Traditionally when we think about a membership site, we imagine selling digital info products. Nobody talks about the benefits of integrating a membership site into an online store. In this article, I’ll explain what a Hybrid Membership Site is and how it can boost your online store.
What is a Hybrid Membership site?
There are 2 types of products you can sell online: physical products and digital products (which includes Membership programs). You can of course sell services, but we’ll set that to the side for now.
Normally people run an online store that sells only physical products or only digital products. Other sites sell digital products (informational products) on a subscription basis, we usually call those ‘membership sites’. Some websites even sell both physical products and one time purchase digital products. But you will hardly come across a website that sells physical products, one off digital products as well as membership program billed on a recurring basis.
Part of the problem is there’s not much awareness about the benefits of building such a powerful website which we call a Hybrid Membership Site. A hybrid membership site allows you to sell all 3 types of products through a single site.
It means you can create multiple revenue streams at the cost of running a single website. Isn’t that cool?
Why You Should Create a Hybrid Membership Site instead of an Online Store
The hybrid membership site gives your online business an edge. There are several benefits of building a hybrid membership site instead of a traditional online store. The hybrid membership site is beneficial in terms of monetary gain, sustainability, scale, business expansion, and increased profit in comparison to an online store.
The Hybrid Membership site serves many purposes that a traditional online store can’t. For example, if you’re selling an online product or products, depending on what you’re selling your customers may need to learn how to use that product effectively. If the product can be used in multiple ways several tutorials can be created explaining how to use the given product.
These tutorials can be sold as a digital product for a membership site. The best part is it will not only help you generate more money but also help your customers to make the most out of your products which increases their chance to repeat their orders. We will discuss more benefits of creating a hybrid membership site in the next section.
Benefits of Building a Hybrid Membership Site
Below is the list of benefits of a hybrid membership site versus a traditional online store.
1. Easier to sell products to existing members
A sale on a traditional online store is a one off transaction, meaning most customers are new and getting repeat purchases is a challenge. On the contrary, if a customer is a member of your online course or membership program they get attached to your brand. Even though they haven’t ever met you in person, you or your brand doesn’t remain a complete stranger to them and they know they can trust you. Hence it’s easier to sell your products to them in comparison to the non-members.
2. Increases Sales through Repeat Orders
If your members are in need of buying a product you sell, most likely they’ll buy from you instead of another seller. This is similar to rewards programs where they’re incentives and loyalty. You can also encourage your members to return to your store by offering them better prices or discounts which non-members won’t get. Thus a hybrid membership site will increase your sales.
3. Hybrid Membership Sites Help Increase Demand
Customer satisfaction depends on whether the buyer can use your product as expected or not. Through a hybrid membership site, you can offer tutorials that teach how to use your product. You can give users different ideas and teach new ways of using your products. Following your tutorial, if they will be able to use your product successfully, they’ll be satisfied.
4. Hybrid Membership Sites Create a Recurring Revenue Stream
One of the most important benefits of a hybrid membership site is, instead of one-off income you earn recurring income through subscriptions. Recurring income helps you predict your cash flow and you can plan your expenditure accordingly. The security of predictable (possibly passive) income gives you the freedom to take risks in your marketing endeavors. It also creates room for you to hire new talent and replace yourself with them so you can focus on growing your business and not drain your energy in day to day tasks.
Yet another advantage of having a hybrid membership site is, your members form a community. And if your community is thriving, it increases the possibility of members keeping their membership. The community also gives you a platform to update your members about new arriving products and keeps them engaged and active promoters of your brand.
5. Hybrid Membership Sites Open New Marketing Opportunities
For any online business, a constant struggle is finding new leads and audiences to market to. The cost of acquiring leads perhaps consumes the largest part of the marketing budget. A hybrid membership site automatically gets you the highest quality of leads in terms of member emails. You can offer free, downloadable resources or coupons in exchange for their email. You can also give them free membership access.
Email is considered the most effective tool for marketing in terms of ROI.
Also, a hybrid membership site serves all the purposes that you try to achieve through marketing such as increase brand awareness, improve retention and increase sales which makes the hybrid membership site a smart marketing tool for your business.
We strongly believe that a membership site can help every business in one way or another.
In this article, we discussed some major benefits of having a hybrid membership site instead of a traditional online store.
If you’re starting a new online store you must consider integrating a membership aspect into it. If you’re already running an online store, we recommend turning your online store into a hybrid membership site to get the advantages listed in this article.