6 Challenges That eCommerce Subscription Businesses Might Face in 2021 and the way Forward

The eCommerce subscription business is not a novel concept, however, things have quickly changed in the eCommerce market within the last decade. Companies succeeded in overcoming the conventional challenges, and today new challenges are getting in the way – especially in the pandemic scenario. The market has grown speedily and one has to compete with more companies than ever before.

Whether you are new in the market or running an established enterprise, you can opt for subscription management software for the eCommerce business. These software manage the subscription process, dunning, and they are scalable enough to integrate third-party applications to offer you a robust platform so as to run your subscription business, effectively.

If you want to keep abreast of the recent challenges that the eCommerce subscription business community is facing, then follow this piece of writing or you can also consult with experts offering services at SubscriptionFlow.

Here are challenges that can become a stumbling block for your eCommerce subscription business:

Subscription Fatigue

It is not only the subscription business model that evolved with time, but customer behaviour also changed. It will not be wrong to say that it was customer behaviour that set new dimensions for the eCommerce subscription business. People have shifted their focus to subscriptions and utilization of products and services rather than ownership.

COVID-19 has given a new pace to eCommerce subscriptions. Though the trend towards subscriptions or recurring billing was already establishing, the pandemic has speeded it up. However, people who have subscribed to many products and services feel burdened and frustrated. This feeling is a challenge for eCommerce businesses offering subscriptions.

You can avoid subscription fatigue in your clientele by:

  • Focusing on fulfilling the customer needs
  • Offer discounts for loyal subscribers from time to time
  • Prioritize customer retention (customer retention is more affordable than acquisition)

Also Read: Transitioning to SaaS Subscription Model—Needs, Challenges, Strategies, Monetization, Management, And All It Takes To Move To A Recurring Revenue Model

Crowded Market

Every day new eCommerce companies adopt the subscription billing business model (depending upon the nature of their business). Competition is increasing with every passing day. You have to be cautious because some people try nasty business tactics and steal ideas from other companies.

A tip to outperform in such a competitive market is to get an in-depth analysis of your customer data and offer a personalized experience. If you are an entrepreneur, it is advisable to closely study the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Offer subscription price that can help you compete and earn revenue.

Use AI-enabled price optimization features in your subscription management software to offer the most competitive pricing and win your customers for the longer term.

Also Read: eCommerce Subscriptions Are Here to Stay—Learn to Optimize Subscription eCommerce Billing & Management to Fuel Stability & Growth in Business

Maintaining Good Customer Experience

The foundation stone of the subscription business is customer experience. Companies depend on eCommerce subscription software for analyzing customer data. Customer journey is mapped to get findings that can help in reaching out to subscribers in a better way. If you have acquired a customer, your next goal ought to retain that customer, and for the improvement in customer retention rate, you must satisfy customers.

Good customer experience is key to minimize subscription fatigue. If you want to improve the customer experience for your eCommerce business subscribers then:

  • Make the process of checkout easier
  • Use appropriate language for dunning (customize your dunning cycle through dunning tools integrated with your recurring billing software)
  • Communicate with subscribers on all channels (e.g. on all social media platforms)
  • Keep a close eye on the changing patterns in the subscription analytics

Also Read: Subscription Retention Begins With Customer Experience Elevation—Predictions and Actions for 2021

Prioritize Return & Exchange Services

When you run an eCommerce subscription business, return and exchange of products should be part of your plan because subscription billing is different from the one-time payment methods. In case of a one-time sale, your mistake of delivering the wrong package can cost you just one deal. However, in eCommerce subscriptions, you can lose your client whom you could sell a package for a year or more. People love subscriptions because they know they are getting exactly for what they paid, and they can cancel the subscription at any time.

So, if you want a long-term relationship with your subscribers:

  • Deal with cases of return and exchange promptly to increase your customer retention
  • Write down your return policy and provide it to your subscribers
  • Your terms & conditions regarding return and exchange should be clear

Dunning Process

Dunning is an inevitable evil that you being part of the eCommerce subscription business community cannot avoid. However, you have to be cautious while sending dunning notifications. The tone of the dunning emails matters the most. The eCommerce recurring billing platforms e.g. SubscriptionFlow are designed in a way that they automate the dunning process. You can send customized dunning emails with your smart dunning management tools integrated with recurring billing software.

Here are some tips for improving the dunning process in the eCommerce business :

  • Your dunning notification should not be a shock or reproach for the subscriber
  • Always add some call to action in the dunning email or message
  • Retry for payment retrieval rather than instantly placing the subscriber in the list of ‘unpaid’

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know about Dunning Management for SaaS Business and how it can Reduce Churn

Delayed Deliveries

One of the best things about subscriptions that subscribers also love is the instant supply of products and services. For example, if a subscriber has subscribed to his favourite car brand, he would not need to wait to arrange money and buy that car rather he just needs to pay a subscription fee (which is of course far less than the lump sum money that one needs to buy a car) and enjoy rides in the cars that he wants.

Thereby, one of the leading reasons behind the success of the subscription business model even in the eCommerce business community is the timely provision of products and services. It becomes a challenge for various brands offering subscriptions for their eCommerce businesses to facilitate subscribers in time. If you want to overcome the challenge of delayed deliveries, then:

  • Maintain your warehouse
  • Act proactively during holidays
  • Prepare for the unexpected scenarios (e.g. COVID-19 caused a boost in eCommerce markets)
  • Think twice before setting maximum and minimum time for product delivery

Also Read: SaaS Subscription Software, a Challenge for Traditional Management Software

Now that you know various challenges for your eCommerce subscription business, it will be understandable for you that you can avoid most of these challenges if you have a robust subscription billing software like SubscriptionFlow for the eCommerce business. You can focus on your core business while your recurring billing platform handles miscellaneous tasks. Whether you are an eCommerce entrepreneur or an established eCommerce company, the platform of SubscriptionFlow is always available for you. Here you will not only get the best recurring billing platform for your eCommerce business but also get consultancy regarding challenges and ways to fight these challenges in the market.