Subscriptions on Shopify-eCommerce businesses exploring subscription models have been multiplying rapidly.
According to a report by BusinessWire, in the last decade, subscriptions on Shopify business revenue has grown 437%.
And why not!
- Subscription models boost recurring revenue
- Build long-term customer relationships
- Boost the customer loyalty rate for businesses
- Improve customer engagement
- Help brands one-up competitors
- Provide data and insights
Some eCommerce subscription model companies have nailed it —
For instance, a major SaaS company saw a 500% increase in orders after adding a subscription model to their business. Another company, a popular men’s grooming brand, grew to four million subscribers in less than five years.
Like these, there are many more brands gaining success with subscription models. But running a successful subscription business is not a walk in the park.
One of the biggest challenges is getting customers to sign up and stay committed. And in this article, that’s the challenge we’ll help you overcome with proven hacks.
How to get more subscription customers on Shopify store — 10 proven strategies
1. Offer incentives and deals
One of the biggest reasons customers choose subscriptions on Shopify is the incentives that come with them, for example, discounts, deals, and special offers.
Subscriptions on Shopify are a way for customers to buy recurring-need products at lower prices. And the good part is — there are many ways to offer price benefits to customers.
- Free shipping on subscription deliveries
- Create urgency by offering discounts for a limited period
- Introduce new offers and deals from time to time
- Give a gift or credit points to a certain number of people who sign up first. For example, the first 50 subscribers
- Offer free or discounted entry to events, loyalty programs, etc.
- Run a contest exclusively for subscribers
- Give them extra discounts during a sale
- Make your offers enticing for customers to sign up for the value on their money
- Offer better prices than your competitors
2. Add subscription-only products in your inventory
Your subscribers have entered into a long-term relationship with you. Besides, they’d definitely expect something special from you.
To get them excited about your subscription, offer them something exclusive – a product in demand. It could be a bestseller, a new product that’s trending and in-demand, or a limited edition product.
In short, the product should be something that would entice them to sign up for the subscriptions on Shopify.
Another way to make customers feel special is to add a surprise product in their subscription. The mystery/surprise element helps keep customers engaged and interested.
On the same lines, you could also add a sample in your delivery, free or at a discounted price. That way, subscribers first get to try a product at a lesser cost and later decide if they want to buy more of it. This works best when you want to introduce new products to your subscribers.
Pro-tip: Keep exclusive products exclusive and out of the reach from customers who haven’t bought subscriptions on Shopify.
3. Allow freedom and flexibility to customers
One of the most critical factors for customers to sign up for subscriptions is convenience. Customers want the flexibility and freedom to alter, skip, swap, change their deliveries, or cancel or pause their subscriptions if needed.
When you promote or market your subscription model, ensure you let customers know the flexibility and freedom your model offers.
Customers shouldn’t feel tied down to the subscription once they sign up. Because when customers decide whether or not to sign up for the subscription, they think about all these factors.
Say, a subscriber is going out of town and might end up wasting the items in their deliveries and the money. In such a scenario, they should be able to easily skip deliveries.
Similarly, customers may want to swap one product for another because they’re bored with what they usually order. Allow them this freedom so that they get to try different items.
4. Price your subscriptions on Shopify strategically
Pricing is one of the most important factors that can make or break your subscription conversions.
Customers are going to pay regularly. They might pay on a yearly, quarterly or monthly basis. And they’d want to get a fair value for the money they spend on the subscription.
Now, you might have a niche product, but you may have customers with different spending capacities.
To boost your subscription sign-ups, you could create a variety of tiers and subscription plans. That way, you can serve a wide range of customers with different needs and budgets.
An excellent example of this pricing strategy is Nike’s Adventure Club, a sneaker subscription for kids.
Here are the different plans:
5. Offer seasonal deals for subscriptions on Shopify
Customers buy subscriptions for products and services which they need to buy repeatedly. For example groceries, medicine, books, cosmetics, health and fitness services, medical services, beauty services, etc.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make these regular items exciting. You can, by tying these items to an event during the year and offering discounts on them for a limited period around that particular time.
These can be called seasonal deals. For example, if you sell clothing, offer deals on travel gear during the holiday season. If you sell perfumes, offer discounts around the gifting time, which is around the festive season.
You can make the most of this strategy during the slow-sales period of the year. For example, during the monsoon. Find items from your store that you can tie to specific events during that season.
6. Build a community of subscribers
Human beings are wired to feel good when they’re treated exclusively. You can use the psychology of exclusivity to convert your leads to subscribers.
Exclusivity brings a sense of belonging and importance, which brings out the fear of missing out (FOMO).
You can increase subscription sign-ups by organizing exclusive subscriber-only events. This initiative can also help you bring a community feeling, which in turn, enhances engagement and boosts customer loyalty.
It’s easy and conducive to build communities of your subscribers. And as a subscription business, it is your job to foster that community feeling.
For example, if you sell organic groceries, build a community of people that support green living, share ideas with others and encourage more people to join. If you sell fitness and wellness services, build a community where members help each other reach fitness goals.
Pro tip: Build a community and create opportunities that foster growth. Community members should help other subscribers reach their goals and improve themselves.
Here are some great examples of communities built by brands:
- Fitbit subscribers coach co-members
- Adidas Runners – an international community of runners – encourage community members to become better runners
- Poshmark’s local event, ‘Posh ‘n’ Sip’ brings together experiential marketing and influencers
- Livstrong introduced yellow bracelets that took over the world
7. Make your subscriptions on Shopify unique
One way to increase your subscription sales and also beat the competition is to go against the grain — create a truly unique eCommerce subscription model.
Some factors to consider:
- Find your unique niche. You could revisit your brand USP to come up with a unique Shopify subscription that hooks your customers
- Research your industry, find out the gaps, and then create subscriptions to fill those gaps. Make an impact
- Conduct surveys with your existing customers to understand what they’d like in a subscription model
Pro tip: Narrow down your niche and cater to enthusiastic customers. If your subscription is similar to every other business in your industry, you can’t stand out.
8. Gamify your subscription model
Another way to increase subscription sales is to gamify your subscription model. That way, you bring in an element of fun and engagement.
Here are some ways in which you can gamify your subscription business:
- Offer benefits after minimum spend
- Offer incentives exclusive to different plans – premium plan subscribers get the most so that the basic plan subscribers get encouraged to buy the premium subscription
- Offer a gift after 10 continuous deliveries. That way, customers won’t pause or cancel their plans
- Surprise gifts for customers who try new products from your store
Pro tip: Offer a truly unique gamified experience that gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.
9. Offer early access to new products
Marketing your subscription business is all about how you capture your customers’ psychological triggers. Customers make purchase decisions on phenomena such as urgency, FOMO, scarcity principle, etc.
One way to trigger these to boost sales is to offer early access to new products.
Offering early access to customers is also a way to ensure a good customer experience, which is a key marketing strategy.
Here’s what to do:
- Conduct research around what your customers want from their subscriptions experience
- Then, go above and beyond to offer them that experience
- For example, if your customers like to know about new products, create email campaigns that talk about new products coming up in your subscriptions
- If they like to try new products, offer them a discount and early access to buy the product
10. Keep adding new products, perks, benefits
Customers love newness. They expect novelty from their favorite brands. It keeps their excitement going.
Besides, a brand that keeps adding something new is perceived as one that moves with the times, adapting to trends. And customers like such brands.
One way to tap into this customer psychology is to consistently add new products, perks, and benefits to your subscription business.
While you’re generating leads, make sure you tell your customers to expect newness. It will help encourage customers to sign up.
Let’s look at some ideas of what new things you could add:
- Add the latest products in the market
- Trending products
- Rare and unique products
- Free shipping
- Subscriber meet-up events
Here’s what Bhuddhi Box – a yoga subscription box – does: The brand introduces new products in their yoga boxes every now and then, such as jewelry.
Are you ready to start your subscriptions on Shopify?
If you are ready, that’s great! But setting up your business is just the beginning. You have to make sure you consistently increase subscription sales.
For that, you’ll need to learn from your business metrics, adjust your subscription offerings to suit your customers’ needs, slash churn rate, and grow your subscription business. It will also help you boost loyalty for your brand and drive repeat purchases.
An efficient Shopify subscription app will help you reach all these goals.
That’s where Appstle Subscriptions and Loyalty app comes in. From helping you decide which subscription model is suited for your business goals and objectives, to setting up the infrastructure on your website, the app and its customer success team works with you to drive success.
Tried the ecommerce subscription model yet? This is your sign to get started. subscriptions on Shopify