While it used to be you could only sign up for a subscription service for DVDs and a few other niche products, these days there’s a subscription service for everything. Make-up, clothing, food, razors, even craft supplies. There are some pros and cons to this kind of service.

The Pros 

  • The customer doesn’t have to keep reordering something that they need or want. It just shows up in the mail regularly without having to think about it.
  • The brand becomes a part of the customer’s regular life. This is especially important in the millennial market where they like to feel a strong connection to the brand they’re loyal to. There’s also a great chance that, as a regular part of their lives, your brand will pop up in their social media feeds. This is basically free advertising for the business.

  • For the business, subscription boxes provide a way to predict sales, volumes, and demand ahead of time to avoid wasting product, money, and time.
  • Customers sign up for a long-term relationship with the business, and the business has to work to keep them satisfied. The business will get feedback from customers much faster and be able to fix any issues right away.
  • It’s an easy way to keep customers informed of other things going on within your brand – sales, new products, etc. You can offer discounts or free samples to draw attention to other aspects of your business. 

The Cons 

  • Because customers are free to opt out of their subscription anytime they want, businesses are almost taking a leap of faith when planning ahead. Some people will just naturally figure out that they don’t like having things curated for them and need more control. The subscription model isn’t going to work for everyone who signs up for it.
  • It’s hard to keep the subscriptions interesting enough every month for the long term in order to keep subscribers interested. Businesses have to constantly be trying to get something interesting and different for the next subscription box.
  • Each customer is a fixed amount of profit. If they’re paying the same price for a monthly subscription, the only way to grow the business is to get more customers. There’s no way to change the prices of individual items to increase profit.

  • A subscription is more of a service than a sale. Since customers aren’t choosing what they want and are trusting the business to provide them what they’re paying for, it’s sometimes difficult to keep customers satisfied and engaged.

If you’re considering a subscription service for your e-commerce website, you should take these things into consideration. Not all products will be a good fit for this kind of business model, but for others, it’s a great way to get regular business. The biggest takeaway from this is to make sure you keep your customers happy. The more satisfied they are with the items, and they service they’re getting every month, the more likely it will be that they’ll stick around for a long time.