Tips for Optimizing Your Online Store for Subscriptions

Subscription-based eCommerce is all the rage today. There is no limit to what you can buy from the digital marketplace – from software subscriptions to cars, houses, and restaurant bookings, pet products and cosmetics, dietary supplements and gardening supplies, DIY products, and culinary stuff and whatnot!

The Subscription Model or Subscription Box Business is widely preferred by consumers owing to its regularity and simplicity in the entire purchasing and consumption process. Subscriptions are a great way to increase revenue from your online store. The fact that it provides a cushion of recurring income from your store is appealing. This would mean you can use your revenue more comfortably in building the business.

The most important metrics for your sales funnel and growing your subscribers are the sales page conversions, install to trial conversion, the average time from install to trial, and trial to paid conversion. Thus, one key challenge subscription businesses face is that many users don’t perceive the value of paying from the point of the main action.

Before getting into the details of enhancing your online store for subscriptions, let us take a quick look at the obvious advantages of having a subscription model integrated to your store online:

Recurring Revenue Gives You More Stability

When you start with an online store, one of the toughest aspects that you have to deal with is uncertainty. Not knowing the next source of income can become a worry that borders anxiety. The prospect of recurring revenue from a subscription business can surely find you a respite. When you have a steady income, you can focus better on growing your business and the brand more effectively. More importantly, you can be really creative with what you offer and build a solid customer base.

Customer Retention Becomes Easier

In the subscription business model, your customers are getting into a contract with your business for a longer period of time. This would give you a better scope to know them better and thus, serve them better. In fact, this would help you create a virtuous cycle of customer satisfaction and business growth. So, as a result of this business model, you will be able to invest more time and resources in improving the customer experience.

Better Marketing Strategies

Knowing your customers better means you can devise marketing strategies in a more targeted fashion. With the subscription business model, you will have better access to user behaviors and specific interests. Accordingly, you can align your marketing strategies and find better returns on investment. Upselling and cross-selling become easier, as you have better insights on your customers’ shopping patterns. Similarly, you can display testimonials of some of your loyal customers to gain more attention.

1. Feature “Subscriptions” in Your Main Navigation

Whether subscription products are all you do  or whether you have both a regular online store and a monthly subscription option, make sure that this is featured prominently in the main navigation of your subscription website. You always want the option to become a recurring customer to be easy to find. If you can put this into “sticky navigation” (one that always sticks to the top of the browser) – even better.
For instance, the Hubble Contacts website, once you scroll down any page, the main navigation turns into a simple sticky bar with one clear call-to-action – “FIRST BOX FREE” – which is a great way to prompt visitors to take action.

2. Make the Subscription Discount Prominent and Clear

If you offer both a one-time purchase option and a subscription option, always highlight how much a potential customer can save by subscribing. Don’t hide this option behind a radio button, or in gray text, or in the small print. Trust us, it’s not overkilling to make it bright red and place it in three places on the page.

For example, Dr. Axe does a great job featuring the percentage discount you’d get with the auto-shop option, as well as your potential total cost savings front.

3. Provide Options and Recommendations for Shipping Frequency

Depending on the product(s) you sell, you may want to provide more than one option for how often someone can receive a shipment. For a simple $12 monthly box of wacky socks, like Foot Cardigan, one option works just fine. However, an expensive shipment of wine may be too much for someone on a monthly basis. How about a quarterly option? Or a delivery every 6 months?

And, for more complicated timing considerations that may depend on a variety of factors, you may even want to provide a chart.

4. Be Clear and Open About Skipping and Cancellation Options

Don’t try to hide information about skipping or cancellation in the “fine print.” Let your potential subscribers know that it’s easy to skip a delivery for any reason  or to cancel if they’re unhappy. If customers love your product, they’ll stick around  but if they’re unhappy, making it difficult to skip or cancel will not make them happier.

Even something as simple as a callout that says “cancel anytime” next to an order summary can be an effective addition.

My Subscription Business offers the built-in capability to easily highlight how subscriptions work and inform potential subscribers of the ease of cancellation.

5. Show Examples of What’s Been Included in Previous Boxes

If you offer a monthly box subscription, you always want to include examples of the types of items that come in these boxes. People are visual. They love to see photos of what your deliveries will look like. The more expensive your subscription, the more convincing you need to be — which may mean showing the exact contents of the last few monthly boxes you sent out.

Cajun Crate, for example, has a page that shows you past boxes and what was in them.

Final Thoughts

Make The Process Effortless! Reduce the friction and all unnecessary steps needed to subscribe. With a careful focus on your target audience and by maintaining good customer relationships, you can easily create a great online store for subscriptions.

We at My Subscription Business are, in the simplest terms, a subscription-first business. Our focus on subscribers sets us apart in crucial ways from our competitors. We are not trying to maximize clicks or win the pageviews arms race. We believe that the more sound your business strategy is the more your relationship gets stronger with several million people around the world that are willing to pay for your product(s). Since it is important to become better at building and maintaining meaningful relationships with subscribers.

Wondering how to get started for a targeted subscription store design? Or, struggling with Conversion Rates? Reach out to us at, and we will get right back to you. We are the world’s leading subscription-based website design, development, and marketing company helping small and medium entrepreneurs achieve big through their subscription businesses.

Share on:

Umang Suneja is the Co-founder of My Subscription Business. He is a subscription-business consultant. He is also tech enthusiast, design lover, creative thinker, full-stack developer.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please enter your details, and tell
us a little about your project
in the form below.