It is no secret that subscription box sales are exploding. Visits to popular subscription sites are up almost 3,000 percent in the past three years, according to Hitwise data.i
To gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace, many subscription companies are moving from traditional subscription services to an ecommerce business model. Instead of insisting that “one size fits all,” sophisticated providers are allowing customers to pick and choose the contents of their subscription online. In addition, many of these companies are now housing an ecommerce platform on their websites, selling full-sized products of items customers may find in their monthly order samples.
This ecommerce approach requires significant product customization within a tight timeframe. As order volume grows, personalizing orders to meet subscribers’ individual preferences becomes a complex, labor-intensive process which can be challenging to sustain.
A Helping Hand
Experienced third-party fulfillment providers can be a valuable resource for companies with an ecommerce subscription model – equipped with the staffing, processes and space to handle a variety of configurations based on client profiles, wants, interests, etc.
Saddle Creek, for example, handles all order fulfillment for Vinyl Me, Please, a fast-growing record-of-the-month club. Each month, the club’s subscribers receive a vinyl album along with an original 12”x12” art print and a suggested cocktail pairing in a tamper-proof, customer shipper. Subscribers have the option to purchase additional albums and gear at members-only prices in addition to their monthly subscription orders.
To manage the mix of monthly vinyl subscriptions and personalized e-commerce orders, Saddle Creek designed a custom fulfillment operation that can scale to accommodate growth. Saddle Creek also provides systems and technology, coordinates inbound deliveries with vendors, manages quality control and inspection, and processes returns.
Saddle Creek’s expertise in subscription fulfillment, ability to customize operations and ecommerce capabilities have enabled Vinyl Me, Please to provide record-setting service.
MultiChannel Merchant, April 7, 2016.