Subscription Programs Add Value For Customers

Rob Holthause

April 24, 2019

Subscriptions provide a ton of value for businesses. Lifetime customer value increases, overall revenue is lifted, and subscriptions create a consistent revenue stream which can be relied on. Considering that subscriptions also help brands cement relationships with their customers, it’s plain to see why subscriptions are a slam dunk for many merchants.

More importantly, though, is that subscriptions provide a ton of value to customers. Understanding the value added for customers and presenting it to them clearly and thoughtfully makes all the difference in whether a subscription program is successful or ineffective.

Value through convenience

There’s nothing worse than getting ready in the morning and realizing that you’re out of coffee. Or having to make a last-minute trip out to the store specifically because you forgot to pick up dog food. By providing a customer with a constant supply of their regularly-used items, merchants can make their customers’ lives a lot more convenient.

This has an added benefit for merchants as well – if customers are out of an item and go to any old store to get it, that’s a sale lost. By ensuring that customers never run out of their consumable products, merchants can ensure that their customers won’t need to get those items from someone else.

Streamlined payments

Entering a 16-digit card number at checkout seems like a small thing, but in the age of Amazon, it’s something most of us would rather not have to do. Since subscribing customers have a payment method on file for their recurring orders, that payment method can be used on non-subscription orders that are placed as well. This reduces friction at checkout, saving customers time and ultimately leading to fewer abandoned carts.

The “surprise and delight” factor

Curated boxes provide customers with a particularly enjoyable experience, since they offer a high level of excitement around what could be inside. This excitement actually provides a hit of dopamine, and is one of the reasons why curated boxes have been so successful. Offering subscription boxes to customers means offering a rewarding experience.

Paying over time

Though not as common as auto-delivery and curated box subscriptions, access subscriptions allow customers to pay over time to access to a virtual product – be it a membership, online textbook, etc. These subscriptions offer the benefit of splitting up payments, making it easier for customers to pay and to manage their membership or access. Splitting up payments can be especially valuable to a college student needing an online textbook, for example.

Articulating the value of subscriptions to customers and convincing them to sign up benefits not only the business, but also the customers themselves. To have a successful subscription program, businesses need to make the experience all about the customer, and sell them on the value of signing up.

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