Many believe online commerce is solely oriented toward the one-time purchase of physical products. However, numerous products are sold every day as a subscription to the buyers that may be a physical product, a service or even digital goods. In fact, the New York Times proposes that selling via subscription may be a new “rage.”
Subscriptions have been traditional model for a magazines, newspapers, multi-level marketing firms or even gym memberships. These subscriptions are typically purchased via a designated monthly or annual price. As noted in the NY Times article, we are being exposed to this model for many new products such as buying clothes, viewing movies, wireless service and even for buying dog food. There are a number of reasons to consider a subscription model and you can even roll this out in your social networks or via a Facebook Shop.
- Easy to try: For many products creating a subscription price makes it easy for users to try the product. The upfront monetary commitment is typically much lower and the opportunity to cancel is simple for the buyer. As an example, ShopTab’s apps pricing leverages this easy to try concept with a 7 day free trial.
- Creates predictability: For the buyer it evens out the cost of purchase based upon their use of the product or service. For the business or retailer, this model creates clarity to their user demand and financial cash flow in a predictable fashion versus less predictable one-time product sales.
- Relationships: This model creates an on-going contract for the provider and the buyer to stay closely aligned. Long term the value should be apparent to both sides in terms of increased product value for the buyer and higher life cycle revenue for the provider.
It is interesting to note that the traditional users of the subscription models are now looking to use this model in their social network marketing. As outlined by Adage in a recent article, the opportunity to position a magazine subscription offer to their Facebook fans is a compelling option for them to leverage.
It has been exciting to help our clients understand that they can position a subscription offering with the well-known PayPal service to attract buyers worldwide. The use of PayPal’s system for credit cards and PayPal payments makes offering this service very simple for those with blogs, websites or a Facebook fan page. This simple to deploy offering makes sense on any scale – large organizations or someone that walks pets or services your pool.
Let us know if subscription selling inside of social networks is for you.
Review ShopTab’s installation instructions for building subscription products in a Facebook Store.