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Test different automatic product refill options

Jun 16, 2021

Some sites offer an automatic refill option for products that are regularly repurchased by the same customer when they run out (e.g. skincare products or coffee). If your site offers an auto-refill option, consider the following ideas to present the option in a way that’s not overwhelming and encourages engagement.

Reflect on what is presented in the initial view

Experiment with which options you present on the product details page to see what resonates most with your buyers.

Which option is auto-selected?

This can be the most impactful choice you can make when it comes to how you present auto-refill. Try running a variation where the automatic renewal option is preselected instead of the one-time purchase option. Have another variation with the one-time purchase preselected.

Renewal options

Try different preselected renewal times (e.g. every 2 months vs every 3 months).

CTA Verbiage

Try different verbiage around what the option is called. Sometimes one phrase might make sense internally but not resonate quite as well with customers.

Some examples of renewal options might include:

  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe & Save
  • Deliver every [2 months]
  • Auto replenishment

Some examples of individual purchase options might include:

  • Single purchase
  • One-time purchase
  • One-time delivery

Keep it simple

Keeping it simple is often the best approach to designing the page. One area where this can make a big difference is how you present auto-renewal options. You don’t want to overwhelm the customer while they’re trying to decide if they want to make a purchase.

Subscription information

If there is more context you want to convey to your customers, you consider placing it behind an info icon or a “learn more” link, where the info appears if the customer clicks or mouses over the object.

Example: e.l.f. Cosmetics

They present a simple option that just says “Free Shipping with Delivery Every: [3 months]” followed by an “?” Info icon.

When you click the icon, additional info pops up:

Free Shipping with Delivery
Reveal renewal options

There are often multiple decisions a customer must make with automatic renewal:

  • Should I automatically renew this purchase?
  • How frequently should it automatically renew?
  • How many items should be sent to me at that time?

The biggest decision is whether they want to enable auto-renewal or not. Consider hiding other options until they make that decision so as to not overwhelm them unnecessarily.

Example: Amazon

Amazon hides the additional options and much of the text until you select auto-renew.

Auto-renew Options

Promote the benefits

Customers are more likely to take advantage of something if they gain some benefit from doing so. If you offer a discount, free shipping, or another promotion along with automatic renewals, make sure to prominently display these benefits.

  • Consider using a different size/color font or using images/icons to make it pop.
  • Consider indicating how easy it is to cancel or pause (e.g. “If you need to skip a month, it’s easy to pause or change frequency”). Let buyers know that they’re in control and they don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a commitment.
Example: Kate Somerville
  • There’s not much text around the option, making it easy to focus on the benefits.
  • The first line covers the discount and free shipping.
  • The next line eases the customer’s mind, indicating they can cancel if they want.
Kate Somerville Auto Refill Options
Example: Amazon

The benefits are highlighted in a few ways:

  • A visual indicator shows that you save 5%
  • A future 10% discount is teased
  • The discounted price and amount saved is shown
  • No hidden fees and easy cancelation are reassured
Amazon Auto Refill Options

Repeat the option on the cart page

If you’re offering the auto-refill option for a given product, the cart page is a good place to remind customers of this option. They might change their mind and turn this feature on at this point or want to adjust the frequency before they checkout.

Example: Kate Somerville

The Auto Replenishment feature is listed, similarly to how it was on the product details page. When selected, the price for the item is visibly discounted and additional info is listed below the listing to indicate that when you click the checkout button, the subscription is enabled.

Cart Page Auto Refilling

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