Membership has its perks, and when it comes to belonging to a wholesale retailer, the benefits go far beyond being able to buy a 62-pack of toilet paper. Customers are joining Costco in droves and the company continues to see record breaking retention rates as their fan base grows.

If you’ve never been inside a Costco, the concept may be hard to grasp. You have to pay to play membership costs about $55 per year and you still have to pay for what you buy. Why would anyone pay an extra annual fee to go into a store and buy things he or she could go online and buy from a retailer like Amazon and get shipped to the doorstep for free?

People are drawn to for-profit membership-based groups for a lot of the same reasons they joined your organization. Members are part of your association because they need to be in the know about what’s happening in the industry to which they belong, and you’re setting the standards of excellence for continuing education, advocacy, and much more.

The same can be said for Costco. Not only can you purchase the things you need, like detergent and toothpaste, but you can also find specialty gourmet items, get access to discounted pricing on jewelry and cutlery, and “Members Only” travel savings. Customers may be joining Costco for the unbeatable pricing and convenient packaging of products, but they’re sticking around, year after year, for the additional benefits.

Costco immediately delivers value to members by slashing prices on groceries by selling them in bulk, giving customers the warm, fuzzy feeling we all get when we score a good bargain. What’s intangible is the impeccable quality, the attention to detail with seasonal items, and customer service. Being a member-based organization for individuals or groups in a similar industry or with similar interests, puts you in a unique position to capitalize on the expertise only your association has.

Join Amanda Myers, Abila’s Director of Member Strategy, on Thursday, June 8, at 2 p.m. ET for the webinar, “The Costco Effect Part 1: Membership Pricing and Packaging Strategies,” to learn how your organization can implement perfectly priced and packaged membership models to increase acquisition and retention, drive revenue, and deliver immediate value to your members.