Even with the retail market shifting away from bricks and mortar stores towards digital channels, the end goal for businesses is still the same: increase sales by converting new customers away from rivals and convincing existing customers to stick with your organisations rather than looking elsewhere.
But in the age of e-commerce there are a variety of different models for enticing people to part with their cash on a regular basis. And a new report from Retention Science has revealed that the subscription-based approach may be the most lucrative, at least for those that can afford to establish the infrastructure that is needed to support it.
The report looks at three main ways to tackle the retail industry: firstly by simply selling products at consistent prices, secondly by offering flash sales, and thirdly by getting customers to subscribe to receive products on a regular basis for a fixed, recurring payment.
Across all three strategies analysts found that the turnover of new customers coming in and old ones leaving left its market on businesses. But crucially the average number of orders made by customers over the course of a year is significantly higher on average for companies that have embraced the subscription model.
While flash sales result in an average of 1.41 orders a year per customer, with regular retail increasing this to 2.36, people who are committed to a subscription will pay for 7.68 orders on average every 12 months. And the commitment that subscriptions encourage also breeds loyalty, if only by dint of the purchases becoming automated and routine, rather than at the whim of the individual.
Another factor which surely plays a part in these figures is that subscription-based sales are a relative rarity in the retail sector and thus their novelty allows the businesses which do take this approach to make major strides without encountering much competition.
As a result it is better that the market does not become saturated, while also being unclear as to just how much growth is even possible in this modest niche.
For the majority of small businesses looking to gain recognition online, it is best to focus on the solid underpinnings of traditional retail models, rather than relying on gimmicks like flash sales or subscriptions to stand out.
As such turning to companies like Media Design Associates to get a cutting edge site that can appeal to first time visitors and returning customers alike is important, and with web design in Glasgow and other places being so affordable and effective, there is little reason to stick with an outdated site.
Indeed companies are currently being advised to focus on the usability and accessibility of their sites in the wake of one of Google’s latest algorithm update, since mobile-friendliness is now factored into the ranking process.
Many sites may need to be reconfigured as a result of this, but before pursuing any advanced or esoteric marketing strategies it is important to get the basics right, which today means having a site that is accessible and easy to use on any device.