The subscribers you acquire during BFCM and the December holidays will be your largest cohort of the year (exciting!). They will also be your most vulnerable group to experience subsequent billing issues (anxiety-inducing).

Your largest cohort of new customers of the entire year is your most vulnerable to passively churn in the New Year.

Why?

3 Big Billing Issues that come with the holiday sales rush.  

Due to the nature of subscription cycles, you likely won’t see this churn until one, two, maybe three months after the initial purchase. But when you do, you’ll be faced with an entire cohort of new subscribers passively churning in-masse shortly after the holidays.

So what happens during the holidays to cause this “higher-risk” cohort of subscribers?

These are the Big 3 Holiday Billing Issues that subscription ecommerce companies will face (and how to protect your store in 5 minutes or less) :

1. Increased use of pre-paid debit cards and gift cards that run out of funds

Pre-paid debit and gift cards are popular holiday gifts. Often times, customers will use these to sign up for subscriptions they’ve wanted to try.

Exciting, yet risky.

These subscribers will reach a point, perhaps as early as month 2, where they’ll need to place a new card on file to keep their subscription active.

Without a solid recovery sequence/update method in place to help get that new card on file, the majority of these customers will quietly churn.

2. Increase in fraud (aka more new credit cards issued)

As credit card fraud ramps up over the holidays, many consumers will be forced to close down credit cards and get new ones issued by their banks.

As a result, these subscribers will also be required to place a new card on file to keep subscriptions active. Just like those who run out of funds on pre-paid cards / gift cards, you’ll need an easy (and secure) way for them to get that card updated.

3. Increase in spending limits hit

The holiday sales season is all about… well… sales. And spending money. Despite our best intentions, even the most frugal consumers can overspend during these months. Meaning, more people are hitting their credit card spending limits.

Unlike the first two billing issues, these customers will not (in most cases) need to place a new card on file to keep their subscription active.

However, it can take several days for spending limits to get resolved with the credit card companies/banks.

This is where well-timed retries can help clear the payment on the existing card.  With proper retry timing, you can resolve this issue without immediately spamming these customers with emails telling them they need to update their card (they don’t).

If handled properly, these customers should never experience a disruption to their communications or service with you, and you won’t experience a spike in billing-related support requests/frustrated cancellations.

Protect Your Store Before the Rush

With the amount of effort, money, and resources you’re pouring into acquisition this holiday season, it’s a no-brainer to get a safety net in place.

Especially one that takes no more than 5 minutes from your team to set up, and guarantees to pay for itself many times over.

Acquisition sets your ceiling. Retention sets your floor.


It’s prime time.
And we’ve got you covered during the holidays.

  • Free white-glove account setup by a senior account manager.
  • No time requirements from your team (other than a couple clicks). five minutes (or less).
  • Peace of mind going into BFCM

Or Book a Demo


Join the best in the biz and keep your holiday subscribers

Joelle Goldman

Author Joelle Goldman

Partner at Churn Buster

More posts by Joelle Goldman