What to Know About Offering Ecommerce Subscriptions

Posted in CRO, Serving Your Customers

Most ecommerce stores hope to have recurring revenue, it’s the dream. But just throwing a subscription tool on your site isn’t going to cut it with customers anymore. In this video, we’ll go through:

  • How to motivate visitors to want to subscribe
  • How to display your subscription options on your site
  • Examples of subscriptions on other stores

Transcript: What to Know About Offering Ecommerce Subscriptions

Today we are talking about subscriptions. What do you need to think about when you’re offering subscriptions? You need to be able to convey the different subscription options, and you’re also going to learn in this video how to do that, and as well as what the biggest reason is for customers not converting and getting a subscription and how you can help motivate them to get one.

Some things you need to consider is whether or not your product really even needs a subscription. Is this something that is even beneficial to customers? If you do find that it is, would your company actually benefit from only offering subscription? That’s something I’ll get into in a little bit. You also need to consider the benefits of a subscription. You don’t want to just throw a subscription option on your product page and leave it at that. You want to consider what customers are getting.

In addition to getting the products monthly, are they getting free shipping, are they getting extra perks? That’s something you’ll want to think about, as well as default frequency. Are they getting it every 30 days, every 45 days, three months? As well as what stage of the shopping process should they be selecting the subscription options? I’ll get into each of these points.

How to Offer Subscription-Only Products

Here for subscription-only, we have Ritual. Ritual only offers subscription. There’s no way to just buy the vitamins on their own through the website. If you click add to cart, you just get the monthly offer here. It’s not totally clear. There might be visitors who are not 100% clear that they are getting a monthly subscription because you have this information here, but not everybody reads everything on the product page. Then you have this text here that mentions that it’s monthly, but this is something you definitely want to make sure if you are defaulting to a subscription or your product is just subscription-only, you’re very clear about that because you don’t want to have chargebacks or upset customers.

Then again, here for Ritual. Since they’re subscription-only, they remind customers that they can cancel for free. They can cancel anytime, then customers are not as hesitant about signing up and getting the products monthly. They also get free shipping and they get 30-day money guarantee. These are great ways to help persuade and motivate customers to want to sign up for the subscription.

Now, here for Care/of, so they also offer a subscription-only supplement product, similar to a Ritual. They mention it over here that you’re getting the product every 30 days. They mention it here, a 30-day supply of vitamins tailored to your unique needs. They do try to mention it in places. I think they could probably mention it more. That’s something you can definitely test out too. Also talk to customer support as well, because if you’re getting a lot of customers who are signing up and then realizing that they signed up for a subscription after the fact, then that means you definitely need to make it a lot more clear.

What’s In It For Them?

Then for subscription benefits. An example here is Atlas Coffee Club. So I thought they did a good job of trying to convince people to sign up for their subscription. They mentioned that they use the top 1% of the world’s coffee. They have coffee you can’t find anywhere. They also roast it fresh so then you’re getting fresh coffee every month, or however often you sign up for the subscription, and then you get it delivered on schedule every time. You don’t really have to think about going out and getting coffee.

Then here for The Honest Company. They have their benefits here. Free delivery, you save 17% every time. That’s a good discount, especially for products like diapers if you need them all the time. And that they are good for the environment.

Optimizing Your Subscription Sign Up Process

Then when it comes to the actual subscription option on the product page, you want to consider what default frequency you want to leave the subscription at. Here for The Honest Company, they recommend delivery every four weeks. They put this recommended here to try to help customers know when they should get delivery, because not every customer is going to really know that and that might be a stopping point for them.

Then for HelloFresh. Also, they use this most popular badge to try to show that they default to two people and then three recipes per week. They give you kind of a little nudge that you should try this out if you’re not sure what plan to sign up for.

Then for Cometeer, they have… Their subscription selection process is quite different, they don’t have it on the product page. They have it further along here in the checkout. You pick your product and then once you’re in the checkout, that’s when you select your subscription frequency. That’s something you can test out.

Then here for Soylent, they even offer selecting subscription or one-time purchase on the collection page. That’s quite interesting. You can also select how often you want the items delivered and they mention how much the cost is per meal so you can see that there’s a savings here. That’s a motivator for people to sign up for the subscription. You’re saving about 18% with this one, 12% with this one.

Then again, for Honest Company, save 5% on all shipments and then over here, so this is on the product page and this is in the cart. In the cart, you’re also still able to switch from one-time purchase to a subscription. If you change your mind, you can easily make that change here. That’s something we’d recommend testing out.

These are just a few things you can try with your subscription. You definitely want to consider how you can make your subscription plan beneficial to the customer because that’ll really help motivate them to want to purchase. That’s it for this video and see you in the next one. Thanks.