Almost every eCommerce business across industries is trying out subscription models. In our previous blogs, we’ve spoken in-depth about setting up subscription models.
Now, it’s time to take a deep dive into some of the most successful subscriptions run by global brands.
In this blog, we look at Vital Proteins’s subscription model.
What is the Vital Proteins subscription model?
Vital Proteins is an eCommerce brand that sells protein products. The global brand specializes in collagen supplements that provide benefits for hair, skin, nails, bones, joint health, workout recovery, etc. Its products are available in various formats such as powder, shots, bars, and capsules.
Vital Proteins offers a subscription model for each of its products. Customers can subscribe to each product separately. That way, they can manage the frequencies and quantities of each product individually.
Its subscription model provides many benefits to customers such as a discount on each purchase, free shipping, flexibility to modify deliveries or cancel deliveries, etc.
Vital Proteins — a part of a fast-growing industry
The global dietary supplements market size is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 8.9% from 2022 to 2030. Being a part of one of the biggest subscription industries — health supplements Vital Proteins has managed to establish a simple, yet effective subscription model.
The brand keeps the customer at the heart of its subscription model, and it’s evident from how it presents the subscription model on its website.
We took a thorough look at what makes Vital Proteins one of the best eCommerce subscription model examples and noted learnings that can help other subscription businesses.
9 takeaways from the Vital Proteins subscription model
1. Clear explanation of how the subscription model works
One of the first things customers like to know about a subscription model is — how it works.
People might have various questions — how much it costs, what are its benefits, what’s the frequency, which products are included, etc.
And the hard truth is. people don’t spend more than a few seconds on web pages. And so, it’s critical to craft your content in a way that shoppers can grasp the message easily.
The best eCommerce subscription model businesses follow the practice of creating a dedicated page. Vital Protein has done this, too.
The page not only explains the process clearly but also makes the model look simple and beneficial.
- Their subscription page highlights ‘How it works’ in bold, large font, so it’s hard to miss
- The heading is followed by three steps shown graphically and explained via minimal text
- The steps are easy and also tell customers how they can save a lot
- The three steps mention figures to support the benefits mentioned — see results in just 4-6 weeks and an average saving of $76 per year
- The three steps are followed by a crisp call to action (CTA) button — ‘Get Started’
Here’s how this section looks on the Vital Proteins subscription portal:
2. Helping make informed decisions through gamification
When it comes to health and wellness products, customers tend to be extra cautious. They want to know and buy only what’s good for them. Moreover, customers aren’t sure what products they’d require on a recurring basis.
These factors make it difficult for brands to sell subscriptions. But Vital Proteins has found a way to overcome this hurdle — gamification.
The subscriptions page has a quiz that helps potential customers to understand their collagen match and which products would be best for them. Once shoppers click on the ‘take the quiz’ tab, they’re taken to the quiz.
This feature enables shoppers to make purchase decisions with greater confidence.
Here’s a screenshot of the quiz section on the subscriptions page:
The brand has taken personalization a notch higher with this feature. A short, three-question quiz helps the brand understand what shoppers are looking for and recommend the relevant products.
Here’s a screenshot of one of the three questions:
3. Keeping value proposition up, front, and center
When the value proposition of a brand’s products/services is clear to customers, it becomes easy for customers to understand how they can benefit from those products.
Studies show only 2.2% of companies have effective value propositions.
And Vital Proteins is a company that has not only got the value proposition of its subscription right but also made it a point to highlight it on the page, loud and clear.
The result: shoppers quickly read the four points about why they should buy the subscription. What follows is the call to action (CTA) button that helps the brand drive conversions.
Take a look at how Vital Proteins clearly helps shoppers understand the brand has what they need:
4. Sharing social proof
When we see other people buying products from a brand, we tend to trust the product/brand more. As a result, we adapt to others’ behavior and are more likely to buy the product sooner than we would have otherwise.
83% of customers say social proof helps them make purchase decisions.
Here’s how Vital Proteins includes social proof:
- Includes reviews from customers who’ve used its products on the subscription page
- Mentions the number of verified customer reviews the brand has got
- Shows the feedback rating — currently 4.7-star
Here’s a look at their customer review section:
5. Promoting on the product page
Vital Proteins has a subscription plan that’s truly beneficial for customers. Although its website has a dedicated subscriptions page, the brand doesn’t shy away from promoting subscriptions on every product page.
This tactic helps because it’s possible that all site visitors do not click open the subscriptions page. But when the information is mentioned on every product page, customers don’t miss it.
The product pages include:
- The price of a one-time purchase alongside the cost if customers bought a subscription
- Both the prices are highlighted in bold text format
- The percentage of discounts customers can avail
- Free shipping
- Shipping frequency and that customers can choose when they want the delivery
- The flexibility to cancel deliveries
- A CTA button that reads ‘Subscriber & Save’
The brand highlights the subscription option with the same weightage it gives its product features.
6. Enabling different delivery frequencies for different products
The need and use of health supplements vary from person to person. Moreover, there’s variation in the use of different supplements taken by one person.
For example, a customer might be taking Matcha Collagen and Hair Boost supplements. But the usage of both the products might be different and they may get used up at different times.
To cater to this usage-based need of customers, Vital Proteins allows different subscriptions for each product, so customers can choose the delivery frequency for each product.
Here’s how they clearly mention this feature on every product page:
7. Sharing celebrity endorsement
Celebrity endorsements impact 14% of young (18+ years) consumers. Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing customer-acquisition strategies for eCommerce brands.
Endorsements work especially well for the health and wellness industry because consumers look up to celebrities to learn how to stay fit, healthy, and manage their nutrition needs.
Celebrity endorsements help:
- Grow brand awareness and popularity
- Build credibility
- Spike sales
- Make customer acquisition faster, and easier
Vital Protein has shown celebrity testimonials on some of its product pages. For example, here’s a screenshot of Jennifer Aniston’s review of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, where she writes the product is part of her routine.
8. Including subscriptions on the customer account page
There’s yet another page where Vital Proteins highlights subscriptions — in the customer account portal.
Customers who sign up on the website can access their subscription details on the portal. Customers who have bought Vital Proteins subscriptions can manage – edit, cancel, reschedule, and modify – details through the portal.
This allows a significant level of control to customers – another factor that’s crucial for successful subscription models.
Making subscription a part of the customer account page and enabling flexibility is key for subscription models. Efficient subscriptions apps such as Appstle Subscriptions and Loyalty are designed to provide these features to customers.
Here’s a look at the subscription section in the customer account portal:
9. Promoting subscriptions in the navigation menu
Vital Protein takes a proactive approach to promoting its subscription model across its website, starting from the website’s navigation menu.
Each tab of the dropdown menu displays the subscription promotion on the right-hand side. With this feature, it’s almost impossible for shoppers to miss seeing the subscription option.
And by listing out the benefits, site visitors are more than likely to click the CTA.
- Customers can subscribe and save 25%
- Save 15% on each subscription order
- Free shipping
- CTA ‘Subscribe Now’
Here’s how the Vital Proteins subscription model details appear on the drop-down screen:
Final thoughts – How to get your Shopify subscription model right just like Vital Proteins
A recap of the key learnings:
- Crisp and different CTA text — also help test which one works better
- Mention the savings factor across the copy
- Every product page provides the subscription option
- Go all-out with promoting the subscription model – celebrity testimonials, customer reviews, and numbers to support claims
Most eCommerce businesses have set up subscription models. But few succeed. Why? Because a good subscription model requires thinking end-to-end about the buyer journey.
The subscription model has to be designed with attention to detail covering all features that customers have come to expect from subscriptions. On average, every consumer has signed up for at least one subscription.
If you’re setting up a Shopify subscription model, you need an expert subscriptions app solution.
Appstle Subscriptions and Loyalty app, the best Shopify subscription app, offers the flexibility and customization capabilities required to establish and grow your subscription business in the sea of options in the eCommerce space.