The evolution of shopping from direct to digital methods has impacted profoundly on product and service marketing. Digital shopping, which is characterized by online purchasing has influenced product consumption for both goods and service providers. A purchase mode that has substantially taken over is subscription buying, where consumers place a one-time order, and they get the order delivered regularly.
Most of the customers who use this method use electronic means of payment, so they do have to place an order from time to time. Sellers and distributors who have been able to integrate this method into their businesses have enjoyed their share of benefits, some of which are quite obvious. Subscription models, though, have required companies to change their marketing methods and procedures. Below are ways in which subscription has led to change of marketing strategies;
- Inevitable set-up of virtual offices – Subscription buying is more about prompt product delivery. Therefore, the seller does most of the work while the shopper enjoys the comfort of their couches. However, most product consumer will have issues to raise about the products delivered to them. It, therefore, calls for the supplier to set up a virtual customer service office for Such offices include online forums and a round-the-clock working helpline to enable consumers to tell about their experiences, make complaints or inquiries about products. Companies such as Hubspot have introduced CRMs for such purposes.
- Online marketing – When a product consumer gets accustomed to making purchases through subscription, they get used to electronic means of shopping, and it is quite obvious that their first stop when they need new products or services will be the internet. To measure up to this, sellers have been compelled to depend on online marketing. It includes building websites and blogs, advertising on social media and use of platforms such as Google Adsense to reach out to prospective consumers, as opposed to direct means of marketing where buyers and sellers have a physical meeting.
- Relationship maintenance – Well, everything has its pros and cons. Subscription models have their dark side too, which all ends up on the seller’s shoulders. The seller focuses more on ensuring that the buyer is always satisfied with the product. It is quite difficult to maintain standards at 100%, which is the consumer’s expectation. Most product providers will time and again find themselves using a lot of resources trying to prove themselves and reassuring their customers, while they should be widening their market scope. All these efforts are to seek to stop the users from hitting the cancel button on their subscriptions.
- Working to improve quality – sellers who have chosen to use subscriptions as their mode of marketing have the responsibility of maintaining a “servant” nature while dealing with their consumers since they will depend on the regular subscribers as a market for their goods. One of their marketing options is to keep constantly improving their quality to ensure they maintain their subscriptions. They strive to have something more such as improved delivery services and timelines above their direct competitors in a bid to assure their subscribers that they are still the best choice. This leads to the subscription models rendering business competitions a “survival of the fittest” run, where being diminished to zero consumers is a real threat.
Subscription models have become a game changer in the marketing niche since, while in the pre-digital promotion, we have the subjection of buyers to customer manipulation, in the new subscription models gratification is a must-have for every business. It is a threat to the obliteration of sub-standard manufacturers and distributors since long-term loyalty is the only option left for any success-oriented product and service providers.
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