If the last few years have taught businesses anything, it’s to expect the unexpected and to always be prepared.
For the food and beverage industry, the sudden shutdown of trade in 2020 was devastating to many vendors, causing thriving businesses to close their doors for good. But, for some, it was a call for creativity, innovation, and change. The UAE saw pre-order systems, delivery services, and unique collection ideas popping up, and – notably – the success of monthly subscriptions and food hampers.
According to business.com, COVID-19 ‘forever changed the subscription economy, making it a long-lasting model for consumers to get what they need conveniently’.
COVID-19 forever changed the subscription economy, making it a long-lasting model for consumers to get what they need conveniently.
A monthly subscription model and food hampers offer consumers the chance to purchase goods regularly and to also try new items, and businesses of any size can easily incorporate monthly subscriptions and food hampers into their business plans without having to make huge changes to their products or marketing strategy.
Building up a loyal customer base, introducing customers to new items and having a stable monthly income will provide your business with a great safety net for any potential future disasters.
Wondering how you can incorporate monthly subscriptions and food hampers into your F&B business? Read on for a step-by-step guide.
STEP 1: Find the right model for your business
According to Shopify, there are a few models to choose from, each with its pros and cons. From carefully curated boxes that surprise the customer to the replenishment of essentials every month (often at a discounted price), what your business sells will determine your model.
Choose subscription models like curated boxes that surprise customers or monthly essentials.
For food companies that offer a variety of handmade cakes, jams, and other goodies, a curated monthly box subscription will excite and delight your customers. A business that sells essentials like eggs and milk, on the other hand, should opt for a model that provides customers with a discounted box of their choosing.
There is also the option of creating a ‘members only’ subscription that will provide subscribed customers with benefits and boxes no one else can receive.
STEP 2: Check out your competition
Are there other businesses offering the same monthly subscription and food hampers that you want to provide? If yes, make sure the market isn’t saturated. If there are one or two competitors, then see what they offer and how they do it (and think of ways you can do it better).
STEP 3: Create business goals
You’ve got the idea, you’ve researched the competition, and you’re raring to go. Before getting into it, take the time to determine what your goals are. Is the focus on units sold? Or is it based on the number of monthly subscribers you have? Decide on the goals and draw up the goalposts. Think of the quickest and best way to reach them.
STEP 4: Establish your pricing
This is where it often gets tricky. Choosing the right price for your monthly subscription and food hampers can be a challenge, especially if it’s your first time dabbling in the process. Look at your competitors’ prices and try to go in lower, or offer a better service for the same price.
STEP 5: Get creative
While customers love great service, they’re also always more interested in something unique. So, think of ways to make your service different (in a good way) and how to personalise it to the taste of your customers. If you’ve been in the food and beverage industry for a while, you’ll have an idea of what your customers want. If you’re opting for hampers for the first time you’re going to need to spend time making sure they are unique.
Spend time making sure your hampers are unique by researching your competitors.
STEP 6: Build your website
Ensuring you have a good quality website that offers a great shopping experience is key to gaining and retaining customers. Focus on marketing your monthly subscriptions and food hampers – you can even theme them according to celebratory days and seasons. If you already have a website, work on an amazing landing page or website section just for your subscription box service and hampers.
Focus on marketing your monthly subscription boxes and hampers and add a theme according to celebratory days and seasons.
STEP 7: Market your new service
If you’re already marketing your business, you can easily add the subscription box and hampers as an additional feature. Alternatively, you can create a separate strategy that allows you to focus on only marketing your hampers. While you’re at it, investigate and define the channels you’d like to use, from digital to billboards marketing.
Be where your customers are spending most of their time.
STEP 8: Find the right courier company to handle your deliveries
This is the final and most important step to adding monthly subscriptions and food hampers to your business. Customers will want their hampers on time and perfectly presented. Make sure you find the right company to handle your precious hampers and deliver them with a smile. (Hint: we can help!).
If your business is looking at introducing monthly subscriptions and food hampers, you’re heading in the right direction. While it might take some time and effort to set up, the benefits far outweigh the cons. Not only will you build up your loyal customer base, but you’ll also increase sales and profits, and provide people in your area with a much-needed service.