‘Tis the season for subscriptions. This holiday season will be different from anything we’ve ever experienced. Whether you are a consumer, a subscription business or a supplier, 2020 forced everyone to adapt. Here at SUBTA, we believe subscription businesses are not only the future, but the present. With consumers concerned about leaving their house due to the coronavirus pandemic and e-commerce already experiencing a significant uptick, the subscription industry is expected to grow significantly in the last few months of the year.
Holiday Sales: What to Expect
For many direct-to-consumer businesses, holidays are the busiest and most profitable time. Last year, holiday sales accounted for nearly $730 billion, a growth of 4% compared to 2018. The National Retail Federation also reports that more than 20% of those sales happened online.
This year, with the coronavirus pandemic and several countries forcing their citizens to stay home, those online numbers are expected to rise. In the same article, Forbes says that “Nearly half of consumers (49%) say they are more likely to purchase from retailers that send them personalized content and offers this holiday season.” This is where the subscription industry steps in.
With a growing online market and a demand for personalization, subscription businesses are in the best position to have one of their best years to date, as long as they are ready for it. And by ready, we mean NOW.
Holiday Sales: What to do
Close to 70% of consumers are already Christmas shopping, according to Digital Commerce 360, and have been since early November. We want to make sure the potential customer feels confident in your product. And when it comes to trust, the key is in the details.
Customer Service will play a major role in your success this year. With anticipated shipping delays and a lot of questions surrounding the pandemic, customers are going to be questioning everything. It’s important to lay it all out for them so that they have less to worry about.
How to Optimize your Holiday Customer Service
Chris George, Co-Founder and Chairman for SUBTA, has some insights:
- Have a chat option available for consumers to get in touch with customer service representatives in a matter of seconds.
- Identify questions that you’ll be able to answer without needing customer service (i.e. “Will my package be delivered by Christmas?”). Having a banner on the homepage of your site that indicates the delivery times can fix that easily.
- Make sure your returns policy is clear and concise.
- Be ahead of the curve with the shipping company you deal with. They will give you a “send-by-this-date” deadline. Don’t wait until then, get ahead of the game by a few days to make sure the product is out for delivery.
- Retarget your consumer population: Around the holidays, people involved in relationships will want to get their significant other something. If you’re a men’s grooming subscription business, target females. They’ll be the one buying your product this time a year. If you sell beauty products for women, target the men who are in relationships.
(Want more tips from Chris? Click here to watch his recent Live with more holiday preparation tips)
Staying ahead will be crucial this holiday season, and you should rely on your customers’ feedback to do so.
“Encourage your customers to order earlier because there is going to be so much strain on the shipping and delivering infrastructure,” says Paul Chambers, Co-Founder and CEO of SUBTA. “We’re already starting to see shipping delays that will be out of the control of the companies, but ultimately they will be holding the liability in some way.”
We’re excited for you to use these tips to grow your business this holiday season
Want to stay ahead of the curve and see what the rest of the industry is doing this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. Here at SUBTA, We’ve prepared a guide that includes more than 50 subscription companies that are going above and beyond to bring you the products you need without having to leave your home.
Find something for people on your list using our 2020 SUBTA Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect holiday gift!