The Rise Of Digital Retail And Subscriptions

Retailers –both online as well as offline, are moving towards the revolutionary subscription model for increasing the overall revenues and setting up long-term relationships with the customers. The digital retail industry has found its wings in the modern subscription business model. A new study report reveals that subscriptions have accelerated the concept of customer loyalty by as much as 55 percent for retailers. Moreover, around 50 percent of the retailers that were surveyed in the given study revealed that they witnessed improved revenue predictability with the help of the lucrative subscription model.

When it comes to digital retail, here are some ways in which the retail business is gaining profits from the subscription model:

  • Galore of Products & Services: Nowadays, it is possible to get a subscription service for almost any product or service. As such, retailers are coming across new, innovative ways to promote even the smallest items with the help of subscriptions. In addition to the usual cases of groceries and clothes, you can come across subscription boxes for flowers, passions, hobbies, vegan boxes, and so more. 
  • Personalized Offerings for Subscribers: A majority of retailers are nowadays making use of the high-end subscription models for offering personalized solutions to the respective customers. For example, The Vitamin Shoppe –a famous health & fitness retailer in the United States of America, is going forward with the concept of offering online assessment to the customers. Based on the same, the online retailer aims at offering a personalized assortment of vitamins and supplements with the help of subscriptions.

Bookabuy is yet another lucrative business subscription model. It is a leading book subscription service in Australia. The company aims at offering a personalized reading experience to subscribers. In this subscription model, the books are customized to suit the unique preferences of the end readers. The company is currently offering both fixed-term as well as monthly subscriptions.

  • Delivery Innovation: Walmart –the retail giant, has come up with the innovative grocery delivery subscription-based service –referred to as InHome. In this subscription model, the subscribers are expected to purchase a garage door or smart lock kit. This kit is available with a free installation service. Moreover, it can also feature a free month of unlimited deliveries. The given model of the smart lock is known to operate with revolutionary technology creating a one-time access code during the time of delivery. 
  • Subscription as a Discovery Tool: Innovators in the field of modern retail are also making use of the subscription model to serve as the discovery tool for the end customers. For example, the base plan offered by Free Your Tea aims at sending around 6 different tea samples to the subscribers after they sign up. This is in addition to the ongoing regular supply of top-grade tea. Then, the retailer asks the subscribers to offer their rating to the company. 

Depending on the user ratings, the business brings forth the customization concept for delivering new flavors of teas from the period of next month of delivery. As a matter of fact, the entire subscription box model is based on the concept of discovery & surprise. Most businesses out there have perfected the skill of sending over a subscription box to the respective subscribers in the form of a present. This allows them to keep the customers hooked for several years to come.

  • The Future of Subscriptions: The conventional process of analyzing subscriptions is gaining instant access to a specific product or service. However, businesses like Wanderlift are converting this process to its advantage by offering subscriptions for relative services that are going to kick in only in the future. Wanderlift is a leading travel company that allows its subscribers to ensure a monthly recurring fee for exchanging tokens that can be regarded as credit cards. The customers can, therefore, look forward to saving around 30 percent if they go ahead with booking with the help of the Wanderlift credits.

The Halo Effect and Its Circle

The delivery of personalized services inspires loyalty and trust within the modern generation that remains phobic to brand commitment. This helps in improving brand value and reputation. In turn, it leads to the creation of the Halo Effect. It is regarded as a retail process that signifies the positive relationship existing between different channels as well as touchpoints of the retailer.

The presence of the subscription-based model can help in boosting the overall sales across multiple categories while leading to the creation of cross-selling windows for the respective retailers.

Customers are willing to spend more money due to the overall convenience offered by the experience. There is a relationship that continues developing. As such, the customers start feeling a sense of commitment. It serves to be an intimacy between the retailers and the brand on the given consumers. There is also the possibility of strengthening the given relationship with the help of cross-selling and upsell opportunities. You will not just observe the spend increasing within the key strategies the users are subscribing to, but on the outside categories at the same time. 

Retailers can continue using this model for testing new products, third-party products or services, and customer experiences before launching the subscription model on a major scale across all possible platforms. The Halo Effect is helpful in proving that brick-and-mortar outlets can help DTC brands and online-exclusive stores to connect effectively with the customers. At the same time, replenishment, access, and monthly-curated subscription boxes can help the retailers in increasing traffic as well as footfalls across other categories and platforms.


Until retailers continue focusing on enhancing the overall customer experience along with a sustainable business model by using relevant data, subscribers are not going to hit the subscribe button. It is possible to keep the subscription rate high by personalizing the overall experiences through automation & AI and through the creation of highly sustainable experiences.