Subscription ecommerce is going global! But how will it expand your brand?

by Alina Mudarisova | March 17, 2021

 

Subscription ecommerce is going global! But how will it expand your brand?

Subscription e-commerce has blown up in the last few years. But until recently, it only operated on a national level. In order to scale your business, it’s time you went global.

It’s hard to remember a time when subscription boxes weren’t a thing. Before every podcast had its discount-touting commercials and HelloFresh employed actors for their TV spots, there was a simple subscription model:

COMPANY TOUTS CONSUMERS → CONSUMERS SUBSCRIBE → COMPANY OFFERS MORE

It felt new, even though the model itself was a tale as old as time. But like everything popular, that model caught on fast. And now, the market overflows. Whether a subscription service is offering grooming productsor bamboo toothbrushes, there’s plenty of competition. Brands are going head-to-head in an overcrowded market to not only attract new business but sustain the audience they already have.

Why? Because there’s money to be made. If there wasn’t, the subscription model wouldn’t be as booming as it is.

Just how popular is subscription e-commerce?

According to UnivDatos, their annual growth rate is expected to lift a whopping 68% by 2025. Which means they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

In such a fast-paced world, consumers look to whatever makes their lives easier. It’s sweet spot: people need goods, and they want them on-demand, and want the experience of indulging in themselves to feel luxurious and indulgent.

Which is why we don’t expect this trend to die down any time soon. If the market continues getting more convoluted, it’ll be far harder for companies to scale.

In order to overcome that, it’s time you started thinking globally.

The international expansion of subscription e-commerce

Currently, North America dominates the subscription e-commerce market. Having had almost 70% of revenue in 2019, the US has paved the way for this brand-new way of living. But the world is bigger than that, and the Asia-Pacific region is hot on its heels.

In 2020, global retail e-commerce sales reached $3.9 trillion with the Asia-Pacific region generating approximately $2.45 trillion of that. They’ve also been ramping up their subscription economy.

This is a huge market with even more potential for businesses who want access to a wider audience in a still-expanding niche. And we’re not just talking APAC, but Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, too. Everybody wants what they can’t have. But in subscription e-commerce, international expansion is necessary if you want to grow.

Attracting a subscriber audience

Getting new subscribers isn’t much different to getting new consumers. You should identify your target audience, what they’re looking for, and let them know they’ll find it.

With you.

But you should also figure out how to hit the globalisation sweet spot.

APAC, US and the EMEA are vastly different markets, but they want the same things: ease -of-use, competitive pricing, and engaging customer experiences. When it comes to personal care items, customers value a personalized customer experience that allows them to delight – rather than just something efficient.

In fact, the biggest for subscription-based services lie in customer retention. And the best way to overcome those challenges is to speak the customer’s language.

Literally.

Multilingual support is integral for brands to connect with their international clients. This includes attracting new subscribers but also ensuring they stay around.

70% of end users are more loyal to brands who speak their native language. So, if you want to keep your international customers, multilingual support should be your first port of call.

Global subscription services require global support

One of our core 5CA values is customer support that makes a difference. Our CXperts provide valuable, knowledgeable help no matter where people are located.

We value multilingual support for countries across the globe by communicating with people in their own languages. On their time. Yes, tech is important and there’s some outstanding technology out there.But our key differentiator is in the recruitment process. We don’t only set brands up with our agents: we carefully select the right agents for the job. Agents who are fans of the brands they’re representing.

At 5CA, we’re fans of brands. We know customers because we are customers. And because we’re located all over the world, there’s nowhere that’s out of reach. From Honduras to Japan and Italy to Australia, we connect to people in their own language — because it’s ours, too.

No matter how many translation bots there are nor how precise they become; we believe there’s no replacement for another human being.

Alina Mudarisova