Williams Sonoma Launches Free Shipping and Recipe App Subscriptions

Helping the company focus on strategic objectives like expanding digital offerings and leveraging their popular cooking and recipes content

Williams Sonoma is the latest retailer joining the subscription economy, just in time for the holidays. Last week, the home retailer announced it was launching two new subscription products: a shipping membership program, Williams Sonoma Reserve, and a new recipe app, Williams Sonoma Recipes. The shipping will help subscribers save on their holiday shopping and shipping costs, while the recipes app will help with holiday entertaining and everyday cooking and menu preparation. And, of course, the subscriptions will help Williams Sonoma expand their digital footprint and help them to stand out among their competitors.

Williams Sonoma Reserve

At $99 a year, the Williams Sonoma Reserve membership offers subscribers free shipping on standard items for a year, and it includes a subscription to the new Williams Sonoma Recipes app, which is normally $39.99. It also includes access to four of Williams Sonoma’s most popular virtual cooking classes, an $80 value. In the fine print, Williams Sonoma says that surcharges apply to the free shipping feature, and Williams Sonoma Home or furniture is not part of the offer. Additional terms and conditions apply.

Williams Sonoma Recipes App

Available with the Williams Sonoma Reserve membership, or as a standalone subscription for $39.99 a year after a free 14-day trial, the Williams Sonoma Recipes App gives subscribers access to thousands of the company’s recipes and instructional videos that were developed and tested in the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen. Subscribers can also access exclusive content, how-to videos and tools that help customers create grocery lists (EasyAdd Grocery List), organize virtual recipe boxes and help develop customized menus.

The Recipes app is easily searchable, so subscribers can look for recipes based on key ingredients, cuisine type, season, holiday or even the kitchen appliances used to create the recipes. In the Cooking Classes section, recipes and videos provide useful how-to tips, including techniques for the best way to work with specific ingredients.

“Williams Sonoma Reserve and the Williams Sonoma Recipes app provide our customers new ways to engage with our brand and our coveted recipe content,” said Williams Sonoma President, Ryan Ross in a November 10, 2021 news release. “We’re excited to extend membership benefits like free shipping to our customers as well as virtual classes as we kick off the holiday shopping and entertaining season.”

The subscription is automatically renewable and can be paid for annually at $39.99 or monthly at $4.99. The app is currently available in the App Store, and subscriptions are charged through a member’s iTunes account. Current subscriptions may not be cancelled while active, but subscribers can turn off the auto-renewal feature in Account Settings on iTunes.

Insider Take

For the die-hard Williams Sonoma online shopper, the Reserve membership has the potential to save a customer on shipping costs, but shoppers should read the terms and conditions closely because memberships do not offer a free trial and membership fees are nonrefundable. The Recipes App, however, has a free 14-day trial, so subscribers can try before they buy.

Though $99 doesn’t quite sound like a deal for the Reserve membership, Williams Sonoma has nothing to lose by offering a subscription product offering free shipping on select products. If it doesn’t work, they can shutter the program, and the only ones who will notice will be subscribers.

We love the Recipe app though. It will compete with other services, like the NYT Cooking app, but for Williams Sonoma fans who love to cook, the $39.99 price tag is a steal, and it will help Williams Sonoma become even more of a “must have” for foodies and fans while expanding their digital footprint. Bon appétit!