Subscription e-commerce is becoming increasingly popular for consumer products. These include groceries, pet items and beauty items. But B2B merchants can also offer subscriptions.
B2B sales are traditionally based on relationship – a sales representative interacts with a buyer. This dynamic sometimes makes B2B traders wary of digital services and slow to adopt e-commerce. Similarly, B2B decision makers are often unsure of how subscriptions apply to their business.
Digital subscriptions are easier than ever to implement. The features are the same for the B2C and the B2B. The difference lies in the types of products.
Benefits for B2B Trade
The key for B2B merchants is to identify items that customers order again,for example every week, month or year. Subscriptions prevent customers from having to place separate orders while allowing them to control the frequency. Subscriptions can therefore be a boon for B2B merchants and a time saver for customers.
Subscription services or products will bring the following benefits:
- Increase a customer’s value throughout their life.
- Reduce the workload of buyers.
- Increase merchants’ incomes.
- Reduce sales time, effort and closing costs.
- Create predictable and recurring revenues, which helps to secure financing and attract investors.
Subscriptions can also allow B2B buyers to access quality content (such as training) as well as products,tools or services that would not otherwise be available. Imagine that you already offer a fixed-price product, but you improve its functionality and offer these improvements only on a subscription basis. Or else, you offer your product directly, where you limit its features accessible within a basic subscription formula, and where you offer different levels with respective unlocked features.
For example, Amazon Business offers four “Business Prime” subscriptions: “Basic,” “Small,” “Medium” and “Unlimited.”
When setting up the subscription system, look for providers who:
- Are compliant with the PCI standard.
- Notify customers if registered credit cards are about to expire.
- Prevent shipments if credit card payments have not been successfully processed.
- Allow buyers to choose the shipping frequency when ordering initially.
- Allow subscribers to change the frequency or cancel the subscription.
Depending on your system, you will need a web development agency that can meet the technical needs of your subscription project, and that meets the points stated. For example, you have the MX/COM agency, which already offers e-commerce site development services in B2C and B2B,with a subscription formula.
Encouraging subscription conversion
How can business customers be encouraged to buy on a subscription basis? Everything will go through the message and the information you communicate to your audience. With arguments based on anticipation and response to a need, you can use messages such as “Never run out of what you use the most.” This helps to meet the consumable’s lifespan need, since you simply offer an infinite shelf life to a consumable product (for example, subscription use of printers for businesses). A subscriber customer also offers the opportunity to be pampered on time and improve your loyalty rate. Send a gift or sample to each delivery, or a loyalty-based reward (a discount based on the amount ordered, for example).
In short, subscriptions generate revenue for many B2C online merchants. B2B merchants can do the same. Evaluate your current products to determine potential subscription offers.
If you don’t have such articles, why not add them? You potentially have an opportunity to innovate on your products and their added value to enable you to acquire a new revenue channel, subscriptions.