Tips for Implementing a Subscription E-Commerce Program
Commodity automation companies enjoy three advantages:
- Make me laugh: Dollar Shave Club parlayed its video into thousands of paying customers by creating entertaining content paired with a quality product.
- All together now: Whether there's a price advantage or convenience, consumers like bundled products. Bundling appeals to guys who can forget about bathroom or kitchen staples, which arrive in a timely manner.
- Keep my costs low: Price will always be a major factor with commodity goods. Whether market level or below, pricing frees people from making the weekly trip to Wal-Mart.
Demoing products moves the traditional retail experience of trying on clothes or jewelry directly to the home. A company sends a monthly shipment for a trial period before charging the customer. Two examples: Trunk Club provides men's fashion items tailored to their personal style, and RocksBox provides women a sampling of jewelry items.
Product demo companies have three competitive advantages:
- Know thy (users) self: Marketers must make their products fit consumers’ personal styles. For fashion retailers, a clear understanding of the look users desire is essential.
- Ring for help: Typically the monthly charge for a demo box is low, but the goods shipped tend to be on the premium side. The best companies in this space shift their thinking from customer support to concierge-level service to engage their clientele.
- What else have you got?: Companies that send an array of products monthly must keep their selections fresh! Maintaining a diverse inventory that meets customer profiles is key to conversion.
As the subscription e-commerce space evolves, additional business models will surely emerge. Regardless, success will always stem from an obsession to differentiate the company and create a personalized experience for customers.
Ross Beyeler is the founder and managing partner of Growth Spark, a provider of strategy, design and technology services.