Something very old is now a hot trend as online marketers gear up for the 2014 holiday season. Ecommerce Times has written about the benefits of subscriptions in terms of creating a more predictable revenue stream while providing flexibility for customers (think Netflix vs. Blockbuster). Pando Daily explained why they went from negative to positive on subscriptions when they saw promising implementations from online merchants like Birchbox, Blue Apron and Jessica Alba's The Honest Life.
Shoedazzle is a high profile online merchant that had moved away from subscriptions but is now getting back in. Socially strong (over 2 million Facebook Likes), Shoedazzle is finding that subscriptions are boosting engagement and helping to justify higher customer acquisition costs. Help is coming for smaller merchants; Microsoft just announced new subscription apps that will provide big time flexibility to smaller merchants.