Last updated: October 18, 2022
There’s never a dull moment when working on an ecommerce subscription business. From planning inventory, to working through customer support tickets, to marketing there’s enough work to keep you busy for days. Given this, it’s no surprise that when it comes to planning, it’s difficult to carve out time to think about your plan to grow your subscription business headed into 2023.
Knowing how difficult it is to find the time to strategically think about your business, we have developed a list of optimizations for you to think about implementing today that could help you take your Shopify ecommerce subscription business to the next level in 2023. It’s important to get out ahead of any site or product updates so you can properly plan, strategize and implement any and all updates to unlock growth for your business.
Read on to learn four tips on how to grow your ecommerce subscription business in 2023 and beyond!
Add new complementary products to your subscription offering
A great way to increase your average order value (AOV) is to add products to your site offering that are complementary to your existing subscription products. For example, say that you sell organic protein powders. Consider developing and offering complementary products that go along with those protein powders. Examples of products that you could introduce are shaker bottles to make it easier for your subscribers to make a protein shake on the go or a branded smoothie recipe book for your subscribers to draw inspiration from.
After you have built up a loyal following of subscribers, your customers are likely very loyal to you since they are receiving products from you every 30, 60 or 90 days for example. What better way to capitalize on their brand loyalty for your brand than by offering them products that go along naturally with their protein powder subscription. This will likely grow your ecommerce subscription business since more subscribers will be adding these complementary products to their subscription.
However, you don’t want to flood your subscribers with all sorts of new products and offerings. You want to be very careful with what new products you bring to market to show your subscribers that you are mindful of the products that you sell as you don’t want to overwhelm them. The more closely related your new products are to your subscription, the more likely your subscribers will see value out of them which will in turn lead them to purchasing the new items and you growing your subscription business.
Offer bundles and build-a-box
In some cases you may not actually need to add any new products to your assortment, you can just add a new feature to your subscription offering such as bundles and build-a-box.
Bundling is when a customer selects a set number of products to purchase from an assortment that you create. The benefit of bundling from a consumer’s perspective is that a sliding discount will be applied to the order based on the number of products that are being ordered in the bundle.
Let’s say that you are a brand that sells athletic socks. Your bundle offer could be if a customer purchases 3 pairs of socks they get 15% off, if they buy 4 pairs of socks, they get 20% off and so on and so forth. Bundling incentivizes customers to purchase more items from you so they can get a more attractive discount from your brand. And as a customer when you subscribe to a “bundled” product, you can change the assortment of the products in future subscriptions (so you could change the colors of the socks that you receive for example).
By enabling build-a-box, you offer the box for a set price for a defined number of items. To see how this works in action, we will provide another example using a sock brand. If you were a sock brand that charged $17 per pair, you could offer an “athletic sock drawer refresh box” of 5 pairs of socks for $65 (a savings of $4 per pair). The customer would personally select the specific 5 pairs of socks that they wanted for the box. As a merchant you can create a different sized box for your customers (i.e. you could have a 3 pair build-a-box, 5 pair build-a-box and so on and so forth).
Both bundles and build-a-box allow subscribers a new “experience” and are strong ways to get your non-subscriber customers into potentially converting into a subscriber which will increase your AOV and be new revenue streams for you to tap into.
Test copy on your subscription product detail pages (PDPs)
As we detail here, your product detail pages (or PDPs) are the backbone of your Shopify subscription ecommerce business. If you are not familiar with what exactly the PDP is, this is where a site visitor learns more details about the product; for example what variants (sizes/colors) the item comes in, how much the product costs, what the product looks like and other pertinent product details. And most importantly, the “add to cart” button lives on the PDP, meaning your PDP pages are where your sales come from. These pages are typically accessed by a site visitor clicking into them from a broader product or collection page.
An example of a strong PDP can be taken from Upscribe customer True Botanicals below. Note that clear product descriptions, crisp imagery and call out for social proof at the top of the product page.
As you look to grow your subscription business in the years ahead, it’s important to test different copy options your PDPs. Perhaps you are not converting as many new subscribers because your copy isn’t clear. It’s essential that you dive into the analytics to understand what the conversion rate looks like on your PDPs so you can understand if some pages do better than others. The more often you iterate on what the copy says on these pages, the more information that you will be able to capture to help inform you of what actually performs well and results in more site visitors becoming subscribers.
Dive into historical metrics
Taking a step back and looking at your subscription business holistically takes time and may be low down on your list, but if you don’t understand your business metrics you cannot understand the gaps that exist in your business that you can fill. Digging in and understanding why merchants are churning for example is an essential part to growing your business.
For example, let’s say that you take the time to look at your metrics and you discover that 60% of the subscribers are churning after their third shipment because they indicated that they had too much product. Knowing this, you can deploy a churn deflection tactic when a subscriber goes to churn after their third order that offers them the ability to simply skip their next shipment. This could help you deflect more customers that are about to churn by keeping them in the fold by simply allowing them to skip their third shipment. By successfully implementing a tactic like this, you will be blocking subscribers from leaving you and in turn be growing your ecommerce subscription business.
This may seem elementary, but taking the time to deeply understand your metrics and your subscribers is an essential part to growing your business. Taking as little as ten minutes a week to gain a strong grasp of your business metrics can go a long way in implementing tactics that are going to help you grow your subscription business.
There’s no one silver bullet to growing your subscription business. The fastest growing subscription brands leverage all of the tactics mentioned above and iterate on them consistently to take their subscription business to the next level. If you’d like to learn more about how Upscribe can help you grow your subscription business in 2023 and beyond sign up for a demo here.