5 Ways to Handle Subscription Fatigue in B2C

There’s almost nothing you can’t find a subscription for these days. From entertainment to groceries, from make-up to automobiles, most things you need in your daily life can be accessed through a subscription-based service. But research across digital trends is showing an onset of ‘subscription fatigue’.

Subscription fatigue has two distinct facets – one from the consumer’s perspective, where it is powered by that feeling of being overwhelmed by the number of automated transactions happening across their devices. The other is from the perspective of the business where there is tiring down of the consumers signing up for your product/service. In both of these cases, the business runs the risk of losing significant revenue.

Subscription fatigue can add to customer churn; hence dropping the lifetime customer value and driving up the retention cost. It can also drive up the cost of acquisition and significantly impact the top line of the business.

In the long run, all businesses running or moving towards a subscription-based revenue model will have to deploy strategies to combat this fatigue. And here are five things that can be done about it.

1. Capitalise on a Recurring Need with Low Risk

While people don’t need new skincare or makeup products every month, beauty boxes are some of the most popular subscription businesses out there. In the B2C context, they work out great because they minimize risk while fulfilling future need. Sample size products give the customer a little taste of what it is that they could invest in, in the future. This ‘try before you buy’ approach is ideal for B2C businesses to familiarize customers with offerings and provide customization at a low cost.

2. Focus on Customer Retention

focus on customer retention

Nurturing leads is no longer just a one-time effort. It is about relationships that go beyond regular financial transactions. With a robust recurring billing management program and CRM system, businesses can invest in really understanding the customer’s needs, behaviours, and spending patterns. With the right software, all of this data can be converted to insights and then used to deliver a deeply personalized experience to the customer, showcasing value for money and distinct user benefits.

3. Offer Competitive Pricing

With new options cropping up every second day, customers are beginning to weigh their options carefully. Specifically, in the media and entertainment category, the landscape is becoming increasingly challenging. Suppose a business can deploy intelligent recurring billing software. In that case, it can study the data to develop customized payment solutions for customers, allowing them to compete on price and adding an element of personalization.

b2c competitive pricing

4. Track Involuntary Churn

With so many transactions being done on autopilot and the added element of India not being a very credit-card-friendly economy, often cards are declined, and payments fail. So the customer does not make an effort to reattempt the subscription. A well-thought-through subscription billing management system can help you combat this situation. Ensuring that the customer has a seamless experience with the service will provide a longer lifetime of the subscription.

5. Build and Maintain a Strong Base

Stick to your original promise to the customer. If your business promises to deliver fresh groceries, ensure you have the freshest groceries available before you move on to upselling condiments and other things.

The more essential your service is to the customer’s life, the lesser the chance of it being cancelled. The customer has signed up one time to solve something to reduce effort, make sure to keep on providing what they came for and keep them hooked. While subscription fatigue can never be done away with, it is most definitely possible for businesses to solve it. Regardless of your service/product’s purpose, with a deep understanding of the customer’s preferences you can make an offer they won’t refuse.


  • Mujammil Khan

    Mujammil has over 14 years’ experience in sales and marketing of ERP, CRM and BI services with the last 7 in broadcast and convergent media domains. He combines understanding of domestic and international markets and direct and indirect sales models with expertise in customer and partner life cycle management and key account management. His strong strategic planning and team management skills easily translate customer requirements into business solutions.