Subscription e-commerce is gaining importance — as it provides a convenient way for customers to access exclusive and highly personalized offers. Unfortunately for businesses, one-third of consumers cancel their box subscriptions within three months. Thankfully, there are ways to help subscription box companies retain and expand their customer base.
According to McKinsey & Company, more than one-third of consumers cancel their subscriptions within three months of starting. Whether items are not personalized enough or frequency isn’t adequately flexible, what started as a product-discovery or money-saving tactic starts to look less appealing. Regardless of whether the sub-box provides personalized, curated products (such as StitchFix), replenishment services (such as Dollar Shave Club) or access to exclusive clubs (such as JustFab), enhancing customer retention starts with applying personalized, constant, real-time, and mobile-first communications. Ultimately, making it easier to collect feedback, provide updates, and give instantaneous customer service.
Mobile messaging – SMS and chat apps like Facebook Messenger – provide the ideal communication channels to address your subscribers throughout the customer journey. Ninety percent of SMS messages are read within three minutes of being sent, making SMS perfect for real-time and personalized communications to engage your customers and avoid churn.
But how do you use messaging to increase conversions and avoid churn in Subscription Commerce? We’ve got a few ideas for you.
1. Drive conversions and re-engagement
First of all, subscription box brands need to drive conversions as well as re-engaging lost or undecided customers. There are many ways on how to do this, including:
- Leverage existing interest in your subscription boxes with promotions and opportunities for lost customers to re-engage.
- Send messages with special, personalized offers with a defined cutoff time, increasing the urgency for the customer to act.
- Provide discount coupons to try new boxes or ask for new tastes and ideas of what your customers would like to have.
- Re-engage with special curated products and send abandoned cart reminders to finalize checkout.
All of these can be enabled with mobile messaging – SMS and chat apps alike – providing an easy, real-time channel that enables customers to always come back to your brand.
2. Engage and keep enthusiasm high
The main challenge for sub-box brands is to continuously thrill customers, avoiding churn. To do this, your brand needs to apply relevant product personalization as well as utilize communication channels that can be personalized and conversational. SMS and chat apps enable your brand to update and notify customers about new products, ask what products they prefer, create enthusiasm for surprise and exclusive products. In addition, bring to their attention free content related to products to drive usage and engagement, such as new recipes, fashion tips, makeup trends, and more.
3. Inform about package arrival
One of the most critical phases of the customer journey is the receipt of the sub-box. Customers will be looking forward to its arrival and unpacking with delight. To add to the enthusiasm, keep your customers informed of each step of the delivery process via a tracking URL or one message for the most important delivery steps. Leverage text notifications into two-way communications by allowing your customers to change delivery dates and times according to their schedule. If you provide click & collect, offer location and time availability options with a simple message.
4. Address inquiries in a conversational way
Mobile messaging has turned into a standard communication channel for businesses to connect with consumers, increasingly used in customer service and support. Because messaging has become consumers’ medium of choice, your brand needs to leverage this channel to power conversational customer support, address new inquiries and questions, provide proactive reminders and updates, ask for feedback and reviews and reach out in case of product recalls and complaints.
The use of messaging technologies throughout the customer journey brings personalization to how you communicate with your subscribers. Leverage the benefits of a real-time, global and conversational medium to maintain interest in your products and strengthen your customer retention strategy.