The importance of reviews for subscription brands

The importance of reviews for subscription brands

Leverage customer reviews and take your subscription brand to greater success.

The subscription market has exploded, with millions of consumers receiving monthly deliveries of skincare, cosmetics, socks, sneakers, and everything in between. 

Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, and Fabletics are now household names, part of an industry worth between $12 billion to $15 billion and growing. 

It seems that everyone is dipping their toes into the subscription industry. But why are we becoming obsessed with subscription brands, and how can you ensure your subscription box business is a resounding success?


Why subscription brands work

Remember the anticipation and excitement of a subscription magazine landing on your doorstep as a child? 

Subscription brands encapsulate that nostalgia and combine it with convenience, value, and a little self-love to create an attractive product for consumers. 

There are a few main reasons why subscription brands work so well:

  1. Personalisation: subscription boxes are personalised to the consumer through choice or curation, meaning that they’re guaranteed a box full of products they love when they need them most. 

  2. New product offerings: subscription boxes give customers first access to new products and samples, allowing them to discover new items before committing to the full size (and price).

  3. Shareable: subscription boxes deliver moments of joy (and dopamine) that make them highly shareable on social media, creating user generated content (UGC) that you can use to attract new customers. 

These benefits are in addition to any perks you choose to offer subscribers. For example, Ballsy subscriptions come with 20% off product prices and free shipping. 

And let’s not forget the benefits to your business. Subscriptions generate recurring revenue that increases customer lifetime value, lowers long-term customer acquisition costs, and leads to better overall profitability.


How customer reviews help you create a successful subscription brand

Customer reviews are extremely powerful for skyrocketing your subscription brand’s success. 

1. You gain feedback to help improve the customer experience 

You want current subscribers to remain subscribers, while making your service more attractive to new customers. To do this, you must understand what people like and don’t like about your subscription so you can improve it. 

Feedback on product attributes helps you identify this. For example, you could ask customers how you can improve subscription packaging. Feedback might include more sustainable dunnage, sturdier boxes, or more attractive packaging — all of which help you make changes to deliver that “wow” factor. 

You can also use subscriptions to gain early feedback on new products. You could include a sample of a new moisturiser and ask customers what they think, how they’d improve it, and whether they’d buy it. 



2. They allow you to collect UGC that helps increase subscriptions

UGC is a big selling point of subscription brands. Customers love unboxing subscriptions and sharing the contents across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. 

Birchbox is a great example of this, with a community of social media users who build anticipation about the next box, share their thoughts and reviews on the contents, and create videos on how to use the different products. 

UGC is also a big purchase motivator. Buying a subscription is a big commitment that’s not always a necessity. Leveraging the UGC of existing customers across your website and social media channels helps you gain new customer interest, increase consumer confidence, and build upon the FOMO. 

Since you have a ready-made pool of UGC, put it to use by showcasing photos and videos at key points throughout your store.



3. They allow you to gather customer and product data

Customer reviews generate valuable product and customer data that you can use to improve products, subscription contents, and the customer experience. 

You learn more about the products and attributes your customers enjoy or dislike. By recording this information you create a huge dataset that can generate accurate product recommendations, improve the reviews of future subscription boxes, and drive product sourcing strategies. You can also use this information to target customers with relevant product information when marketing and advertising. 

For example, if you’re a hair product brand and a customer provided you with information regarding their hair color and latest product purchased, you can use the customer data sync feature from the Okendo-Klaviyo integration to take this information and incorporate it into targeted marketing campaigns in the future.

This is what pet supply retailer WAG does. WAG automatically takes product review data collected by Okendo and feeds it into Klaviyo to drive personalised messages incorporating relevant product recommendations. In doing so, WAG has seen conversion rates increase by 300%.  


4. They will improve conversion rate and generate new subscribers

Trust is one of the key components for subscription brands to successfully acquire and retain customers. Since a subscription program generally represents a somewhat bigger commitment than purchasing a single product, customers are likely to research your product and company before enrolling. 

Positive experiences and recommendations give valuable trust signals to assist with customers’ purchasing decisions. Featuring reviews on your product pages are therefore likely to increase your store’s conversion rate. 

If managed correctly, positive reviews as well as well-handled responses to negative ones will solidify credibility like nothing else. It’s worth noting the importance of curating your reviews, and making sure your customer service team is actively participating to maintain a positive discussion with your subscribers.



Customer reviews are vital for subscription brands because they enable you to continue improving the “wow” factor of your subscription while learning more about your customers. 

Okendo (an Underwaterpistol partner) powers you to obtain, display, and benefit from customer reviews and UGC. You can request reviews from existing subscribers and showcase their feedback across your website, social media accounts, and other marketing channels to attract new customers. 

And, since Okendo integrates with tools such as Klaviyo, Postscript, and Facebook, you can easily leverage the power of reviews to personalise the customer experience, cross-sell products, and become the brand everyone wants to subscribe to.


Download the subscription ebook

Have you got great ambitions for your subscription offering? Download our 'Supercharge your subscriptions' ebook today to find out everything you need to know about setting up and running an ecommerce subscription offering on Shopify.