Monthly Subscription Boxes for Food & Drink Are Trending

There’s no denying what profound effect subscription boxes have had on consumption trends today. More people admit to choosing a subscription service that delivers products they use or want to try each month, versus going out and shopping brick and mortar stores for that purchase.

With the rise of giant online commerce platforms like Amazon and the ease of using mobile apps, we’re also continuing to new versions of subscription services be introduced constantly.

A report from McKinsey and Company found that subscription boxes experienced “explosive growth” from 2011 to 2016 with a 100 percent annual growth rate.

As this trend continues to grow, one of the major types of subscriptions people are turning to is the food and beverage category. Not only because it saves time and is convenient, but other unique options, like fully measured ingredients with recipes to create or foods that fit into a specific way of eating, can all be delivered directly to their door. There is also the opportunity to get certain regional or artisanal food or drink not available in a local area which is a major plus for some.

Think craft beers, artisanal cheeses, and cured meats. The list is endless. 

The other great thing people find with subscription boxes for food and drink vs. just going online to shop for specific items when they need them is that they can get items that have been curated by experts who are choosing items they’ll likely enjoy without ever having known about them.

This “treat” element that is provided to consumers allowing the trend to continue moving forward with strong momentum.

For the companies offering the subscription services, this is also a great time to focus on building their brand and the experiences consumers have with their offerings as they’re seeking out new subscriptions to sign up for.

In addition to creating a unique value prospect for potential customers, it’s critical to have a subscription management service that works. One that involves minimal friction for the end-user and one that ensures monthly funds are deposited for the services without hiccups.

If you’re looking for a way to manage all your subscription service memberships, look no more. At Subscription DNA we have all of the management and robust reporting tools you need to manage and support your customer through their entire lifecycle.

Contact us to learn more today!

Do Small Businesses Need Subscription Management?

While subscription management may seem like the kind of things only large companies such as Netflix use, the truth is that even small companies are good candidates for the subscription business model. The advantages of subscriptions are offering your customers the flexibility to subscribe rather than purchase outright (and a regular amount to make budgeting easier), and for your business, it’s a good, steady stream of revenue.

Your business is a good candidate for the subscription model if:

  • You sell products or services that customers buy on a repeat basis, such as maintenance or cleaning services, or products that require regular refill supplies.
  • You sell services that people need to access on an ongoing basis. A good example is a web-based software that needs regular maintenance and updates.
  • You guarantee or warranty your products or services. The subscription billing model is ideal for product protection or replacement plans.
  • You have a lot of accounts receivable activity. A subscription management platform is a great way to manage your regular billing process.

The subscription model has the advantage of encouraging one-time customers to become long-term customers. These repeat customers your small business gains via the subscription model can help boost your customer retention rate and your revenue.

Putting the infrastructure in place to offer your customers a subscription model is easier than you might think. You can either do it in-house or adopt an easy-to-use, Web-based subscription management platform such as Subscription DNA that will allow you to charge, refund and manage subscribers, including email marketing and communications.

Subscription DNA’s subscription management software is ideal for small businesses, and features group enrollment tools and group communications, email marketing automation, cloud billing automation and payments, intuitive membership management, CRM and premium content and paywall management. Your customers can even log in and manage their own accounts right from your Web site.

Even small businesses just beginning to use the subscription model can quickly and easily build the type of community that keeps subscription customers engaged, interested and – most importantly – loyal. Contact us to learn how you can not only attract more subscription customers but keep them loyal into the future.

Subscription Pricing Strategies to Consider in 2019

Subscription services have become popular because they allow customers to receive products they like on a regular basis and enable businesses to maintain a steady stream of revenue. If companies consistently provide products that customers want and value, subscribers will remain loyal and continue to pay for products. This, in turn, will lead to higher revenue for the company than it would earn if customers simply chose to make occasional purchases.

If you plan to launch a subscription service in 2019, setting prices appropriately will be critical. You will need to think about your immediate and long-term goals and create a strategy to meet both and to set your company on the path toward growth and sustainability.

How to Set Prices and Attract Customers

You will need to consider the needs and values of your customers. They will most likely not be a monolithic group, but rather will fall into several categories. Some customers will want a wide variety of products, while others will prefer to keep things simple. To be successful, your company will have to identify the specific needs of various groups and offer several plans or levels of membership at various price points so there will be something to appeal to everyone.

In many cases, particularly with relatively new companies, potential customers don’t know much about business and are unsure about the quality of their products and customer service. One way to help people gather more information and form a favorable opinion is to allow them to try out a company’s basic services for free and offer them additional options for a price. A freemium model encourages people to take a chance on a company and often leads to satisfied customers who purchase additional products or services and maintain their memberships for years.

Subscription companies become more successful and profitable when they grow and adapt to the needs and suggestions of their customers. If you decide to offer new products because your customers request them or because you think they would appreciate them, you will have to adjust your pricing model accordingly. You might decide to include a new product in all subscriptions and raise prices across the board, or you could offer an extra product as an add-on or create a new package.

Make Recurring Payment Processing Easy

Once you have set the pricing guidelines for your subscription service, you will need to make sure that it is easy for customers to sign up and those recurring payments will be processed efficiently and correctly. Subscription DNA makes that simple so you can focus on running your business and meeting the needs of your customers.

Contact us today to learn more!

Have a Successful Blog? Consider Putting Premium Content Behind a Paywall

It seems the public is coming to the end of an era when it comes to free content on the Internet. While most of us still like to be able to find a recipe or a fact about Napoleon for our kid’s book report, more people are coming to realize that free opinion blogs are worth…well, about as much as we pay for them. Free news is often biased, poorly written and downright crazy (lizard people? Flat earth?)

In fact, research from the eighth annual Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford has found that public concern about misinformation is making some people more careful about the brands the content they consume online. The change is most noteworthy among people who are younger and better educated. Forty percent of Americans are now saying they rely on more “reputable” sources for information.

Be a Reputable Source of Information

So how do you become reputable? For starters, ensuring your content is high quality, properly referenced and visually polished can help. Another way you can protect your reputation as a content provider is by installing a paywall. After all, the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal do it. But you might think…who is going to find me if I’m behind a paywall?

The solution is to make some of your content free to attract readers. Keep your best content, however, behind a paywall that asks for a small amount – a few dollars, perhaps – to read your more in-depth posts, according to a recent blog post by Subscription DNA.

“Offer original, premium content that’s only available to people who pay in addition to your regular content,” according to the blog. “Slate’s Slate Plus membership service, which provides membership-only content for a $50-per-year fee, is a great example. They took in 9,000 paying subscribers in their first year, demonstrating the efficacy of the model.”

But What About Ads?

If you’re putting baby goats in pajamas or dressing up as unicorns and talking about gaming, and you’ve got millions of unique visitors, ads will probably work for you. Be remember that click rates on ads are very low, so if you’re only attracting a few hundred readers, or even a few thousand, it’s unlikely you’re going to earn enough in ads to buy a cup of coffee.

Manage Your Premium Content

Premium subscription management platforms like SubscriptionDNA give you a way to manage subscription billing, membership management, subscription sign-up, content filtering, paywall management, and even marketing all in one place. Contact Subscription DNA to learn how you can turn your premium content into a source of revenue.

Building Customer Engagement and Brand Loyalty for Subscription Services

Nowadays, companies are offering a wide variety of services via subscription. It’s a new business model that is particularly appealing to younger generations who are used to subscribing for everything including entertainment, clothing, self-care products, and even cars.

But offering products and services via subscription isn’t enough. To keep a loyal base of subscribers, your organization must have a formal brand loyalty plan that will keep customers from straying to the services of competitors. In a highly competitive space with a business model based on recurring revenue, it’s important for subscription brands to create experiences that keep customers coming back.

Following are some tips for building a brand loyalty program with your subscription service.

Provide self-service.

Customers don’t like having to call your contact center or sales associates. They’d prefer to manage their subscriptions themselves, so ensure that this service is available to them. They’d like to change their information or payment methods and check on their latest order without help from an agent, if possible.

Ensure you have an email program.

Building loyalty for subscription services requires regular email marketing, preferably right off the subscription platform. Ensure that the platform you choose has a drip marketing feature that allows you to stratify your subscriber base to ensure that you’re making the right offers at the right time (and not, for example, sending emails urging a renewal to a first-time customer who just signed up).

Provide the right price point.

Many customers might be hesitant if they need to commit too much upfront to your subscription service. Ensure that they can start small and expand. Subscription pricing strategies can be tiered according to functionality, include discounts for larger purchases or be metered according to usage levels. You can also build in a rewards program that tempts customers into larger purchases. Experts recommend offering one higher priced tier over your ideal price tier in order to give the impression customers are getting a good deal.

Get your billing right.

Because of its nature, the subscription model has far more complex billing than “Buy one widget, pay for one widget.” Ensure you’re choosing a subscription management platform that allows you to bill in a variety of ways (annually, monthly, etc.) that might be attractive to your subscriber base. Flexibility will keep customers coming back.

Choose a platform designed for subscription management.

Subscription DNA’s subscription management software features group enrollment tools and group communications, email marketing automation, cloud billing automation and payments, intuitive membership management, CRM and premium content and paywall management.

With the ability to connect users into a subscriber group, companies can build the type of community that keeps subscription customers engaged, interested and – most importantly – loyal.

Contact Subscription DNA to learn how you can not only attract more subscription customers but keep them loyal into the future.