Top 4 Subscription Strategies and Tips for BFCM in 2022

Getting ready for the biggest shopping season can be overwhelming. Prepare for Black Friday/Cyber Monday with these top subscription strategies and tips.

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    This holiday season, eCommerce sales are expected to increase 15.5% to $235.86 billion. Consumers are expected to spend nearly $35 billion online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

    Your most loyal customers turn to you during the holiday season to share the love for your products and brand with their friends and family! Be prepared to support their gifting endeavors with advanced subscription features to give them a true VIP customer experience and build long-lasting relationships that go beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

    Pairing your subscription program with seamless gifting abilities, bundles, a rewards program, and marketing banners within the customer account portal will ensure that you stand out during the holidays. Here’s how:

    Gifting Subscriptions During the Holidays

    Subscribers have too much product? No need for them to cancel or skip! Give them the ability to gift their next order to a friend.

    This year alone, 65.5% of consumers are likely to gift a subscription. Studies show that 82% of people who were gifted a subscription box ended up also subscribing themselves.

    BFCM is the perfect time to promote gifting one-time orders and better yet, entire subscriptions to friends and family for the upcoming holiday season. Leveraging your loyal subscriber base to create brand awareness with gifting is a solid strategy to help create champions of your brand who spread the word to their loved ones. 

    With Smartrr's customizable account portal functionality, Shopify merchants can easily toggle on and off which subscription management features they want to offer customers. Not only does this make it simple for merchants to offer the ability to gift one-time orders but it also makes the process for customers much more intuitive, overall reducing friction. This creates enormous opportunities for Shopify merchants to improve their retention and brand strategies. 

    Additionally, Sock Fancy is a perfect example of one of our brands showcasing an incredible gifting experience. Using Smartrr’s maximum billing cycle subscription program, Sock Fancy customers have the ability to gift a subscription for their chosen frequency, whether that be for 3 months, 6 months, or a year. Then, at the end of the pre-defined period of time, the brand reaches out to inform the customer that their subscription is ending, and gives them the opportunity to opt-in themselves and continue their membership. Sock Fancy truly takes their customer experience to the next level with a custom quiz on their website, asking customers whether the order is a gift, how many pairs they wish to receive each month, and for how many months they want the subscription program to go for. Definitely something to keep in mind as the holiday season fast approaches!

    Attach Bundles to Your Subscription Programs

    There is no better way to give customers a more personalized, engaging experience than through offering customizable bundles. Allowing customers to choose the different product variants and different flavors or colors for both one-time purchases and recurring subscription orders creates an inviting build-a-box experience catered to their exact liking. 

    Bundles are a great way to engage your customer and offer an exceptional brand experience that leads to increased loyalty, brand affinity, and customer lifetime value. Not only do bundles create a VIP customer experience, but they also encourage buyers to purchase higher quantities of products, increasing average order value. Bundles give customers the opportunity to try multiple products within one order, increasing the likelihood that they find a new product they love–and potentially subscribe to! 

    Smartrr’s bundle builder makes it easier than ever for merchants to offer bundles and for customers to build their bundles with capabilities such as our onsite modal. Merchants choose which products customers can add to their bundles, quantity options, discounts, pricing, and even the placement and style of the bundle builder modal on their website. 

    We know that inventory planning is really difficult around the holidays as it is; there’s a lot of apprehension about introducing bundles for this very reason. But Smartrr’s bundle builder was built with this exact pain point in mind, allowing merchants to send their 3PL a single product SKU with properties (custom attributes) or as individual line items for each product in the bundle. This ultimately unlocks a first-of-its-kinda post-purchase inventory reporting.

    Bundling can also help with shipping costs; a tip from one of our brands is to promote larger bundles at lower frequencies and then pass on the shipping savings to customers so that everyone wins! 

    Loyalty Rewards for Subscribers

    Pair bundling and gifting features with a subscription-led loyalty rewards program, designed with your most loyal customer in mind. With loyalty rewards, merchants can incentivize customers to earn and redeem rewards through various shop touchpoints. 

    Reward your most valuable customers with points for following through with the desired BFCM behaviors, such as buying more products, building bundles, gifting subscriptions, referring friends, completing X amount of orders, and more. Subscribers can then redeem their rewards points any way they wish, with options such as percentage discounts, dollar amounts, free products, exclusive items, and free shipping. With a loyalty rewards program powered by Smartrr, customers don't need to "opt-in" to the rewards program as they will automatically be enrolled.

    Incentivizing customers with rewards that they truly value is a memorable way to keep them engaged, increasing retention and lifetime value

    Communicate to Subscribers using Marketing Banners

    Announcing an exclusive BFCM promotion for your subscribers? Now is the perfect time to plan an on-site experience that boosts your holiday marketing campaign and stands out from the crowd! Couple your holiday marketing campaign with customized marketing banners directly in your account portal to ensure multiple touchpoints with customers and double down on key messaging.

    As a best practice, build anticipation toward BFCM deals throughout the next few weeks by keeping customers in the loop with a series of banners. Once launched, update subscribers in their customer account portal to guarantee that they don't miss out on any promotions! With these banners living directly at the top of the customer’s account portal, you can ensure that customers will keep your deals and promotions top of mind. 

    Marketing banners are just one of the many ways that Smartrr allows you to fully brand what your customer experience when they login to manage their subscriptions. Besides promoting your BFCM promotions, marketing banners are also a great way to promote free shipping, announce an upcoming product, and embed a form or other brand collateral.

    All in all, this BFCM, focusing on delighting customers and cultivating long-term relationships will be key–especially prioritizing the post-purchase experience and keeping customers engaged after the holiday season. Level up your customer experience with a variety of features to pair with your subscription program to stand out amongst the noise. Connect with a Smartrr expert to elevate your subscription program for BFCM and beyond.