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September 19, 2023
Joshua Uebergang

9 Shopify Subscription Strategies Inspired by Japanese Garden

9 Shopify Subscription Strategies Inspired by Japanese Garden Design Principles

What if we told you that in the serene beauty of Japanese gardens lies powerful strategies that could revolutionise your Shopify subscription business. 

Strategies that are used by million dollar and one hundred million dollar brands.

Joshua Uebergang- Founder at Digital Darts was strolling through USQ gardens, Southern Queensland when he discovered a pattern of similarities between Japanese gardens and how brands can run a profitable subscriptions program on their Shopify stores.

The 9 strategies shared in the video will show you how to grow your subscription program:

These principles are also covered in his ebook, Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization. This can be freely downloaded and it helps ensure you get more revenue per visitor.

Here is a summary of the 9 strategies that he shared in his vlog-

1. Preview Before Commitment

At the entrance of traditional Japanese gardens, one gets a preview of the beauty within.

Similarly one of the most effective ways to entice customers into subscribing is by offering them a preview of your product's value before committing.

2. Price Perception

Just as a Japanese garden path purposefully guides a visitor's journey, the way you display your prices can guide your customers' perception of cost

3. Simplicity for Subscription Success

A key principle of Japanese gardens, Kanso, encourages simplicity in design.

This principle also applies to your subscription service. Ensure your service is easy to manage even for someone without tech skills.

4. Setup follow-ups according to the subscriber preference

Japanese gardens change beautifully with the seasons.

Similarly, follow-up emails and SMS should change based on the individual customer and the product a customer ordered.

5. Stimulate growth by highlighting the journey

Japanese gardeners use a hack to grow Japanese Black Pine- They aggressively fertilise the plant to provide energy for growth and then sniff off the tip.

Similarly, reach out to customers via email before their next subscription cycle.
Educate them with tips on how to get the most out of their product and reap the benefits to foster loyalty and advocacy.

6. Discovery and Personalization- Tailor to Individual Needs

Japanese garden paths are deliberately crafted to entice visitors into a journey of exploration and discover them bit by bit.

In the same way that each zone in the garden offers a different experience, personalized subscription offerings cater to the unique preferences of different customer groups, making the subscription journey more appealing

7. Consumption Frequency

Japanese gardens often contain Koi fish, which symbolises the importance of consumption frequency- Feeding too much leads to health issues, while feeding too little leaves the fish hungry.

Similarly, if the frequency of subscription orders is too high, people will cancel and if the frequency is too low, brands will see a lower LTV.

8. Pruning 

The practice of pruning in Japanese gardens promotes healthy growth and elongates the lifespan of plants

Similarly, focusing your business resources on the most productive parts of your subscription service can encourage sustainable growth.

Remember, your subscription program won't thrive by chance, but only through meticulous planning, just like a Japanese garden. Apply these principles to your existing strategy and witness the transformation in your subscription business.

Analysing the impact of these strategies on your subscription program

By running in-depth analytics, you can identify what first purchase leads to the most subscriptions. Identify the marketing channel that has the highest customer lifetime value.

This process directs resources to really drive subscriptions and growth. To find what products and channels lead to your most valuable customers, I recommend you use Triple Whale.

Triple Whale spells out for you what products you should be promoting in your paid ads and where, so you improve your customer lifetime value.

Switch to Loop for advanced subscription management.
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