What is a one-time purchase?

A one-time purchase is when a customer makes a single purchase of a product or service via a one-time payment. For example, when you pay for the latest version of your favorite sneakers via a one-time fee, this falls under the one-time purchase category. Meanwhile, signing up for monthly fees in exchange for a gym membership falls under the recurring purchase category. 

Often, on an ecommerce website, one-time purchase options are displayed alongside subscription options for certain products. This gives customers the flexibility to choose the option that best fits their budget and other needs.

Combining one-time purchases & subscriptions

Although a one-time purchase option differs from a purchase made via subscription, subscription brands will often combine the two billing strategies within their business model. When subscription brands offer personalized one-time purchase options to their customers as a supplement to their existing subscriptions, this strategy is known as cross-selling. 

Best practices for cross-selling

Cross-selling is a valuable tactic that can increase average order value, customer lifetime value, and customer satisfaction. This strategy gives subscribers greater flexibility over their purchasing experience and provides them with targeted product recommendations that they may be more likely to enjoy.

When cross-selling, be sure to make the experience as convenient as possible for shoppers. Ensure they can access your recommendations on whatever device they’re using, be it a desktop computer or mobile phone. Offer cross-selling recommendations at multiple stages of the shopping journey, such as on the account page or customer portal, on product detail pages, and on the checkout page. Most importantly, personalize your recommendations to increase their likelihood of success, using customer segmentation to help back up your suggestions with data.