Subscription eCommerce Marketing: Capturing Customer Information

There are many ways to capture data, but subscription companies have it easier than most. By virtue of the business model, subscription commerce can get away with asking customers more about themselves, depending on the product – this is especially true for beauty and grooming-related products. Even if you’re sending all your customers the same product, there’s a lot of personalization that can be implemented in your retention marketing tactics when customers provide personal feedback during the sign-up process.

Leverage Your Welcome Survey

In order to better serve customers, consider capturing more than just the name, email, and address of the customer. Including an interactive welcome survey can be a great way to learn information about the customer in order to create a more personalized product experience.

Make sure to keep the welcome survey simple and painless for the potential customer. Don’t risk losing a willing customer with a long and tedious sign-up form. The survey should accurately capture relevant customer information and give the customer the sense that offering their information is key to a better customer experience. Keep the process transparent by making it clear to customers what kind of information is needed and when and how the information will be used.


Take eSalon, for example. As a subscription service that provides custom hair color products that get delivered directly to customers’ homes, their sign-up process is interactive and informative. While customers choose their desired hair color, eSalon provides information about various types of dyes and colors that would suit both customer’s hair and skin tone as well as their lifestyle. While aiming to create a unique, personalized hair color for a customer, eSalon still manages to make the process feel like a collaboration between the customer and an eSalon colorist.

At the end of the eSalon sign-up, customers who aren’t confident about their recommendation can take a photo of their current hair color and have an eSalon colorist add their professional opinion. This personal touch makes the welcome survey enjoyable and valuable, rather than tedious.

Incorporate Customer Feedback

Treat your customers like partners in the brand-consumer relationship.According to the 2015 Accenture Personalization Survey, customers are willing to trade information for perks like access to exclusive deals (64%), discounts (61%), or special offers (61%). Encourage a social community and incentivize returning and long-time customers to reward loyalty and brand champions.


Barkbox’s sign-up is extremely easy. Customers select dog size and breed, choose subscription type, input shipping and payment info, then wait for their curated box of treats to arrive in the mail. But when the subscription service first began, various options like specifying dog breeds weren’t available yet.

Barkbox first relied on feedback from in-network testing dogs and in-house office dogs for the products they put into the boxes, but soon started encouraging customers to leave feedback about what their pets did and didn’t like. They then used this customer feedback to help create a better overall experience for each monthly box, thereby keeping their customers happy.

Barkbox is also actively involved in growing a community via social media to get a better sense of which dog breeds enjoy particular product. In leveraging customer feedback about their services, Barkbox is able to offer unique dog toys and treats that delight both subscribers and their pets.

Think Outside the Survey

For subscription companies, the welcome survey is an invaluable tool to capture additional data, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Find a way to get regular feedback from your customers. Whether it’s getting customers to update their account information, respond to customer satisfaction surveys, or leave product reviews, there are many ways to encourage customers to share more information. The key is to provide added value that makes providing information a perk instead of a chore.


The Honest Co. offers several kinds of subscription bundles for babies and toddlers, prenatal health, and household cleaning products. In addition to the bundles, parents can also buy individual items like toys, furniture, and accessories.

One of the biggest challenges for a subscription company like Honest Co. is that the subscription packages must change along with the baby. Bundles for diapers are sent depending on the size specified in each customer’s account page. Customers must manually update the account every time the baby needs a bigger size.

To aid parents in knowing when to go up a size, The Honest Co. offers parents the Honest Baby app, which tracks information like the baby’s weight and diaper size, as well as how often they need to be changed. Parents can update their subscriptions, track orders, and earn referral credits through the app.

The app is an interactive tool to make sure customers are active subscribers, but the genius in the app is the other features included. The app also tracks major baby milestones, doctor visits, as well as feeding and sleep habits. Not all of this information is used to tailor marketing messaging, but that’s the whole point. The app provides parents valuable perks as they grow with their baby, while reducing friction in customer-company communication. It’s a way to sustain the conversation that comes across as organic, not salesy.

The ideal customer for subscription businesses is one that keeps subscribing, and often the first step to doing so is getting the right customer information from the start. In order to achieve this goal, it’s up to the marketer to make sure the signup and feedback processes are used to help improve the customer experience. Subscription companies have the advantage of asking for more information than many of their pure eCommerce counterparts – make sure to capitalize on it.