One of the latest e-commerce manias to sweep the web in recent times is the rise of subscription-based delivery businesses. Every month, companies like Dollar Shave Club, H.BlOOM and PetFlow to name just a few send out packages to their satisfied customers. By saving their clients time and more importantly money on purchases they’d make anyway, they often rake in loads of cash without a ton of effort. You too can capitalize on this emerging e-commerce craze with a bit of planning and creativity.
To run a successful subscription-based e-commerce business, you need to find the right market sector to tackle. While there’s money to be made in any niche, it’s critical that you identify a group of customers who need a collection of products that are a pain to purchase individually. By delivering high-quality goods with a unifying theme, you can attract more customers than you’d ever be capable of hawking specific items. Even seemingly trivial products like cleaning supplies could make for a blockbuster subscription-based e-commerce outfit.
Once you’ve pinned down your desired niche, it’s time to actually assemble a plan of action and get your first packages in order. Contact suppliers and wholesalers early to lock down long-term, bulk contracts. Include at least one or two regular items as well as one or two unique products every month to add an element of surprise for customers. Do some market research to figure out what combination of items are most likely to please your clients.
Now that you’ve determined what you’ll be shipping, you need to set up your digital infrastructure. A simple Shopify store is one way to play it. However, Member.ly is without a doubt the best option for subscription-based e-commerce entrepreneurs. Inside of a few months, you should be able to identify which goods are worth stockpiling. Building up inventory allows you to negotiate great deals with suppliers. Keeping a close eye on analytics feedback will help you to determine which products will potentially be popular with customers in the future.
Regardless of how great your subscription e-commerce business may be, you’re not going to get anywhere without evangelizing. Effectively marketing your new business is integral to your success. Begin by finding out where your niche hangs out online and aggressively pursue that angle. Use content marketing via forums and social media platforms to generate organic buzz. Google+ and Facebook will probably be your best bets in this regard. In addition, PPC promotional vehicles like Google Adwords will help you to jump-start your advertising.
Keeping an eye on the day-to-day necessary actions as you grow in the early stages will largely determine your business’s success or failure. Developing brand loyalty by listening to your clientele and delivering the goods each and every month is key. Subscription-based e-commerce isn’t rocket science if you understand a bit about economics and marketing psychology. If your product offerings are a bit too esoteric, go a little more mainstream to appeal to a wider range of consumers.
The beauty of subscription e-commerce is that it’s infinitely expandable – if not infinitely scalable. All you need to do is find the right supply gap in the market and fill it. While the road from inspiration to profit can be a long one, great rewards await you if you can see your vision through to the end. Your job will be to find the best of what’s around and serve it up to the masses. Do this and you’ll never want for business.