Balancing Subscriptions & Memberships

How Wandering Bear Attracted 32% New Customers & Increased Member Net Sales by 48%

Wandering Bear’s partnership with Inveterate's paid membership program was about more than just exceeding sign-up targets. It was about strategically blending subscriptions with memberships, giving their customers more ways to engage, which resulted in 32% of member sign-ups from new customers and 25% of member sign-ups from past subscribers. Member net sales also spiked by 48% proving customers like options. Here’s how they did it.  

The Partner: Wandering Bear

Pioneers of the ‘coffee-on-tap’ concept, Wandering Bear has won the hearts of coffee enthusiasts with the ultimate trifecta: great taste, ample caffeine, and convenience. 

Their innovative approach to cold brew coffee, neatly packaged in a sustainable box, has successfully drawn a loyal base of coffee subscribers who swear by their strong, smooth blends.

However, just like a complex brew, they started to notice an undercurrent that needed attention—and it wasn’t the coffee.

The Challenge: Subscriber Churn

A coffee subscription is one of the best investments you’ll make for your morning routine—until there is quite literally too much coffee in the house. 

So, like most consumable companies offering a subscription, Wandering Bear noticed an uptick in subscriber churn. Not because they didn’t love the coffee, but because they ended up with too much. They only had two options: pause or cancel the subscription. 

They approached Inveterate with one goal: They wanted to offer both subscriptions and paid memberships, giving their customers the option of receiving the same subscriber benefits without subscribing to autoship. 

Combining Subscription With Paid Membership

Wandering Bear teamed up with Inveterate—leveraging our design, validation, configuration, and marketing expertise— for a custom membership program to complement their existing subscription program.  

✏️ Designing:  Inveterate’s customer success team focused on two areas:

  1. Seamlessly integrating a paid membership alongside subscription on their website.

  2. Crafting membership benefits with a uniquely different value proposition than subscription. 

Together, we established The Pack Membership. Customers are enticed with an array of perks including subscription pricing for all orders without the need for an auto-ship commitment, exclusive flash sales, access to secret menu items, and priority access to limited-edition flavor drops.

Subscribe & Save

  • Free to join

  • Discount on recurring deliveries of the same product

The Pack Membership

  • $19.99 per year

  • Subscription pricing on all orders without the auto-ship requirement. 

🙋 Validation: Even with a clear plan, customer surveys were used to validate interest in a membership program and potential benefits. Wandering Bear surveyed loyal customers who were not active subscribers in order to understand what would allow them to reconnect with the brand.

For those who canceled their subscriptions, the main reason was seasonality: they only drank cold brew in the Summer. Those who never subscribed were primarily deterred by the auto-ship requirement. Yet, a striking 78.4% of those surveyed said they are willing to pay for a membership program. These insights paved the way for the success that followed.  

⚙️ Configuration: Wandering Bear configured the membership backend within Inveterate’s platform. In collaboration with their agency, E House Studio, they further refined the user experience by developing a custom landing page and introducing an on-page membership widget alongside the subscription module.

🚀 Marketing: The unique membership benefits provided great storytelling moments for the brand, highlighting secret menu items and early access to limited-edition flavor drops, exclusively available to Pack members and subscribers.

“By combining our existing subscription program with a paid membership, we tapped into a deeper level of customer loyalty and engagement at Wandering Bear. Collaborating with Inveterate, we were able to truly listen to our customers’ desires, interpreting them into a meaningful and personalized brand experience.”

— Jillian Liberman, Director of Retention, Wandering Bear

“At Inveterate, we don’t view subscriptions and memberships as isolated strategies; we recognize for some brands the two strategies can be complementary. Subscriptions alone can often box your customers into a limited range of options. By using memberships and subscriptions side-by-side, it becomes more than just religiously purchasing a product; it’s about offering a full spectrum of experiences and creating a tailored connection with your brand.” 

—Allison Spalding, Director of Customer Success, Inveterate 

Results outpacing initial expectations

Since launching the program, Wandering Bear has achieved great results that demonstrate the introduction of Pack Memberships, along with subscriptions, hit a sweet spot.

Member net sales per month have increased by 48% (including the membership fee; 33% excluding it), even with a subscription discount applied to every order.

  • 25% of customers in the program were re-engaged subscribers, while 75% were drawn from a previously untapped market of non-subscribers. 

  • An impressive 32% of sign-ups came from brand new customers.

The underlying success of this approach was more nuanced than numbers alone can convey. Turns out, Wandering Bear’s customers were looking for more than just a product subscription. They wanted more ways to connect with the brand, express their loyalty, and share their love for Wandering Bear. The new paid membership program tapped into these needs, combining subscriptions with memberships to unlock more value for the brand.

Ready to introduce a game-changing loyalty program to your brand?

Drive contribution margin, profitability, and customer loyalty hand-in-hand with Inveterate. Inveterate’s team of experts will help you strategize, validate, and launch your membership program. The Inveterate app, downloaded from the Shopify app store, makes the technical integration a piece of cake.

Book your demo today.

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