How to create a retail subscription model

How to create a retail subscription model

In this piece, we explore the basics of the retail subscription model, as well as speaking with beauty brand, TAKK about their top tips when looking to introduce retail subscriptions.

Talking points include how a subscription model works, the benefits for retailers and shoppers, and overcoming common challenges of subscriptions.

What is a retail subscription model and how does it work?

The retail subscription model means customers pay regularly for the delivery of goods. This means they can pay weekly, monthly, or yearly. After signing up for a set period of time, customers have the option to renew, or end their subscription.

From socks and smart shirts, to coffee pods and ink cartridges, the sky is the limit in terms of which products you can include in a subscription model.

For retailers, the predictability of subscriptions means they gain a steady stream of income, while the best retail subscriptions will mean customers know exactly when they will receive their orders.

Benefits of retail subscriptions

There are many benefits of a subscription model in retail. These include:

  • Understanding inventory and supply chain requirements in advance
  • Opportunities to build regular communication with customers
  • Recurring billing offers predictability for revenue
  • Creating opportunities for upselling and cross-selling
  • Free or discounted trials can entice shoppers to subscribe with little risk
  • The ability to buy in bulk with confidence can reduce costs

The growing popularity of the retail subscription model

Retail subscriptions have made it possible for people to subscribe to almost any type of goods or service. With a predictable cost, it has brought countless benefits for retailers and customers alike.

As businesses look for more supply chain predictability and shoppers aim to keep their costs down, having a subscription model brings predictability to both parties, as well as simplifying the delivery process and saving people time.

TAKK’s retail subscription model

We spoke with Pinar Akiskalioglu, Founder of inspirational retail brand, TAKK, about their flexible retail subscription model and their journey. Their approach to retail subscriptions has allowed consumers to receive the beauty products that they need, when they need them, while being as honest and sustainable as possible.

Here is what TAKK had to say.

1.       How did TAKK begin and how has it evolved to where it is today?

TAKK is a beauty brand with a difference. It aims to change the way the world shops for personal care essentials, offering genderless, cruelty-free everyday essentials via subscription.

The brand began at the start of the pandemic, with an aim to challenge the beauty industry and question the ways retailers would use marketing ploys to trick consumers and entice them into overspending. Ultimately, these unnecessary purchases are where the profit lies for the big beauty brands. However, they are harming our pockets and the planet.

The realm of beauty subscription services has long been associated with beauty boxes arriving with random products and samples. TAKK challenges this and offers a simplified personal care range on subscription service, meaning consumers receive the goods they need, when they need them.

TAKK works on a business model of giving back. We ensure our team and planet are given the same level of consideration as sales. We work on the ethos of not tricking our subscribers. Our customers believe in us and see our brand as being honest and sustainable. We don’t offer discounts or unnecessary marketing and pride ourselves on paying those in the supply chain a fair price.

2.    What are the benefits of a subscription model for customers and what has the feedback been like for yours?

Subscription services like TAKK work in favour of both the consumer, brand, and planet. For our customers, the ability to receive quality personal care products direct to their doorstep reduces the number of micro decisions they make, relieving them from the overwhelming choice and allowing them to formulate better decisions.

When people subscribe, often their main concern is around commitment. They question whether there will be a way out and what the ins and outs of the service are. For TAKK, transparency is key. We understand that sometimes our subscribers may not have the need for the products one month. If this is the case, say for a holiday or other occasion then they have the freedom to freeze their subscriptions.

We also like to maintain a strong relationship with those who have unsubscribed. Often, we find that the customers come back to us after they work out how best to regulate their services and consider how regularly they should purchase their products.

3.    What are the benefits of a subscription model for retailers?

For retailers, one of the main benefits to a subscription service is how it effects supply management. By offering products on subscription service, it means you have a thorough grasp of how many you will sell per month. This speeds up the brand’s operational efficiency and offers great environmental and financial benefits.

4.   What would be your advice to any retailers looking to introduce a subscription model?

When looking to introduce a subscription service, retailers first need to nail what they offer. Often companies use subscription services to overpromise their subscribers, offering subscription boxes which fuel their overconsumption and add another level of choice to their daily routines.

Subscription services are a great way to streamline your offering and allow consumers access to a refined product list which cuts down on the choice overload they are so often inundated by. Also, as a retailer, you can expect to see great financial and operational benefits. Running a business as a subscription service means you can operate a more refined, stable business model.

5.    What have been the greatest challenges of perfecting your subscription model and how have you overcome these?

One of the major challenges when implementing a subscription service is ensuring subscribers can access the products they need, when they need them. We’ve found that it is best to give subscribers as much choice as possible when suggesting how often they receive their products.

Another main consideration is ensuring your company website is designed to be clear and concise so that consumers can easily manage what is delivered to them and when. So often websites are designed so that consumers purchase more, whereas this is a model we’ve aimed to combat. We’ve designed our website in such a way that subscribers can easily cancel to eliminate the fears of long-term commitment, allowing them to cancel anytime, change frequency, skip products, and create a flexible plan that works for them.

6.   How important is it to build a business that considers the planet and ethics (creating genderless, vegan and cruelty-free personal care essentials)

Over the past few years, pressure from the public has mounted on businesses to consider the planet and ethics when creating their products. People want to see responsible businesses and keep companies accountable, and this force is only going to get stronger.

We could reach a position where we won’t find enough water to wash out our hair, yet many companies are still innovating the best new shampoo. Businesses must be placing the climate emergency at the heart of their business plans; everyone has something to contribute and there won’t just be a leader to watch. We need to see collective action take centre stage and it is vital businesses consider the planet and ethics within their business models.

7.    What’s next for TAKK and how can our readers stay up to date?

Currently, we’re working intensively on calculating the scope of our emissions at all stages. TAKK aims to bring the idea of owning all of the scopes of emissions in the life cycle of a product. This includes the production of the product, packing, delivery, how people use it and how they dispose it. It is when companies do not consider all their scopes of emissions that confusion mounts on the consumers’ side.Lots of people want to become more environmentally friendly and upcycle/ recycle their packaging. We hope to find the best, most important model to do this by collaborating with different industries to ensure there is a circular economy.

Learn more about TAKK

To purchase TAKK products or to subscribe to this new way of shopping for essentials visit Learn more about TAKK by connecting on social media through Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.