Guest author: Jeff Sass, CMO, .CLUB Domains
With more people working from home and modifying their brick-and-mortar shopping habits, e-commerce is booming. According to a report by Shopify, global business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. And that projection does not take into account the acceleration in online shopping caused by the global pandemic. A July survey of 5,000 consumers in North America and Europe found that 36% of respondents shop online weekly, up from 28% pre-COVID-19. Many Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) e-commerce businesses are reporting record sales for Q2 and Q3 2020, as many physical retailers struggle or adapt by adding an online channel to their business.
Top Subscription Models for E-Commerce
One area, in particular, that has seen tremendous growth is subscription services. For e-commerce businesses selling physical products, there are two primary subscription models:
- subscription boxes (a selection of curated goods that varies with each delivery)
- “subscribe-and-save” subscriptions (for recurring orders of replenishable items)
Both models have been experiencing rapid growth and can provide predictable, recurring revenue for the e-commerce businesses that offer them.
User adoption of subscription models have indeed proven to be a boon for e-commerce businesses, and it looks like the trend is set to continue. According to the Subscription Trade Association’s (SUBTA) 2019 State of the Subscription Commerce Economy Annual Report, by 2023, 75 percent of organizations selling D2C will offer subscription services.
Thinking Inside the Box
SUBTA also found that, as of 2018, there were close to 7,000 subscription box companies in the world. Nearly 70% of these companies are based out of the United States. Currently, there are 18.5 million subscription box shoppers in the United States. 35 % of active subscribers have three or more subscriptions, with the median number of subscriptions per active subscriber being two. As for subscribe-and-save, 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis.
The top categories for subscription boxes are Grooming, Food, Apparel, Lifestyle, Pets, and Kids. In 2019 Pets and Apparel were the fastest-growing categories in terms of website visitors.
In the subscribe-and-save model, the top categories include Food, Pets, and Coffee.
Helping e-commerce businesses offer subscriptions
If your platform supports e-commerce businesses, especially those that fall into one of the categories listed above, empowering your customers to adopt a subscription model may benefit their businesses while reaffirming you as the provider that makes it all possible.
Here are some things you might consider:
1. Provide some inspiration
The world is full of all kinds of enthusiasts. That means there are all kinds of products that are well-suited for subscriptions. Here are a few stores with subscription models that that might inspire your customers to get creative with their offering:
Loofah.club offers a wide selection of natural loofahs and sponges with subscriptions starting as low as $4.99 a month.
Bookcase.club makes it simple to read great books no matter what your literary preference. Subscribers choose a category and receive new books every month.
TheFragrance.club is a subscription business that makes scents! Choose your delivery frequency and your favourite perfume or cologne, and you are set to always smell great.
2. Make it easy for your customers to sell subscriptions
This might mean building the functionality in house or offering easy integration with a third-party provider that can automate subscription payments, billing, and management for your customers.
3. Suggest some creative TLDs for their subscription service URL
What makes subscription boxes a success is that they are personalized. And really, every consumer touchpoint is an opportunity to keep things playful and personal. Hosting a subscription service on a creative TLD like .CLUB is a fun way to remind the customer that they are a member, not just a customer.
If you’re looking for other TLD options that will help your customers build their brand, improve their SEO, and deliver a memorable online experience, check out our full lineup of domain extensions.