Getting It Right: Subscription Best Practices
Merchants who have committed to a subscription program are looking to provide an exceptional customer experience and convert customers to subscribers. One of the most common questions we get asked during implementation is “what are the best practices for our new subscription program?”
While there are a number of little things that can be done to achieve a strong subscription program (and ultimately, these can vary between verticals and merchants,) included below are the best practices distilled from our 5 years experience in the subscription space.
FAQ on product details page
Offering an FAQ to customers on the product page is our most commonly recommended best practice. An FAQ is easily added to a product page and goes a long way to change skeptics to subscribers. While most shoppers today are familiar with subscriptions, the details and terms can vary greatly between programs. A customer may see the value in subscribing, but be hesitant because they don’t know if they’ll be locked in to it or not sure how they can manage their subscription once they’ve signed up. A well-written FAQ can overcome those objections at a time when the customer is ready to purchase.
Make customers feel included
A big driver of customer engagement is feeling like they belong – just look at how strong and complex brand loyalty can be. Using subscriptions to create a club or membership can play a big part in converting customers. Offering customers perks for said membership – discounts, early access, an occasional swag pack, etc. – can be an added incentive.
Proactively communicate about subscriptions
Part of the beauty of replenishment commerce lies in the automation of the transaction. It provides value to a customer in not having to think about their next order. However, it’s important not to automate to the point that you’re not communicating with your customer. Corresponding about certain subscription events shows that a merchant is on top of the relationship and cares about their customer. It can also be used to head off potential issues – like a credit card that’s about to expire, or a product that may be out of stock on the next order cycle.
Eliminate payment headaches
Reducing friction at checkout is important for all orders, but it’s especially so for converting subscribers. Siloing customers into different checkouts for subscription and non-subscription orders is a terrible user experience. It’s also important to allow a customer to use a card stored for subscriptions on future orders. Using a single vault to store cards for both subscription and non-subscription orders is preferable, so that a single credit card payment method is shown at checkout.
It’s important to impress customers with exceptional subscription experiences so that they’ll talk about it in their reviews. It’s equally valuable to listen to the negative reviews, and make improvements where you can. What are the pain points? How can the process be made smoother? What are customers looking for in their relationship with your brand as subscribers? Making continual improvements where possible/needed goes a long way to providing the best possible user experience.
These best practices are a good starting point, but are by no means all-encompassing. Subscribe Pro is always striving to provide the best possible experience for customers, and we’re happy to chat about the unique needs of yours.