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Communication key to minimising subscription churn, SubX podcast highlights


The latest episode of SubX’s Subscription Podcast, in association with Avalara, delved into the growth of product subscriptions where consumers can get everything from wonky veg to toilet rolls delivered at a convenient time each month.

Edward Hancock, CEO and founder of The Cheese Geek and Sam Connolly​, senior ecommerce manager at Origin Coffee provided valuable insight into how product subscription retailers can ensure their offer is scalable, profitable and robust; and what role technology has to play in the subscription economy.

Both guests also championed clear communication with consumers to create loyalty and minimise cancellations.

Connelly noted that “getting a customer to subscribe is one thing – retaining them is another”. He said there are two ways that subscription firms can go about retention. They can ensure that “the product and the service that you offer is outstanding”, but also work to make sure you are always “open and transparent” with customers.

“An area which we’ve spent a lot of time working on it and investing in is what’s called the customer portal. Customers can log in and pause, modify, and crucially cancel their subscription if they want to. All through the touch of a button” he explained.

Connelly added that Origin Coffee wanted to communicate clearly with customers that the can cancel at any time, “not burying it in the website” or have a cancellation process that takes multiple steps. They also wanted to promote that modifying or pausing the subscription was an easy process.

“It’s about communicating to them and saying you don’t need to cancel. You can just skip this delivery, or you can change your delivery date.”

Furthermore offering a personalised service, or experience, is critical to the success of a subscription retail, this episode found.

“[The] challenge is how do we remain exciting and relevant. The first playbook is just experience and making sure your product is exciting and making sure that you communicate with them at the right times to keep them going until, say the seventh month or the seventh box,” Hancock explained.

“After that point, it’s really a case of how do we stay relevant? How do we stay on page one of their phone? How do we keep them using us, interacting with us, engaging with us?”

“And one of the most important parts is that personalisation. You need to ensure that the subscriber continues to feel that their experience is becoming more and more curated to them. What we want to do is we want to bring in a full level of customisation,” said Hancock.

Listen to the full episode here, and discover:

  • What impact the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis had on the subscription economy
  • How retailers, or coffee roasters, can transition to a subscription model
  • Why automating the curation process can future proof a product subscription business
  • What can be done to match an in-store experience in an direct-to-consumer subscription service

Future episodes in the series will look at building a community of loyal customers, the rental market, and refillable offerings. Find out more here.

Also listen to the special LIVE launch episode to hear from sustainable cleaning product producer SMOL.

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