Eva Johnson

The Power of Advantage’s Standing Order Subscriptions

Advantage offers numerous features to ensure your business strategy is aligned with your customers' expectations. In this article, we’d like to introduce you to a lesser known, yet powerful subscription feature…Advantage's Standing Order Subscriptions. These subscriptions are referred to as "standing orders" because the subscriptions continue to "stand," or remain active, until all the products in the series have been released and shipped to your customers. The individual shipments are not sent on a fixed schedule, as is the case with typical subscriptions; instead, they are released as each product becomes available.

To illustrate how Advantage’s standing order feature can benefit your organization, let's consider a scenario where you offer a highly sought-after, continuous series of astronomy-related products. These products might be books, clothing, experiment kits, or any other type of product! Despite not having a set release schedule for these products, you are aware that you have many dedicated space enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the arrival of each new product. The moment a new product is released, you would like to build customer anticipation by sending an email alert that their new book or collectible is on its way. You understand that automating the processing of these orders and maintaining product inventory is crucial to ensure prompt delivery and happy customers. You are confident your customers will appreciate consistently receiving the latest in space without the hassle of ordering and making individual payments for each product. To sum it up, you realize you need a powerful, yet flexible solution that can both manage all these kinds of business complexities while ensuring customer satisfaction. 

With Advantage, you can achieve this by implementing our standing orders subscription feature. Advantage seamlessly manages all aspects of standing orders, from the initial entry of a new order to the time that the last product in the series is shipped from your warehouse. For starters, Advantage can accept and process standing orders through a variety of channels: manual entry, file upload, or its API. As a convenience for customers, Advantage’s recurring billing can kick in as soon as new products become available and ship. And like the other areas in Advantage, its robust customer service features can ensure you are keeping your customers up to date through automated communications—welcome messages, relaying a quick update about upcoming products, or announcing a new product is ready to ship. And, if you would like to use Advantage for inventory management, the system will assist you with those tasks of picking, packing, and shipping these products.

Another important facet of Advantage’s standing orders feature is the flexibility offered to your customers. In fact, it’s well-researched that organizations who prioritize exceptional customer service are more likely to thrive in this competitive and dynamic market. To ensure your customers' satisfaction, the Advantage solution provides real-time customer information and order details, enabling your team to respond immediately to any of your customer concerns. From the initial point of contact, Advantage helps your customer service personnel in doing what they do best, assisting customers with inquiries regarding their orders and completing their requests for subscription changes. 

To illustrate one example of how adaptable Advantage standing orders are, imagine that one of your customers has lost interest in your exploratory book series about Saturn's 146 moons. After 30 moons, they have become bored with this series and would like to temporarily pause or outright cancel their standing order subscription. Rather than losing a valuable customer, your customer service agent could attempt to cross-sell them to the new 'Build a Rocket' subscription series, offering a carefully curated kit each month that includes materials and step-by-step instructions. Maybe this new series also features a new premium item (e.g., a star chart mug or pencil) with each new release. After they present this option, if the customer is still not interested, your rep can then easily pause or cancel their subscription. Advantage’s total flexibility allows your team to quickly complete the subscription changes you need to create a lasting positive experience for your customers. 

Here are several other Standing Orders features Advantage offers:

  • Price changes/discounts: As a marketing offer or retention effort, Advantage supports various pricing and discounting schemes to incentivize your customers. These are critical to attract new customers and to retain existing customers while increasing customer and brand loyalty.

  • Duplicate Order Detection: You will likely want to ensure your customers don’t receive duplicate products or series. Advantage’s Standing Order system automatically completes these kinds of checks for your customers. If they are about to purchase a product they already have, the system will notify customer service immediately.

  • “Catch up” releases: If your customers have missed shipments due to an incorrect address on file or non-payment, Advantage can resend these products after the issue has been resolved, ensuring they get back on track.

  • Backorder Handling: Rather than cancelling or delaying a customer's order, Advantage can continue accepting new orders for those items and proceed with fulfilling them promptly once the products are back in stock.

  • Product Returns: Advantage easily handles return credits and will automatically initiate the next appropriate steps for your business, whether this involves restocking the item or sending a replacement for a damaged product.

  • Recurring billing through direct debit, credit card, or digital wallet: Instead of having to repeatedly provide billing information for individual invoices, your customers can opt into recurring billing for their Standing Order Subscriptions. Once customers opt for this type of billing arrangement, Advantage securely and conveniently uses this information for each ongoing product release.

  • Inventory Management: Like other Advantage product orders, standing orders are integrated with the powerful inventory management capabilities. If you would like to use Advantage for product inventory, our solution can allocate available stock to your customers’ orders and streamline the processing of picking, packing, and shipping for multiple warehouses (and even locations within warehouses).

Standing orders are just one small part of Advantage’s extensive and feature-rich subscription management platform. In a consumer environment where flexibility and convenience are essential, Advantage's standing order subscriptions can help you retain customers and diversify your offerings. This kind of predictability (and configurability) ensures your customers will always have access to the products or services they enjoy, which will ultimately boost their overall satisfaction and foster brand loyalty. 

Contact us today to find out how we can provide you with a powerful and configurable solution that is designed specifically for you and your customer’s needs.

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