Expert Knowledge / Ecommerce


Subscription ecommerce is the digital offering of products or services being delivered on a regular basis – usually monthly – with payment automatically taken from the customer. They have become a lifestyle habit for many customers due to their convenience and ease.

The opportunity and the weakness of the subscription market lie entirely in the company’s ability to develop a convenient experience for the consumer. If the journey is seamless, then they have provided a friction-free experience that customers will be willing to change their shopping habits. However, if it is hard to change and creates ‘hassle’ then there is little chance of a customer returning and trying again.

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Subscription ecommerce

Beyond the basic best-practice of an e-commerce solution, the key considerations for a seamless and convenient subscription user experience include; easy to change the products ordered, easy to change the frequency of the delivery and easy to pause or cancel the subscription. This sounds straightforward, obvious even, yet many subscription services struggle with the user experience, communication and changes needed in order to ensure a smooth subscription experience.

Customer Acquisition

If you’re going to launch a subscription service, you need to understand the basics of CPA (cost per acquisition) and attribution modelling. Cost Per Acquisition is often higher than a standard e-commerce consumer because there is a perceived longer commitment upon purchase. However, the Lifetime Value of your customers is also higher due to recurring revenue. The longer a subscriber stays loyal to your brand, the higher your retention rates and the greater their customer lifetime value (CLTV). This means you’re getting much better value for money when it comes to acquisition spends, which is great news for your profit margins.

Best Subscription Platform

The majority of the time, the reason why the user experience is limited is that the e-commerce platform selected is not fit for purpose. When lots of customisation is required to then create the correct user experience, it can cause problems and glitches that deter a consumer and make the experience painful rather than hassle-free. When we recommend subscription e-commerce, we usually select either WooCommerce or Shopify, depending on the scope that is required. These two platforms tackle the majority of issues that subscription businesses face and are well established, so even if something new or unexpected cropped up – they can handle it.

As a subscription retailer, you know how many subscribers you have and how much stock you need. There’s less risk of unpredictable demand on your fulfilment, provided you also know your retention rate. As a result, you can anticipate demand and supply with confidence, helping to make your business processes much more consistent.

Tools we use

recharge for shopify
Google Analytics

ReCharge or Bold

Software to transform existing one-time purchases into subscription options easily. Give your customers auto-delivery options for the products they love. Manage your subscription-based business with tools such as asset delivery and cut-off dates, inventory forecasting, and order management.

Little Data

Our go-to analytics solution for recurring payments. Make better business decisions with accurate data, industry benchmarks and custom dimensions for calculating customer lifetime value. Own the data and get powerful reporting in the tools you already use.

Effective CRM

Clear and concise communication is essential when you have a lot of information to share. CRM tools such as Klaviyo, PipeDrive, Hubspot, Omnisend, or Drip are essential to facilitate this. Deliver clear communication to minimise churn rate and ensure you capture lapsed customers.

Learn more about subscription ecommerce...

Learn more about subscription ecommerce... - Tribe Digital

Everything Subscription

What a more in-depth look at subscription models? Read our Ultimate Guide To Subscription eCommerce.

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