Subscriptions have become the holy grail for retailers as the sector moves away from competing purely on product and increasingly on service. Recurring revenue and driving loyalty with your most important shoppers—what’s not to like?

Tesco has become the latest retailer to jump on the subscription bandwagon. Britain’s biggest supermarket plans to bundle its grocery, mobile and bank offerings under a new scheme called Clubcard Plus. Here’s how it works: shoppers pay a £7.99 monthly fee in exchange for a 10% discount on two big shops in-store; 10% discount on select private label products; double data from Tesco Mobile and a Tesco Bank credit card with no foreign exchange fees abroad.

As lucrative as subscription models might be, they only work if customers see the value in them. Just ask Jeff Bezos. The aim of Amazon Prime, he says, is to provide so much value that shoppers would be “irresponsible” not to join. A scary thought for any competitor.

With Prime, the value is clear—sheer, unrivaled convenience layered with increasingly indispensable entertainment perks. With Clubcard Plus, the value exchange is a bit murkier. Firstly, if customers want low prices, they’ll head to Aldi or Lidl. They don’t need to fork over £8 a month and jump through a bunch of hoops.

Note: this is an excerpt. Continue reading Natalie’s full article on Forbes.


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