As briefly noted in a recent post, we have looked into the sustainability, effectiveness and value of our extended product related services. What to expect and what changes are coming are being discussed here. Those services are Product Subscriptions and Primp + JÖL Club Pro.
Effectively immediately, all inactive product subscription items are being deleted. Any product subscriptions that are still active, meaning that there is currently a customer enrolled in a subscription for a specific product will still receive their products per the terms of the subscription. Once the subscription expires, it will not be able to be renewed. Any suspended subscriptions will be closed.
Why we are discontinuing this service: We added the ability to subscribe, or otherwise auto-ship, our most popular products based upon feedback from customers as well as industry trends and our competition. Since introduction of product subscriptions there has been comparatively very few subscriptions purchased. Then there are the associated costs on our end to maintain this service. The module we added requires an annual fee for us to pay to keep it up to date and functional. The costs of this module exceeded the added revenues received. This module is also plagued with issues that would open exploits to allow customers to get the product below cost and with always free shipping. Every step we took to prevent one exploit introduced another. For this reason, we were forced to require subscription products to be purchased individually and outside any other order. This change made this even less attractive as it forced customers to make multiple purchases at one time.
Primp + JÖL Club Pro Membership Plan
Site memberships were created as a means to offer value to our most actively purchasing customers. A program that was easy to use over offering “reward points”. We feel we created a solid package of discounts and offers to make this attractive and beneficial to those who would shop with us most. Although there was a membership fee for this plan, the fee was less than what it would cost to ship and the minimum amount of orders our most active customers placed during a year. This is why we included Free Shipping for members of the paid plan. Not only did they receive free shipping on every order, but they also receive 10% to 15% off every item. P+J Club Pro Memberships never reached the desired goal, even when our goal was set very low.
Effective immediately, both forms of joining the paid Primp + JÖL Club Pro plan have been turned off. These entries are still visible on our site but show as being “Out of Stock”. This will prevent renewals as well as new members joining. Once our last membership has expired, the listings will be removed.
Why we are discontinuing this service: Along with lack of engagement, this module also carries a cost to keep up to date and functional. It is also able to be exploited. With the shipping rates continually increasing, we felt the value prop of Free Shipping could not be included in the plan. The free shipping combined with subscriptions led to every member that subscribed to a product was causing us to essentially selling products at or below cost. Sensibly, this is not sustainable. We do wish to offer our most regular customers with savings and we are looking into a means to reward those customers with promoted specials via email.
What will happen to current members: Your membership will continue to receive all the same benefits throughout the duration of your paid membership. Once your current term (annual or quarter) ends, you will not be able to renew the plan. At that time, we will revert your membership to the free “Starter” level; where you will still receive a modest discount on most items we make.
Primp + JÖL Club Starter, will be renamed to simply Primp + JÖL Club. Members will still receive the modest discounts on most products we make and access to member exclusives. Discount terms as they are stated now may change or fluctuate but there will always be discounts on our most valued and purchased products.
We have removed the ACCESSORY, COMBOS, CLEARANCE, MEMBER EXCLUSIVE category groups from our website. Products within these categories have been migrated to either J&L Pogonotrophics, JÖL for You or JÖL for Home catalogs. This is done to remove clutter and place related options in one place. These categories were created to pull together products under a secondary grouping to highlight their availability. We are looking into a better way to link directly to sale/discount items that provides an attractive page to see what items are on sale.
The category pages for SUBSCRIPTIONS and MEMBERSHIPS have also been removed. We would also like to find a better way to offer Gift Cards (Account Credit) to make them easier to select when gift shopping.
Pages within our site that pertain to specific details about discontinued services will also be updated or made inactive. Over time we will rewrite policy pages to remove references to discontinued services and products.
Over the coming weeks you will see a lot of products removed from our website. These are products that have been discontinued and no longer available to order. Remaining inventory will be made available to sell at a significant clearance at upcoming festivals and pop-ups. This is all part of our plan to revamp our image and our products to match our Utility + Simplicity model.
The end result we hope to accomplish here is a more stable and reliable shopping experience for everyone. We wish to continue to offer great products and great prices. Removing services can be disruptive to those who are most affected and we wish to let everyone know that this decision did not come easily. We have spent the last year detailing every aspect of our business to ensure we are able to sustain growth while firmly standing behind our value for premium quality message.
These two services were not operating as designed or as expected. As well as being under utilized and easily exploited; creating problems for customers as well as for our operations. Without these services being available, we can return to offering more specials and sales that communicate a genuine savings and achieve the impact we intended through offering these specials.
How these changes will impact our pricing system: Up to now, we have had to do a lot of math to determine that everyone received a fair price when subscriptions, membership discounts and sale prices were taken into consideration. It was hard for us to offer a sale price that was attractive to new customers but would not prevent a loss for us with existing club members. Not offering an added discount on sale items for club members diminished the appeal of being a club member, even knowing that they would still get free shipping. Our system is not robust enough to compute a sale price for members and a different sale price for the everyone else; and have this scale across different categories and products. In the past we had to fluctuate the membership discount on a specific item when it was planned to to be on sale. This process is very labor intensive and would lead to errors and conflicts if not done meticulously.
We look to reintroduce a better Product Subscription model that is easily understood, seen as a real benefit with value and without exploits as soon as possible. We also wish to make subscriptions easier for shoppers to modify if they wish to change fragrance/scent of an item without creating confusion and involving contact to customer service to complete the change for them.
If you have any concerns or questions about these changes, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you kindly, John C Dodge