Building Subscription Offering With an Existing Business

Grow your business without the pressure of acquiring net new customers. Using subscriptions can be a less costly and more predictable way to increase LTV and AOV. Dan Cohen, Marketing Lead at Upscribe, lists some tips for building out a subscription model for an existing business.

Upscribe, Increase customer lifetime value with next-level design, functionality and performance. Create a seamless subscription experience & keep users engaged for longer periods.

Four tips to consider

Running an eCommerce business in today’s environment is more challenging than ever. And having to constantly acquire new customers to chase growth is time-consuming, expensive, and can often be the reason an eCommerce business fails. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s possible to grow your business without necessarily acquiring net new customers. You can drive growth by introducing a new offering to your existing business without needing to spend a significant amount of money to do so. An example of a feature that you can introduce to your business without needing to spend a significant amount of time and resources is subscriptions. 

Aside from potentially reducing the pressure of acquiring net new customers, subscriptions offer eCommerce businesses a predictable form of revenue when compared to traditional eCommerce businesses. More traditional eCommerce businesses can be a bit unpredictable month-to-month given the fluctuations in traffic and conversion. However, subscriptions allow you to more accurately forecast and understand how much revenue you will be capturing each month and therefore make stronger business decisions.

Adding subscriptions to your eCommerce business is a way to grow without spending too much time and effort doing so. Based on a recent report by eCommerce Fuel, brands that offered subscriptions grew 26% faster and were 14% more profitable than those brands that didn’t. 

And not only will adding subscriptions to your business drive your growth, it will also bring a more predictable revenue stream to your business. The same report from eCommerce Fuel found that brands see about 30% of their monthly income derived from subscriptions.

While these metrics are positive, in order to see an impact on your business, there are a few steps you will need to take. In this piece, we will detail three factors to consider when building out a subscription offering for your existing business. 

Match your subscription to your “regular” shopping experience

When your subscription experience seems disconnected from the rest of your eCommerce experience, it can confuse and create friction for customers. And that can get in the way of growing your business and creating brand loyalty. 

Adding a subscription offering to a business doesn’t mean building an entirely new site. In fact, you should approach building a subscription offering the way you would approach adding a new product. Make sure that your subscription experience is consistent with the rest of your brand and that the purchasing process is the same. The more connected your “regular” experience is with your subscription experience, the more seamless it will be for existing customers to become subscribers and become more loyal to your brand.

Build a cohesive and brand-consistent customer portal

When building out a subscription experience, it’s important to note that this is not the time to experiment and try something new. It’s essential that the customer portal you deploy matches your brand aesthetics. That includes everything from the fonts to the colors to the logos.

A customer portal that diverges from your branding can confuse customers and raise questions about the legitimacy of your subscription program. This could have a negative impact on your conversion rate and hold back your brand from growing. 

Fortunately, most subscription tools (Upscribe included) offer an out-of-the-box customer portal editor which lets merchants easily choose colors, logos, and fonts to deploy a beautiful customer experience in a matter of minutes. 

Make it frictionless to subscribe

A smooth subscriber experience is just as important as aesthetics. Not only will a frictionless experience make a subscriber’s experience better, but it will also likely reduce the need for customer support.

We’ve all been locked out of an account and forgotten a password. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 65% of respondents will forget a password unless they write it down. However, you can prevent this problem from happening in the first place by enabling Passwordless Login for subscribers. When a customer wants to get into their account, they will receive a secure email they can click to log in.

It’s also important to meet subscribers where they are and let them manage their subscriptions directly by email or SMS.

Letting customers quickly get where they want is key. Implementing these tactics will help build a loyal and growing subscriber base. You’ll also increase average order value (AOV) and lifetime value (LTV) which will help you boost your return on ad spend.

Leverage data to make smart recommendations

Whether you use Klaviyo or another email service provider (ESP), customer data is more readily available than ever. But it’s not enough to have access to the data—you have to use it to deliver smarter, more on-target recommendations that improve the subscription experience.

Some ways to use data to personalize customer experiences are:

  • Sending them a message on their subscription anniversary. This small engagement point can make a customer feel special and is a great way to differentiate your brand from competitors.
  • Giving subscribers a discount on an item that pairs well with their subscription. For example, if they receive a pound of coffee every month, send them a coupon for a new coffee mug. In the message with the promotion, talk about how it’s the perfect accessory.
  • Giving subscribers access to an exclusive pre-sale. This will not only make them feel special, but it’s also an opportunity to increase their lifetime value (LTV).

These touchpoints and sample engagement tactics are ways to show your subscribers that they matter. They go a long way in building your brand, developing loyalty, and creating an experience that subscribers remember.

Before adding more advanced features, consider adding the above three key foundational suggestions when building out your subscription experience. So now that you have the foundation set, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start building out your subscription experience and increasing your AOV and LTV! 

Enclosed Offer

Upscribe is extending three months free on their platform (a $900 value) when you apply for our Growth Line of Credit. Apply now!

*Three month's free percent per transaction rate still applies

Dan Cohen
Marketing Lead, Upscribe

Dan Cohen is a marketing leader based in Boston. He has a diverse range of experiences across the B2B and B2C landscape and is currently the Marketing Lead at Upscribe, an app that helps Shopify merchants build, grow and scale their Shopify subscription and retention business. Prior to Upscribe, Dan spent time at Shopify, Klaviyo and Zipcar. Dan also runs his own Shopify business, a sock brand named Neon Bandits and is an avid runner.

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