Starting Your Own Subscription Business with Prestashop

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Subscription Business is not new and quite common, especially for the services. Since consumer buying habits are trending toward more simple and hassle-free shopping experiences, more and more companies are jumping into the subscription space and seeing incredible growth. It's not difficult to use it on your Prestashop website.

Selling a one-off digital product, service or course may offer you instant gratification. You get an email saying you've made a sale and the money turns up in your bank account. However, you then need to work hard to get a new customer to make a purchase.

One of our clients, Rajković, sell animal food and feeds in Prague, Czech. His products are very good and his clients are very lovely.

But he told me "Frank, i'm losing. I'm spending too much money on advertising."

This costs time and money. So why not try maximising your revenue – and easing your cash flow – by persuading customers to sign up to a membership/subscription? That way your initial marketing investment pays off month after month after month.

Starting Your Own Subscription Business with Prestashop

Most dogs seem to generally share a common lifespan, bringing us roughly 10-13 of the best years we've ever had. And they also need to eat everyday. If Rajokvic's clients buy some products today, that means they might want to buy next week.

Businesses across all industries seem to have a complicated relationship with millennials, and subscription-based businesses are no different. Most love the buying power and brand loyalty of millennials but struggle with attracting and connecting with them as customers.

Get ready to unlock the mystery — or have it unlocked for you, really. This millennial is spilling the secrets on how to sell subscriptions on your Prestashop website.

Before diving into all the details of selling subscriptions, let’s quickly address what is subscription and why we’re so attracted to subscriptions.

I. What is the subscription

How are you paying for your newspapers or even the milk that is delivered to your doorstep? Do you pay on a daily/one-time basis ? No. We pay on a monthly basis. Our credit card or the bank account is automatically charged at a given date every month. And that is called Subscriptions.

Another example : Think about the aerobic clubs for ladies. They collect a bi-annual or annual subscription from us in the name of membership.

Do you see that ? People are used to the subscription economy. So why not we sell our products and services on a subscription basis and collect recurring payments on a monthly or annual basis?

II. Why should you start your own subscription business

Way back in 2008, when I was a student, I got a gig with my cousin - the CEO of a small Accounting Education that had started by selling individual training series that matched up with one career certification exam.

That business grew to around $500.000 per year, doing that, with an average customer value somewhere around $170.

Then, rather than selling one training series, for one exam, they started bundling all the videos for an entire certification program together, and selling that all at once. The business grew up to about $2 million.

After I got there, we launched subscription access to all our training content and it changed everything - we had customers paying $800 per year, instead of $400 over their entire life with the business. My cousin's business grew to $4 million within a couple years, simply by focusing on selling subscriptions.

The subscription model owes its success to the optimal balance of value it provides to both the company and the customer.

For customers, the value lies in the convenience.

First, there’s the autopilot simplicity of subscriptions that removes the thinking out of a purchase decision. Subscribers never have to remember to reorder every month, which gives them the reassurance that they will have whatever they need before they actually need it.

Second, subscriptions offer a flat rate which helps customers stay within their budget -- always. Lastly, subscriptions usually bring added value to the customer through bundling or getting it all for the price of one.

For businesses, the value of a subscription is the ability to predict revenue through recurring sales.

In fact, recurring revenue is perhaps one of the most compelling factors in a company valuation. This consistency in revenue also allows subscription-based companies to easily calculate the lifetime value of a customer, manage inventory, offer simple pricing and many other business benefits.

Do you know how much money your Prestashop website will make in any given month ? The obvious answer will be NO. But if you sell your products on a recurring payments basis, you know how much you are going to generate by selling online.

Offering Subscription on your Prestashop store offers a very good return on investment. Because, a newly acquired customer is likely to make repeated payments / purchases for your products and services.

Every online business invests heavily on acquiring customers. What would be the use if you had spent hundreds of dollars on acquiring a customer and could not retain him with repeated purchases?

Better Customer Retention

The higher percentage of customer retention is one of the most trusted ways of increasing the profitability of any business. Your Prestashop website will have a better chance of success if you get the customers to return and make repeated purchases.

Loyalty and trust

The first step to success in the business is establishing loyalty and trust among customers. It is not the money. Never. Customers hunt for values through experience. If you offer a very good product or a service, they will stick with you.

We have launched Paypal Subscriptions & Recurring Payment about 1 year ago in a small way. We wanted to offer a simple, easy-to-use subscription solution for Prestashop merchants, and we have more than 500+ downloads!

Even if your product or service does not have a large advertising budget than the competition, they will recommend your product with their partners or customers.

The cross-channel marketing report says 70% of the company has shifted or chosen subscription based business after seeing an upsurge in the profit line. So, don't be lated!

III. What you can sell through a Prestashop subscription product

Find something in your house or routine that you don’t want to run out of, is easy to ship (not heavy or perishable), doesn’t have a ton of legal red tape and presents a reason for a subscription so you can generate monthly recurring revenue.

What do you got?

  • Food
  • Animal Feeds
  • Skincare
  • Hair dye
  • Underwear
  • Candy
  • Toothpaste/toothbrush
  • Baby diapers
  • Vitamins or Whey Protein

Almost anything can be sold on a subscription basis, with varying levels of success.

The really successful ones, though, are the boxes that create the sense of need in their subscribers.

Rules for Selling Subscriptions

People buy because of what they can get right now - This is, first and foremost, the biggest rule of selling subscriptions. People want instant gratification. And if you offer it as part of your subscription offer, you’ll get a lot more customers.

Paypal Subscriptions & Recurring Payment module allows you to setup the delivery date for the subscription plan. When the customers buy the subscription product, they can choose the date that you know.

On the next payment date of a subscription, Paypal Subscriptions & Recurring Payment will generates a new order then you always know to delivery the product ASAP. This Prestashop module is compatible with Prestashop 1.6 & Prestashop 1.7

Your customers do like convenience

And you know they will accept ongoing payments if the benefit justifies it. Your customers can choose the delivery date. They can cancel the subscription (churn) on your website (if you allow) - that means cancel an order on the future. You see ? Everything is very simple!

Your customers will eventually become your cash cow. Because a new subscriber costs a lot to get in the first place. But a previous subscriber usually costs a pittance to maintain. Make sure you’re staying connected and still delivering a ton of value, and you’ll keep them happy for a very long time.

This will cause your subscriber base to continue to grow and grow and grow, and your profits with it.

Capture More Residual Revenue with Recurring Payments

Author : Frank Nguyen
Frank Nguyen

The founder of the Owaci, a fast-growing ecommerce company, main developer of PrestaSOO team. Subscribe to receive his articles to show you how to manage, develop your Prestashop website.

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