Some of you may remember BMG’s Music Club, the business that delivered music to your door on a monthly basis? Your carefully curated selection has probably been sold in a garage sale by now, but the concept of a monthly delivery service is alive and well.
What is Subscription Based Commerce?
The Subscription Based Commerce (Sub Com) business model is where the company will send their customers (their subscribers) a box of products on a regular basis. The premise being, that the customer is being introduced to new products that they may not have been aware of originally.
The joy of this concept for the customer is that it feels like your birthday every month when you receive that box.
The great thing for the small business is that it provides an outlet for sales they may not have made before.
Who’s Already Doing It?
One example of a business already using this model is Canadian company, Loose Button. Every month subscribers receive perfumes, lip balms and creams straight to their doorstep. But there are many other rising stars including products like: panties in the mail, razors, jewelry, shoes, nylons, and bacon.
Why You Should Consider It
There are two different ways that you can involve your business in Sub Com. The first is to make a deal with an existing Sub Com company to send out your products. If you have something unique that you are selling and can provide a small ‘trial’ size to send out to subscribers, you can utilize the Sub Con’s network to attract more customers.
The second is to create your own Sub Com program for your business. This way your customers make a commitment to be with you month after month, creating a solid revenue model you can depend on. Every month you have the opportunity to wow them with your product, service, communication and social media efforts. Once you have one customer, keep talking to them and they'll do the same to all their friends. Month after month.
Leveraging Social Media
Thanks to social media, client-facing startups have a lower barrier-to-entry and lower cost of reaching new customers. That is, as long as the product is good.
Social media enables you to leverage your customers as marketing channels for you. By encouraging your subscribers to share photos and videos of their clients unboxing items and taking part in activities, you can encourage a sense of community, sharing in each other’s excitement.
One thing’s for certain — the Sub Com craze is far from over. However it is important to remember that the subscription itself won’t make a company successful. It all comes down to having a good product and excellent service. The rest is just a marketing and distribution wrapper.