Tips for Creating Quick Success with Auto-Replenishment
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Retailers are listening to their customers and already agree on the comprehensive benefits of providing auto-replenishment offerings to their shoppers…and these benefits can be rapidly accelerated if the methods below are incorporated at the front-end of the auto-replenishment platform integration.
First, it’s helpful to provide a quick delineation between an auto-replenishment customer experience platform and a traditional loyalty program or subscription program: An auto-replenishment platform, like the one from market-leader Replenium, integrates with a retailer’s existing ecommerce system to provide seamless options for repeat orders. Shoppers then enjoy the convenience of never running out of their most used items and as a result, their shopping experiences extend to new product exploration and discovery. Advanced auto-replenishment differs from subscription models because it provides an active tool that utilizes machine learning to serve up personalized recommendations across the entire breadth of the store’s offerings. Because this is how customers are increasingly managing their day-to-day shopping, the result is secured customer retention.
Properly launching the auto-replenishment program will vastly enhance its success and ultimately delight your customers, long-term. Here’s how:
1. Optimize the User Experience
Make it easy for your customers to find your auto-replenishment option. The most successful programs provide accessibility throughout multiple stages of the customer’s ecommerce purchase path, including product listing, product detail and checkout pages.
The full auto-replenishment online experience should remain consistent with your existing ecommerce flow and design. Replenium’s Auto-Replenishment platform folds seamlessly into your ecommerce platform, allowing customers to stay focused on their purchasing mission without having to learn to navigate a new system or app.
An easy-to-locate FAQ is a vital piece of the user experience as well. With auto-replenishment, you are providing customers with the convenience of shopping on auto-pilot and customers want to know that these benefits are available to them. A simple and easily digestible auto-replenishment informational page, highlighting the shopper benefits while clearly indicating that shoppers can adjust or cancel without repercussion drives higher program adoption. Communication continuity and transparency through integrated notifications is critical to meet your customers’ expectations.
2. Provide Choices, Lots of Choices
A fully optimized auto-replenishment program provides benefits to you as a retailer, to your customers, and to your brand partners. A complete and wide variety of activated products within your auto-replenishment program means the more shopping affinities you can track and secure, and ultimately the more financial success your program will garner.
Customers today are motivated to purchase by multiple factors. Whether they are looking for convenience, savings, personalization and/or assurance that they won’t run out of their household items, you as a retailer have the opportunity to be a long-term resource by solving for each of these needs.
If only paper and cleaning products are activated within your auto-replenishment program, for example, your customer is less likely to think of your banner as a complete solution. However, a broad assortment across all store categories acknowledges the convenience desired by the customer.
Replenium’s data from grocery integrations of auto-replenishment show that fresh and frozen items are frequently replenished, along with paper products and center-store items. Additionally, customers replenish a variety of brands within the same product categories.
Referencing Amazon’s Subscribe & Save business, it is clear that replenished product types span multiple categories. Products from the following categories represent over 25% of Amazon’s replenishment business.
It’s also critical to note that as Amazon often leads the way in shaping ecommerce consumer behavior, they are soon extending their Amazon Fresh offering to include the option of repeat orders.
3. Fully Engage Your Customers with Your Auto-Replenishment Program
Auto-Replenishment provides a 360-degree win which compounds rapidly because: customers want it, operational efficiencies are generated, retailer profit is enhanced, brand relationships become stronger, and it prepares you for future consumer shopping habits. The industry has found that the omni-channel customers are the most valuable customers therefore, it is important to think channel agnostic when marketing the offer to your customers.
The most successful (and therefore lucrative) auto-replenishment programs are marketed to shoppers:
on the website
in-store signage w/in paper isles, for example
via existing digital and print marketing channels
From a corporate communications perspective, the positive perception of your organization is also enhanced when sharing with investors and the media the fact that you are embracing retail innovation and auto-replenishment to combat competition and gain customers’ share of wallet.
4. Partner with Brands
Although the majority of shoppers participate in auto-replenishment programs for the convenience and availability, the benefit of saving money keeps them more engaged in the program, and more likely to add more products to their replenishment basket.
The most successful auto-replenishment integrations involve retailers who partner with brands through existing business planning methods to fund the shopper discount. Brands are motivated to continually fund auto-replenishment because, unlike one-time discounts and coupon offers, auto-replenishment discounts lead to repeat customers and sustained brand loyalty. Brands facing strong competition can especially benefit from securing loyal customers in perpetuity though your auto-replenishment program.
5. Track, Adjust, and Expand
It’s vital to take advantage of the data generated by your auto-replenishment program to learn even more about your customers. This data can inform future product recommendations to build the basket and/or your share of category-spend, reveal tailored promotional opportunities, and support optimized inventory and order management. Together, these insights can improve your customers’ experiences as well as your bottom line.
The insight into category and brand affinities through the lens of replenishment shopping provides the ability to develop targeted personalized experiences for your most loyal customers. Monitor demand forecasts with visibility to machine learning-powered frequencies, enhancing your line of sight to future sales. This can be used to minimize out-of-stocks, which is a primary concern for today’s online shopper.
Delivery and pick-up schedule preferences are also tracked, allowing you to provide tailored customer service up until the last-mile. Leveraging Replenium’s proprietary order harmonization algorithm enables larger, consolidated orders, reducing your cost to fulfill and the number of order deliveries or pick-ups your customers need to receive.
As shoppers continue to embrace this convenient online, recurring purchase mindset, customer replenishment data will serve as an invaluable tool to optimize experience and build loyalty.
Replenium’s Auto-Replenishment Platform can be up and running in 30 days. When embracing the five steps above, the program benefits are immediate and yield exponential returns. Contact us to schedule a personalized demo.