Last updated: July 6, 2023
Launching and growing your subscriber base is a challenge in itself. And once you’ve launched and started growing your subscription program, the next challenge is keeping your subscribers from churning. If you aren’t familiar with the term, “churn” is when a customer doesn’t return to purchase from you again. For a subscription business, a 5% monthly churn rate is considered to be average, meaning that 5% of your customers each month are going to leave your subscription program.
Knowing that you are potentially going to be losing a chunk of your subscribers each month, you’ll want to do everything in your power to protect your business from losing subscribers. And one of the best ways to protect your subscription business from churn is making your ecommerce subscription business as flexible as possible.
Having a flexible subscription program means that you are delivering your subscribers an experience that makes it easy for them to get what they want, when they want it. The last type of experience that you want to deliver to your subscribers is one in which you make it seem as if they are trapped. Once a subscriber feels that they are trapped, they will likely look to churn from your program because they feel that they have no other options.
So how do you make your ecommerce subscription program more flexible? Well we’re glad that you asked! Read on to learn three tips to make your ecommerce subscription program more flexible.
Make it simple for your subscribers to skip or gift a shipment
Even your most loyal subscribers may reach a point where they have too many of your products. Let’s say that you are a subscriber to your favorite coffee brand and receive a bag of coffee every month. However, you have been traveling for the previous month and don’t need another bag of coffee shipped out as part of your upcoming planned subscription shipment. It’s not that you want to cancel your entire subscription, you just don’t need the upcoming shipment to be sent. Instead of needing to write into or having to call customer support to skip the shipment, you want to be able to easily skip the shipment by yourself. And as a business, it is up to you to deliver an experience that makes it easy for subscribers to be able to do this.
Customers are used to self-serve experiences and have come to expect to be able to easily address examples like the one outlined above whenever they want. That is why if you have a subscription business, you must make your subscription experience flexible. You have to make it easy for your customers to skip a shipment or have the option to gift an upcoming shipment to a friend or family member. By providing the option of being able to skip or gift an upcoming subscription, you’ll be putting your business in the best position to retain as many customers as possible. Because absent of offering these options to your subscribers, they will likely just churn from your subscription program entirely.
Within your subscription offering, make it simple for subscribers to login to manage their subscription so if they want to skip or gift a subscription they can easily do so. This flexibility will go a long way in winning your subscribers’ loyalty.
Allow for subscribers to manage their subscriptions through email and SMS
Customers are constantly on-the-go now and expect to be met where they are. As such, make it easy for your subscribers to manage their subscriptions through email and SMS. This will allow them the flexibility that they crave. While some of your customers may want to login to a customer portal to manage their subscription, others will just want to manage their subscription through email or SMS. Offering your customers the flexibility of either managing their subscription through a portal or email/SMS will go a long way in customer retention.
When you run your subscription business through Upscribe, you can let your customers easily manage their upcoming subscriptions through email or SMS. Our subscription experience allows your customers to seamlessly skip an upcoming shipment simply by replying to a text message or email message. This experience delivers your subscribers the flexibility that they crave and will be putting your business in the best position to reduce your churn rate.
Offer unique shipping intervals
It is very common for most subscription programs to have standard shipment intervals of 30, 60 and 90 days. But just because most subscription programs ship in 30 day intervals doesn’t mean that 30 day shipping intervals are best suited for your subscription program.
Instead of just offering a standard 30-day shipping interval, look at your data and try to understand particular trends; for example, do you see more of your subscribers skipping a shipment after 60 days? Ask your customers questions, like “how often do you want to receive your subscription.”
The more data that you can collect and more questions that your subscribers can answer for you, the more powerful your subscription experience will become. By applying the answers to these questions to your subscription program, you will be able to create a more flexible customer experience that keeps your customers subscribers.
Upscribe will help you deliver a powerful and flexible customer experience that keeps your subscribers from churning. If you are interested in learning more about how Upscribe can help your Shopify subscription business to the next level, schedule time with our team here.