How to Leverage E-commerce Features in Membership Website

Improving the ways clients can buy member-exclusive content on the membership website is the art and science! Needless to say, it will vary from site to site.

In this article, we’re breaking down what types of e-commerce features on membership sites prevail and how to leverage them with organic e-commerce marketing.

Explore our deep dive to learn how to optimize your membership site and use e-commerce features in new, fresh ways.

Just thinking about starting your membership site? Discover our 25 killer membership site ideas!

What counts as e-commerce features in membership website

First of all, what are e-commerce features in your membership website? Very broad categories include: 

  1. Purchasing digital products: eBooks, software, and exclusive content like articles, videos, or tutorials.
  2. Buying physical products: sell merchandise or event tickets.
  3. Subscribing to services: members are paying for access to the website’s content and features.

Right off the bat, how does e-commerce marketing on a membership website differ from traditional one? Here are key ways:

  • member-only discounts, or access to limited edition products.
  • personalized content and recommendations based on members’ preferences or purchase history.
  • improving and monetizing community engagements.
  • subscription-based monetization model and often a recurring fee.
  • retention efforts organized around re-engaging existing members.
  • prioritized privacy and security data for members.

How to choose the software that provides many e-commerce features for a membership site

ARMember - Top-rated WordPress Membership plugin

The software and extensions you use will most of the time define your options for e-commerce.

So it should be a really cool software with tons of extensions that will help you get the most out of your membership site monetization ideas.

Yet it all depends on the goals you want to achieve and the type of content to sell. With the ARMember membership plugin, you get 35+ extra add-ons for free, in addition to the core tools. Those particulate focused on e-commerce include:

Choose wisely and trust the membership management software that has many e-commerce oriented tools

How to leverage all e-commerce features with membership marketing?

Keeping in mind all the above, here are 10+ e-commerce marketing tactics for membership websites that we can recommend to the vast majority of this type of a website:

leverage e-commerce features with membership

Offer targeted member product recommendations

Leverage member data and purchase history via the e-commerce or analytics software you use to recommend relevant products or services within the membership platform. You can also collect such data via social networks using tools like Recommendly or Personify (member engagement tools).

Implement smart content restriction rules

Consider offering different membership tiers with varying levels of access to reviews, early purchase options, and other benefits. Use the WordPress ARMember plugin for optimal and flexible content restriction rules on your membership website.

Future-proof your membership business with retention tactics

Build your e-commerce marketing around retention – engage current members to stay with you. Find ways to do this that work best for you; that can be hiring new influencers or tutors, as well as integrating more classical exclusive discounts or promotions on products or services.

Ditch lifetime payments, embrace annual payments

There are multiple stats results that annual payments create a more steady workflow for any business. If you are creating membership content on a regular basis spending your time and resources, consider if it is worth providing a one-time fee option for members?

Utilize AI-powered tools

You can get very creative with AI and the right tools that can be integrated with your membership site. Leverage AI to recommend customized learning paths or content based on member goals and interests, analyze feedback and reviews through AI, and speed up content creation.

Incentivize members to purchase within the platform

Go beyond selling digital-only or physical-only products, extend your lineup! Are you selling diet and health oriented member-only content and nutrition plans? Start selling motivational T-shirts or sell your hours for expert consultation!

Improve content marketing with purchase CTAs

Don’t underestimate CTAs – they should be informative and help you sell your services. Create informative blog posts, articles, and videos showcasing the benefits of your membership products or services, with clear calls to action for members to purchase.

Run smart limited-time offers and flash sales

Create a sense of urgency and excitement by offering limited-time discounts or flash sales on select products or services. OptinMonster or Deadline Funnel can help you implement it on your website.

Rethink membership loyalty programs and rewards

Instead of impersonal point-based loyalty programs, get feedback from clients and create exclusive events, workshops, or webinars. Experiment with offering early access to new products or services. Popular solutions like LoyaltyLion or Yotpo are designed to help you.

Allow for choice-based rewards

Get the most of your gamification tactics – allow members to choose rewards that best suit their preferences, from discounts and merchandise to experiences and donations to their favorite charities.

Experiment with pre-order campaigns

Build anticipation and generate early interest by offering pre-orders for upcoming products or exclusive launches. Seek inspiration on platforms like Kickstarter or LaunchRock.

Create bundled product offerings

Create membership product bundles that combine popular items or offer discounts for purchasing multiple products together, or that give access to several member-content types.

Promote member testimonials and case studies

Member testimonials have a direct influence on your everyday income. Showcase positive member experiences and success stories with your products or services to build trust and encourage others to purchase. In addition to your own membership website, try to promote positive feedback on regularly visited platforms like Google Business Account or Trustpilot.

Offer membership demos and tutorials

How to help prospective members learn more about your offerings? In addition to offering free content for the start, why not create interactive product demos or webinars that educate members on the features and benefits of your membership platform, thus attracting more new customers. You can even use free video conferencing solutions like Zoom to organize first-hand experience walkthroughs on your membership site.

Key Takeaways on How to Leverage E-commerce Features in Membership Website

Here are few ways we recommend you to consider and re-think your e-commerce marketing tactics for a membership website: 

  1. Don’t just improve monetization of the existing member products, increase the number of the products. Add digital products if you are selling physical ones and vice versa.
  2. As a membership website owner, set yourself in the mindset of rethinking your current marketing tactics and software. Choose your favorite podcast or blog for regular doses of news and inspiration.
  3. Implement streams and webinars to add more ‘live’ content to your membership site in addition to static paid content.
  4. Learn the business benefits of generative AI.
  5. Future-proof your membership business with retention tactics.

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Brain Denim

Brian Denim

Meet Brian, a WordPress expert with a decade of experience in web development and a passion for technical writing, watching movies, and camping.

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