March 27 by Eric Dreshfield
This transformation doesn’t just impact purchasing—it impacts the customer experience across the entire lifecycle. Consider how painless it is to return and exchange items purchased on Amazon and how easy it is to update billing preferences, shipping addresses, or quantities purchased, no questions asked. The new customer lifecycle doesn’t stop at “buy,” it carries through “add-on”, “reorder”, “renew,” and—increasingly for successful companies—”subscribe.” All adding up to top and bottom line growth by removing barriers and costs to sell, fulfill, and serve goods and services to the customer.
As business buyers experience the benefits of agile and flexible commerce in their personal lives, they have come to expect new levels of flexibility and seamlessness in their business lives, too. With 80% of customers demanding new consumption models, like monthly subscriptions and on-demand delivery, the world of one-and-done sales is gone forever. The first transaction is merely a gateway to a lifetime of business, which can be comprised of a mix of complex products, simple products, aftermarket services, professional services, and usage-based services that must be maintained, upgraded, and renewed over time.
The move to subscription services began in telco companies, software businesses, and high-tech start-ups. Now, companies in every industry, including manufacturing, consumer goods, healthcare, and financial services are embracing blended business models that include subscription and “as-a-service” products offerings as a sustainable, growing source of revenue.