Is it time for you to offer a product subscription service?

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Our sister publication InternetRetailing has just published the findings of a report by Zuora in partnership with YouGov which found that 89% of the British population i.e. an unbelievable estimated 58 million Brits now subscribe to services. Subscriptions are the new way of shopping.

Of course many services subscribed to aren’t traditional ecommerce but include everything from media and entertainment to razor blades. That said there is a ‘stark’ rise in the number of more conventional businesses adopting the subscription model. 1.7 million people in the UK opt for subscription-based grocery shopping instead of the traditional weekly shop, with 600,000 having meal kits delivered to their door rather than buying individual ingredients.

With Brits spending 11% more on subscription services now than they were 12 months ago – with an average spend of £56 per month, increasing to £62 for 35 -54 year-olds, it’s worth examining your product set to see if subscriptions would benefit your business.

Some marketplaces are already in on the act and offer subscriptions for products, for instance with Yumbles you can subscribe to your favourite foods and on NotOnTheHighStreet you can subscribe to everything from socks to flowers and books.

“The only way businesses can sustainably maintain relationships with consumers and grow is by moving away from their product-centric mentality and creating long-term brand affinity based around flexible subscription-based services.”
– John Phillips Zuora VP EMEA

Not every product will lend itself to a subscription service and not every website platform or marketplace will support subscription packages. However if you have a product set for which you know buyers will make repeat regular purchases (think razor blades and pet food) then it’s well worth exploring further.

If you already operate a successful product based subscription service we’d love to hear more about how you built the model and pitfalls you discovered for other retailers to avoid.

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