Category : Subscriptions
How to Increase AOV By Focusing On Adding Value to Customers
What if we told you that the best way to boost Average Order Value (AOV) is to stop focusing on AOV? Yes, it’s counterintuitive. But when your brand tries to increase AOV just for increasing AOV’s sake, it can often be ineffective and even off-putting for consumers. After all, nobody wants to feel like they’re being pressured to spend more money. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to combat this — and it all boils down to intention. Your subscribers are human first and foremost, and as is the case with any other relationship, they need to feel valued and appreciated. By shifting your brand’s attention away from solely increasing AOV and instead focusing on adding real value to your subscribers, you can organically heighten engagement, improve your customer retention, and ultimately increase your AOV. [note] Don’t miss crucial subscriber data by using Littledata’s app with Smartrr to capture checkout events through client-side and server-side tracking. [/note] Here are the retention-driving, value-adding components that your eCommerce brand should target, which will subsequently lead to increased AOV: Utilize Personalized Recommendations & Exclusive Add-ons Cross-selling and upselling are the two main strategies that typically spring to mind when anyone talks about increasing AOV. When considering a value-adding approach for your subscribers, a different and more effective way to think about cross-selling and upselling is through personalized product recommendations. In general, personalization is becoming more essential (and powerful) for eCommerce businesses. About 71% of consumers are expecting a more personalized experience from the brands they interact with — so playing up an individualized approach is an effective way to keep subscribers engaged (and organically encourage them to spend more). Lean into your subscriber data to make specific, personalized recommendations to your subscribers based on products they’ve purchased in the past as well as products that other subscribers have previously purchased together. This way, you’re only recommending highly-relevant products that are significantly more likely to delight each subscriber. And the best part is that happy subscribers are proven to spend more — which increases your AOV. 54% of retailers reported that product recommendations were a key driver of AOV, and leaning into personalization has been shown to account for a 25% revenue boost for DTC brands. In other words, prioritizing the end consumer is an evidently lucrative move. As for an effective location for cross-selling and upselling — a good tactic is to display one-time add-ons in your customer account portal. And to take your add-ons to the next level, you can add a layer of exclusivity. A key component of keeping subscribers engaged is by reminding them as often as possible that being a subscriber unlocks perks that one-time purchasers don’t get. Featuring a subscriber-only exclusive one-time add-on creates the sensation for subscribers that they’re VIPs, thereby increasing the likelihood that they’ll want access to the product. We’ve seen some businesses even offer merch as a one-time add-on as an additional way to level up the overall brand experience. ARMRA offers a branded tote bag as one of their one-time add-ons. Lean Into a Loyalty Program Loyal customers are the bread and butter of subscription brands, and that’s because they’re accurately known for being the most profitable. Just a 5% increase in customer retention rates has been shown to cause profits to spike by 25% to 95%, and loyalty programs specifically have been proven to increase AOV by about 14%. Of course, loyalty isn’t something that can be created with the snap of your fingers; it has to be earned, and that takes time. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t strategies to help the process along. Loyalty programs are one of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage retention. A strong loyalty program provides valuable rewards as subscribers continue to stay and spend money. Consumers can accrue points with each purchase and exchange them for free products, discounts, exclusive items, and more. Loyalty programs also put subscribers in control of their experience, allowing them to select whatever is most valuable to them. Take L’AMARUE, for example. Subscribers can decide to redeem 100 points to quickly unlock $10 off, or they can delay gratification and choose to save 475 points for The Face Cream. By associating spending more money with tangible rewards, you create a positive feedback loop each time your loyal subscribers buy additional products. Much like the name implies, this encourages subscribers to remain loyal to your brand and keep coming back for more. Offer Free Shipping Free shipping is a low-lift strategy to add value to your customers, and the ROI is significant. Consumers are fairly adamant about despising shipping costs. One study found that 77% of consumers have previously abandoned a purchase altogether if they weren’t pleased with the shipping options, whereas 84% went through with a purchase specifically because shipping was free. Additionally, a different study found that 90% of online consumers said that the ability to unlock free shipping directly motivated them to buy more. For one-time purchases, one of the best value-adding strategies is to institute a free shipping threshold. If you provide free shipping for orders over $50 and a consumer spends only $43, they’re way more likely to toss on an additional $15 product to access free shipping. Looking beyond one-time purchases, it’s a good idea to offer free shipping for all of your subscribers. For one, this creates a sense of exclusivity associated with your subscription offering, which is a great way to foster loyalty. But it also gives subscribers a sense that they’re saving money with each purchase, especially if you’re transparent about these savings. Chillhouse lists “Free Shipping, Always” as the first bullet beneath their PDP. Strikethroughs or clear deductions are an excellent way to illustrate savings. At every chance you get, be sure to highlight the amount of money subscribers save by not paying for shipping. This subconsciously makes your consumers feel as if they have a little extra money to spend, and it encourages them to add on another item. Once again, beginning from a place of providing consumers with real value results in the opportunity to boost your AOV. Implement Product Bundling Product bundling is the ultimate paradox. By grouping products together and offering a discount, you give subscribers the perception that they’re getting more for less — when in actuality they usually wind up spending more than they would have if the products weren’t bundled. That’s because the concept of saving money incentivizes consumers to buy a bundle even if it includes a product or two that they wouldn’t have purchased separately. And an added perk of getting subscribers to try a product they might not have tried is you increase the likelihood that they’ll love the new product and come to rely on it, purchasing it again in the future as a result. Here are a few strategies to help optimize your product bundles: Just like with free shipping, be sure to make your subscribers’ savings evident on your PDP with strikethroughs and/or different colored fonts. Allow subscribers to customize their bundles. This way, you can play into personalization, flexibility, and ensure subscribers get exactly what they need. Monitor your analytics to see which items are commonly bought together to identify future bundles. Product bundling has repeatedly been shown to increase sales, and optimizing your bundles to provide your consumers with the best value will only further drive revenue. Highlight Trending Products While we’re on the topic of customer account portals, another way to drive engagement and boost AOV is through utilizing trending upsells. Generally speaking, tacking the word “trending” next to a product automatically adds value to it by tapping into social proof. If subscribers believe there’s buzz around an item, they’ll be more likely to want to try it. The exciting part is that there are myriad ways to creatively leverage trending products in a way that adds value to your subscribers. For example, Wholesome Story took advantage of trending upsells to provide educational factoids about a lesser-known product. This “Did You Know” angle spreads necessary awareness before subscribers buy a new product, taking out the need for any research. Nooma, on the other hand, used their trending upsells as a way to promote a rotating flavor of the month in order to keep subscribers on their toes and give them the chance to sample something new. This adds a level of freshness to subscriptions and keeps customers returning to their account portal each month to see what the new flavor is. You can also go in another direction and feature a relevant influencer’s favorite products. The endorsement will only further boost social proof, which automatically adds value to your brand as a whole. After all, 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations. Wrapping Up: Adding Value to Consumers Leads to a Higher AOV All in all, the best way to approach increasing your average order value is by prioritizing and delighting your end consumer. By creating the best possible experience for your subscribers every step of the way, you’ll encourage retention, grow customer loyalty, and naturally drive revenue as a result. This post is the product of a partnership between Littledata and Smartrr. Check out Littledata to optimize and scale your DTC brand with key data insights including subscription data, and visit Smartrr to level up your subscription offering and increase customer engagement. – Written by Gaby Tegen Bio: Gaby Tegen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Smartrr, the leading Shopify subscription app built to increase LTV. In addition to offering out-of-the-box subscription models and a branded customer account portal, Smartrr elevates the post-purchase experience with loyalty rewards, referrals, bundles, and more. Recently, Smartrr raised $10M in Series A funding to further their mission of becoming the first comprehensive LTV platform in the Shopify ecosystem. For more information, visit https://smartrr.com/.
How Grind boosted their sales by 50x
Grind had 11 brick and mortar stores in the UK before they dove into ecommerce on Shopify. It was not until the COVID lockdown that they moved from strictly brick and mortar to the ecommerce ecosystem. Before then, only half of a percent of their business was online! After they added subscriptions and built a data stack to inform the launch of new promotion methods, the business scaled to 50x revenue in just a couple of months. THE CHALLENGE Over the years, Grind built an incredible brand through their popular brick-and-mortar stores and newsletters, going beyond coffee to become a part of their customers' lives in a meaningful, authentic way. Grind is gaining awareness not just in their local region of London but celebrating subscribers from around the globe. After losing their offline (physical location) business practically overnight, Grind needed to quickly pivot to ecommerce and get an accurate picture of their online customer lifetime value (LTV) for “one-time” and “recurring” orders. They needed to see and report on customer behavior happening on their Shopify store to improve the checkout flow, build ideal customer profiles, retarget the right customers using dynamic social ads, and make crucial decisions using accurate data at the core of these efforts. THE SOLUTION Littledata's Recharge connection made it easy to get accurate sales data and marketing attribution across the subscriber journey. This smart technology connected Grind’s Recharge checkout with Google Analytics for accurate data about subscription revenue, including first-time payments, recurring transactions, and subscription lifecycle events. They were able to see LTV by channel and—critically—to predict where high- value subscriber growth was most likely to happen. It all came down to “measuring the difference in LTV for subscribers versus one-time purchasers” says Grind CMO Teddy Robinson. “Subscription revenue and return on ad spend (ROAS) were really the biggest top-line metrics for us.” RESULTS Subscription selling has created an exciting opportunity for the Grind ecommerce store to unlock potential revenue, build long-lasting relationships with their customers, and create a community among consumers. Building on their existing loyal customer base, Grind’s introduction of sustainable at home coffee pods— and tracking checkout events accurately with Littledata’s Recharge connection—Grind saw massive subscriber growth across paid and organic channels. They went from £10k to £500k monthly ecommerce revenue, and are have expanded internationally. A few takeaways of what Grind accomplished with Littledata: • 50x Subscription revenue in three months • 100% Recharge orders captured in Google Analytics • 28 Event types tracked in the checkout
How to create segments for subscription orders in Google Analytics 4
The key to growing your ecommerce subscriptions is understanding your customers — why they subscribe, pause, churn, or upgrade their subscription. Accurate subscription tracking has always been a challenge for Shopify and BigCommerce stores, and that hasn’t changed in the newest version of Google Analytics, GA4. Shopify’s newly released GA4 integration tracks “certain ecommerce events” after applying tags, but subscription events are missing. Luckily, first-party tracking has come a long way since the early days of Shopify. For brands interested in capturing data across the entire customer journey, the solution is easier than you may think. No, you don’t need custom GTM — that can be time-consuming and costly to maintain — you just need the right app that tracks subscription events in GA4 automatically. [tip] Try our free GA4 Conversions Checker to make sure your GA4 property is tracking complete conversion and transaction data. [/tip] Once you’ve successfully tracked your recurring orders in GA4, you’ll need to build out reports to understand your subscription sales performance over time. Building segments in GA4 sets the foundation for deeper analysis. In the latest installment of our GA4 courses, we walk you through how to build segments for first-time and recurring orders in GA4. How to create segments for subscriptions in GA4 GA4’s segments feature allows users to slice and dice their data into smaller subsets, empowering data-driven brands to understand trends between customers with similar characteristics, including whether or not they’re subscribed to your product. This is true whether you’re selling individual products by subscription, or product bundles. Get started by creating a new custom dimension in your Google Analytics 4 property — ‘affiliation.’ By adding ‘affiliation’ as a custom dimension, you’ll be able to analyze subscription data and answer specific questions to your business’s needs. Add these custom dimensions to a copy of your sales performance report with custom event segments, and you’re off to the races! Use the insights from your first-time orders and recurring orders segments to understand your subscription sales performance, analyze the real return on investment (ROI) of your subscription sales, and build out in-depth reports with actionable data. [note] Users can also use the custom dimension for affiliation in a filter and apply it to a custom report. [/note] Follow our step-by-step guide below to take a deep dive into your subscription sales performance: https://youtu.be/aLRsAp3EhWM Get more GA4 With GA4’s deadline quickly approaching, check out the rest of our free resources to jumpstart your GA4 journey: Extending our Recharge integration to work with GA4 and Facebook CAPI GA4: What Shopify stores should do TODAY to keep up with the new version of Google Analytics How to track ecommerce conversions in GA4 10 reasons to switch to GA4 GA4 Glossary of Terms: What you need to know to get started
Harnessing data insights to drive retention and growth with subscriptions
Recently, Ari Messer, Co-founder and CMO at Littledata, caught up with Awtomic—who provides shoppers and merchants with the best tools to manage subscription products and membership services easily. Brands that have subscription models at the core of their business know that in 2023 increasing their retention rate for new and existing users is key to their growth. Ari shared the importance of using data effectively in decision-making by understanding consumer behavior and attribution saying: “The marketing mix for every brand is a little different. To reach high-value customers you have to adjust marketing and not just aim for a big purchase at the beginning but for the right kinds of engaged customers. You have to use your data to build community.” Many brands struggle with consistent, trustworthy data which can lead to poor decisions and ineffective marketing. Littledata’s app helps merchants clean up and organize their data sources so that they can make informed decisions—saving hours of implementation time and data maintenance. Merchants' biggest problems with Google Analytics include inconsistent data, missing data, and double tracking. Littledata helps clean up these problems and provides consistent data by grabbing serverside and clientside data from their Shopify or BigCommerce store and sending it to destinations like Segment and Google Analytics (UA +GA4). The result is that merchants can confidently make decisions based on accurate data, including LTV and cohort analysis. This includes one-off or recurring orders which is something many brands struggle to sort out by doing analysis. Of course, brands are looking at data to increase their bottom line but big players in the space also are using data to drive creative campaigns for their target audience which in turn amplifies their brand’s community and often reaches higher value customers. Looking to stay on top of the Shopify and BigCommerce data scene? Join the thousands of brands who receive news and updates from Littledata, sign up for our newsletter.
Grow your subscription business with revenue based loans
Revenue-based loans for early-stage companies burst into the mainstream in 2022. Whether you are a subscription commerce business or a SaaS company, this could be a powerful new way to fund your expansion. In this guide I’ll explain what I’ve learnt as a founder from many weeks of conversations about the different flavours of debt funding, and when they’re appropriate for your business. What is a revenue-based loan (RBL)? An RBL is a business loan secured against a company’s future recurring revenue stream rather than the company’s assets. Most growth-phase companies can’t borrow from traditional banks because they are not profitable, are asset-light, and don’t have big enough revenue streams. Alternative debt providers, including RBLs, have stepped in to fill that need. This is different to invoice factoring. Factoring companies take over the billing relationship with your customers to repay the debt, which doesn’t work for companies like Littledata where most of the revenue is from Stripe card processing or payouts from an app store. How do RBLs compare with traditional loans? RBLs are typically covenant-lite and without personal guarantees. This means if your revenue drops and you are unable to repay the loans the lender has no right to take control of the business or pursue you personally for the debt. That said, all debt needs to be repaid in full — even if your revenue drops unexpectedly. How do RBLs compare with selling equity (VC funding)? Firstly, they are much less dilutive - sometimes non dilutive. This means the current shareholders keep their same hard-earned share of the business. Some lenders may ask for warrants (share options) to share in the upside if your growth takes off, but these are still a lot less dilutive than VC funds. Secondly, RBL providers won’t interfere or distract you. They don’t want a say in how you run your business; they only want visibility on how your revenue is progressing. On the flip side, debt providers won’t be able to advise you on growth strategy — most are very transactional. Yet, in my experience, VC investors exaggerate the benefit of their advice, which can be just as distracting as helpful. Since the outcome for most VC-based companies is very binary, VC funds inevitably focus their attention on the biggest winners in their portfolio — meaning you won't get their attention in times of need anyway. In many cases RBLs are not a complete alternative to equity funding — they just reduce your dilution by match funding other equity investments. Are RBLs the same as venture debt? The terms are often used interchangeably, but traditionally venture debt was taken on alongside a big injection of cash for equity (e.g. alongside a Series A investment). This boosts the size of an already large funding round but doesn’t help companies trying to grow up to this level. RBLs can be used independent of any equity funding round. Littledata’s Story Littledata started exploring revenue based loans back in 2020, and took out our first 3 month loan from Forward Advances. However, with our marketing mix and 30 day free trial it’s impossible to get a return on investment within 3 months. So in 2021 we took on a 12 month loan from ClearCo, and then in 2022 another 12 month facility from Capchase. Then later in 2022 we started working with Element Finance, who have been extremely helpful in working around our existing lending and can lend over 4 years to postpone a larger equity raise. Will taking on a loan reduce my funding options in the future? As this kind of debt funding becomes more mainstream it is becoming a useful bridge to ever-larger Series A rounds. In my experience, having a loan on your books will not block an equity investment - as long as it is not convertible into equity, and the warrants for the lenders are minimal. In fact, since debt funders are agnostic about the exit route or valuation, they keep open exit options that a VC might block. So for example, If your growth stalls and you want to switch to run your company for profit, once you’ve repaid the debt, the income is all yours. If you can use debt funding to achieve a certain scale ($5M+ ARR), you’ll be able to access much cheaper term loans from lenders like Silicon Valley Bank. Is my business suitable for an RBL? If you haven’t yet generated $100k annual recurring revenue (ARR), or you are investing in a new and unproven market, then equity funding is a better option. To get confident in the stability of your future revenue streams the debt provider will want to see: 1. Majority recurring revenue 2. High net year-on-year revenue growth (at least 50%+) 3. Low customer value churn (less than 50% per year) 4. Low customer concentration (any one customer churning has low impact) My company Littledata qualifies on all fronts with 100% recurring revenue, high year-over-year growth, less than 40% gross value churn, and our largest customer is less than 2% of our revenue. How much can I borrow? Loan values are usually expressed as a multiple of run rate ARR, and the maximum will be between 20% (2 months revenue) and 50% (6 months revenue) of your ARR. This maximum depends on revenue stability, term length, and other factors. I think I can raise a VC. Are RBLs still relevant? I think so, yes. It helps boost your valuation and gives you time to wait for the right investor. Investors value subscription-based companies as a multiple of their ARR, depending on growth and churn. If you’re growing at a predictable rate month-over-month, why would you sell out a bigger share now when you could hold off for a higher valuation in the future. Short-term RBLs won’t increase your runway unless you can increase your revenue faster than the loan duration - otherwise the extra revenue you gain from bringing forward hiring or marketing spending will likely be offset by the debt repayments. But VC funding can also reduce your runway (by encouraging higher burn rates) AND limit your exit options. It’s a necessary evil in some cases, but don’t believe it’s the only way. (Image credit: Founder Collective) What are the options for funding a sub-$2M ARR business? At this level, you are limited to borrowing over a maximum 12-month term. This means you’ll need to repay the loan monthly over a year, so if you borrow $200k you’ll repay around $18k per month including a fee. This fee is typically expressed as a discount rate — equivalent to the discount you might offer a customer for paying annually rather than monthly. Discount rates on 12-month loans currently range from 5% to 11% depending on the underwriting risk. This translates to an APR of 10% to 18% since half of the money is repaid within half the loan term. Some lenders will structure the repayments as a percent of your monthly revenue (i.e. you repay over a minimum of 12 months), which limits the cash out if your revenue sinks. But, in practice for a growing company, the repayments will be fixed. You could also borrow for 6 months for half the cost. This doesn’t work for us, but it could work for you if you can quickly translate marketing dollars into more recurring revenue. Since the process is usually fully automated — with data feeds from common accounting and banking platforms — these lenders are very quick, with offers in 24 hours and loans within 10 days. Some of the lenders in this space are: Clearco (previously Clearbanc) Uncapped Forward Advances (stopped lending) Capchase Velocity Capital Vitt Founderpath Pipe Full disclosure: we’ve taken loans from Forward Advances, Clearco, Capchase, and Element Finance. What are the options for funding a $2M+ ARR business? The lenders above will welcome you with open arms; at this scale, their risk is lower and the fees are higher. But there are now more options for lower interest rates and longer-term loans. Element Finance offers 4-year loans of $500k+, with no warrants. Element Finance recently provided funding to Littledata for the next stage of growth. Saas Capital, based in Seattle, also offers 4 to 5 year loans with lower interest and warrants. They can lend between 4x and 12x trailing MRR, depending on growth and churn, but focus more on SaaS. Riverside Acceleration Capital offers a 3 to 5-year loan, with an interest-only period at the start to reduce cash out. Prefcap offers a 2-year, rolled-up loan (no monthly payments, but repaid or refinanced in full at the end of 2 years). This reduces your cash out, but they want warrants with the right to invest equity in the next round. Flow Capital, based in Canada, offers a 3 to 5-year loan with lower interest but with warrants. Lending over longer periods is much less predictable, so the process will be more like interacting with a VC: a week or two to get to a term sheet, and then 6 to 8 weeks to complete due diligence and access the funds. In Conclusion If you’re a growing subscription business, check out the possibilities for RBL financing. Even if you don’t need the money now, it can be a useful option for bridging to the next equity round — or allowing you to say no to egregious term sheets. I’ve spent many weeks pitching VCs and as flattering as it is to have experienced investors quiz you about strategy, I’d far rather be putting the capital to work in growing the product and customer base. RBL funding gives me that option.
Get the DTC guide to subscription analytics
The subscription ecommerce industry has soared in recent years, allowing customers to routinely receive the products they love and opening up possibilities for merchants to build predictable, recurring revenue streams. Once a small subset of the ecommerce industry, the global subscription ecommerce market is set to be worth $478 billion by 2025. Subscription offerings we see winning today have changed over the past few years, from innovative, new recurring revenue engines to legacy brands like BMW offering exclusive auto features by subscription. But there's one area where ecommerce subscription brands fall short time and time again — their analytics. Thanks to today’s plug-and-play subscription solutions, DTC merchants can start selling by subscription in just a few clicks. When it comes to optimizing their subscription model, though, many merchants run into a bit of trouble. While ecommerce subscription platforms have made strides in recent years, their native analytics are sub-par, making it difficult to understand product performance, measure customer lifetime value, and attribute subscribers’ sales to marketing campaigns. The DTC Guide to Subscription Analytics If you’re already running an ecommerce store, chances are you have already noticed some major data discrepancies between Shopify or BigCommerce and Google Analytics. From missing sales data to undifferentiated subscription vs. one-off orders, subscription tracking adds another layer to the madness. We sampled a set of larger DTC stores, processing over 50,000 orders a month through a standard Shopify checkout, and found that, on average, only 88% of Shopify orders were tracked in Google Analytics. Looking at a set of stores with non-standard checkouts, including subscription checkouts, we found that between 9% and 70% of orders were tracked in Google Analytics. Data mismatches that big lead to unattributed marketing spend and failed retargeting campaigns that doom your future decision-making. So, what causes data mismatches? How can you solve it? And how can you master subscription analytics? In The DTC Guide to Subscription Analytics, we uncover: The state of subscription ecommerce How to fix your subscription tracking Metrics to grow your recurring revenue Tools to fuel your ecommerce subscriptions Download The DTC Guide to Subscription Analytics >>>
4 ways to future-proof your business by using the right subscription tools
No one can predict the future. But as economic uncertainty and major data tracking changes loom, now is an important time for brands to prioritize future-proofing their businesses by developing strategies to minimize the effects of any potential downturns. Recurring revenue from subscription models can be a great way to generate predictable, long-term income. As a best practice, focusing on maintaining solid relationships with customers and ensuring a superior customer experience will help retain them in the long run. During hard times, it will be the most loyal customers who stay committed to your brand. Plus, with acquisition costs rising, focusing on retaining current customers is a much more sustainable option. In this post, we’ll share how you can future-proof your business by building a strong subscription model that attracts subscribers and show you the tools you need to do it. 1. Focus on Subscribers First, rely on subscribers, as they are the most loyal and valuable customers who chose your brand over numerous competitors. Keeping these customers is critical for brands, as it is much less resource-intensive than acquiring new customers. Build your growth strategy around gaining subscribers’ trust, delighting them with exclusive membership perks, and allowing them to advocate for your brand. Throughout the subscription experience, provide flexibility and transparency to establish trust with customers. Specifically, demonstrate transparency by displaying details of what the subscription program entails, emphasizing that customers have the authority to change, skip, or cancel their subscription at any time. You can offer the most relevant subscription options by analyzing customer buying behavior data; for instance, monitor your customer’s average frequency selection when deciding which subscription option should be defaulted on the product page. Offer flexibility from the beginning by allowing customers to adjust the cadence in which they would like to receive the product and how much of it. Letting customers choose the quantity and frequency of their subscriptions solidifies this trust. Your customer won’t feel like they have to fully unsubscribe because they can mold the subscription program to their specific lifestyle, ultimately increasing your retention. That way, you’ll avoid losing valuable customers just because they needed fewer products during a certain month. [tip]See how brick-and-mortar staple Grind scaled DTC sales 50x in 3 months through subscription selling.[/tip] 2. Create a Brand Engagement Hub Transform your brand’s customer account portal into an engagement hub to increase retention and lifetime value for subscribers. Providing access to a consistent, branded customer portal helps develop strong relationships with customers which plays a critical role in retaining them long-term. Customize your customer’s account portal to adhere to your brand guidelines and craft an experience that aligns with the products that you are selling. Intuitive, straightforward tools built directly into the portal empower customers to serve themselves independently and make them more likely to continue doing business with you rather than switching to a competitor. Frictionless account management gives customers the opportunity to manage their subscription journey the way they see fit with intuitive options to gift, skip, swap, or send now. Having an easy customer support function within the customer account portal is mutually beneficial for your brand and your customers, as it saves your Customer Service team’s time and leaves customers satisfied. Typically, customers would rather solve an issue on their own without needing to contact a customer service representative. So saving them time and avoiding any frustrations further decreases the likelihood of them churning. 3. Build Brand Champions Take your subscriber’s loyalty and expand on it as much as possible with customer loyalty features that give customers a reason to come back. This includes subscriber-only promotions and discounts, exclusive gifts, early access to new products, and one-time add-ons. As a best practice, use retention data to create a strategic subscription program. For example, use a retention cohort analysis to determine if you are offering too high of a discount on first subscription orders. Merchants may find customers canceling their subscriptions after the first order when the subscriber discount is too high. By keeping a pulse on these metrics, merchants are able to course correct by getting rid of large, upfront discounts and instead, reward subscribers based on loyalty. Help improve average order value by placing strategic upsells based on data that identified top-performing products or products commonly purchased together. Then recommend these products for a tailored customer experience. Offer early releases of new products and allow loyal subscribers to give feedback, making them feel even more special and valued as customers. Try giving subscribers “X% off of their X order,” free products with orders, or birthday gifts. Create brand awareness with referrals and gifting features built directly within the account portal. Aim to get loyal customers to continue to buy your products, buy more products, and gift products so that your brand awareness extends to friends and family. Many brands take advantage of referrals like “Give X, Get X,” where if you refer a friend, you each receive a discount. Not only does this ensure that subscribers directly benefit from their referrals, but also that friend now has the ability to try your product and later on subscribe themselves. This creates champions of your brand who continue to spread the word and love to friends and family. 4. Littledata and Smartrr Having subscription management software that fits with your main data reporting tool is critical in subscriptions. Google Analytics and server-side tracking give you the first-party tracking you need to understand your buyers and make data-driven decisions that benefit your store. You can use a subscription tracking service to see complete sales data, including one-off purchases, subscriptions, and refunds. Using Littledata and Smartrr as your subscription management and analytics stack allows you to: Calculate marketing attribution for all transactions, including recurring orders Set up custom dimensions to calculate LTV Use information to strategically use upsells, gifting, add-ons, and more Send Smartrr subscriptions data to Facebook Ads via the Facebook Conversions API Conclusion Each of these strategies helps to build a solid foundation to retain customers and ultimately, future-proof your business. Make strategic business decisions by tracking the key performance indicators that drive your business, such as average order value, sales by specific product, churn over time, lifetime value, and subscription revenue growth. Retain customers by crafting a seamless experience through a consumer-focused subscription program with an intuitive account portal that includes features to engage subscribers and build brand champions. Retaining your highest lifetime value customers will help solidify recurring revenue from subscription models and ensure predictable, long-term income. This is a guest post from Anna Jacobson, Marketing Associate at Smartrr—the premium subscription app for DTC Shopify brands. Built with your end consumer in mind, Smarter increases brand engagement and LTV with a variety of out-of-the-box subscription models, a beautifully branded subscriber account experience, member-only benefits, and more.
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