3 ways subscription ecommerce can help you scale your business and grow revenue

We’ve been seeing a significant shift in how businesses are interacting with their customers. Ecommerce spiked dramatically during the pandemic, with total spend jumping 32.4% from 2019, according to Q4 figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Global online sales hit close to $4.29 trillion in 2020 and are expected to continue to rise


During the pandemic, we’ve seen the meteoric rise of the subscription service around the globe. According to a survey conducted by Paysafe, 69% of U.S. respondents had multiple subscription-based services, with respondents from Canada, Germany, the U.K., and Austria hovering around or just below the 50% mark. It’s safe to say, subscription ecommerce has truly arrived and offers a way for many businesses to grow.

How the subscription model can work for your organization

Dipping your toes into the world of subscription-based services may seem a bit daunting. There’s a lot to consider, but your business can quickly develop a subscription model with the right partnerships. It’s a way to future-proof your business. Chargebee customer, U.K.-based sandwich shop Pret a Manger, found a way to shift their business during the pandemic by including a monthly subscription service for coffee and drinks. Even Amazon has a subscription service with their Subscribe & Save option. 

Naturally, there are concerns about adding or completely shifting to a subscription model. Some things to consider may include: 

  • Growth: How do I expand to new geographies and markets while giving customers a fantastic experience, regardless of where they are in the world? 

  • Building a flexible tech stack: How do I make sure I cover all my bases when selecting a software solution for my organization? Should I build it in-house or focus on a partner who’ll scale with me? 

  • Compliance and inventory: How do I make sure that I’m compliant with taxes regardless of region and that my inventory is up to date without massive coding fixes? 

The way we see it, your tech stack should be at the core, and with that, everything else you need should easily fall into place.

1. Global growth: build a robust business and give customers options

Since the onset of the pandemic, subscriptions have become the "new normal" alongside everything else that’s changed, and this shift has continued to grow. Consumers buy everything from beauty boxes to oatmeal via subscription, and even businesses are using subscription-based services to send gifts to their employees and customers. Adding a subscription model to your existing business will generate additional revenue, evolving with your current customers and gaining new ones along the way.  

Being able to grow and scale your business as more global opportunities are presented is critical. But from regionalizing based on language to offering several different payment options, making sure customers can always experience your website and checkout process without having to worry is paramount. With ecommerce hitting an all-time high, customers expect to be greeted by a personalized, friendly environment from start to finish. 

Going global also means your business needs to comply with international tax regulations that are constantly evolving every passing year. With multiple jurisdictions, changing rules, and varying tax rates, tax-based workflows are complex to manage. But having partners like Chargebee and Avalara on board can make reporting and managing taxes effortless and can help ensure you never have to worry about compliance.

2. Automation: from workflows to customer experience

From the merchant’s side, automation is the crux of the subscription service. You may need to adjust pricing; offer different package options based on monthly, quarterly, or even yearly subscriptions; or set up a unique coupon code. With the right tech stack at the core, you should be able to easily make changes to accommodate different segments of customers or new pricing. This should come without significant back-end worries, such as taxes or integration hiccups that could affect reporting or billing. 

“Subscription billing is the way of the future and has been for a long time,” said Krish Subramanian, co-founder and CEO of Chargebee. “We want to offer a good experience for both consumers and merchants using services like Chargebee to help manage their services. It’s imperative to have a platform at your core that understands how to help businesses scale and has proper integrations. That way, everything you need flows in and out of one place, making it much easier for you and your team to stay focused on larger goals.” 

3. Compliance: peace of mind

For the finance team, taxes and compliance are always top of mind. When you have a system that’s built in-house, it’s rarely built to scale, and there are usually delays when it comes to development, as homegrown dev teams tend to be smaller. These subscription management and recurring billing systems often require massive changes to the code just to expand your business into a new region or even add a new product. The last thing you want to worry about is the risks associated with incorrect sales taxes and falling out of compliance. 

“Everything leads back to the core of the tech stack,” said Subramanian. “With partnerships like Avalara, we’re making sure that any changes to your pricing, payments, or product offerings remain in compliance, giving you peace of mind to keep growing.”

Answers are just a webinar away

These are just a few examples of the way your business can benefit from adding a subscription-based service to your offerings. Now, are you ready to get started and supercharge your revenue? Still not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got answers. 

We’re hosting a webinar on May 11, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. PT, with experts from Chargebee, PayPal, and Avalara who’ll discuss how ecommerce businesses can capitalize on new trends in the subscription era and build a foundation for sustainable growth. They’ll be addressing both the benefits and challenges of subscription offerings for D2C brands and traditional online retailers. They’ll also be sharing strategies for future-proofing your ecommerce business with subscription growth.

Join us by registering here.

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