When you hear the word ‘subscription’, what comes to your mind? Unlimited access to your favorite things. Right? These favorite things of yours can be anything. As an example, there are about two thousand subscription based businesses that just cater to clients’ distinct and multiple tastes from all over the world. From your favorite comic books to e-news portals, Spotify to Blue Apron. You name it and you will have it.
Whether it is a subscription box you are itching to receive from a friend or you have paid to subscribe to the Netflix or any other portal for streaming media (We don’t have any qualms over Iflix too, just saying!). It’s all been possible because of the integration of ‘Subscription Business Model’ in consumer focused businesses.

What is Subscription Business Model?

Company offer services to customers on a monthly or fixed term fee basis. The Subscription Business Model is actually a design for e-businesses, where a specific subscription price must be paid by the costumer to acquire the product or service periodically. Instead of paying once for a product, the business model allows the buyers and users to access the product uninterrupted for a certain period of time. All they need to do is; pay monthly or yearly in advance.  

How does it work?

If you are wondering, how this model would work for generating recurring revenue for your business. Then you must know, it works on the principle of customer retention.

For instance if we take LinkedIn, a job finding and posting portal. There are two types of accounts in it. One free and the other is premium. For the later one, they have integrated subscription business model, which have several eye catching packages, ranging from career to hiring. The theory behind it, is to provide a taste of their services, with the help of free accounts but keeping certain features unlocked. However, this is what persuade users to upgrade their accounts to premium. This not only increases customer’s consuming potential, but the prospect of more revenue generation.

Why should you use it?

Subscription business model is a staple in the Software-as-a-Service technology. It’s been growing with a rate of 200% annually, which clearly shows worth of this business model.

One of the prominent SaaS based websites which also uses SMS is Zendesk (A cloud based program channeling communicating services across the social media to help their customers) has been pulling billions worth valuation. Its revenue for the quarter, ending on September 30, 2017, was $112.8 Million. Moreover, the impressing thing is that it was increased by 40% from the last year.  

Here, we will be sharing some pointers surrounding the question; as to why one should integrate this subscription plan in their business and startups.

Convenience:

  • Its main purpose is the ease of customers. They don’t have to go through the hassle of ordering things again and again. The subscriptions are renewed easily by cutting off the amount through the credit card information provided to the company.
  • For business, there comes the predictability of recurring revenue generation. It helps in the restocking of inventory. Furthermore, If customers are happy then of course your revenues will flare too.

Flexibility:

  • It gives flexibility to not only the consumer but also to the stakeholders. If a consumer doesn’t find the product appealing anymore, they can easily unsubscribe from the product.
  • However; for the business, it is useful in a sense that it gives them the choice to upscale their services according to the client demand. Similarly, if the demand is low, you can just lower the subscription.

Trust:

  • Subscription programs help in the building of a relationship that is based on the level of trust. It guarantees the best quality of product provided, according to the needs of customers.
  • For the business holders,  guarantee of the timely payments, along with the return of the clienteles, is sufficient enough

Pakistani startups using “Subscription Business Model”

Rozee is the most prominent job finding and posting portal in Pakistan. It has several job posting packages for their subscribed recruiters, ranging for premium to featured jobs.

Pakistanlawsite is a one stop resource website that showcases federal and provincial statutes along with rules and cases of Pakistan. Another similar website, Eastlaw, which is quoted as the Pakistan’s largest online library. Both of these have integrated subscription plans in their system.

MIT Technology Review Pakistan, licensed by Information Technology University of Punjab, is a magazine that includes and promotes the technology and entrepreneurship landscape of Pakistan. It has one yearly and two yearly subscription programs.

Other interesting subscription based startups include, Patari.pk (Have a read of feature comparison, Patari vs Taazi), SocialChamp, Publishrr, and Repairdesk

Subscription boxes in Pakistan

Pakistan has also jumped in the booming business of subscription boxes. There is a wide range from which you can choose, provided by many of the Pakistani vendors.

Glam Box by Just4girls, ST Effects box by Brand Hub and Black Bag are some of the most prominent beauty subscription boxes in Pakistan, costing around Rs. 2,000-3,000 per month.

There are many book subscription box services in Pakistan like Bookish Desires and The Book Shook, which send out one or more books/novels along with some goodies per month.

Subscription economics provide the business management teams with analyzing, valuing and focusing on things that should be most important to the companies; which is long-term customer acquisition and retention and the development of a relationship between service providers and customers. Hence, it gives value to both the companies and users.

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