Subscriptions and Food: Tasty Treats or Spoiled Goods?
If you’re part of the food industry, you’d better be paying attention to the potential for subscription disruption.
- Amazon bought Whole Foods, opening a whole barrel of speculation about what will happen with when you mix organic food and drone deliveries.
- Blue Apron reports both money and customers falling off the plate (see the Bloomberg article here).
- Albertson’s gobbles up the meal-kit company Plated. (See the article in Fortune.)
If you invest in (or work for) subscription meal kits, this Halloween might be a particularly spooky time. Robbie Kellman Baxter wrote a terrific blog post about the subscription meal box industry and its inevitable changes: The Beginning of the End for Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Gobble and the Rest of the Meal Kit Companies.
What about subscriptions to restaurant meals? That’s a tougher nut to crack. (Goodness, I’m having fun with the food metaphors). Check out this post about MealPal, entitled What I learn after 30 days chasing my subscription lunch.
Finally, Amazon caught my attention with a Prime Surprise Sweets box. It’s not quite a subscription – it’s a box you order on demand. They even give you a dashboard button you can hit whenever the urge for sweets hits.
This could be trouble for people like me:
Are You Subscribing to a Guilt Trip?
Do you ever feel subscription guilt? You know you do. (I’m eyeing my enormous pile of unread New Yorker magazines right now.)
How about your subscribers? Do they feel guilty about not using it enough to compensate for the cost? If so, think about what that means for long term retention.
A comment conversation with Robbie Kellman Baxter led me to write this post: The Subscription Guilt Trip.
When the Business Model Holds the Key To Value
The subscription businesses that interest me most are those in which the the business model adds value in and of itself, beyond convenience or cost.
StitchFix is one example. You subscribe to clothing and a personal stylist makes selections for you. The longer you remain a subscriber, the better that stylist knows what works for you. The value grows for everyone.
As someone who is stylistically challenged, I can see the value to being a long-term subscriber. See this recent article in the New York Times: How to Use Clothing Subscription Boxes to Find Your Personal Style
Other Resources You Might Find Useful
A Book on Writing in the Workplace: I’m tooting my own book’s horn, but The Workplace Writer’s Process just earned a nice review in Publishers Weekly. My favorite line: “This guide will be invaluable for many a professional library.”
B2B Marketing Research: Every year, Marketing Profs and Content Marketing Institute collaborate to release B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. This year’s report doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t seen it, check it out now. I guarantee you’ll find something useful.
Home Page Smarts for SaaS Businesses: Barry Feldman published this relentlessly useful post on SaaS home page smarts. Check it out: SaaS Websites: Content, Copy & Design Ideas for the Homepage.
SaaS Startup Benchmarks: OpenView Ventures surveyed 300 SaaS startups for benchmarks and wisdom, and share it all here. My favorite part: Growth at all costs only works for so long. Amen!
Subscription Insider webinar: Go beyond SaaS management to grow your SaaS business.
November 8, 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern
This online seminar covers the entire digital commerce lifecycle, including strategies for turning “revenue leakage into revenue uplift.” Register here.
SUBCOM 2017: The Subscription Commerce Summit
November 14-15, Marines Memorial Club, San Francisco.
The speaker list continues to grow. Emma Clark from Recurly will share benchmark research into acquisition and churn from more than 1,200 subscription commerce sites. Check out the whole program and register here.