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, buying the latest version of your favorite sneakers via a one-time fee falls under the one-time purchase category, while paying monthly fees in exchange for a gym membership falls under the recurring purchase category. Often, on an ecommerce site, one-time purchase options are displayed alongside subscription options for certain products, giving 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 one-time purchase options to their customers as a supplement to their existing subscriptions, this strategy is known as cross-selling. This tactic can increase average order value (AOV), customer lifetime value (LTV), and customer satisfaction by giving subscribers greater flexibility over their purchasing experience and providing them with targeted product recommendations.