The Psychology Behind Why We Love Physical Subscriptions
Consumers love the unexpected even if they are expecting it! Take the latest trend with subscription services (Dollar Shave Club, Stitch Fix, Milk), all these items are things shoppers can go out and buy on their own but instead, they elected to join an elite list of consumers that receive their package on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis and have fallen in love with this new business model. For certain CPG brands and retailers, this is a golden opportunity to build a loyal network of consumers and to prove it’s not just a fad we turn to science ( to fully understand why the subscription business model has had so much success these past few years.
A Sense Of Belonging
Having a subscription makes you feel special to the retailer or manufacturer. As a subscriber, you’re linked. You’re no longer an anonymous shopper, pulling something off the shelf and going about your business unrecognized, unacknowledged. You’re known. You’re a regular. You’re part of a club of people who have created an allegiance with this brand, and this product which more deeply connects you with others who have similar goals, values, tastes. Getting your protein powder delivered identifies you as one of the athletes trying to change their bodies and build muscle. Without leaving your home, you’ve expanded your connections.
Another perk of belonging includes having other product suggestions curated for you because, as one of their regulars, they know the kinds of things you like that would make you happy or help you achieve your goals. Maybe your co-subscribers are using some of these products and you can see which ones are the most popular. (This creates a great cross-selling opportunity for retailers and manufacturers.)
Plus, you probably get a discount as a reward for your loyalty which makes subscribing to this product a better value and an all-around better experience. That’s a powerful piece of relationship marketing right there.
The Excitement of Anticipation
As a customer, you look at your dwindling supply of whatever it is and say, “But my shipment is coming tomorrow!” That’s a completely different experience than stopping whatever you’re doing to go to a store and buy a refill—hoping that it’s in stock. It will come to your mailbox or door, you can count on having that nice, full, container again and you can rest easy. Plus getting packages is just fun. There’s an element of surprise, even if you know it’s coming. And savvy retailers and manufacturers can include coupons or other added bonuses that increase the sense of reward and surprise.
As the whitepaper pointed out, we’re living in a society that feels increasingly disconnected, where everything is digital and anonymous and all we are is data. In the midst of this alienating culture, any sense of connection is valuable. That’s especially true if retailers and manufacturers can connect their products to consumers’ values and personal goals.
Most of us do buy certain things over and over and it’s that kind of customer loyalty retailers and manufacturers seek and seems like a great opportunity for them to seize in 2018.
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