Relationship Commerce

Thought Leadership

The 5 things you need for a sticky subscription program

Subscription commerce is becoming an increasingly important channel for retail brands. Innovative brands and retailers are providing additional convenience, higher value, and greater peace of mind to the customer. Meaning subscription programs need to be  adaptable and competitive to set yourself apart from your competitors.

But how do you implement a subscription program that keeps customers coming back while continuing to add value? 

In a recent webinar that Ordergroove CEO Greg Alvo hosted with Forrester Sr. Analyst Lily Varon, Alvo noted “Every D2C brand these days is launching — or strongly considering launching — on the back of a subscription model.” To do that well, Varon outlined five things that every successful subscription program needs: 

1. Add more value than the status quo

One of the main reasons that consumers flock to subscription services is convenience. The stickiest subscription programs are always asking how to be more helpful and convenient than solutions that already exist. For example, adding more flexibility like pausing and resuming subscriptions or one-click reorder makes it easier for your customers. 

2. Evolve the value they deliver to their customers over time

Customers will return to subscription programs that continue to be the most valuable option. Perhaps this looks like rewards and loyalty incentives that increase over time, or adding new products or bundles to your subscription program. 

3. Highly personalized

With the sophistication of safe data collection and AI or machine learning-based algorithms, brands should include specific personalization measures with their subscription programs. Between predicting and mitigating churn and recommending the exact products that an individual customer will love, personalization is the key to a strong subscription service.

4. Live in an ecosystem of value

What else does your brand offer to subscribers? Get creative with your incentives and provide subscribers with value points beyond just the cost-benefit of your program. There are an array of companies now offering educational events, exclusive online content engines, online communities, and more. 

5. Appeal to consumer emotion

If you’re a pet retailer, you know that a customer’s pet is like a member of the family to them. If you’re an eco-friendly plastic-free company, you know that your consumer base is probably environmentally focused. Consumers put their money where their values are, so catering to the things they care about helps you stand out from competitors that offer a similar product without any empathetic campaigns. 

To learn more about what drives subscription interest in the first place and what current subscription trends look like, as well as dive deeper into the five tenets, catch the full webinar here.

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