E-commerce is on the rise. Nowadays, with all the technology we have at our fingertips, consumers expect a convenient, simple, and quick shopping experience. They don’t want to deal with large crowds and long lines. The easier something is to obtain, the likelier it’ll sell. That’s why subscription service businesses are becoming so popular.

Think about the last time you had something delivered to your door. At the click of a button, you sent data into cyberspace and then ended up with a package a few days or weeks later. You’re not alone — studies by BigCommerce show that 96 percent of people in the U.S. shop online. It’s not a trend that’s going away any time soon.

Subscription services are becoming more and more popular because of their convenience not just for the consumer, but for the owner as well. You’re cutting costs for yourself that you’d normally have to pay if you owned a retail store.

If you’re looking to create a subscription business, you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect.

Here’s a plan for what you need to get started.

Develop a niche

When it comes to business, it’s infinitely better to stick to a niche subject rather than stay general. No one wants to subscribe to an all-you-can-eat type of service because they know it won’t be the best if it specializes in everything.

Pick a niche for your business and own it. It’s likely you won’t be the first of your type in the subscription service, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. Whether it’s snacks, skincare products, or wine, think of ways you can stand out from services similar to yours.

The more you can narrow down what kind of products you sell, you’ll have a clearer idea of who you’re selling to. Fleshing out your audience is an important aspect of any business because it tells you who to target. Who is going to buy from you? More importantly, who’s going to continue to buy from you time and time again?

The whole point of a subscription service is to build a clientele of consumers who eagerly await their next order. It’s not enough to sell to customers who like a product here and there and eventually unsubscribe from your products. Take time to think about what your customers want next and they’ll keep coming.

Flesh out your business model

Think of all the details you need to know to get your business started tomorrow if you could.

Here are a few things you need to map out before getting started:

  • How often your subscription will be sent out
  • How much revenue you plan to make in the upcoming months and years
  • A budgeting plan
  • The number of products that will come with each purchase
  • What each subscription costs so that you still gain revenue
  • What strategies you’ll use to promote your brand
  • A customer service strategy including return and exchange policies and cancellation fees

You need to come up with pricing that isn’t so steep no one can afford it, but not so cheap you don’t make a profit. CrateJoy suggests pricing your product or service around a 40 percent margin.

Create a killer site

If you’ve got an awesome product that you know will do well in the market but your site isn’t optimized, your business has just killed itself.

What’s of the utmost importance is the user experience (UX) because the entire subscription transaction process is online. You don’t have the opportunity to communicate with your customers face-to-face, so it’s imperative you give them a good impression when they come to your site.

There are a lot of ways you can create a killer website with an awesome UX.

You want to give customers the option of paying a premium subscription or not. If you only sell high-priced products, you’re missing out on all the loyal customers who would buy a cost-effective alternative.

Create every piece of copy on your site with a purpose in mind. Know what each page is for and how it convinces customers to convert. Ensure that there are no broken links to any web pages. It should be easy for users to navigate through each page and find something specific if they need to.

For the best customer service, make it easy for consumers to interact with you. Have clear navigation links to a contact page and boost the visibility of your social media for rapid engagement. Ask them what they think of your subscription process and the quality of the products. Get friendly with your customers and ask them what could be done better.

Moving forward

The subscription business model is getting more and more popular with time. It attracts loyal followers, brings in recurring revenue, and can be a more personal way of getting in touch with consumers. The most essential thing is creating each part of your business strategy with your niche and the consumer in mind.