Amazon Prime is, by nature, a subscription under the auspice of membership. Pay an annual fee, get 2-day shipping and exclusive deals. Amazon took it one level further with “Subscribe & Save” where you can get everyday – and not so everyday – items shipped to you on a regular schedule.
In the early days of the global pandemic, I bought a tub of Atomic FireBalls, the fiery jawbreaker candy, to take with me on dog walks. (Fun fact: one FireBall lasts me one mile so I pack extra for long walks and began telling my family I was going on a 3 FireBall walk so they knew when to expect me home!) A month later, I was ordering another 4-pound tub (don’t judge!) and Amazon asked if I wanted a 15% discounted price if I signed up for the Subscribe & Save offer that would come to me every single month. Sure! 2 years later, we’re still consuming more FireBalls than any humans probably should, but we’re hooked.
In the name of research, I just perused the Amazon Subscribe & Save page of what’s available. I found a bunch of things I didn’t know I needed like washing machine cleaning tabs. How convenient! These tabs will come every month which then reminds me to use them because let’s face it, who has a reminder for cleaning their washer every month? Thanks, Amazon!
Read that last sentence again. What stands out? Convenience.
Giving customers something they didn’t even know they wanted. Gratitude.
The Retail World
This week, two popular restaurants announced programs that allow members of the program to get their favorite items on a regular basis for a monthly subscription price.
On January 6th, Taco Bell launched the Taco Lover’s Pass for $10 USD that awards loyal taco aficionados one daily taco every single day for a month. And it’s not just a basic taco on this special menu. Lover’s can pick from 7 specialty tacos including a Spicy Potato Soft Taco that I didn’t know I wanted until I read that.
I bet customers don’t leave with just a taco. For me, there would be at least one order of cinnamon twists in that bag.
Earlier this month, Sweetgreen introduced the Sweetpass that gives subscribers a $3 USD discount off salad purchases every day for a month for the low cost of $10 USD. In just four visits this pays itself off for the Sweetpass holder. Saving money and eating healthy. Winning!
If you’re a retailer or food service provider, think about those regular customers who come every day or maybe once a week on their cheat-day Friday. What are they purchasing every time they come in? Coffee maybe? A fountain soda or iced tea? A donut? What if you’re the only gig in town near an office building. I bet you have customers who come in every single day to buy their lunch. How very convenient for them if all they have to do is show their app and their favorite item is ready. Maybe they’ll add on a little something extra to their order with all that extra money they aren’t physically paying that day.
On the backend, your food prep team will have a better handle on inventory ordering and preparation knowing how many pass holders may come that day. Your CFO might thank you for fewer individual transaction fees. And, your marketing team will be thrilled to have the social media love that this shiny new program will generate with happy customers.
Time to walk the neighborhood. What are competitors offering in this subscription space? Look inside and outside the channel to create a unique offer that customers will love. Look beyond retail, too. Look at movie theaters offering frequent-viewer passes and school athletic booster passes that give parents a certain number of admissions for one price. These online retailers and service providers certainly have interesting offers but you, my retailer friend, have one thing they don’t have: brick and mortar stores that can provide these items in person, on the go and when and where they want them.
Meet the customer where they are. Better yet, entice them to come on over to where you are.
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specializing in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary, cloud-based technology platform allows retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers’ activities in real-time across digital and media channels.
How we do it:
We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.
Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty-driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.
One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty, and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.
Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:
How can Subscription help your business grow?
Subscription ensures recurring revenue by recruiting returning, high-value customers for your convenience retail store. By buying a subscription to coffee or carwash, you make these regular purchases as convenient as possible for your customer. When buying a monthly subscription in the app, your consumer can skip the line: Quick and easy – the ultimate convenience. This allows you to simplify your operation and handle peak hours more smoothly. Find out how we can help.
Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes
I have been involved with the convenience retailing industry for nearly two decades with extensive knowledge of customer engagement and marketing, sustainability, and community outreach. Prior to Liquid Barcodes, I worked at NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) in a variety of roles from event production and management to membership and most recently as Director of Strategic Initiatives and host and producer of the popular industry podcast, Convenience Matters. Before NACS, I worked for several years in the U.S. House of Representatives. I graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Political Science.