Ruff Times Before Recurly: How PupBox Fought Churn with Pricing Flexibility

PupBox — like many of its puppy customers — was facing growing pains.

No, there wasn’t any shortage of adorable consumers: the subscription box for puppies (and their human owners) has been a hit since 2013. 

But PupBox did face high churn rates due to its inability to offer subscribers an incentive to sign up for longer-term plans.

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Annual Subscription Billing Metrics Report

Subscription Billing Benchmark Report 

The unique challenges that come with a subscription business are many. From churn and decline rates to revenue recovery, the obstacles are all too real. Recurly is in the business of making subscriptions a competitive advantage for our merchants and to this end, our business analysts and data scientists at Recurly Research have compiled a comprehensive set of subscription billing metrics in our Annual Subscription Billing Metrics Report. 

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Subscriber Retention and Understanding Involuntary vs. Voluntary Churn

The Importance of Churn

Every e-commerce site should be aware of the importance of churn, and how devastating it can be on a business. Measuring and reducing churn is paramount to successfully scaling your company. While reducing churn is easier said than done, there are standard measures you can take to help reduce it. Fundamentally, churn boils down to your product - how sticky it is and how robust your offering is compared to others in the space. It also has to do with your industry. Some segments, like box of the month, experience higher churn 10.54% than SaaS, which hovers around 4.79%.  

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How Pausing & Postponing Subscriptions Can Retain Subscribers in Uncertain Times

COVID-19 has penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives and there is no precedence or template for how to respond to this ever-changing situation. Consumers are challenged with layoffs, shelter in place and quarantine orders, plus struggling with how to work from home while juggling the needs of their daily lives.

Showing empathy and providing flexible access to your products and services is critical right now. 

In this post, we’ll provide two highly effective options to help retain subscribers in these uncertain times: pause a subscription and postpone a subscription.

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New Subscriber Churn Benchmarks and Why Managing Churn Is Critical

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Churn benchmarks Recurly Research

In the last few weeks, the headlines around subscription commerce have centered on two main players: Moviepass and The New York Times.

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Pause Subscriptions to Minimize Voluntary Churn and Maximize Revenue

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Best Practices Churn subscriber retention

Subscription businesses work hard to provide their subscribers with value. Despite their best efforts, subscribers do cancel, sometimes due to things that are out of the business’ control. For example, perhaps the business is an OTT provider that streams certain sports. Since most sports are seasonal, during the off-season, the subscriber may not use the service and may opt to cancel. Or time and money constraints, or work or travel obligations prevent subscribers from using and enjoying their subscriptions.

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Minimize Churn, Maximize Revenue: a New E-Book From Recurly

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Churn ebook subscriber retention

Churn is a key metric in subscription commerce, tracked closely by the most specialized Box of the Month businesses to multi-million-dollar enterprise SaaS companies. This is because even slight differences in churn rates can have a significant impact on revenue growth.

Understanding how to minimize churn and increase subscriber retention is a key focus for successful subscription commerce companies. It’s a significant area of focus for Recurly, too, as we are continually working to develop new technology to reduce churn. We also want to make sure we are sharing our expertise, and our newest e-book discusses key considerations in managing churn and retaining subscribers.

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How Effective is Your Dunning Strategy? Recurly Analytics Has the Answer.

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Best Practices Churn dunning

As we have discussed in the first and second blog in this series, dunning is a key process for maximizing revenue, and Recurly offers flexible tools to help you develop and manage your dunning strategy. In particular, Recurly users can set:

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Dunning Best Practices & How Recurly’s Dunning is Different

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Best Practices Churn dunning

In today’s blog, we’re continuing our discussion about dunning. As a reminder, dunning is the process of communicating with customers (usually by email) to try to collect payments due. In effect, discussions about dunning are really discussions about these customer communications.

In our last blog, we described how the dunning process works at each step and the decisions the merchant can make which can optimize the process and improve results. We also outlined how Recurly’s dunning process is more effective.

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How a Flexible Dunning Schedule Improves Transaction Success Rates

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Churn dunning

Subscriber churn is a key concern for subscription businesses. When subscribers leave, the business loses both current and future recurring revenue. Of course, some churn is “involuntary”—occurring as a result of a failed payment rather than a subscriber cancelling deliberately.

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