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Retail and eCommerce Trends 2020: What The Experts Think

Retail and eCommerce Trends 2020: What The Experts Think

5 MIN READ

There’s so much to get excited about for the future of retail and eCommerce trends; its an industry seeing massive amounts of growth and change right now.

There are many viewpoints being shared right now on what’s in store for the coming year, but we wanted to approach our projection for 2020 a little differently. We’ve asked people working in retail and eCommerce, whether in development, marketing or business owners themselves, what’s really going to be the focus for the coming year. Let’s take a look…

Consider your eCommerce payments strategies

John Coyne, Director, Venditan

“Payment strategies have always been fundamental in the eCommerce lifecycle, however, it’s no longer good enough to offer just standard debit, credit and PayPal options at the checkout. Consumers now expect many different payment options in addition; ApplePay, Google Pay, Buy Now Pay Later, Retail Finance, Amazon Pay, Paypal Credit. This is just domestically.

Internationally, retailers need to ensure they offer payment tactics that appeal to the local market they are trading in. Debit/Credit card is fine for Spain, where usage is wide, but in Germany, locals will more likely convert if they can use SoFort, PayDirekt or Giropay. Allowing transactions in local currencies will also further your likelihood of gaining new overseas customers.”

Consumers are spoilt for choice 

Ayshea Elliott, Head of Digital, FOOTY.COM

“Consumers now find themselves completely spoilt for choice, and will often need an incentive to choose your brand. Developing a level of trust has always been important online, but shoppers also want to feel as though they’re getting the best deal possible and aren’t afraid to shop around before making a purchase.

In 2020, smaller brands need to make sure they aren’t getting beaten on price, while fast and free shipping is also essential if you want to stand out from competitors.”

Knowing your customer base is key

Web Developer, Venditan

“Retailers will take user research, once reserved for large companies with overflowing cash reserves and apply to all areas of their business. Understanding the psychology of customers through measurable improvements will prove a popular move for small and medium businesses into 2020 and beyond, helping take them to the next level. This information has never been so accessible.”

Businesses need to help tackle the bigger issues 

Joey Li, CEO, Leiho www.leiho.co.uk

“I believe that the 2020 retail and eCommerce industry should be looking at tackling at least one social or environmental issue. I believe that we all have a space in this world to make a change, we can’t solve all the problems in the world but we can help solve one. Businesses should also be responsible for setting good examples for customers so that we can implement change together as a community. 

Everyone is aware of the detrimental effects and environmental concerns for our future. Everyone is also aware that there are still a lot of social issues all over the world that we need to pay more attention to. By connecting the products that you sell with either someone in need or by choosing a more sustainable option to help reduce environmental impact – will take us all one step closer to fostering a positive difference in our world. It is up to our generation of businesses to change the way we buy and the way we sell.”

Augmented reality will help customers

buying online 

Philip Dawson, Managing Director, Lily Arkwright 

“Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality provides a huge opportunity for eCommerce in 2020.  At Lily Arkwright we recognised we have a universal problem amongst many eCommerce retailers, our customer base is spread throughout the UK and overseas and its simply unrealistic to travel to our showroom to try rings on. We retail ethical lab diamond and moissanite engagement rings and today’s consumers expect an in store service from the comfort of their laptop or mobile device. 

AR can help to support customers to make informed and better decisions when buying online. Imagine being able to visualise that all-important engagement ring purchase on your actual hand before committing to buy.

We use free hand mockups to any customer, detailing their ring preference, scaled to size on a hand image. This is AR in its crudest form and a service our customers really appreciate before deciding which engagement ring to choose. Moving forward we’re developing a real-time AR system, one where you can instantly view any of our engagement ring collections on your hand in real-time. It’s a development that we’re really excited about and something we believe will enhance our customer journey.”

Innovate how you display content

Web Developer, Venditan

“Bringing high fashion magazine layouts to the small screen, bringing the world of bold magazine typography to the desktop. The freedom to display content in innovative ways to create unique experiences for your users.”

Focus on more authentic influencer marketing 

Charlotte McKee, Content Marketing Manager, Venditan

“Retailers working with influencers will need to foster natural partnerships as consumers are becoming a lot savvier when it comes to influencer marketing and paid partnerships. There’s been a shift in what’s popular and what isn’t, and social media users are craving more genuine and authentic content on their news feeds. Expect to see a huge push towards more authentic partnerships and keep this in mind into 2020 and beyond.” 

Adopt an omnichannel approach

Tony Sheridan, Director, Makers Superstore 

“Adopting a true omnichannel approach and combining physical and digital assets is not to be overshadowed by a sole focus on eCommerce when planning for 2020. This modern approach to retail ensures customers receive the best experience when shopping with you, no matter how they choose to, whether that’s in-store, on your website, social media or marketplaces.” 

Mobile commerce is set to get even bigger 

Developer, Venditan

“Companies require websites that suit all devices, whether the user is browsing using their mobile or desktop. This has been important for a number of years, but 2020 will see mobile use explode as network data becomes even cheaper and speeds become even faster.

Providing a rich experience to mobile users is always a balancing act, ensuring the page loads fast while also delivering the content in an interesting way. The release of 5g not only offers improved speed but the reduction of data costs for consumers.”

Pricing as a primary call to action 

Development Lead, Venditan

“In 2020, e-commerce will elevate the price to be as important as a primary call to action in UI/UX – ensuring it’s recognisable and easy to read at a glance. We all look for it, but it’s not as noticeable unless the website/app wants it to pop out at you because of a promotion.”

 

If you’re looking at starting a new project in 2020, why not get in touch with our team for more information on how we can help you! 

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Charlotte McKee
30th December 2019

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An exciting year for Venditan: A look back at 2019

An exciting year for Venditan: A look back at 2019

5 MIN READ

For us here at Venditan, 2019 has been a really pivotal year – we’ve seen exciting growth in terms of clients, partnerships, new team members and product updates. 

I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of the year in a little more detail, and if you have any questions about what is written below, then please get in touch.

John Coyne, Director, December 2019

Welcoming New Clients 

We’ve welcomed on board a range of new retail clients this year and expanded our portfolio into different sectors, including chandlery, craft and hobbies, beauty, and sports. It’s fantastic to see our client base expanding in such a way, working with companies with different business propositions is certainly keeping our team on their toes! 

With each new retailer comes a unique set of challenges for us to help with and work on with them. We’re constantly innovating and improving, seeing all the different ways our technology can support such a variety of retailers. We’re extremely confident and excited about what we have to offer.

Here are some of the projects we have launched this year, along with some that are launching early 2020; 

 

Nest.co.uk (New website) 

Force 4 (New website launching early 2020)

Makers Superstore (New website)

Allcocks Outdoor & Country (New website & In-Store EPoS)

Katie & Jo (New website & In-Store EPoS launching early 2020)

Aristocrat (New website & In-Store EPoS)

Sale Rugby FC (New website)

Regenecoll (New website)

York City Knights (New website)

New partnerships fuelling growth 

Partnerships are an integral part of our business and we work with some of the world’s leading professional services companies that underpin the services we offer our clients. Due to the flexible nature of Venditan Commerce, we’re able to effortlessly integrate with the best complementary technology providers in the world.  

This year we’ve partnered with Reviews.co.uk, who offer review curation for retailers, and as a Google Licensed Review Partner, are able to really maximise the visibility of reviews across the search engine (Ads and Organic). This is really benefiting our clients as we all know how important reviews are in the decision-making process for shoppers!  

Payments are innately a really important consideration for eCommerce businesses, particularly in today’s economy as we’re seeing FinTech and payment options increase rapidly. This is why we’ve further invested in partnerships with OpenPay, PayPal (Finance & Credit), and Global Payments. OpenPay and PayPal Finance are supporting the growing consumer trend of buy now, pay later and paying for goods in instalments. These services give retailers the opportunity to offer flexible payments to customers, boosting sales and average order values.  

Our partnership with Global Payments is adding great value to our retail clients with the most reliable payment systems that can scale as their revenues grow, especially overseas. It was a no brainer for us to partner Global Payments, allowing our clients to offer traditional options, alongside the latest emerging and International alternative payments methods, to their end consumer.

Baymard

We’ve also been utilising the world-leading UX and eCommerce design research from the Baymard Institute to shape our approach in building the best websites possible for our clients. Their large-scale research benchmarks over 640 different parameters across the top 60 grossing US and European eCommerce websites and can boast a client list themselves of big names like eBay, Amazon and Google. 

Team expansion 

To support our growth, we’ve also welcomed on board a number of new faces to the Venditan team, bringing with them a wealth of experience and knowledge across retail and eCommerce. 

We’ve often said that Venditan is the best-kept secret in eCommerce – but we think our product and service is something to shout about. We’re doing something so different from other eCommerce software companies out there and to convey this, we’re growing our content marketing team. We welcome Content Marketing Manager Charlotte, with a solid background in retail and technology and Dan, our Videographer, who is working on some extremely exciting creative projects. They join Digital Marketing Manager Stephanie Fenton who has been with Venditan for 10 years. 

Supporting our clients and maintaining strong relationships is a fundamental part of the business, so we were in no doubt in bringing on Sarah as a part of our Account Management team, having worked for Dot Digital for 11 years – she knows a thing or two about this! 

The biggest area of growth internally has been within our Development team. Since January, we have continued to recruit and invest in some of the brightest technical brains in the North West. Noussan, Imran, Mathew, Andy and Ludwik have joined our talented team and have hit the ground running. 

Non-Executive Appointment

In May this year, we also had an exciting appointment, welcoming Tony Sheridan as a Non-Executive Director. The former COO (UK) and President (North America) of Ideal Shopping Direct, the UK’s biggest home shopping group with multiple free to view TV channels, was also Retail Brand Director of Manchester United and is the current UK and North American Chairman of the Association for Creative Industries.  “I’m delighted to be working with such a talented and fast-growing team in the Manchester tech space. Their eCommerce and Retail platform really does solve the omnichannel challenge unlike no other software that I’ve seen,” he told the press at the time. 

Projects & Major New Features for Venditan Commerce & Roadmap

 We’ve launched so many new features and worked on so many exciting projects this past year, it’d be hard to name them all! Here are a few of our standout projects and functionality we’ve introduced to the Venditan Commerce platform. 

 

  • Subscription services
  • Buy Now Pay Later 
  • Extended B2B Commerce Functionality
  • International Payments – 250 alternative local payment methods
  • Mobile Apps
    • iOS Mobile App
    • Android Mobile App

Mobile Apps

As mentioned above, 2019 saw us launch a native mobile app for our partner Sigma Sports, in both the Android and Apple App Stores.

Into 2020 and beyond… 

On that note, let’s take a look at how we’re approaching further growth and taking on even more exciting projects in the new year, and beyond. Last month, the Board of Directors introduced a solid 3-year plan to employees, including the introduction of OKRs (a productivity method used by tech giants such as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and other high-achieving companies.). The team is embracing this sense of direction, giving everyone the room for personal growth and innovation in their work, which will no doubt benefit our client base greatly. 

We’re beyond excited for what’s to come for Venditan, and our clients, as we grow and innovate within the retail and technology space. 

If you’re wanting to find out more about working with us in 2020, get in touch.

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Charlotte McKee
23rd December 2019

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Why You Should Offer Live Chat On Your eCommerce Website

Why You Should Offer Live Chat On Your eCommerce Website

5 MIN READ

If you’re looking for a way to connect and communicate with your online customers as you do in-store, you might want to consider implementing live chat for your eCommerce website. 

Done well, it’s the perfect way to bring the personable and supportive in-store experience online. When working in-store, you can greet customers when they come in, ask if they need assistance and help with their buying experience first hand, but this can be lost when shopping online. Bring it back with live chat! 

With constant advances in technology, retail is seeing huge transformations in a number of areas and thanks to clever chatbots, you can give your online customers the fantastic and memorable experiences they want and deserve. 

You might be thinking that it’s not suited to a smaller eCommerce operation, but this technology is no longer just for big-name retailers. The availability and affordability mean this software is benefiting smaller retailers now too. Live chat and chatbots can be super easy to integrate with your website seamlessly. 

So, why should you consider live chat for your eCommerce site? 

The benefits 

 

Live chat puts customers at ease

When shopping online, it can be difficult to get the full scope of the product, so without being able to touch and feel items, customers need as much guidance as possible. With live chat, you can answer questions about products in real-time. Pair knowledgable live chat support with flawless images and killer product descriptions, and you’re onto a winner here.

Increase conversions

According to Forrester, consumers are 2.8 times more likely to convert when using live chat for eCommerce and even spend 60% more. Having the direct contact will help when customers have queries that may put them off (things like delivery, or product information requests), or if they can’t find what they’re looking for – a simple chat pop up can help them with this instead of them navigating off-site and going elsewhere. 

Lower support costs: This is especially something to focus on during peak seasons when there are higher volumes of inbound contact. You can deal with multiple customers at once, whereas this is something you can’t do face to face in a shop.

Give a personalised experience

It’s all about personalisation in eCommerce right now, customers want to feel seen and valued and the retailers making this happen are reaping the rewards. Live chat is a great way to do this! You can use live chat integrations to see what pages they are on and tailor your initial pop up message. You can also use their email address if they’re a registered customer and access their details and order histories to base your responses on and speed up query response times while you’re at it.

Save valuable time

Customers don’t want to be traversing your website in search of something, they want the information and products in front of them, ready to action super quickly. With live chat, you can save them this bother and point them in the direction they’re looking for, suggest items and answer questions much more quickly than via phone or email.

Other things to consider

Those benefits all sound great, don’t they? It doesn’t stop with them. There are other positives to consider when it comes to using live chat for eCommerce, and how you can use it to grow and develop your business further.

Data and insights

You can gain much more detailed insights into your customer interactions and website through live chat integrations, with different third-party platforms offering a variety of reporting tools you can use.

Acquiring customer feedback 

Customer feedback is a vital part of any business, especially retail as 93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions. Live chat is a really effective way to gather customer sentiment and feeling following an interaction with you. A simple scoring system so they can rate you or a Q&A style form can be implemented following chats to gain these insights.

Automation and chatbots

You may want to venture down the avenue of trying chatbots and automated replies for easier to solve queries. This will benefit you in terms of support costs while saving you time. Whilst your trusty chatbot is answering the basic questions, you can be dealing with the many other things you’ll no doubt have on your plate!

Out of hours forms 

Of course, you don’t want to be sat on live chat night and day but appearing available to your customers is key. With an out of hours form that you can switch on and off, you can still capture customer queries and data when you’re not working so you can respond later. Just make sure your message is clear so they’re not waiting around for a real-time response!

What not to do with live chat for eCommerce 

 

Overly scripted responses 

You don’t want your customers to feel like they’re speaking to a robot – especially when they’re speaking to you, or a member of your team.  It’s really frustrating for users as their queries are met with standard templates that are unhelpful and don’t address their concerns. Make sure you approach chats with a helpful, human touch – be careful of this especially with any automated messaging too and make edits where possible. 

Manage time expectations incorrectly

There’s nothing worse for a customer than being left waiting around. Manage time expectations if you know you’re not going to be available to give an immediate response. Capture data with forms and let them know you’ll reply at a later time.

Don’t misuse data 

Using data and offering personalised experiences is great, but you also don’t want your customer’s shopping experience to turn into an episode of Black Mirror. Pulling in open data can end badly especially if they’ve not actually used your website before and shared that data with you directly, making customers uncomfortable about going forward with you. 

Final thoughts 

Implementing live chat for eCommerce can be a highly lucrative addition to your website. From boosting sales, increasing conversion rates and offering better customer experiences to rival in-store, it’s easy to see why so many retailers are now using it. 

 

If you want to chat about how we can help you use live chat on a new, super-fast, beautiful website – get in touch with our team!

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Charlotte McKee
19th December 2019

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How To Get Last-Minute Shoppers Through Your Door This Christmas

How To Get Last-Minute Shoppers Through Your Door This Christmas

5 MIN READ

Christmas is in full swing which is a great time for retailers, and it’s not over yet – you’ve still got a really important segment of your customer base to think about before the big day hits! It’s time to start thinking about how you can get these customers through your door this Christmas. 

Planning on how to capture late holiday shoppers is great for retailers operating online and store-based as you can really take advantage of a true omnichannel model. Having the most touchpoints for maximum convenience will see the highest success for retailers this period, so make sure you’re ready for these shoppers! 

An important thing to remember when it comes to last-minute shoppers is that they’re going to be super rushed and in need of a helping hand to get their shopping done in time with as little hassle as possible.  Father Christmas will have nothing on you by the time you’ve read our quick guide. You’ll be helping people get presents under their trees in no time, and here’s how…

Offer Click and Collect 

People, for the most part, aren’t going to run the risk of ordering online for delivery at this point as cut off dates are on the horizon. This turns attention to stores and click and collect services. Offering click and collect to store or to pick up points (like lockers or collect plus) are a great way to ensure your customers will receive gifts in time for Christmas. Make sure you communicate at all points of the journey, people have so much to think about this time of year so text and email alerts to let them know the parcel is ready to collect will go a long way in adding to a great experience.

For those collecting in-store, highlight exactly where customers need to go for their collections so they’re not wandering around (last-minute shoppers won’t have time for this on the whole and it could add to their frustrations!) You might also want to consider adding in-store gift wrapping services too at point of collection, this could save time for people while upselling an added service for you.

Draw attention to gift cards

Gift cards are a popular, super easy and quick option and last-minute shoppers especially will be on the lookout for these pre-loaded cards for their loved ones. They’re great for when you may be short on stock following a recent surge in sales (as is common this time of year), but also great for consumers who might be too short on time to leisurely browse. Display where people will notice them. At the end of shelves and your checkouts are great spots!

As always, remember to optimise for mobile

Something last-minute shoppers have in common is a lack of time, which means a lot of their shopping will be done on mobile. Make sure your website is not only mobile design-friendly but optimised to support the buyer journey. If you’re not going to make the last posting dates for Christmas, make sure click and collect options are especially prominent for mobile shoppers, and this is communicated on here.

Think about hosting holiday events

People love experiences and festive touches are a great way to attract people into your store. Think about decorating your store and hosting collaborative popups with other retailers. You can consider offering festive foods or product goodie bags at times when you’re going to see an influx of shoppers leaving it late. They’ll be in a rush, so a small gift for their time coming into your store is a really nice touch. Last-minute shoppers are there out of necessity, so creating a nice festive environment can add an extra touch that will make the experience that bit more enjoyable!

Display bundle items together 

Circling back to the limited time problem for last-minute shoppers, you can make their lives so much easier by grouping presents together in displays by demographics; gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts for gardeners, cooks, football fanatics, chocolate lovers… and so on. This helps narrow down their selection process, discounting irrelevant items and honing in on the types of presents they want to find in less time. It also shows that you know your audience by offering personalised groups of gifts.

Have a flash sale in-store 

A flash sale is a great way to attract last-minute shoppers as well as the wider, bargain-hungry audience. You could tie in a flash sale promotion with a last-minute shopping theme and promote via email and social media campaigns to reach even more people. Have a special discount code for those coming in-store. If you want to run a website campaign here too, make sure you update your delivery time scales – if it’s not going to make it in time for Christmas, make sure your customers are fully aware of this.

Offer gift wrapping services

If someone is shopping on Christmas Eve, the likelihood of them having time to wrap presents before gifting them is pretty slim. Delight customers by offering gift-wrapping services. You can offer simple wrap like tissue paper at the point of sale/ However, if you have more time and staff available you could run a paid gift wrapping service with proper wrapping paper and adornments (ribbons, bows, tags etc). But don’t worry if you’re a bit time-pressed or short on hands, you could consider stocking gift bags and gift wrap at the till points so customers can buy them at the point of purchase with you than having to go elsewhere.

Boost your email campaigns 

You can tie your email campaigns in with many of the above points; promoting in-store events, last-minute flash sales and one-off discount codes for loyal customers. Make sure your email campaigns are optimised for mobile – more people are opening emails on mobile now than desktop, which means your emails and campaigns must align to mobile optimised landing pages too. Click and collect will also integrate with email, keep customers up to date on the progress of their orders via email and they’ll feel much more at ease during the whirlwind that is leaving Christmas shopping to the last minute!

Final thoughts 

It’s all about these little touches that will stick with your customers for Christmas and beyond. If you approach attracting and dealing with last-minute customers in the right way, you’ll see higher customer retention. They’re bound to remember how you helped them make the most of their Christmas, at a time they may have been floundering and thinking that they weren’t going to make it all in time. It’s a fantastic opportunity you simply can’t pass up! 

Christmas is all about giving, and your customers are the most important part of your business – give that little bit extra during a frantic time, and it’s bound to pay off for both you and your customer. Not to mention, you’ll feel even better when you do finally get your feet up and tuck into a mince pie and mulled wine!

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Charlotte McKee
16th December 2019

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How To Create A Successful Subscription Box Model In eCommerce

How To Create A Successful Subscription Box Model In eCommerce

7 MIN READ

Are you thinking of starting a subscription service as a part of your eCommerce business? Over recent years there’s been a massive increase in popularity of subscription-based eCommerce driven by growing consumer demand. There’s a huge opportunity here for retailers – we all love a subscription service, just look at how well platforms like Netflix and Spotify are doing! 

Subscription boxes and services aren’t really a new concept, with Love Film founded in 2002, where you’d receive DVDs by post. However, we’re now seeing retailers leverage the resurgence in popularity of receiving products on a regular basis direct to your door. There’s been a real uplift in what consumers are subscribing to – you can get a subscription box for pretty much anything these days! From dinner ingredients, clothing or memorabilia, to pet toys and shaving equipment – and anything in between. You name it, there’s most likely a subscription box for it.  

With this exciting possibility, you may be wondering is it right for your business and how do you create a successful eCommerce subscription model?

Types of subscription boxes 

Depending on your business and what you want to achieve from offering a subscription, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. With different types of eCommerce subscription box to choose from, make sure you opt for one suited to your business model. 

  • Replenishment: These are great for frequent or regular buyers, where they can subscribe to repeat purchase and save. Usually, these come with options on frequency, (30, 60 and 90 days typically). An example might be vitamin supplements; if a jar is of 60 tablets, and they’re one a day, offer 60-day time frame (ensuring delivery arrives before that cut off rather than after). 

 

  • Discovery: These are typically made up of curated items for your customer to try and discover new products. A good example of this is Birchbox, where subscribers receive four or five selected beauty items a month. Another example of discovery is the ever-popular Graze box, where subscribers get healthy snacks either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, comprised of different snacks they can try and rate.  

 

  • Access: This one is usually marketed as an exclusive subscription, where customers will get special access to offers and sales, free delivery or other perks. ASOS, for example, is a really popular one, where for £9.95 a year, members will get unlimited free delivery. Amazon Prime offers special discounts and free delivery to members for £7.99 a month – including TV streaming services. 

 

You’ll also want to consider different payment structures such as fixed for the duration, like ASOS’ £9.95 a year for a premium membership. Or, do you want to take recurring payments (when the items are sent) with the consumer to have control over termination? 

If you opt for taking recurring payments on a rolling basis, make sure that you’re using an eCommerce platform and payments system to support this, including what to do if a payment fails or a card has expired. Take steps to plan out how this will affect your bottom line and customer experience, and how to manage it effectively.

Benefits for retailers 

So, now you’ll have a bit more of an idea whether a subscription box could work for your business, but why bother? Well, there are loads of benefits to running a successful eCommerce subscription box… 

  • With guaranteed repeat deliveries, there are more customer contact points along their journey with you. This means there is more opportunity to delight your loyal customers and give an excellent experience. 

  • You have regular transactions taking place which helps you forecast your financials and stock more efficiently. 

  • Regular contact also means greater brand awareness and keeps you in mind regularly, without having to factor in additional marketing spend. 

  • It will lower your customer acquisition costs and boost customer retention. With this, it also improves customer lifetime value for factoring into marketing and budget. 

  • If you can work in a social media campaign with well-designed packaging and unboxing experiences, customers will be more likely to share their experiences on social media platforms. This will raise brand awareness and the opportunity to source and use user-generated content. 

Benefits for consumers 

Running a successful eCommerce subscription model is a win-win for both retailer and customer. They’re so popular with consumers right now, and for good reason. 

 

  • In our fast-paced, on-demand lives, people want convenience above all else today. Why spend time sourcing and buying products when you can receive them, timed for when you need them without having to lift a finger? 

 

  • Personalised experiences are driving customer experience and sales more than ever. Subscription boxes are a great way to boost this experience for your customers, allow them to tailor boxes to suit their interests and needs.  If you’re offering beauty products, you can base what they receive from their skin or hair types, for example.  The need for personalisation goes deeper as people are seeking out tailored experiences in the face of what has been mass consumerism for decades. We don’t all just want the same stuff anymore, and people are willing to provide retailers with the personal details to make sure this happens with their personalised subscriptions.

 

  • While you need to keep your subscription box interesting and engaging so customers want to keep receiving more from you, you need to be aware that with a rolling payment model, they can typically cancel when they want. This flexibility is a driver for many customers wanting to try subscription out, they’re safe in the knowledge that opting in and out is flexible. It’s a good idea to keep options for what they receive as flexible too, like Graze’s rating system, where customers can opt-out of receiving types, flavours and products that don’t suit their diets etc.

 

  • Many of the successful eCommerce subscription box models out there are cost-effective and typically run a discounted price for the products when sending them out in a subscription box. This is a benefit to the customer as it saves them money, but also for you too – regardless of discount, you’ll know they’re likely to be buying again, and again. 

 

  • For customers receiving items on a replenishment model especially, the reduction in waiting between items is a huge bonus. They no longer have the trouble of running out of something and having to go to the shop, or order and wait for it, it can be there ready to use ahead of time without them having to remember when what they’re already using is running out. 

So, is it right for you? Ask yourself these questions 

Keep in mind that your business may not be cut out for a successful eCommerce subscription model – it’s not something that’s fitting for all businesses. And that’s okay, just make sure before you jump straight in, you ask yourself the following questions and really weigh up whether offering a subscription-based service is going to suit you. 

1. How often do customers need to buy the things you sell?

2. If you sell high-ticket items, do you sell complementary products that people may be more interested in getting a subscription for?

3. Can you meet profit goals and expectations while offering subscriptions for a slightly discounted price?

4. What does your data say about your current shopper habits? 

5. Does your eCommerce platform currently support this function? 

Getting started – what to consider

 

You might be just starting out, or well established within your market, however, you’ll still have to overcome the difficulty in selling the commitment of investing in repeat purchases for customers, versus a one time purchase.

Do your market and competitor research before starting off. Subscribe to some of your competitors if they offer them and see how they’re doing it and managing the process. Consider how you’ll market this too, what is your USP and how will you convey this to your customer base? Target customers you already have, they’re more likely to convert to being a subscriber, especially if they’re already a regular customer.

As we noted above, keeping the items in your subscription box relevant, fresh, and personalised will help combat a loss of interest. Plan out how you will do this.

Make sure you’re using an eCommerce platform that supports subscription functionality. Are you using a platform that will not only support subscriptions and successful repeat payment processes but one that will help you scale and grow with this new exciting area of your business?

Final thoughts 

We’ve supported the introduction of successful eCommerce subscription box models for a number of our fantastic clients. If you’re looking for advice or support with this and need an eCommerce platform that supports subscriptions – get in touch, we’d love to help!

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Charlotte McKee
11th December 2019

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