What if automatic restocking was a perfect response to today’s health crisis? Automatic replenishment responds to many challenges: avoiding stock outages, optimizing order and logistic flow management, simplifying order preparation, delivering the right quantities to consumers to avoid overconsumption… More than ever, facilitated by digitalization, restocking offers are emerging as a suitable solution for consumer purchases. Outside of a crisis context, the purchase of certain everyday items is often seen as a constraint by consumers. Everyday products and basic necessities represent a considerable annual budget. Consumers could then only consume the economic quantities they really need. That’s the whole principle of replenishment. How is this a relevant business model, both on the consumer and brand side? Let’s take a closer look.
Restocking basic necessities: the answer to the crisis?
Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and can be changed by special circumstances, as the current containment environment demonstrates.
Food and childcare e-commerce sites have been exploding since the beginning of the health crisis. To cite an example, one of our customers, Toc toc Rungis, Rungis’ first live online market, has recorded a record number of orders since the beginning of the crisis.
Traditional distributors are also adapting. In order to secure the supply of its customers, Carrefour launched on 23 March 2020 a subscription food basket offer by offering a selection of essential products. This new offering meets several pressing objectives: simplifying resupply for customers and distributors, meeting demand flows, securing the supply chain, streamlining logistics in warehouses and optimizing the work of carriers.
In an unprecedented context, e-commerce giant Amazon has announced that it will focus on deliveries of basic necessities including those included in its “save by subscribing” offer.
Automatic restocking has a double advantage. For the consumer, it is to be reassured about the supply of everyday products and the time to replenish. For distributors, it is a more predictable management of its inventory and logistics.
The solution for restocking consumer products has been around for several years. Some companies have even placed it at the heart of their business model.
Restocking: when the subscription takes up consumer products against the odds
In addition to the exceptional context of the health crisis, the French are also looking for answers related to certain problems of their daily lives. This is where the business model of the replenishment makes sense. This principle aims to order any everyday consumer product, through a subscription, to ensure an automatic supply.
Consumers can subscribe to a certain periodicity of hygiene, maintenance or baby products and manage their inventory and restocking from an online interface. This subscription e-commerce creates a “mix” between the needs for these products as well as the freedom and ease of this offer. The purely time-consuming aspect of buying consumer products can thus be revisited to allow the consumer not to be embarrassed by the forecast.
The mission of the replenishment is therefore not to counter-circuit mass-distribution, but rather to respond in another way to the needs of consumers. Subscription restocking also transforms the entire customer relationship.
Restocking: a business model that is gaining ground
This new model has been popularized by the e-commerce giants, taking advantage of its existing infrastructure to offer new services combining convenience and loyalty. This is the case for Amazon, which offers its Prime subscribers the “save by subscribe” program. Thus, from a dashboard, the consumer can manage his subscriptions of recurring products, take advantage of declining prices and fast delivery.
Restocking is a business model that is available in all market sectors, including retail where this model is gaining ground. A number of brands have already chosen replenishment, which is not limited to food products.
Gillette, for example, has launched its own razor subscription offer. The brand realized that even though 5% of their sales of razors and blades are made on the Internet, this figure had significant growth potential: it saw it as an opportunity to satisfy this niche. Gillette responds to consumer requests through monthly subscriptions. The brand takes care of each order with a particular conditioning effort.
Some startups have put restocking at the heart of their subscriptions. This is the case of Marguerite and Co. offers its customers a monthly replenishment of organic tampons for 9 euros per month. The concept of subscription is also gaining ground in the world of childcare. Tiniloo offers a monthly subscription service for restocking eco-friendly diapers and design. For its part, Popote offers parents of young children a monthly subscription to organic food bottles.
Today’s consumer trends and particular context demonstrate that it is more than necessary for retail brands to adopt this business model in turn.
How can ZIQY help you set up a subscription solution? We’ll be happy to answer your questions: ask for a demo.