Amazon Subscribe & Save is a feature that allows customers to schedule recurring orders of products they frequently purchase.
It’s a great way for Amazon sellers to retain customers and increase recurring revenue for your business — especially for those who sell some type of consumable or single-use product that customers would need to reorder monthly:
- Baby diapers
- Laundry detergent
- Daily vitamins
- Paper towels
How Amazon’s Subscribe & Save works
With Amazon’s subscription model, sellers can give their customers the option to automatically reorder their products, as well as how frequently they want to receive them.
For instance, if you sell a supplement with a 30-day supply, your customers can automatically receive an order once a month — without having to sign in and click that ‘order’ button again.
Typically, when a customer chooses to subscribe to a product, they will receive a small base discount which is set and funded by the seller (and in some cases, an additional 5% from Amazon) ranging from 0% to 15% (more on the discounts below).
2 Types of Subscribe & Save Orders:
- Initial sign-up order: The customer selects to subscribe in the Buy Box while choosing their desired frequency. Your offer must be in the Buy Box.
- Replenishment order: These orders are automatically placed based on the frequency the customer has chosen in the initial sign-up order.
You can see how Amazon’s Subscribe & Save would be beneficial to the buyer — but what about the sellers?
How Amazon’s Subscribe & Save feature benefits sellers
According to Jungle Scout’s 2020 Consumer Trends Report, 35% of all U.S. consumers have purchased products using the Subscribe & Save option — and most of those plan to continue doing so. Another 36% of consumers would consider subscribing to a product in the future.
And the Amazon loyalists are even more likely to purchase using Subscribe & Save:
- 51% of Amazon Prime members have used it
- 45% of consumer who consider themselves “brand loyal” have used it
This alone gives sellers a huge opportunity to secure future purchases and revenue. If you sell some type of consumable or single-use product, enrolling in Subscribe & Save can give you a guaranteed way of locking in future sales while staying competitive in the marketplace.
Other key benefits for sellers include:
1. Gain consistent repeat sales:
The best part of this subscription feature is that it gives customers the option to “set it and forget it” when it comes to making a purchasing decision. They don’t have to remember what brand they ordered from or how to find it; their products just show up at their door.
This gives sellers a huge advantage because it allows you to lock in future sales.
And data from the Consumer Trends Report indicates that the Subscribe & Save model is here to stay on Amazon:
- 82% of Subscribe & Save customers say they value being able to shop on Amazon
- 75% say that if they were only able to buy products from a single store, it would be Amazon
- 64% would describe themselves as “brand loyal”
And customers who use Subscribe & Save could become increasingly loyal and drive significant revenue for certain sellers:
- 70% of Subscribe & Save customers are willing to spend more than $100 on a single product on Amazon
- 61% purchase products on Amazon at least every week
- The top categories in which Subscribe & Save shoppers have purchased products in include:
- Grocery (55% have shopped recently)
- Beauty & Personal Care (42%)
- Pet Supplies (35%)
- Clothing (31%)
- Home & Kitchen (28%)
2. Encourage customer loyalty:
Subscribe & Save allows you, as a seller, to gain repeat customers at a minimal investment. This alone encourages customer loyalty because the customer is ordering from you consistently.
According to seller testimonials on Amazon’s Subscribe & Save ‘About’ page, one seller saw a massive increase in repeat customers — from 10% to 30%. Think about what that can do for your business!
3. Build brand awareness:
As stated above, customers will learn to love and recognize your brand.
If you have a new private label brand, not many people are going to know who you are. By allowing customers to subscribe to your products, you gain their trust and devotion to your brand over time.
Additional benefits of enrolling your products in Subscribe & Save:
- It saves your customers time and money: Your customers can enjoy the convenience of a recurring delivery while benefiting from a small discount in each order. They no longer need to sign-in and reorder every time they’re low.
- Amazon provides an additional 5% discount: If a customer receives five or more subscriptions in the same delivery, Amazon will award them an additional 5% discount (for a limited time; more details below), at no cost to you.
- Eligible products are automatically enrolled: If the products you offer are eligible, Amazon will automatically enroll them into the Subscribe & Save program at the 0% base discount. If left at 0%, then it is at no cost to you as a seller. Customers can subscribe just for the convenience of a recurring delivery. You are able to opt-out of the auto-enrollment whenever you choose.
- Subscribers are able to set deliveries at monthly intervals: Customers are able to choose the frequency — from one to six months — for which they would like to receive their orders. This helps create loyal customers with a minimal investment while increasing customer retention for your brand, ensuring your customers don’t forget who they ordered from months down the line.
To take advantage of the Subscribe & Save tool, you must meet certain criteria before enrolling.
- Fulfillment history with an 85% in-stock rate
- A professional seller account in good standing
- Effective December 2019, the enrollment of new products are limited to brand owners
- Inventory must be in an FBA warehouse (ie. you cannot enroll in Subscribe & Save with FBM inventory)
- Seller feedback rating of 4.7 or higher
- FBA seller for at least 3 months
How to check if your products are eligible for Subscribe & Save
As of December 2019, Amazon will automatically enroll eligible products at the 0% base discount rate (at no cost to you). You are able to remove your products from auto-enrollment if you choose not to participate.
To manage your subscribe & save products, visit your Manage Subscription Products page to see which products are enrolled, set your discount-funding and automatic-enrollment preferences, see every subscription for each of your enrolled items, and send and replenish inventory.
To enroll new products that haven’t been enrolled automatically, email [email protected].
What products can you sell on Amazon Subscribe & Save?
Only products in certain categories can be sold using Subscribe & Save. Below is a list of the eligible departments:
- Health & Baby Care
- Automotive Parts & Tools
- Tools & Home Improvement
- Industrial Supplies
- Lawn & Garden
- Musical Instruments
- Office Supplies
- Pet Supplies
Note: If your products are listed in a category not listed here, they are not eligible for Subscribe & Save.
What discounts can you set with Subscribe & Save?
Amazon allows you as a seller to choose three base discounts:
For a limited time, Amazon will fund an additional 5% discount for tiered shipments regardless of which base discount that you choose.
This means that if a customer has five or more subscriptions delivered on the same delivery date, Amazon will provide the customer with an additional 5% discount, at no cost to the seller.
These discounts and tiered-discount rates apply to all categories if you enrolled in Subscribe & Save after November 5, 2019.
If your products were enrolled before November 5, 2019, the following product category fee structure applies:
|Product category||Seller-funded discount
1-4 subscriptions in one delivery
(to the same address)
5+ subscriptions in one delivery
(to the same address)
|Health & Baby Care||5%||15%|
|Automotive Parts & Tools||5%||10%|
|Home Tools & Home Improvement||5%||10%|
|Lawn & Garden||5%||10%|
How the fees work for you as a seller
You, as the seller, are responsible for the discount that is provided to the customer. Meaning, if you provide a 5% discount for someone who subscribes, you are responsible for ‘funding’ that 5%.
For products with lower margins (<10%-15%), it may not be a good idea to enroll in the Subscribe & Save program.
Tip from Amazon!
Obviously Amazon wants to provide its customers with the best prices around, but there’s another reason they suggest you fund your subscription at 10%.
Based on an internal Amazon study, comparing ASIN enrollment at the 10%/15% discount vs. a 0%/5% discount, they found a conversion rate increase of up to 1.8X for 10% discounts.
Think about how much more revenue your business can drive even with a small conversion rate increase.
Is Subscribe & Save right for your Amazon business?
If you have a consumable, single-use product that customers frequently use and reorder, then Subscribe & Save is a fantastic way to not only save your customers money but to generate consistent and reliable sales.
Just like any other Amazon selling strategy, though, it is important to run experiments to measure the impact it has on your business — whether it’s positive or negative.
Amazon provides you with two different reports you can use to measure the performance and to forecast your Subscribe & Save sales.
1. Subscribe & Save Performance Report
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save (SnS) performance report provides a trailing four-week view of items shipped, percentage of orders missed due to being out of stock, average post-discount sale price, and average discount for each SKU.
Use this report to better plan and maintain your inventory levels as well as maintaining consistent pricing. Maintain compliance within the terms and conditions of the program.
To find this report, hover over ‘Reports’ in Seller Central and click on ‘Fulfillment.’
On the left hand side, under ‘Sales,’ you will see ‘Subscribe & Save Performance.’ From this page, you can download an excel sheet that will show you the last four weeks of data containing pricing, out-of-stock percentage, units shipped, and discount percentage.
2. Subscribe & Save Forecasting Report
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save forecasting report provides an eight-week forecast of sales based on existing subscriptions and sales history.
It allows you to better plan your inventory as it will show you all the scheduled deliveries within the next eight weeks.
To find this report, hover over ‘Reports’ in Seller Central and click on ‘Fulfillment’.
On the left hand side, under ‘Inventory,’ you will see ‘Subscribe & Save Forecasting’. From this page, you can download an excel sheet that will show you an eight-week overview of inventory forecasting for the FBA Subscribe & Save program.
In the Subscribe & Save about page, Amazon does state that more optimized reporting will be available in 2020. I suspect it will be within the dedicated Subscribe & Save dashboard without having to download any reports — making things much easier to manage.
Clearly Subscribe & Save is a great way to gain consistent sales while growing your brand awareness and loyalty. To me, if you’re eligible, it is a no-brainer! Test out different pricing discounts and measure your results.
Let us know below in the comment section if Subscribe & Save has been beneficial to your Amazon business!