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Enjoying the ongoing benefits of recurring sales for your e-commerce business can boost your bottom line and instill loyalty in your customers. In fact, e-commerce companies can grow stronger sales with a recurring revenue model. Let’s examine the pros and cons of offering subscriptions/automated recurring monthly order in your e-commerce store.

First, you have to determine if you have the kind of business that can benefit from recurring sales. A good example is a company selling health supplements. Customers generally need supplements regularly – from vitamins to protein powder — so once you land a customer, you can tap into this additional revenue stream to translate to big bucks for your business.

Pros and Cons

There are always two sides to everything. E-commerce recurring subscriptions are no exception.

Pros:

  • Lowers your order fulfillment / handling costs
  • Builds predictability in your supply chain ordering from your manufacturer
  • Builds loyalty and customer commitment
  • Leads to higher customer lifetime value
  • Lowers your cost of customer acquisition
  • Increases sales

Cons:

  • Create more administrative time to manage auto-ship cancellation requests
  • If your customer is only offered a monthly auto-ship option only, it may increase your (or their) costs to ship )
  • You may have to offer an incentive, such as free shipping or reduced pricing to entice the customer to sign up for auto-ship.

Offering Flexibility

This is a key point for your customers. Let’s take the example of a company that sells razors and shaving cream online. Men typically go through blades fairly frequently, so they need to know they can rely on regular shipments of their favorite products. While you may already offer flexibility in your subscriptions – say, offering deliveries once every two or three or six months, it’s important to let your clients ultimately have a say in when they want their deliveries. They may want to time them with their paychecks, or perhaps they need blades more frequently than that.

Putting that flexibility into the customers’ hands so they can determine their own quantities and delivery schedules is vital to your operation.

Defining the Customer Experience

Once a delivery has been made, a smart e-commerce company doesn’t stop there. In order to show your customers you truly care about them after the sale, it’s important to send them an automated prompt so you can get feedback. This feedback will drive how you approach your recurring sales in the future so you can hone your strategy even further. Making a connection between placing the order and receiving the order is a critical point in the game.

Variety and Consistency

By their very nature, people are creatures of comfort. They want to know things run on a set schedule and that they don’t have to think too much about it. Automating your subscription reminders and automatic order renewals is a crucial piece of this puzzle, to be sure, but you also have to make checkout as customer-friendly as possible. That means you have to offer a variety of payment types, delivery types and schedules. Let them customize how they want to pay and receive their recurring shipments with as little hassle as possible.

Know Your Purpose

Implementing automated recurring monthly orders does so much more than ensure steadier, more predictable income for your e-commerce shopping site. The main advantage of this type of ongoing service relationship is your ability to capture customer data over time, and provide personalized experiences through recommendations, points out Business News Daily.

Taking advantage of a recurring sales model is easy when you have a partner on your side that handles a lot of your e-commerce order fulfillment and distribution. Fulfilltopia can help you with this side of things to ensure smoother, more seamless deliveries. Email us at info@fulfilltopia.com for more information, or request a free quote here.

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