Haven’t looked into the benefits of setting up Autoship yet? If you’re trying to build a larger customer base and make more money, Autoship is a great way to streamline your revenue and create a more efficient business process.
Autoship works by allowing customers to configure recurring orders that are shipped at their convenience. In just a few clicks, shoppers can easily select the quantity and delivery frequency of the product. Your online store sets up the delivery schedule and automatically
- produces a new order,
- captures payment and
- notifies the customer on the delivery date.
What are the benefits to the store owner? Take a look below.
6 reasons to offer Automatic delivery of products
1. Increase revenue with recurring orders.
Selling perishable goods means the buyer will have to restock after a certain amount of time. When that time comes nigh, you want your customer to return to your store—not shop around elsewhere. With Autoship, it’s easier for the customer to set up a recurring order, guaranteeing you the sales (and the revenue) that you could have lost just as easily to a fresh web search.
2. Save customers time with automatic billing.
It doesn’t matter how simple your checkout process is—there’s still the potential to lose customers before they make the purchase. With Autoship, your customer’s payment information is saved and payment is automatically deducted when the scheduled product ships.
3. Build brand loyalty.
Want loyal customers for life? By generating recurring orders consistently, you’ll expose your brand to your customers more often, building brand trust and loyalty as a reliable online retail store.
4. Make sales forecasts more accurate.
When you crunch your expected sales at the beginning of the month, you can be sure of orders set up through Autoship, giving you a more accurate sales forecast. Planning is a cinch when you know that you’ll have a certain amount of orders prior to the sales period.
5. Gain tighter control over inventory.
In the same vein as your sales forecast, you can more accurately prepare for your month by understanding how Autoship orders play into your inventory. Business is all about planning, and making sure you have an accurate supply of inventory makes planning simple through Autoship.
6. Differentiate from the competition.
In the same way you could lose customers you don’t lock down, Autoship gives you a prime advantage to steal some of that business away from your competitors when new customers find your store online.
Become a Lifeline For Your Customers With Autoship
For several years now, the business model for online stores has been pretty similar, based on the concept of a one-off purchase. It's all about getting that one conversion – getting a brand-new customer to visit, get to know you and your brand, and then make that purchase. More often than not, that first sale is also the last one: The customer had a specific need, you fulfilled it, end of story.
To get that one sale, you needed to put in a lot of effort on finding the right brands and products to sell, writing good promotional copy, promoting via social channels and the myriad other actions that combine into creating a successful store. What if you could leverage all of that effort into a continuous revenue stream from that customer? Something that didn't end after just one transaction, but kept recurring, generating revenue and building a real relationship with that customer.
Introducing The "Subscriber and Save" Autoship Program
Autoshipping is a feature that allows the customer to set up recurring shipments of items. Of course, some items really are a one-off deal: Nobody is going to want a new 50" HDTV shipped to their doorstep every week. But there is a whole class of items, consumable goods, for which recurring shipments are the perfect solutions.
Think about it: What if you never had to worry about a toner cartridge for your printer ever again? Every few months, a new toner cartridge would just show up at your doorstep, all ready to use. And how about printer paper, or many other office supplies such as pens or even sticky notes?
All of these items are not within the traditional realm of the online marketer. After all, who would go through the trouble of searching, browsing, and shopping online only to buy two or three packs of sticky notes? But the moment autoshipping comes into the picture, everything changes. Suddenly, these purchases make perfect sense. You're not just buying (or selling) pens. You are "solving the pen problem". Once a person signs up for autoshipping with you, they will never have to worry about that product ever again. For them, it's a problem solved. For you, it's a steady revenue stream that you don't have to think about. Automation at its best.
Not Just For Office Supplies
Office supplies are just one class of consumable goods. How about personal hygiene products? Take HoseAnna.com for example: This is an entire website built around autoshipping women's legwear, health and beauty products. A customer can sign up once, and get a regular monthly refill for their goods without ever having to think of it again.
The same goes for men, too: Websites such as Jockey.com have an autoship plan where discerning male customers can sign up for routine shipments of basic underwear.
A Way to Differentiate from Your Competitors
In today's highly competitive eCommerce marketplace, being different is more important than ever. That sounds very trite, but it's also very true: To be noticed, you need a good story, an interesting angle, a unique value proposition. Otherwise, what makes you different from the next guy? Why would someone shop with you and not with one of the millions of other sellers available online?
Autoshipping is not the only answer to this question, but it is certainly one answer. With autoshipping, you get to kill two birds with one stone: Get a steady revenue stream and tell a unique story in a growing niche.
Cater To Consumers Who Don't Want To Consume
Autoshipping allows you to sell to a new and exciting group of customers: Those who don't like to shop. For these people, shopping (online or offline) is more of a chore than a joy. They just want to get what they need, and move on with life. Autoshipping offers you a unique chance to capture those customers and turn them into your best asset: Rather than trying to make them into enthused shoppers, just help them get what they need with maximum efficiency, over and over again.
Implementing Autoship in your Online Store
So, this is the "why" of auto-shipping. If you're now curious about the "how", rest assured that with 3dcart, it is simpler than ever before. Check out our recurring orders solution to find out more.