The Subscription Economy

Updated: Nov 19, 2019



From digital disruption to the race to innovate customer demands, gone are the days when business-customer relationship are as simple as the swiping of a card.


According to the recent IBM Institute for Business Value survey report,

  • 68% of consumers anticipate organisations will harmonise consumer experience;

  • 76% of consumers expect organisations to understand their individual needs;

  • 81% of consumers demand improved response time.

Businesses are now changing the way they sell their products and services, and the emergence of the Subscription Economy in the last few years saw the influx of a multitude of players - from small newcomers to giant household names in Malaysia.


The new economy puts pressure on businesses to quickly anticipate what’s next - fulfilling the need to constantly flex and adapt in an industry that never stands still.


An interesting trait about the subscription economy is the fact that it’s a win for just about everyone. The model relies on trust and mutually beneficial collaboration to work with its affiliates and consumers. And the reality is, business today is all about access as the new imperative.


Subscriptions are the way of the future where customers prioritise relationships over products. To do this, you must be able to sell, market and deliver based on a clear understanding of customer behavior and continuously nurture the relationship which can be monetised via 3 fundamental pillars.


1. Customer Identity - The shift in the economy creates a more predictable, recurring revenue streams driven by a new type of customer - The Subscriber. The customer identity should now include not just the basic information such as name, mobile number and email address but also purchase history, renewal value and usage metrics.


2. Customer Journey - The formula for growth for subscription-based companies relies on its ability to focus on the customers and delivering rewarding experiences that gets better over time.


3. Performance Metric - The new requirement for the business model includes the ability to track a new set of metrics which encompass customer growth and engagement, transaction performance, subscription revenue and relationship retention (renewals, upsells and churn).


Businesses are not only required to revamp to keep customers engaged in long-term relationships, but also find support through technical innovation to advance them forward. As technology continues to evolve how payments are accepted and by whom, as a result, there is a recalibration of the payment networks to fit the current financial circumstances. This avenue has provided businesses with the ability to give consumers what they want - before they know they want or need it.


There is no doubt that Fintech companies have transformed financial services, disrupting previous methods by combining bold new business models and cutting edge technologies. Some have soared. Others have fallen. And today, Curlec thrives.



Customisation Is Key


The subscription model creates a never ending product, and the customers are seen as innovation partners to its progression. As productivity and inspiration are now continuous, the one-price-fits-all era is definitely over.


Interlinking 3 important fundamentals in business strategy; customer acquisition, customer retention and churn management, the pricing structure is the surest way to multiply the value of your relationship with your customers.


Seeking immediate fulfilment to come with real time experience, the subscribers see less separation between their business and personal selves and expect their transactions to be more personalised. This process would require personalisation of customer experience from initial signup to include upgrades, add-ons, new services and renewal.


Curlec’s Direct Debit offers unending room for flexibility where businesses can choose to customise each payment plan by frequency, value and collection.



Reaching The Masses


In 2017, only about 20% of Malaysians were considered to be credit card holders. Since the subscription model calls for agility in billing cycles, customers are expected to constantly make changes to their existing subscriptions (i.e renewals, upgrade, downgrade, suspend or adjust their services). Automation is the key to optimising collections, and subscription businesses will need to collect payment quickly and punctually.


With Curlec, businesses can now say goodbye to payment method limitations and allows your customers to pay directly through online banking. An added benefit to this is that bank accounts don’t expire and rarely change compared to credit or debit cards.



Build Customer Relationship


Businesses need to understand that growing your active users goes beyond just having growth without retention. Now, payments are accepted via multiple channels such as during point of sale, online and even on the go. What businesses deliver and how you deliver them must be completely changed as running a subscription company means there is a continuing relationship with the customer.


An average subscription has a vast number of order transactions which can change drastically over its life cycle that causes ripple effects on billings and revenue. This is where customer experience becomes the prime competitive differentiator.


At Curlec, we understand that subscribers do not like to be tied down. Give them the option of spreading out billings over time instead of lump-sum, making your business a trustworthy fan favorite while still guaranteeing prompt payment on time, every time.



If you are a subscription-based company and would like to know more on how Curlec can help your business to collect recurring payments, get in touch with us at the bottom of this page or read more on our website!

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