Survival In The Age Of The Corona Virus: Subscription Services Give Businesses A Competitive Advantage

Posted by Karen Erdelac on Nov 10, 2020

Survival In The Age Of The Corona Virus: Subscription Services Give Businesses A Competitive AdvantageIf the COVID-19 Pandemic has taught the business community anything to date, it's that to survive; you must innovate.

Today's smart businesses are taking a page from the playbooks of the media, entertainment, and fitness industries by offering subscriptions. Why? Three reasons. Benefits in customer loyalty, increases in sales, and brand differentiation.

Restaurant Subscription Services

One of the most successful restaurant subscriptions is Panera's coffee subscription, which now boasts more than 500,000 members. Panera launched the service last February, pre-COVID-19, to draw more breakfast customers into the restaurant on their way to work and encourage others to come by and hang out.

When the pandemic hit, and many people were forced to stay at home, there was fear that the subscription service would go bust, but instead, Panera saw frequency jump by more than 200 percent. Housebound consumers with cabin fever took advantage of getting out for a quick coffee run. Panera also found that customers didn't just drink coffee, but they also saw a boost in sales of high margin items like breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and bagels.

Challenges can present opportunities if you are willing to think outside the box. Curbside pickup, ghost kitchens, grocery services are all ideas born from the Pandemic.

Meal Delivery And More

Restaurants aren't the only businesses to benefit from subscription services. Today, there are a multitude of meal kits you can subscribe to. From paleo, keto to vegetarian, and fully cooked to only the essential ingredients, these chef-inspired meal boxes are shipped right to your door. Snack box subscriptions also abound. According to the Mercury News, online data shows an 85 percent jump in searches for “snack delivery” and "snack subscriptions" in 2020, with dozens of companies offering to satisfy cravings.

There are liquor and chocolate subscriptions, and according to the magazine, Wired, cocktail subscriptions. One company will even have a bartender deliver the fixings to your home. The catch is the price tag that breaks down to $67-$95 per drink.

Today, even luxury car manufacturers, including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, are offering monthly subscriptions to their fleets of vehicles. For Porsche, 80% of its subscribers are new to the brand. For consumers, car subscriptions give them access to luxury cars without the hassle of ownership.

So, from coffee to cars, snacks to cocktails, subscriptions are changing the landscape of almost every business looking to succeed today.

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Topics: Restaurant, Small Business