Subscriptions Services News Round-up: May 2019

We talk a lot about subscription services here on the blog and why they’ve become such a popular and important space for businesses to operate in.

News about companies launching into space is constantly being announced as businesses large and small place their stake in the market. In this post, we’re overviewing some of the latest news headlines being announced regarding subscription services.

Apple, who is no stranger to innovation, understands how big the subscription services market is and has been working on a number of different angles to capitalize on it. It even said recently that it’s shifting focus on the services side of its business as iPhone sales continue to fall.

In its recent quarter which closed in March, the company had reached a record high of over 390 million paid subscriptions for Apple Services.

From a possible gaming subscription service that many are calling a “Netflix for games” to a monthly news subscription service, the tech giant knows exactly what consumers want and is making efforts to deliver.

Speaking of the Netflix comparison, another company that’s starting to offering subscription services and being compared to the streaming video company is Enterprise. The car rental company has kicked off a rental subscription service for cars in three states that lets drivers swap the car they’re driving out up to 4 times a month.

In a world where convenience and experience are highly valued, it makes sense that people are going to look to innovations as a way to consume, test out and even invest in new products and services.

Whether you’re a small start-up or a larger well-known company – there’s a piece of the pie for everyone in this budding industry. So long of course, as you use all the tools at your disposal required to invoice, bill, manage and maintain the subscription services.

That’s where we come in.

Subscription DNA provides a robust administrative console for managing accounts, automating the recurring invoices, processing transactions and more. Get subscription billing, subscription management, paywalls and authentication all in one powerful SaaS platform.

Contact us today!

Earn Customer Loyalty to Succeed with a Subscription Business Model

If you’re launching a subscription service, congratulations: you’re embracing the business model of the future. By tying a company’s success to its ability to preserve its relationships with customers and the value of their lifetime revenue streams, the subscription model can provide a strong incentive for continued product and service excellence.

Younger consumers often prefer the subscription model because it costs less upfront. Many Millennials, for example, are saddled with high student loan payments and they often simply can’t afford a lump payment up front, as with a traditional vehicle purchase. The good news is that the subscription model can apply to nearly anything.

“Many people still think that the concept of a subscription is confined to newspapers and magazines. But today, almost any business can create a subscription model,” wrote Shep Hyken for Fortune. “Everything from automobiles to Xerox copiers and everything in between – including razor blades, wine, dog food, dishwashing detergent and more – can be turned into a subscription.”

Of course, you actually have to provide the product and service excellence. Without customer loyalty, it’s unlikely that your subscription-based business will go very far. So what are some of the ways you can build loyalty into your business model?

Offer Customers More Than They Expect

Amazon Prime members, for example, often join the program to get free two-day shipping. Once they’ve joined, however, they tend to stay because of all the extra perks they get, such as free Kindle books, streaming video content and discounts at Whole Foods. This has been Amazon’s biggest strategy in building loyalty to the Prime program.

Ensure Your Customers Trust You

Be sure your shipping is rock-solid so customers are getting their orders when you say they will. Ensure your web site or your mobile app is rock solid, so customers aren’t encountering outages or errors. Build their trust by putting a generous return policy in place.

Provide Excellent Customer Care

Nothing sours customer loyalty quicker than a poor customer experience. If you’re unsure of the quality of customer care you provide, or you feel it’s uneven, it’s time to completely redo your customer service strategy. Unhappy customers don’t return, and there’s more to it than that: they share their negative experiences on social media.

One way to ensure you’re providing the best possible customer care is by using a subscription management platform that enables it. Cloud-based subscription management platforms such as Subscription DNA allow you to extensively communicate with your subscriber base so you can build loyalty and trust. Our communication tools allow you to easily engage in drip marketing, communications, and membership management.

 

Visit our web site or call 513-574-9800 to discuss your subscription business’ billing and management needs today!

 

Understanding Paywalls: Subscription vs. Metered

Content has become a critical part of the game plan for websites across the globe. The idea is that businesses can increase awareness, engagement, and conversions with the right content.

While much of the access to content on the Internet has remained free, moving to paywalls is a change that isn’t always welcomed. There are many cases though, where setting up a paywall makes sense and can help businesses to increase revenue and capitalize on their quality output.

What is a Paywall?

Paywalls are a way to restrict access to content that lives on a website. Until a user pays to access it in some way, they will not be able to digest the copy.

Today, businesses of all sizes are setting up paywalls instead of relying on ads to bring in revenues from the online channel.

If you’ve been considering adding a paywall to your site, you might be wondering if it makes sense.

To start, you should know the different types of paywalls and what makes them unique.

Subscription Paywall 

A subscription paywall also referred to as a “hard” paywall, is one of the oldest formats of gated content. It restricts access until a visitor pays to access it. This can be done through a subscription to the site with a special log-in to gain access to the content on a one-off need.

This is what’s used a lot of time for companies that don’t want to restrict everything they put out on the web, but still want to gain revenues from some of the higher quality pieces they create such as white papers or exclusives in the publishing world, for example.  In some cases, this can also be set-up as a “premium” membership where only some content is gated behind a paywall.

Metered Paywall

A metered paywall, also referred to as a “soft” paywall, is one of the most implemented types of paywalls used by a variety of industries.  In this case, the payment option is only used in certain cases. In other words, an online browser has access to most of a site’s content until they reach a pre-set parameter. Things like the total number of pages clicked, or other factor triggers when to activate the paywall block.

This is a more subtle approach to weening readers into the pay model without demanding they subscribe and pay immediately. Instead of a focus on engagement and converting them based on value to sign up for the paywall feature.

WordPress Paywall

Another form of paywall that’s increasing in use today is tied to WordPress – the content management systems powering over 30% of the web today. With a WordPress paywall plug-in, it’s possible to monetize on blog and web content – even outside of large business sites down to personal bloggers.

Depending on the type of WordPress site, the paywall plug-in can help monetize the content produced and become an additional source of income if the content being put out is in high demand.

Subscription DNA offers a membership plug-in for WordPress that makes it easy to increase customer loyalty and quickly get up and running.

Get in touch today to learn more!

Here’s Why Subscription Services Are Working

Over the past decade, subscription services have grown from a new idea into an important sector of the economy, attracting customers across the United States and receiving billions of dollars in venture capital investment. Subscription companies offer a wide array of products, but what they all have in common are novelty and excitement.

Why Subscription Services Appeal to Consumers

Neuroscientists have discovered that when humans have new experiences, parts of the brain that are associated with reward and pleasure-seeking are triggered. This principle is at the heart of the success of subscription box services, in which consumers pay to receive boxes containing a variety of items.

Subscription services fall into three main categories:

  • Curated services which send customers collections of personalized items that are chosen based on consumers’ stated preferences.
  • Replenishment services which provide customers with items they use on a regular basis, which eliminates the need to go to a store and saves people money.
  • Subscription services offer consumers access to exclusive items that they would not find elsewhere or provide discounts on things they would have bought anyway.

Although they give general guidelines related to the types of items they would like to receive, customers choose subscription services because they want to be surprised by some of the things they find in their boxes. Receiving new and unexpected items tailored to their preferences is a large part of what makes subscription services so appealing to consumers.

Companies that offer subscription services often use machine learning to decide which items to include in individual customers’ boxes. Consumers can specify their preferences and provide feedback on the items they have already received to help companies choose items for future boxes that more closely align with what customers want and enjoy.

What Makes Subscription Services Successful

The novelty of opening boxes and receiving surprises each month is one of the main reasons why customers sign up for subscription services and stick with companies for years. Businesses that consistently offer interesting and high-quality products retain consumers and succeed over the long term.

When handling recurring payments, making the process easy and seamless is essential to keep customers satisfied. If you are thinking about setting up a subscription service, or if you already operate one but have found your current payment system too complicated or burdensome, Subscription DNA can make things simpler. We can process regular recurring payments and make signing up easy for customers. Contact us today to learn more!

Subscription Services Heat Up in Retail

If you ask any consumer today who has convenience as their top priority, the subscription services industry is the best thing that’s happened to meet their needs and desires when it comes to purchasing goods. Today everything from clothing to music, food and even cars can be purchased through no-hassle subscription plans.

Why Subscription Services Are So Hot

For consumers, it’s all about saving money and time and as an added benefit, discovering personalized products they might never have discovered.  For retailers, benefits include the ability to gather key data about their products and what to offer to the market, as well as the ability to increase brand awareness and engagement and open new potential avenues for growth.

Retail Market Heats Up

In the retail industry, which has been a leading source for subscription services, more companies are turning to the option. Well-known clothing brand American Eagle, which closed a number of brick-and-mortar stores back in 2017, has now announced a subscription service targeted at Gen-Z shoppers. This new emerging power customer is more concerned with being responsible for their footprint and moving away from the quickly disposable fashions that have become so popular. Called, “Style Drop,” the service allows online shoppers to create a virtual online wardrobe that’s shared with other online users. They keep what’s sent to them or send it back. The company is still testing the service and will add and adjust features as they learn more about what shoppers want.

Shoe giant Foot Locker is also grabbing a foothold in the market and recently invested in Rockets of Awesome, a clothing subscription service for kids that has grabbed the attention of celebrities and other backers. Targeting the pain points of busy mothers and kids who quickly outgrow clothing and shoes, the brand is changing the game for how to shop for children.

Subscription Billing Software

Subscription DNA’s subscription billing software makes it possible to accept payments from credit cards, checks, purchase orders, and even processors like PayPal. They also help brands move forward in their customer engagement and branding strategies by offering membership management features like drip marketing, CRM and registration tools as well as subscriber portals, paywall functionality, and much more.

Get in touch to learn more!