Subscription Billing: How to Increase Sales During the Holiday Season

The holiday season has officially kick started.

After a lull due to the pandemic, there’s finally some hope for companies to revive their business and increase sales. One way to increase sales and continue generating revenue is through subscription billing, also called recurring billing.
Subscription-based companies have witnessed as much as a 230% jump in their sales on Cyber Mondays in the past. Overall, the subscription-billing market is poised to reach $7.8 billion by 2025.

Subscription billing makes it convenient for customers to pay till the time they want to avail the service, giving them more control over their budget and usage. For companies, this is an opportunity to acquire more customers and improve the customer’s lifetime value (LTV) even after the holiday season is over.

Let’s dig deeper to know how companies can maximize their sales during the holiday season with this billing model.

How to Increase Sales During Holiday Season Using Subscription Billing?

  1. Leverage promotions and limited-time deals to get more customers:

    Holidays being seasonal give a very little window for companies to increase sales. For customers, the holiday season means discounts and promotional offers. They specifically look for special deals and offers. Companies can make the most out of this season by offering limited-time deals and promotional offers to drive product trials. They can add limited-time discounts to different subscription models to make it more viable for users. The downside of a seasonal subscription is that it might not convert into a recurring billing after the holidays. That’s why companies need to think of lucrative ways to ensure that the revenue continues even after the holidays. One way is to offer billing models that could result in more savings for subscribers if they commit to a contractual term and/or purchase a premium plan compared to a basic subscription. Businesses could also look at flexible discounting wherein; the entire discount is not offered upfront but is distributed over a time period ensuring more returns for the discounts offered.

  2. Customize the plans according to the demography:

    Let’s look at Netflix’s example. They have customized subscription billing plans for all kinds of customers. The higher the plan, the more benefits a subscriber can seek from it.
    By customizing the subscription plan, companies can give more power to the customer to choose the plan that would fit their interests or needs. However, to customize the plans, companies must understand their customer’s behavior. They must understand what the customer thinks and how they make a purchase decision, so they pique the customer’s interest accordingly.
    For example, if they cater to different generations such as Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Generation Z, then they must understand their buying patterns. A customer from the Baby Boomer generation will value the product more than the experience, while a Generation Z customer would prefer to buy experiences over products. The same principle applies to B2B companies. For example, let’s consider a product like Slack. It has different subscription plans for small businesses and also larger enterprises. So, customize the plans depending upon the target audience to make it look lucrative.

  3. Make it easy for customers to pay by offering flexibility:

    Customers may be reluctant to invest in a product due to the economic downturn and tight budget. One way to help customers overcome this resistance is by offering them multiple payment options – ranging from one-time bill payment to monthly, quarterly, yearly subscriptions. Give them the flexibility to upgrade or discontinue the subscription whenever they want depending on the chosen payment plan and promotion. “Try before you buy” is another such promotion that gives the customer an option to try the product before they commit to a long-term plan. Ensure that the benefits of the subscription-billing are known, so the customer automatically opts for it instead of the one-time billing. This way, the company will be assured of a steady revenue stream while experiencing lesser friction in the sales process due to less CAPEX investment required from the customer. They can also upsell or cross-sell more products if the customer shows signs of regular engagement.
    Read: How Subscription Businesses Can Ensure Growth Amid COVID-19

  4. Work towards creating a long-term relationship with the customer:

    Maximizing revenue and reducing churn is crucial for the survival of the company. Studies show that customers usually do not cancel subscriptions unless they find the rates high. So, one way to reduce churn is by offering them attractively-priced subscription plans that keep them engaged with the product, thereby increasing the perceived value proposition. In fact, because there is a continuous flow of revenue, companies can take the risk of scaling up at slightly lower margins in return for bigger revenues. It also gives them a clear perspective on what customers like and dislike and accordingly innovate their products to build customer loyalty. Another way to maintain a long-term relationship with the customers is by rewarding them for their loyalty. Companies can offer loyalty benefits such as special discounts for renewing the subscription or short-term discounts or incentives for referring friends, special bonuses, and many other perks to retain customers. The objective is to let the customer know that their loyalty is appreciated and that the company is keen on strengthening its relationship with them.

Conclusion

Creating customized subscription plans can be a tedious task, especially during hectic times like holidays. Hence, companies must have their subscription billing system in order before they start promoting holiday offers.
An inaccurate and inflexible billing system could frustrate a customer and lead to churn. The only solution to set up a flawless system is to use the right tools and have the right partner to implement it.

Review the current complexities in the business model, find a partner who can understand the business thoroughly, and implement an end-to-end subscription billing system that can be personalized and managed without any hassles.

At OneBill, we help to set up a robust subscription billing system for companies, so they can customize, automate the complete billing operations, and track the revenue generation activities accurately.
Request a free demo here.
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