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09 February 2018

Subscriptions: I don’t subscribe to that

Subscriptions: I don’t subscribe to that

The subscription model has been heralded as the key to success in the digital age. Customer loyalty, predictable income streams and increased profitability were all assured forever more, on purchases of anything from office snacks to cocktails.

But the consumer is tiring of the revenue monster that raids their monthly pay packet before they even get chance to do the big grocery shop. There are things that require a subscription, like Netflix, NowTV, broadband and the gym, and there are things that a customer would far rather buy on a pay as you go basis. Believe it or not, we, people, enjoy buying things.

This poses a challenge

Whether you’re selling packets of BBQ-flavoured seeds, probiotic chocolate bars or even razors, you’d hoped that the regularity with which the customer will consume your product will make their long-term subscription a no-brainer. But what you’re actually doing is far worse.

Something that you’re often selling as a luxury, as a treat or as something that’s a cut above what your customer might pick up at the supermarket is now regular, ordinary, and not special at all. That means, when customers start tightening their belts, your mundane offering suddenly looks like the first thing to cancel. Even worse, with no novelty value left, the customer isn’t coming back when they’re feeling a little more flush.

There is another way, but on the face of it the risk is higher. Don’t try to lock your customers in. Don’t send them your shiney and exciting product with all the regularity of the bin collections. Keep it interesting, keep it irregular and, most of all, keep it special.

Make it super easy and totally frictionless for your customer to get their fix. Prompt them when they go quiet but, again, keep it irregular and infrequent. Remind them how great it is to treat themselves, and the novelty of doing it with your product. It may take a little more work, but not only will you retain your customer long term, you’ll protect and enhance your brand at the same time.

Dodgems and Floss specialises in creating beautiful and frictionless user experiences. Get in touch and we’ll chat through your business model and sales platform to ensure you, your brand and your customer are experiencing the very best.

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