Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by LaunchTip
5 methods to generate consistent income with recurring billing
When setting up a subscription-based business, there is an assumption that is made which is incorrect. Most people believe a subscription business means sending out a subscription box monthly to its customers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many businesses that bring in recurring revenue without the need of sending a product physically monthly. It all depends on the product or service that you are selling.
There are several ways that a business can use the subscription method to create a recurring revenue. These are:
- Selling physical products subscriptions (this could be an individual product)
- Selling services as a subscription (something that another company needs for their own business)
- Selling gift subscriptions (perfect for consumers who buy gifts regularly)
- Selling a member or club subscription (could be a club monthly email for example)
- Selling subscription boxes (monthly)
Why should you sell subscriptions?
Keeping steady cash flow
Subscription models provide a steady cash flow, as there’s a consistent source of recurring income.
When a consumer purchases a subscription from your online store, they are automatically charged on a recurring billing cycle. They are made aware of this when they purchase the product from you. This creates a regular stream of revenue coming into your business.
Predicting your future revenue
By predicting your future revenue for your business, you’ll be able to plan your store’s growth. This is important for any successful online company.
Let’s go through an example.
If you have 150 subscribers each paying $12.95 per month for a beauty subscription and you’ve been growing by 30 new subscribers per month, you can predict in 12 months you’ll have increased your recurring monthly income from $1,942.50 to $6,604.50.
Your stock levels
With increased subscribers, you know you’ll have to order more products to keep up with the demand. By using the calculation above, you’ll be able to work out how many products you’ll need to order for each subscription box. Forecasting this will help save you money by increasing wholesale purchases and decreasing your production costs.
Subscriptions show you who your loyal customers are and a great part of this is seeing how much they love your product. Consumers won’t subscribe and continue their subscription if they don’t like the product. From the beginning, you’ll be able to build up a loyal customer base. In time, you can use this to market new products to.
Selling physical product subscriptions
The product that you choose to sell on a subscription can work for any type of product a consumer is likely to run out of. This includes products such as cleaning supplies, beauty and cosmetic products and tea and coffee. The likes of Amazon now offer a subscription service, where you can either buy a one-off product or subscribe for that product to be sent regularly so you never run out. Offering free shipping with a subscription business is a great way to boost conversions.
Selling services as a subscription
Selling services on a subscription model is becoming a popular trend for service-based businesses. This means these businesses do not have to ship physical products, which makes the costs lower. It’s just as easy to set up a service-based subscription service as it is a physical product subscription service.
For example, if you offer a social media management service, you can provide customers with a monthly recurring management cost to manage their social media pages. It means they don’t have to worry about asking for your services monthly, it’s automatically setup for them.
If you want to increase your subscription numbers, you can try rewarding your customers with discounts on the services your business provides. In return, this means that your cash flow becomes even more consistent with regular orders.
Selling gift subscriptions
Gift subscriptions reach a different audience to your standard subscribers. It’s a great addition to your current business model and the subscriptions you are currently offering. Gift subscriptions are paid upfront compared to the normal subscription. This is another way to boost your revenue. If consumers enjoy your subscription enough, they then have the option to gift it to someone, therefore increasing your revenue and customer base.
Selling a member or club subscription
Another great idea for creating a recurring revenue monthly, is to create a membership area or club on your store. Jack’s Flight Club does this very well. Consumers sign up to a newsletter to receive details on cheap flights. They offer a free and premium version. The premium version is a payable monthly fee but customers receive more details newsletters more often than free members.
Getting customers to transfer from a free version to a premium, paid version is a great to increase your monthly recurring revenue and keep hold of your customers.
Selling monthly subscriptions
We’ve touched briefly above on why monthly subscription boxes are a great business model. It is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get a monthly recurring revenue.
Graze is a fantastic example of a monthly subscription. You can get healthy snacks sent to your door monthly. They give the customer the ability to choose which snacks they want sent or they can be picked at random. It depends whether you like surprises or not!
What to do next
If you’re looking to increase your store’s revenue, you can look at offering a subscription-based service. You can also check out our upsell app, SellUp. It allows Shopify store merchants to upsell products, whether it’s on the product page or post purchase.