The wait is finally over! Today, we’re excited to launch Local Line Subscriptions, which allows you to offer recurring orders to all your customers. Perfect for CSAs, wholesale, and generally for farms who want to increase cash flow and customer loyalty.
Using Local Line Subscriptions, you can:
- Allow customers to place recurring orders at preset frequencies (weekly, monthly, etc.),
- Customize which products and packages are subscribable,
- Offer incentives for customers to subscribe,
- Highlight which delivery plans support subscription orders,
- Dictate payment terms for subscribable products,
- Log subscription orders on your customers' behalf,
- Enable customers to pause or skip a subscription,
- And more!
The best part is that Local Line Subscriptions is built seamlessly into the core Local Line platform, which means you can offer subscriptions sold by weight, include subscriptions in different price lists, and allow customers to order subscription products and a la carte products in the same checkout.
The more your customers are on subscriptions, the greater your cash flow predictability will be. Subscriptions have also been proven to increase customer loyalty and average order sizes.
What makes Local Line subscriptions the best?
In one word: flexibility. You completely control your subscription plans and everything related to them. You control every variable, including which products are subscribable, whether they’re subscription only or also enabled for one-time purchases, plan frequency, delivery dates, minimum orders, payment methods, pause/skip permissions, and much more.
The real world isn’t black & white, so Local Line subscriptions are flexible enough to handle the curveballs customers sometimes throw at you.
How much does it cost?
If you’re on our Starter or Core plans, Local Line Subscriptions costs $25/month. If you’re on our Premium or Ultimate plans, it’s included at no additional cost. And as usual, if you’re on an annual subscription, you receive a 20% discount.
We made Subscriptions as affordable as possible and consistent with our values, not unnecessarily to charge farmers a percentage of sales. Other platforms charge what is effectively a percentage of sales, disguised as a fee per subscriber (ex: $1/subscriber/month). The benefit of Local Line’s pricing is that it’s a small fixed cost, not a variable cost, that will continue to eat into your margin with every new subscription customer you add.
How does it work?
To launch your first subscription in Local Line, you to take four steps:
- Enable Subscriptions in your account settings by adding it to your plan.
- Select which products and packages can be subscribed to.
- Determine which price lists you want to enable subscriptions and customize your subscription settings (frequency, payment, pause/skip, etc.).
- Specify which fulfillment plans are valid for subscription products.
Because of the flexibility in Subscriptions, the setup will take you an extra couple of minutes compared to other platforms, but that extra couple of minutes will save you hours of work down the road because it’ll accommodate for all your different subscription rules & workflows.
If you’re not yet a customer of Local Line and want to try out subscriptions, sign up for a 7-day free trial: register.localline.ca.
Why did it take so long to build?
Building Subscriptions was not a straightforward, one-size-fits-all feature. Local Line supports thousands of unique farms selling all kinds of products to all kinds of buyers, which means there’s a fair number of workflows that need to be accounted for. Sure, at the end of the day, the core principle of subscriptions is a simple recurring order, but the way a produce CSA needs subscriptions to work can vary from the way a ranch selling wholesale needs it to work.
To accommodate for every use case, we had to tackle some behind-the-scenes work with the checkout. When you use Local Line Subscriptions, you'll notice that one of the key differences for your customers is that they’ll be prompted to select their fulfillment plan before adding products to their cart. Doing this helped us ensure we’re only showing subscription products to relevant customers. There were also some secondary benefits to this, including:
- Your customer gets immediate confirmation on how and when they’ll receive their order.
- Your customer can see your accurate order minimums, fees, and how close they are to your free delivery threshold, if applicable.
- Local Line can provide you with more detailed cart data, including:
- Inventory forecasts
- Fulfillment plan conversions
- Abandoned cart recovery
At the end of the day, we knew the feature needed to be really great for all farms on Local Line, and you can’t rush greatness!
Local Line Subscriptions lays the foundation for future features, including a box builder, product bundles, and future store credit enhancements. In the future, you can expect more from our subscriptions feature to accommodate advanced CSA needs and complex food hub subscription workflows.
Thank you to all of our customers who provided feedback over the past year, and a special thank you to all of our beta customers who helped us test and tweak Subscriptions to make it the best it can be. It will only get better from here!
*Please note: Local Line Subscriptions is currently only available for Suppliers on Local Line 2.0. We expect Subscriptions to be available to Food Hubs in 2.0 in the coming couple of weeks.