the monthly delivery, customers should at least be allowed the opportunity for adaptation in case of likes, dislikes or even allergies. Don't forget, the happier your customers, the more likely they are to recommend you and send referrals your way.

 

A successful subscription service will usually offer something that can't be bought from the shelves of the local supermarket. Offering limited edition or hard-to-find items is key to making your package attractive and alluring. Many subscription services begin with a special offer to draw customers in and allow them to try the product for free or at a low price in the hope that once they realise how fabulous your product is, they will be customers for life!