The Benefits of Bundling for Your Subscription Business
Subscriber retention is a cornerstone of successful subscription commerce, and one of the best ways to retain loyal subscribers is to ensure that your subscription delivers value. Because many subscriptions allow subscribers the convenience to set it and forget it, your subscription business might not always be top-of-mind. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s easy for subscribers to "peace out" and churn when they feel like they aren’t getting the value they desire from your product or service.
In this post, we’ll explain the benefit of subscription bundling, provide some real-life examples and options for bundling to inspire your creativity.
What is a subscription bundle?
Subscription bundles provide complementary value by adding products or services that enhance an existing subscription. More and more, smart subscription businesses have begun adopting bundles as a way to combat churn and keep their subscribers happy.
Real-life examples of subscription bundles
ln 2017, Volvo launched Care by Volvo, a two-year subscription service. The bundle includes the use of a vehicle, insurance (via Liberty Mutual), and maintenance costs all in one monthly payment. And, after a year, subscribers can swap for a different vehicle. Porsche jumped in with their own competing subscription — Porsche Passport. Both are examples of essential bundles, which combine products and services to provide a better customer experience. In this case, the consumer doesn’t have to think about getting separate insurance or worry about where to go for maintenance. One subscription offers multiple solutions.
Another example is Spotify, a streaming music company. In order to provide more value to its subscribers, the company offered an add-on subscription to Hulu, which provides on-demand TV and movies. Hulu is a perfect complementary product for Spotify to offer since they know their subscriber base already enjoys streaming music.
The Spotify bundle is an example of an ‘adjacent bundle’ of an unrelated, but complementary, service. One of the benefits of this type of bundle is that it provides more value to the subscriber while also providing the businesses, in this case, Spotify and Hulu, an efficient new subscriber acquisition source. Each business is introduced to a new audience through the other's subscriber base.
And, an effective product bundling strategy can increase revenue over time. Which explains why some of the biggest names in commerce are getting in on the game. Take Apple, for example. By bundling their music offering, TV, and online magazine, they can provide more value to subscribers who may only be taking advantage of one of the services. When they engage subscribers in more than one service, Apple can help fight the problem of subscription fatigue.
Apple and other brands are also bundling devices that create demand for their apps. For example, Apple offered a one-year Apple TV subscription with an iPhone purchase, and Spotify gave away Google Home devices to their paid subscribers.
Subscription bundle options
As cited in the examples in this post, there are a number of ways you can offer your bundles. By working with a subscription management platform you’ll be able to test which bundles work best so you can generate more revenue per subscriber, fueling your growth. Your subscription management provider should offer an item catalog that enables you to separate the things that you sell from the way you sell them. An easy way to think about it is the catalog is what you sell. The subscriptions you offer is how you sell it.
Some examples of the types of bundles you can offer through your catalog are:
Product – individual items are purchased together creating a package of products, sold at a discount.
Component – combine multiple items into a new product. Think of creating a custom product like a mountain bike.
Collection – mix and match a few different products to create a custom bundle. Collections can be effective for products sold in bulk as well.
No matter what kind of bundle you offer, it’s important to remember that the goal is to provide more value for your subscribers and to drive more revenue for your business.
Improve acquisition through product bundles
Offering bundles can be a highly effective way to combat subscriber fatigue, provide greater convenience and better customer experience, and acquire new subscribers. The efficacy of this marketing effort comes down to understanding what competitors are doing and how consumers respond.
Benchmark data is critical to designing specific tactics for your business. Recurly has compiled the data of over 2,200 leading subscription brands to inform your acquisition strategy.
Check out The State of Subscriptions: The acquisition chapter to get the most recent trends, how they impact the subscription industry today, and how Recurly is changing subscriber acquisition as we know it.