grow e-commerce business
4 minutes

Thinking inside the (subscription) box

Turn customers into loyal followers with a unique subscription box

Regular revenue? Loyal customers? No competition? No wastage of products? It sounds too good to be true, but with e-commerce subscriptions you can make it happen! Find out why your business should or shouldn’t implement the concept behind subscription services.

What is a subscription box?

A recurring bill sounds scary in most cases, but in the situation of e-commerce subscriptions, customers get excited. They’ll receive preferred products on a regular basis, without having to put in too much effort. In return they regularly make a payment by direct debit. As a result, there is a frequent source of income.

But e-commerce subscriptions are not just about revenue for businesses, they are actually about building strong customer relationships. By purchasing a subscription, customers turn into loyal followers who become sources of recurring revenue. The longer the customer uses the product, the more valuable they become. Therefore, customers turn into brand ambassadors and your competition will lose out on potential revenue. A win-win situation!

Types of e-commerce subscription boxes

E-commerce subscriptions basically exist in two variants: the replenishment model and the discovery model. With the replenishment model, customers can make repeat orders of purchases they make frequently, ensuring that they never run out of that product (think of lens subscription). The discovery model involves boxes of goodies that are sent out regularly, so that the customer always receives a surprise.

Subscription services are available for all kinds of products, from recipes with ingredients to clothing boxes and anything else you can think of. Your product is also a fit for this service, so what exactly are the benefits of getting started with ecommerce subscriptions?

B2C Europe allows us to improve our e-retailers experience in terms of international delivery, thanks to their network and selection of European carriers as well as the solution to directly inject in the destination country with their different hubs. – Blissim ex-Birchbox

What are the benefits of e-commerce subscriptions?

1. An easy process for both customer and business

Subscriptions make life easy for customers, as customers don’t have to go through the checkout process more than once. Hence, this allows the customer to set up their purchase and basically forget it, permitting them to enjoy the product without any effort. An easy ‘unsubscribe’ is recommended though.

On the other hand, an e-commerce subscription not only makes life easy for customers, but also for you as a business. When implementing subscription services, it means that you sell to your customers on a regular basis. As a result, you do not have to compete with others because your customers are loyal customers. You don’t have to entice the customers to make more purchases.

2. More control over your business inventory

Another big advantage is stock management. As each delivery often contains the same products, you can plan your stock more effectively and reduce waste. This also makes it possible to flexibly adapt the stock when new customers arrive.

3. More efficient financial forecasting

The fact that customers issue direct debits is not only advantageous for them, but also for you as a business. The flow of money is frequent and financial forecasting becomes much easier. This is because it’s unlikely that there will be a fluctuation in revenue, or an unexpected dry spell, as the product and financial flow will continue.

How do you establish your own subscription box business?

Before you can enjoy the benefits of e-commerce subscriptions, there are a few conditions you need to meet to make it a success.

1. Do your own research

It is important to map out exactly who you want to sell to. Who is your target group and what exactly characterises this group? What are their needs? And how can you respond to these needs with your services? All these questions are essential to answer before you even think about subscriptions. Once you have mapped out your buyer persona, it is also crucial to investigate whether this target group will purchase your regular services. In short, start with proper research!

2. What makes you different?

When you have mapped out your target group, it is also important to map out your value proposition. What makes your product more unique than other similar products? You must also have a clear reason for introducing a subscription model. What do customers gain from a subscription rather than a more traditional approach?

3. Additional subscription services

Maybe you already have a successful e-commerce business, but you’re also considering adding a subscription service to your portfolio. In that case, again you’ll need to do good research beforehand, as well as being specific and honest about your goals towards your customers. Ask yourself: “What extra value do your subscription services bring?”. Obviously, you don’t want your customers to think that you have jumped on the subscription bandwagon just to make some extra money, instead of creating extra value for your target group. For this reason, prepare yourself thoroughly before you start or add e-commerce subscriptions to your business.

4. Optimal delivery service

Now that all the conditions have been mapped out, you clearly want the delivery process to be as effortless as the whole concept behind e-commerce subscriptions. That’s why it’s vital to work with a reliable logistic partner.

By teaming up with B2C Europe, we can guarantee that this final step in the supply chain process will be as smooth as the whole e-commerce subscription process! We can pick up the products from your warehouse, ship the products internationally and you have easy access to all major carriers to get your products to the consumer. Last but not least, our daily injection network ensures your shipment will reach its destination country effortlessly, saving tremendous costs on distribution.

No room for storage? No problem at all! With our partners we can also realise fulfilment. In short, we take care of all your logistical challenges, so you can focus on your business. Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss the possibilities.

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