In an era of Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon, the term subscription commerce hardly needs an introduction. While it offers a consistent revenue for sellers, for the customers it offers a convenient means of accessing their required products/services. In the subscription business model, the sellers are able to predict the cash flow and plan administrative costs and the buyers can plan their budget easily.
However, setting up a subscription business is not an easy task. By adopting the right technology and systems businesses have to ensure that subscriptions are fulfilled on time. Obtaining customers as well as retaining them for a long time also involves a lot of effort.
Understanding customer preferences through reviews
In the subscription model where businesses have long-term customers, the sellers have the opportunity to better understand customer preferences and provide personalized experiences which in turn drives customer loyalty.
Customer reviews act as social proof which validates the authenticity of your business. Adding customer reviews to your product page is a great way to improve the credibility of your store and increase conversion.
Tracking customer preferences will help businesses understand the changing likes and dislikes and offer their services accordingly.
Reviews might contain information that your customers are looking for. They can act as an unbiased source of vital information that you missed including in your product description.
If you have a steady stream of positive reviews, search engines like Google will rank your business in a high position in the search results where your potential customers can find it easily.
The insights you gain from the user-generated content and the impact social proof has on your subscription business cannot be stressed enough. Let’s look at how we can generate more reviews from your subscribers.
1. Politely ask for reviews
Customers are often more than willing to offer reviews. You just have to politely ask them for it. Businesses can use different channels to reach out to their customers- email, messaging apps, etc.
Review requests were traditionally sent through emails. With the increasing popularity of messaging apps, lots of tools to send requests as text messages have been introduced. Unlike email review requests these have better open rates and won’t end up in spam folders. By sending review requests through messaging apps, you can reach out to the 2.2 billion messaging app users across the world.
2. Tell the customers how important the reviews are
Businesses can gently remind customers how important their reviews are. Tell them how the reviews will encourage hesitant buyers to make a purchase. When the customers understand how important their reviews are for your brand, they are sure to support you.
3. Time the review requests appropriately
Timing is crucial when sending review requests. If sent too early it might reach a customer who hasn’t yet received the product. If it’s sent many days after the product is delivered, the customer, even though happy with the product, would’ve lost the enthusiasm to send a review. You need to have an idea of your average delivery time and send your requests according to that.
Timing will also depend on the kind of product sold. For some products like clothes, accessories, etc it is possible to time the review requests to reach the customers immediately after delivery whereas for items like health drinks you might have to wait a little longer.
4. Provide a great experience
A good experience with the brand will motivate the buyers to leave a positive review. Great customer service and organized/fast shipping can leave a good impression on the customers and prompt them to leave a good review. Even if the customer is upset with a late or damaged package, with the right kind of handling, brands can pacify them and win them over.
5. Send follow-up messages
Follow ups are very important for review requests. Buyers who might be busy but otherwise willing to leave a review might need a slight nudge. Follow-ups prompt these busy and half-minded ones to leave a review.
6. Make the review collection process hassle-free
A hassle-free review collection process will ensure that your requests get maximum conversion. Any glitch in the process will discourage the customers and they might leave off in between. Make the entire process as smooth and intuitive as possible.
7. Offer an incentive
Brands can reward customers for their reviews by giving them discount coupons, special deals, giveaways, etc. Happy customers are sure a put in a good word about your brand.
8. Make the customers feel valued
Asking for feedback itself will make your customers feel valued. You can add to this feeling by thanking them for the reviews and publishing these reviews on your product page. Publishing the reviews will have a two-fold effect-1) It will make your existing customers happy 2) It will encourage other customers to leave a review.
9. Connect with customers on social media
Tap into the immense popularity of social media like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc. Most of your online customers will be a part of at least one of these sites. By connecting with them through their preferred platform, you can get them to leave a review for your store.
10. Automate review requests
Automating the review process ensures you reach out to maximum customers easily. Automated personalized review requests help you engage with customers better, collect their feedback and publish them on your storefront effortlessly.
Shopify has many apps dedicated for collecting customer reviews. Reviewbit is one such amazing app that lets you collect reviews through WhatsApp. The entire process is automated and can be set up in one click. Reviewbit comes with multiple message templates that can be customized to suit the voice of your brand. You can also publish the collected reviews on your home page or product page using attractive widgets. To know more about the app and add Reviewbit to your store, visit https://apps.shopify.com/whatsapp-reviews.
Customer reviews help enhance buyer experience and lead to steady growth in subscriptions
Subscription business model is steadily growing in popularity. The subscription market is predicted to touch $500 billion by 2025. This recurring business model can be adopted by businesses dealing with products that require regular replenishment, ranging from everyday grocery items to digital products.
It is estimated that 95% of companies offer at least one subscription-based product.
Feedback from customers in the form of ratings, text, and photo/video reviews is a great way to engage your customers. In a subscription business, it’s crucial that you keep your customers interested in your products/services month after month.
If you haven’t already done so, here are a few reasons why you should shift to the subscription model:
- The subscription business model gives an opportunity for businesses to develop strong ties with their customers. Good relationships lead to better retention and repeat sales.
- No amount of marketing efforts would match the word-of-mouth publicity brought in by loyal subscribers.
- Research has proven that repeat customers are 55% more likely to make another purchase than new customers and they spend around 33% more than new customers.
- Better relationships with customers also offer better opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
- Subscriptions will lower the price barrier and make the products affordable to a larger group. For example, buyers will find paying 1000 Rs per month, a better option than paying 10000 Rs in one shot.
- Since recurring billing ensures predictable sales and revenue, businesses can manage their inventory better. They needn’t order and stock more supplies than what is required.
The subscription model is a great strategy to build strong customer relationships and foster growth. Providing personalized services to customers is the key to survival in this highly competitive subscription market. And, collecting feedback from customers is the very first step to take in this regard. Reviewbit is there for your assistance!
About the author
This article is written by the Shopify experts at ReviewBit, a unique product review app that enables small and large brands to collect customer reviews through WhatsApp.