Building and having high-quality customer experience assists companies attain leads in form of sign-ups. Consumers require more than products; they also seek encounters where they can look forward to receiving something from their chosen service providers every month.
Customer experience has increasingly become a crucial aspect to have in all industries, including the subscription retail business. Companies in this field are affected by customer experience more than others as making sure consumers are satisfied with their services is important. Satisfaction leads to increased retention, more customer referral and increased sales – these are key performance indicators and the benchmark in the subscription industry.
A lot of companies often attend to establishing the best communication, acquisition marketing campaigns, seamless e-commerce flow and neglect customer experience. All these factors become quite futile if the customer first opens the package and is disappointed.
It’s very important to recognize that the experience a subscription program delivers is as crucial as the quality of the products being delivered themselves. Businesses have only one opportunity at making a first impression and achieving this perfectly can lead to greater referrals, higher social media shares, better customer retention and sought-after unboxing videos.
Subscription Commerce vs. Traditional E-Commerce
One of the dominant role players in the e-commerce sphere has been Amazon. The American e-commerce and cloud computing company has expanded into Amazon Prime, Prime Now and Amazon Marketplace. These logistics leaders have mastered the art of delivering products swiftly while maintaining a price point that is still impossible for smaller companies to keep up with.
However, when it comes to experience, Amazon has been viewed to be a bit inadequate. It is certainly brilliant when it comes to customer service and solving retail needs but falls short regarding great customer experience because there isn’t much interesting about their packaging. All Amazon shipments arrive looking the same, with nondescript pouches or a top-opening brown corrugated box sealed with branded tape.
A subscription program’s box on the other hand, is designed with details that interest and excite the customer. A box that opens from the front rather than from the top has been said to set the tone. Fun packaging options too such as coloured boxes or tissue paper always look appealing. A box containing themed products, curated content, free gifts and additional product suggestions are set to keep customers interested. These goods that come with a hint of personalization such as a custom note or a name on the box make customers feel like they are a part of something unique, thus enhancing consumer experience.
Subscription boxes have a specific time in which they arrive and it’s often monthly. It is with this reason that the fulfilment center picks and packs the items in a way different than how Amazon does theirs. Speed and quality each need very different warehouse settings and although Amazon may be making means to now pack more items into boxes, there’s no guarantee that workers are packing each box carefully.
Building a Subscription Program to Last
Competing with Amazon’s pricing or delivery speed may be a tall order for smaller companies. However, if they avoid making some common mistakes, they will be able to deliver a far more elaborate and bigger experience that will result in consumer retention. Considering weight limits for example when shipping products is one factor that can assist a company navigate around sharp rate increases.
Depending on the scale, subscription box companies can also need multiple shipping locations. Heavy goods tend to take longer shipping times and higher postage when conducting shipping from just one side of a country. Investing extensively in inventory planning is important as inventory over necessary capacity, results in wasted capital that can be used for other factors such as marketing or shipping.
Here are strategies meant for establishing a consistent, high-quality customer experience as soon as your subscription business has a solid logistical foundation.
Allow for Customization
Customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand when they are allowed ground to change the assortment of items that they receive on an ongoing basis. For example, Birchbox, an online monthly subscription beauty cosmetics service, offers this option to customers who are tied to its more expensive package. They are able to select a specific category or choose a box designed to solve a certain problem such as persistent acne. This level of personalization encourages customers to keep their subscriptions as it continues fulfilling their particular need.
Be On a First-Name Basis With Customers
Personalization connects consumers to the brand and makes them feel valued and important. Opening a package with content specifically tailored for a customer assists in establishing a close relationship. One company that does this well is EatsieBox that delivers snacks tailored to their consumers’ individual preferences. Their clients also receive new snacks with each delivery. In actual fact, more than 70 percent of snacks in each EatsieBox delivery are food items their customers have never had before. In other industries such as the clothing subscription industry, Stitch Fix perfects personalization by using inputs from both customers and stylists who are present throughout the process. The company also makes use of machine learning to consistently improve customer experience with each shipment of clothing.
Deliver the Unexpected
Brands should always aim to keep their consumers on their toes through unexpected gifts or even thank-you notes. Anticipation grows when opening the box not knowing what to expect next. Dollar Shave Club includes an “official” member card in its deliveries that is consistent with the rest of the brand’s marketing collateral and original brand video. Making subscribers happy helps enhance customer experience and builds goodwill towards the company.
Offer Something Exclusive
It is more than likely that customers could purchase most of the products found in many subscription box programs somewhere else. This is the very reason that offering items or information members would not be able to get anywhere else is one way of enticing them to subscribe. Ipsy, a Beauty box company, takes this on well by getting influencers and beauty advisors to offer subscribers advice and products.
Founder and CEO of OceanX, Georg Richter, concluded by saying “Operating a subscription box business can sometimes feel like fighting an uphill battle. The industry is often characterized by slim margins and high churn rates, but these obstacles aren’t impossible to overcome. Building a high-quality customer experience can help companies increase sign-ups. Remember, your customers aren’t after only products — what they really want is an experience they can look forward to month after month.”
Source: Supply & Demand Chain Executive