The Modern Subscription Models
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The Modern Subscription Models

May 5


The pandemic changed many things about our daily rituals, not least among them being the way we shop and the businesses we choose to support. Wine Club memberships and various online channels continue to offer consumers easy ways to stock up on a selection of wines curated to their unique preferences. Gaynor Strachan Chun, Head of Brand Strategy for WineGlass Marketing explains what these changes mean for wine clubs in her article, Is Your Wine Club Keeping Up With Modern Subscription Models? We've summarized it here for you:

Why Do Your Subscribers Join?

According to Gaynor Strachan Chun, "it is now estimated that the average person is a member of two re-occurring subscriptions and 35% belong to three or more," and this has been motivated by three main factors:

  1. Changes in consumer culture: Rather than taking the path of least resistance where whatever is on the shelf is placed in our carts, thoughtful decisions are made as we research brands and products based on our values and preferences. Support is granted to brands and products that align with our values and that we feel good supporting.
  2. Curiosity: Online shopping offers consumers a broad look at the market and the opportunity to see what's really out there. Trying new things has never been easier than clicking "add to cart," and enjoying from the comfort of your own home. Plus, who doesn't like getting a package in the mail?
  3. Our values have evolved: With the stresses and pressures of daily life and our busy schedules, saving time has taken precedence over saving a few bucks. We want products and bundles that fit our individual needs!

Consider these shifts. Are you meeting the evolved needs and expectations of your loyal customers?

Consumer Values Give Rise to 3 Subscription Models

In light of these changes, a McKinsey Report announced the emergence of 3 Subscription Models:

  • Subscribe for Access: These consumers value exclusive access and VIP perks provided by their memberships. Access is the primary motivator of 13% of consumers.
    • Most relevant categories: Apparel, Food, and Wine
  • Subscribe for Replenishment: Time and money are the key values of these consumers. They know what they like, and want their items replenished as their stocks run low. This model accounts for 32% of consumers.
    • Most relevant categories: Household items, Razors, Vitamins, Towels
  • Subscribe for Curation: Variety is the spice of life! Whether they prefer to have a hand in the selection process or are open to surprise, curation model consumers want to mix it up. A whopping 55% of consumers subscribe for curation!
    • Most relevant categories: Food, Beauty, Wellness, Treats, Apparel

Gaynor states that the wine industry must evolve the traditional wine club model to tap into this growing desire for curation-based subscriptions.

A summary of her tips for creating a successful Subscribe for Curation offer:

  • Quality over quantity! Focus on creating and retaining long-term relationships rather than acquiring a multitude of transactions. This can be done through personalized "thank you/ enjoy" notes, personalized suggestions based on past orders, and always giving fantastic customer service.
  • Create an experience with your shipments. Unique and aesthetic packaging, a personalized note talking about your sustainable work, informational and educational pamphlets like the owl postcard, tasting notes and suggested pairings -- these are just a few suggestions to ramp up your members' anticipation for unboxing their next delivery!

Click here to read Gaynor Strachan Chun's article about the 3 Subscription Models and how you can attract and retain subscribers.

Curators will love learning about sustainability!

It's always a good idea to remind your Wine Club that they are supporting a certified sustainable business. Owl Postcards are included in your SIP Certified membership -- all you need to do is click here to order!