Consider Subscription Commerce to Boost your Business

With days full of to-do lists — and a growing consumer reliance on e-commerce — who doesn’t love the set-it-and-forget-it option of subscription commerce when it comes to shopping for essentials? Subscriptions are a major perk for both parties: Customers get to rest easy knowing their favorite products will regularly show up on their doorstep, and you get a better projection of monthly revenue. Win-win!

Types of subscription commerce

The subscription commerce market is booming with variety and enticing customers with novelty, convenience and significant discounts. In general, customers have two main options:

1. Autoship: Regularly recurring purchases of one particular product’s customizable autoship option is one of the best examples. Customers can shop thousands of pet products and opt into a subscription rather than making a one-time purchase of Fido’s favorite food. Chewy lets customers choose the quantity and set the schedule. Shoppers even get a discount the first time they try out autoship, plus 5% to 10% off their future shipments

Health and wellness companies such as Care/Of and Ritual have gotten in on the subscription game, allowing shoppers to have the vitamins and supplements of their choice shipped directly to them each month, no trip to the pharmacy needed.

2. Subscription kits: A personalized box of various products

Curated subscription boxes are driving the boom in subscription commerce and attracting big bucks from venture-capital firms. About 15 percent of consumers have gotten in on the trend, and as of February 2018, there were around 7,000 subscription box companies around the world offering everything from beauty products to pet toys to food and wine.

Curated subscription boxes have been a huge hit with consumers, who get to try out new products and see what they like best. Birchbox, Ipsy and Sephora’s Play! send makeup, hair and skincare goodies to customers every month, while StichFix and Nordtstom’s Trunk Club offer personalized wardrobe styling. Pet lovers have plenty of options too, with subscpritiion commerce sites like Barkbox or Meowbox sending regularly scheduled toys and treats for their furry friends.

Similar to supplement-centric companies like Care/Of and Ritual, personal-care companies offer replenishment packages on customers’ schedules, too. Razor company Billie, for instance, sells a range of products beyond shaving aids, from lotion and body wash to wipes and dry shampoo — all of which can come in a monthly box alongside customers’ new razor heads and shaving cream. Just tossed out your last toothbrush? Subscription-commerce company Quip can get you sorted out with a new one, plus regular deliveries of new brush heads and toothpaste.

Growth of subscription commerce

The convenience and personalization available through subscription services have helped these businesses’ sales grow by leaps and bounds — from $57 million in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016.

Traditional retailers aren’t leaving that money on the table. Customers can access subscription services through Walmart and Target, and Amazon offers nearly 20 types of subscription boxes beyond its Subscribe & Save service. In 2016, multinational consumer-goods company Unilever saw the value, too: They purchased mega-popular subscription service Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion.

The growth fits with our “new normal” as more consumers look to avoid crowded stores and safely shop from home. And just as being able to access weekly deliveries of fresh food from companies like Blue Apron and Sun Basket can be a lifeline for folks stuck at home, the subscription model can be a lifeline for brick-and-mortar retailers struggling in a floundering economy.

Why your business should consider subscription commerce

While retail behemoths are obvious options for convenience-minded consumers, other brick-and-mortar retailers can benefit from offering subscription services, too. According to Business Insider, economists expect a record number of stores to close in 2020, largely because of the COVID-19-induced drop in foot traffic and general economic anxiety.

Whether you’re providing essentials like food and vitamins or simple pleasures like toys and new clothes, now is the time for retailers to consider entering the subscription-commerce market or adding it to regular direct-to-consumer operations.

For one thing, your customers are already seeking these services out. E-commerce subscription-service shoppers tend to be younger, more affluent and in search of convenience, and nearly 35 percent of them subscribe to three or more services.

Subscription commerce is also highly scalable for retailers. When customers sign up, their subscriptions provide reliable, recurring revenue that allows you to plan and project in a way that their traditional brick-and-mortar or e-commerce shopping habits can’t. Getting a handle on those numbers allows you to scale up and boost your profit margin.

If you’d like to get started in subscription commerce, then reach out to us at sales (at) owd (dot) com.

Fulfillment Costs

Fulfillment costs are based on three criteria: size, weight and delivery time.

OWD offers five service levels: economy (7-10 days); Standard (5-7 days), 2-Day, Overnight and International.

Starting At


Per Unit


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International Shipping

The old way to ship internationally

DDU means Delivery Duty Unpaid – where the buyer pays for all of the import fees at delivery.

Unexpected import fees give buyers sticker shock – not good. When they refuse to pay, you’ve lost a sale and must pay to return your product, or abandon it.

DDU is an old idea whose time has passed. For these reasons and more, OWD doesn’t recommend DDU for e-com sellers.

The best way to ship internationally

DDP is an acronym for Delivery Duty Paid. DDP means that the seller pays for all the duties and import fees.

With DDP, your customers won’t be surprised with unexpected customs charges – good!

With OWD’s landed cost calculator, your foreign customers will know exactly what their various VAT, customers and duties will cost. No unhappy surprises.

Ship flat-rate anywhere in the world starting at:


One World Direct, B.V.

For large-scale operations needing a full solution in Europe, there’s OWD Europe, based in Amsterdam.

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The Services

OWD handles phone calls, e-mails and web chat eighteen hours a day from our own state-of-the-art facility.

We’ll handle your inbound sales and customer service contacts.

You get career agents who speak American English and know how to sell.

The Costs

$99 gets you 200 calls, e-mails or chats handled every week.

You get your own phone number and custom e-mail.

We do a lot more. Call for details.

More than a Call Center

Get Virtual Assistants as needed

One World’s contact center in Mobridge, South Dakota.

The Voice of Your Brand

We Make Returns EASY

Returns? Yuck.
One World has a simple solution.

All-Inclusive Returns

OWD’s all-inclusive Returns service provides simplicity and high-end customer service. OWD includes a pre-printed return label as part of your packing slip. Your customer need only drop it in the mail.

What’s included: packaging slip with return label, QC inspection, re-bag, re-tag and return to stock. What’s excluded: postage cost, poly bags and any special packaging.

Base Price


Add-On Services

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