How to sell a subscription product on shopify (even if that product is a dippable egg)

Dippable eggs.

I didn’t even know eggs were dippable. We dip in eggs, right? Soldiers dipped into runny yolks, but eggs doing the dipping? I’m intrigued.

Introducing Perfectly Peckish. Dippable eggs delivered direct to your door (+ dip).

Whatever the source that leads you to discover Perfectly Peckish, you’re going to have a range of questions in your mind. Questions that you, as the brand, need to face head on. And this is the case for any brand that leads with intrigue – ie. presenting something different from what we, as consumers, are accustomed to.

This is a brand that will create intrigue. And if customers love the product, a subscription is a great way to build product commitment and repeat business.

And product intrigue is a good starting point for any direct to consumer brand. But, it is only a starting point.

Let’s dive into the website experience of Perfectly Peckish to see if we’ll end up placing an order.

Combating Curiosity

First question in your mind is ‘so how does this work?

Perfectly Peckish do an awesome job of visualising the post-purchase experience on their homepage:

Simple. You get your box of dippable eggs and dip away.

This does create my first moment of hesitancy. I’ve eaten eggs. I know that egg whites are a tough, smooth texture. They don’t appear to be dippable to me.

So my next question is ‘how does the dip stick to the egg?

On the packaging of each of the 5 varieties the dip is either referred to as ‘crunchy’ or ‘crispy’. Just how do I get these crunchy or crispy dips to stick to my egg?

Our job, as marketers, is to remove hesitancy. To address common questions head on. The key call to action through the homepage is ‘get dippin’.

Dipping is the brand differentiator, the brand experience. Not the product differentiator, but the brand differentiator. I can buy eggs. I can buy dips. Why would I buy from Perfectly Peckish if I can’t get my head around how the ‘dippin’ works?

Never forget to explain the basics

All we need here are a few simple words to remove a common purchase hesitancy. ‘Dips designed to stick‘. There’s a long way to go as we head down the purchase journey and each step of the way you need to uncover what will stop your potential buyer from buying.

If people don’t ‘get’ what you sell from the outset, the job of conversion is made even more difficult.

Clarity (simplifying the need and removing the obstacles to purchase) is your task when you introduce a new product to your customer.

So let’s assume that your customer ‘gets’ your product. The features & benefits all scream hallelujah moments.

Enter the buying phase

And Perfectly Peckish do a wonderful job of selling using Bold Subscription app for Shopify. The product suits the ecommerce subscription model perfectly and the actual selling process itself is a unique buying experience. You simply ‘build a box’ of 10 packs of your choice:

How to build an ecommerce subscription business model

Simple. Choose ten packs, choose how often you’d like them delivered and then eat away… for breakfast, lunch or dinner (dinner?)…

A reminder, I landed on this page having clicked on a ‘start your box’ button on the homepage.

I’m being asked to make a $55 commitment for the delivery of eggs + dips. This is now ‘considered purchase’ territory. Potentially $110 a month if I choose the bi-weekly option. On eggs. And dips. That’s a lot.

It’s nice to see they introduce the discount code at this stage to sweeten the deal. I could be tempted at $40… if I knew what that $40 gave me.

You see, the problem here is that they’re using product/brand talk to describe what I’ll be purchasing – a $5.50 PECK PACK.

Addressing key questions: never ignore the obvious

Do you know what a Peck Pack is? I sure don’t. So at this early stage of subscription commitment I’m left unsure of what it is that I’ll be committing to. It simply requires a ‘(2 eggs per pack)’ inclusion to deliver clarity. I know it’s 2 eggs because I then had to dive into a product page for an explanation. You don’t want prospective customers, at this early stage, leaving a sales page in order to answer the seemingly obvious ‘what am I buying again?’

You have to keep this stuff (describing exactly what your product is) as simple and as clear as possible. You can fall foul (no chicken & egg pun intended) at the earliest stage by not answering the obvious. Never forget that you know more about your product than your customer every will. Never leave your customers with questions in their head. Never ignore the obvious.

Addressing shipping costs

What I really like about the page above is the early explanation of shipping costs – yep, the shipping is free. Always. Too often brands leave the shipping charges to the very last moment. That only causes frustration and further hesitancy. And remember, it’s your job to remove any hesitancy. To make that buying experience as simple and easy as you can.

Okay, on to the next stage.

The bundling of products

I love this image-driven mechanism for building the box

It’s visual. It’s easy. And the yardstick on the right hand side shows you just exactly how far down the path you are to completing your first subscription box. The colour scheme is brilliant. Clear identification of each product through the use of the product naming under each product. There’s a great little overlay hidden behind the ‘details’ button of each product variant that looks like this:

At this stage it’s the first mention of a ‘glaze’. Okay so the ‘crunchy’ dip may actually be… sticky… the dip will stick. Rejoice!!

Making that next buying step so damn obvious

When you’re making your selection you have a header bar showing exactly how many more ‘pecks’ you need to add in order to complete your box ( ‘YOUR BOX: 9/10’)

It’s a highly effective way of hand-holding your customer through the product selection process. You present the finishing line.

What happens when you reach that finishing line?

The header back turns black, you’ve crossed the finish line… it’s now time to ‘CHECKOUT’.

This may well be something that Perfectly Peckish are a/b testing. Persuasive copy. Once you’ve invited your customer to ‘take part’ in a product selection process you want to grant them a feeling of achievement once that process is complete. eg, ‘GREAT CHOICE! You’re now ready to place your order’. Your customer may well have taken considerable time to weigh up their options. Give them a sense of relief once that finish line has been reached. A little human touch can go a long way.

Certainly, this is something that needs to be a/b tested in order to get that messaging right. We can all work from hunches, but with the right amount of data you can work upon conclusive evidence rather than a hunch. It’s a good place to ply your trade.

And on to the checkout

Okay, so now we’re back into the world we know. The standardised shopify checkout process we all know (and mostly love)

At this stage a few alarm bells may begin to ring. A 2 week commitment to pay $55 for my egg & dips.

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

That last hesitancy: how can I cancel my order?

Now, you don’t want people cancelling orders. It’s a headache. However, it’s a certainty. Your product isn’t for everyone, no matter what you sell.

Make it easy for people to find out how easy it is to get a refund, or in this scenario, cancel a subscription.

There’s an often underused way of doing this. See that big white space at the top of the page where the ‘Peckish’ logo is? In all Shopify themes you can customise the banner and the logo on the checkout page.

Let people know just how easy it is to cancel their subscription

Do something simple. Add the following words ‘Cancel Anytime.’ Just give people a simple reassurance that if they’re taking out a subscription that they have the freedom to cancel anytime. They’re not locked down to any long term contract ( think mobile or broadband contracts ). People are hesitant, and naturally so, when it comes to subscribing to a product for the first time.

Hit the ground running selling subscriptions to your products

When you sell low cost products that you know your customer will love the subscription model will, without doubt, work for your brand.

The technology is available to you. Out of the box, Bold Subscriptions is a fantastic product (and from $29.99 a month a great investment) to help you.

The words and the onboarding process… those elements are in your hands. You can’t follow the ecommerce playbook. You’re asking your customer to do something a little different – to make a real investment in your brand (a repeat purchase commitment). And, on that basis, you can’t make any assumption about what your customer knows or expects from you.

Copy, throughout the subscription process, is critical. You position with absolute confidence. Because, you know what? you know exactly what your customer is thinking.

This is just the first stage of the subscription commitment. Once you have that first order your job is then to commit to customer success. To ensure your customer knows exactly what they’re receive, when they’re receive it and to ensure they know how to contact you with any question they have.

Here’s something even better you can do

As part of your post-purchase experience create welcome sequences where you provide further key commitment hooks that reassure your customer they’ve made the right choice. We’ll cover these next week.


Written By:

Ian Rhodes

Twitter

Founder of Ecommerce Growth Co. I consult on the strategy, technology and optimisation processes that fuel profitable ecommerce growth. Each week I write articles to share with you what I learn.


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