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The benefits of using paywalls for ecommerce subscribers

Customers will have to enter their credit card information to access what's behind a paywall.

Thinking back about 10, or even 15, years ago, would any company have imagined that ecommerce would be as big as it is now? Customers from around the world flock to the web to make purchases today, something that didn't even seem possible in the early days of the internet.

Today, almost 80 percent of U.S. consumers shop online, according to data from the Pew Research Center. These customers cite the power to browse and research cost differences across sites as their reason for buying items on the web. Because purchasing online is so easy, ecommerce companies have to be sure they're protecting valuable clients and their sensitive information. As a result, paywalls are especially important for subscribers, according to The Media Briefing. Here are some of the benefits of these tools:

Customer security
Data breaches are every ecommerce business's worst nightmare. These incidents cause serious damage when it comes to consumer relationships, but the worst repercussions may not be felt at the onset. According to an IBM/Penmon study, the average total cost of a breach is $3.62 million. While the expense related to these situations is extensive, online retailers also have to consider loss of customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty – and what that will do to their bottom line.

Paywalls can help. These tools ensure consumers enter the correct information at every step of the checkout process to safely capture data and avoid hacks with stored materials in the future.  When combined with compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, paywalls provide a level of security that is hard to infiltrate.

"Ecommerce companies need to understand what information is most engaging to an audience."

Consistent buy-in
Paywalls are often used to safeguard high-quality materials. In the subscription ecommerce industry, this could be helpful white papers and ebooks that require a credit card payment to access. With valuable customers who are ready and willing to make this charge to see behind-the-scenes materials, online companies can create a stream of consistent revenue. The key to creating successful paywalls is understanding what information is most engaging and relevant to an audience. Once web-based retailers have gained hold of this insight, they can put those materials behind a paywall to generate more leads and earn greater trust from clients.

An air of authority
Over the years, the most trusted sites have implemented paywalls to guard their high-quality content and other ecommerce materials. Only those customers who visit the site frequently and know the true value of the information gain access, a strategy that works in many subscription businesses' favors. Adding a paywall to an ecommerce site gives the brand a sense of authority, as others of its kind have also added the tool. Clients who visit the site will believe that whatever is behind the paywall must be important to them, causing many to sign up and pay a fee on a regular basis.

Increased marketing opportunities
As more people sign up to access the materials behind an ecommerce organization's paywall, marketers gain quality leads and an opportunity to gather, analyze and utilize the data these consumers readily share. From email addresses and phone numbers to more in-depth information like reasons for signing up and interests related to the company itself, online retailers can turn individual input into actionable items and serious results.

Paywalls can be used for companies of all shapes, sizes and purposes, but are especially effective for ecommerce subscription companies looking to gain loyal customers and make use of consumer data to improve overall processes and offerings.

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