Subscription commerce has exploded over the past decade, with an incredible year on year growth rate of 100% since 2011. Food and drink, cosmetics, cleaning cupboard staples - pretty much any kind of regular use product you can think of is now available through subscription.
But as with anything that sees such rapid growth, eCommerce brands running a subscription model need to continually up their game to stay competitive. And that’s exactly what our integration with Bold Subscriptions allows you to do.
But before we dive into its functionality, here’s a little bit of background on why we built this integration in the first place.
If you’re already a subscription based business you’ll know how profitable it can be. If not, introducing a subscription model could be the best move you make this year.
In a recent Bold Commerce survey of nearly 800 subscription brands, more than half reported growth rates of 10% or more month over month after launching subscriptions. But where exactly does this growth potential come from?
Recurring revenue - by running an effective subscription strategy that encourages retention, you give yourself a source of predictable revenue at recurring intervals. You have security from these regular sales and can better forecast cash flow to plan ahead.
Higher customer lifetime value (CLTV) - a subscriber will continue their plan for as long as you continue to meet their expectations. They will also provide zero-party data that allows for relevant cross and upselling, increasing CLTV even more.
Offset acquisition costs - because they have a higher lifetime value, converting a first time buyer into a subscriber can, in the long run, offset the cost of their initial acquisition.
Smarter inventory management - predictable sales make it easier to control inventory and reduce costs associated with over or understocking products.
All of the above contribute to a healthier bottom line, but there’s also the benefit of a better customer experience. Whilst this is harder to measure, its value can’t be overlooked. Done right, eCommerce subscriptions enable more personalization, help establish a brand community through authentic content, and give you first hand insight as to how to improve your offering and keep the competition at bay.
This is where your review and subscriptions strategies should join forces.
Reviews are essential for building trust in both your company and the products you sell, and a subscriber is a great source of review content.
To have subscribed in the first place means they already find value in your brand, a sentiment they’re likely to share if you ask for a company review. And depending on the nature of their subscription, you may be able to request different product reviews every month.
When you publish a review as being left by a verified subscriber, you also drive trust in the subscription service itself, boosting your chances of getting new customers on board.
One of the best ways to convince a customer to take out a subscription is to show them exactly what they’re signing up for. With visual UGC you can share the experience of your current subscribers, selling the concept through authentic, relatable content.
The bonus here is that subscribers are typically loyal brand advocates that are more than happy to submit visual review content on request. And with features like our Video First tool you can really capitalize on opportunity here.
Reviews - or more specifically review attributes - are one of the best ways to collect zero-party data. By adding additional questions to review requests you can learn more about your products and customers to inform better development and personalize the subscription experience.
You can also collect data on how to improve your subscription model. More frequent deliveries? Less packaging? More customization options? Simply ask the questions when you ask for a product review and make your eCommerce subscription the best in your niche.
There’s a lot you can do with the REVIEWS.io and Bold Subscriptions integration, and how you use it will come down to the nature of your product offering and subscription model. It’s all about finding what works for your business, and as always our Customer Success teams are on hand to help you out with that.
To get you started though, here’s a few tips we recommend across the board:
Create unique Flows for subscribers: our Flow tool lets you create custom email journeys based on certain sending conditions and user interactions. When approaching subscribers with review requests, we highly recommend doing so with flows built to suit the subscription journey.
For example, you might choose to trigger a company review after the first delivery, and a product review after the third or fourth delivery once the customer has had time to fully experience the product. If your subscription introduces new products each month, you might choose to trigger a new request per each delivery.
Enable tagging for reviews: when reviews come in you can choose to tag them as being from a subscriber, as well as tagging how many subscription items they’ve received. We highly recommend you do this for better segmentation, particularly if your tech stack includes data driven tools like Klaviyo and Gorgias.
We also recommend you display the ‘Verified Subscriber’ badge in REVIEWS.io widgets, since a review left by someone who consistently buys your products has strong credibility.
Include the subscribe button in shoppable galleries: one of the most exciting product developments we rolled out last year was the UGC Gallery and Publishing feature. This nifty tool lets you turn Instagram posts and UGC from reviews into shoppable galleries, publishable to your own Instagram, your website and in email campaigns with our Klaviyo integration. With Bold Subscriptions in your tech stack you can also add a ‘Subscribe’ button to shoppable content, swiftly moving customers from product discovery to your subscription offering.
We teamed up with Bold Commerce because we’re committed to working with the best, and as a feature rich, scalable solution the Bold Subscriptions product is an ideal complement to REVIEWS.io.
It’s another great addition to our integration library, enabling eCommerce merchants to build powerful tech stacks that support real growth. And it’s the first of many to come for 2023.