A Cup of Convenience Can Deliver a Latte Customer Love

The dark circles, the zombie-like movements, the don’t-talk-to-me-or-I’m-going-to-kill-you grimace. These are all symptoms of caffeine deprivation, most commonly caused from a lack of coffee. To ensure that its customers never experience these dark symptoms, online single-cup coffee retailer OneCupConnection.com launched a subscription commerce program called Continuous Cup.

Continuous Cup allows customers to turn any coffee order into a subscription. Customers can then determine how much or how often they’d like to receive their coffee, whether they prefer once a week or once a month. Subscription orders can also be cancelled or changed, such as by changing the shipping frequency.

“We want to make sure that [customers] don’t run out [of coffee], because we don’t them to break their purchase cycle,” says Larry Pearl, spokesperson for OneCupConnection.com. “If [customers] run  out, and they don’t want to take the time to go online, order, and then have it delivered, we risk them purchasing from brick-and-mortar retail.”

After partnering with subscription retail solution provider OrderGroove, OneCupConnection.com launched Continuous Cup in September 2012 to drive retention, frequency, and share of wallet, Pearl says. Currently, Continuous Cup subscribers have a more than 200% higher order frequency than non-subscribers. In addition, Pearl says that OneCupConnection.com has three times more customers participating in the program than expected, and a 95% retention rate.

To gain customer insight, OneCupConnection.com primarily measures behavioral and transactional data, including who its subscribers are, average subscription frequency, motivations behind canceling subscriptions, and average order value, says Pearl. The retailer has targeted both its active and inactive customer bases, as well as new customers, to participate in the program.

In addition to adding a $1 off per box discount, OneCupConnection.com spread the word about Continuous Cup via banner ads, social, email, blog, and a landing page. Pearl says that OneCupConnection.com primarily communicates with its customers via social and weekly emails, which contains information about product offerings and sales.

“These are customers that transact online. They’re obviously online centric, and they choose to communicate with us through email,” Pearl says.

Pearl says that OneCupConnection.com’s open rate is about 30% and that it’s conversion rate is between 5 and 10%. He says that emphasizing its own brand presence, as well as those of its coffee suppliers, including Caribou Coffee, Ghirardelli, and Keurig, is vital.

“It’s about changing it up, keeping it fresh, [and] leveraging the brand that we have,” Pearl says. “We work with the top brands in the business. They’re the brands that people want, so [it’s] leveraging the brand equity of our suppliers, as well as just reinforcing our own brand.”

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