While subscription business models date back to the 17th century, there's been a significant uptick in the number of businesses, and industries as a whole, that have turned to sell subscription services in the last few decades. Requiring weekly, monthly, or annual fees for customers to access certain products, services, or exclusive content, subscription models have become a popular business strategy for many tech innovators to lock in long-term customers and secure a steady, recurring revenue stream. In fact, according to a 2023 report by Research and Markets, the global subscription e-commerce market was valued at US$96.61 billion in 2022 and is forecasted to grow to US$2,419.69 billion by 2028 at an annual growth rate of 71%.
But today, it's not just digital technology companies jumping on the subscription bandwagon—it's the name of the game for everybody. Driven by factors such as increasing internet penetration and the growing use of mobile devices, even retail brands and physical goods companies are beginning to adopt this business model. One industry increasingly offering customers membership programs and subscription models is car wash and car care companies.
Let's explore how car wash membership and subscription models work, their benefits to customers and businesses, and how there's an even greater opportunity to enhance car wash membership offerings through the mobile wallet.
Car Wash Clubs & Subscriptions
Subscription models deliver a crucial opportunity for businesses whose customers regularly buy the same products or make repeat visits for the same service. When 66% of Americans get their cars washed at least 13 times each year (for an average of one-to-two washes per month), it only makes sense for car wash companies to convert new and repeat customers into even more loyal shoppers. In doing so, they can get customers to sign up for periodic services and exclusive membership benefits in exchange for increased convenience and customer retention.
Car wash membership programs, also known as car wash clubs, are subscription-based membership services offered by local car wash companies that allow customers to pay a monthly or annual fee for unlimited car washes or a set number of washes periodically. Like online streaming services like Netflix, customers no longer have to pay for the service every time they use it; instead, they can get their cars cleaned whenever they want.
These programs typically offer multiple membership levels, with different pricing and benefits based on the frequency and type of car wash services desired by the customer. Benefits may include unlimited washes, discounted or priority services, and exclusive access to premium services. Customers may sign up for these programs online, in person at the car wash, or through mobile apps. Some car wash clubs even offer RFID tags that can be affixed to the car, allowing for automatic billing and access to the car wash.
4 Benefits of Car Wash Memberships & Subscriptions
Today's business landscape is shifting toward subscription models and elevated membership programs for a reason. Customers are demanding personalized and seamless experiences more than ever, giving companies, like car washes, the opportunity to deliver enhanced convenience, boost loyalty, drive customer acquisition, and generate a steady revenue stream.
- Convenience. Once signed up, customers can get their cars washed whenever they like, without the need to schedule or pay each time they use the service, making the car wash process more streamlined and hassle-free with a convenient, cost-effective way for customers to keep their cars clean.
- Customer loyalty. Customers who sign up for a car wash membership or subscription will likely use the service more frequently than one-time customers, repeatedly returning to the same car wash for future services. This is especially true when car wash businesses offer exclusive, personalized benefits to members, such as discounts, priority service, or access to premium services, to make customers feel valued and appreciated, which in turn, further strengthens their loyalty to the business.
- Customer acquisition. A membership or subscription service can also help car washes attract new customers and turn them into loyal members. The cost-effective and convenient option can entice new customers who may have previously hesitated due to the perceived cost or inconvenience of car wash services.
- Recurring revenue. A membership or subscription model is one of the easiest and most effective ways for businesses to generate a steady revenue stream. Instead of relying on one-time customers, car wash companies can expect a consistent income stream from members who pay a monthly or yearly fee for the service, helping their business better forecast and manage their finances.
Driving Customer Loyalty Through the Mobile Wallet
One trend helping shape today's membership and subscription market is the ubiquity of mobile wallets. We all know that the world has gone digital, and paper and plastic membership cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past as a result. From credit cards and boarding passes to gym memberships and event tickets, everything you ever needed to keep in your physical wallet can now be stored right on your smartphone.
With Fobi's Wallet Pass platform, we can offer the same opportunity for car wash businesses everywhere, augmenting and enhancing the experience for both the company and its customers. By introducing digital membership cards, Fobi can bring existing car wash club memberships right onto their customers’ mobile phones, providing them with easy access to their member information, promotions, benefits, and more, all in one place. Whether it be customer ID cards or points and stamp cards, Fobi's wallet pass technology can help car wash businesses improve the overall customer experience, enabling direct-to-consumer communication through the mobile lock screen. Car washes will be able to immediately target its car wash club members before, during, and after their appointments with new offers and promotions, driving increased revenue through repeat visits, cross-selling, and purchases through loyalty-based rewards.
Even for traditional car wash companies, who may not yet have membership or subscription services, Fobi allows such businesses to connect with their customers directly, encouraging increased frequency of visits and driving greater opportunities for upselling and cross-selling right through the wallet pass.
Fobi’s digital membership solutions also provide businesses with significant data capabilities, such as collecting, tracking, and attributing customer data like never before. Since membership programs are only as good as the information they leverage and action, Fobi’s data-driven analytics portal can be integrated into most cloud-based POS systems to deliver real-time insights that will help car washes make more informed business decisions and ultimately drive increased customer lifetime value.
Ready to digitally transform your car wash business through the mobile wallet? Contact us today to unlock the next evolution of membership and subscription models for car washes.