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The shoppers of tomorrow: Subscription in the age of Amazon

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There’s no denying that Amazon has changed the way that traditional retailers do business. In fact, an argument could be made that traditional retailers don’t exist anymore, and that the disruption economy is here to stay.

Marketing experts Bill and Steve Bishop of Brick Meets Click discussed the results of their extensive research on the subscription economy, and how subscriptions can help businesses grow and stand out against their giant competitors. 

Even the experts are surprised: the time to add subscriptions is now

One of the most surprising aspects of subscriptions is, “how truly broad and expansive they are now,” said Steve, “until we really dug into the topic, we didn’t have a full appreciation of the magnitude of it.”

The way consumers shop has changed drastically in the last few years, and it’s going to keep changing. Even if you view it as a landscape of uncertainty, Bill said, one thing is clear, “If you’re interested in growth, you have to look at subscriptions, there’s just no way around it.”

Subscriptions bear a variety of fruit, including customer loyalty

Subscriptions shouldn’t be viewed as merely an additional source of revenue. Bill noted their first purpose should be to offer personalized and curated experiences to the customer, “If you’re trying to build a business that is consumer-centric, you have to ask the right questions: what is your consumer looking for and not getting, what is their feedback on each interaction, and how can you make their input have authentic meaning?”

Once you’ve demonstrated that you want to know your consumer, and that you’re able to provide them with outstanding experiences and conveniences tailored to their needs, they’ll be far less likely to stray to competitors.

Standing out in a jungle of competition

Many retailers are adding subscriptions as a necessity in order to stay afloat with their competition. When they view subscriptions through this singularly focused lens, they are missing the panoramic view of the opportunity to differentiate themselves.

If you’re only seeking to be like your competition, there really isn’t a reason for consumers not to check out your competition. Subscriptions can be used to clarify your unique services and products to shoppers, said Steve.

Hone in on your specialties, and market them with your subscription services. Bill explained that if you offer an outstanding and personalized subscription for niche products, such as ties, shoes, clothing, or personal care items, your consumer is very unlikely to ever search for those items on Amazon or with other competitors.

Jenn Vande Zande
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April 28, 2017
Jenn Vande Zande

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