robkjohnson.com • @robkellas
Deseret Book Company is comprised of multiple companies, retailers, brands and imprints with currently 68 stores nationwide.
Highly focused on vertical strategy, owning the entire value chain for most of its product.
manufacturing → sales → fulfillment
We had two E-commerce stores with a different product page for each variant:
We changed our E-commerce platform in the following ways:
This is why businesses get disrupted.
Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
We use Braintree's Subscription / Recurring Billing Features
*Numbers as of August 2020
This is the biggest challenge, but the most rewarding.
We've found that some customers only subscribe for specific content. Find out what the demand is and create unique content around the job to be done. Giving your content to other distributors will weaken your subscription offering.
This is critical.
When asking customers if they would prefer to add an entirely new subscription plan versus increasing their current subscription plan, we saw a 44% increase in interest in simply upgrading the current subscription
We've seen an 11% increase in subscribers upgrading to Annual since after the first year we launched
Increasing your annual subscriber share is worth the effort. Seeing growth here is a strong sign of higher retention and engagement.
The traditional book cycle has a first "17-weeks" lifecycle where the majority of sales occur in the first 17 weeks. Subscriptions changes this significantly.
Consumption of audiobooks and eBooks has a very long and thick tail.
Focusing on "now available" messaging, related products and merchandising space to aid discovery is very important.
We've not implemented a recommendation system yet, but know that would be very valuable also.
Our subscriber consumption data shows that customers are often initially drawn to subscribe for certain desired content. But what keeps them as subscribers is content that they wouldn't have initially subscribed for.
Define the amount you're willing to spend on acquisition. A general approach for the most aggresive plans is to put back into marketing all the revenue earned for the first 1-2 years.
Ensure that the positioning of your subscription brand is above the product it contains. Each message will provide greater awareness and perceived value of the subscription instead of the ephemeral product.
Subscriptions are everywhere. Don't be the one to require a notorized and posted letter to cancel.
The worse your cancelation experience is, the less likely your customers will be to sign up again.
Start/Stop subscription behavior will become the norm.