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How to Entice and Engage the Subscription-Curious Consumer

Subscription-curious consumers want to try products before making a long-term commitment and they’re quick to unsubscribe if they don’t love what they receive. Discover how to woo this segment of subscribers and exceed their expectations.

The subscription-curious consumer can be your brand’s most valuable acquisition — if you can hold their attention. According to the latest Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, this group of consumers is on the hunt for new, interesting, or unique subscriptions and now use 34% more subscriptions than they did a few months ago. The index, published in collaboration with sticky.io and PYMNTS.com, takes a deep dive into why customers subscribe.

Featuring survey results from more than 2,000 subscription users and deep analyses on the current subscription landscape, this index provides insights to keep subscription-curious consumers coming back month after month. Read this breakdown of the key findings and learn how consumers’ behaviors on subscription commerce are evolving as the economy continues to reopen.

What “Subscription Curious” Consumers Crave

Subscription-curious consumers want to test various products and are quick to unsubscribe if they don’t love what they receive. They’re happy to buy similar subscriptions to compare products. With a penchant for sampling, they prefer to use (and often expect) free trials before committing to your offer.

The index found that subscription-curious consumers now use an average of 3.4 different subscription services at any given time, an increase from 2.5 services in February 2021. They also believe the positives of the subscription experience outweigh their desire to avoid shopping in a physical store.

Give this growing segment the flexibility they crave by allowing them to pause, change or restart subscriptions within your member portal. The convenience of subscription self-management paired with the free trials they expect will entice them to stick around long after the first delivery.

Leverage The Power of Cross-promotional Partnerships

It’s no secret that cross-promotional partnerships can introduce your subscription brand to new audience segments, but index findings uncover just how effective these partnerships can be — especially among subscription-curious consumers. Half of all surveyed subscribers make purchases from third-party promotional campaigns touting products that complement their current subscriptions. Moreover, the index found consumers are 25% more likely to make purchases from subscription providers at least “most of the time” after receiving third-party promotions compared to their likelihood to do the same back in February.

The data shows the efficacy of cross-promotional partnerships, but getting those partnerships off the ground can be challenging without the right resources. Networking with other subscription providers through organizations like the Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA) is a great place to start.

Remember that you don’t need to partner with other subscription providers that offer the same products, rather products mutual consumers might find appealing. For example, a business that offers a monthly book subscription could team up with a coffee or tea company to provide readers with the chance to sip a beverage that originally came from a destination featured in the book.

Create opportunities for your customers to find meaningful connections with your products and watch your brand loyalty grow. See the related infographic.

Shift to Practicality

At the start of 2021, we found that many consumers turned to direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscriptions as a fun way to experiment with new products and even amp up the excitement as they stayed home while social distancing. DTC subscriptions shifted to be more practical in Q2. In fact, the index found 7.9% more DTC subscribers used those subscriptions to save time in May.

If consumers turn to DTC subscriptions for practical reasons, merchants must ensure they are offering convenience throughout the whole customer experience. Allow customers to self-manage their DTC subscriptions by enabling them to pause, change or restart their subscription. Not only does this approach empower the customer, it also frees up your customer service teams to focus on other initiatives.

Embracing the Paradigm Shift

While brick-and-mortar stores may be reopening, the impact of subscription commerce won’t wane, especially among subscription-curious consumers. Fewer consumers used their subscriptions to avoid going to the store in February than in May, and more of them are also using their subscriptions to save time, conserve money and simply to have fun.

Brands must use the back half of 2021 to target subscription-curious consumers and make the subscription experience memorable and convenient. Those with the data on changing subscription commerce trends and consumer expectations will have the ultimate advantage.  

Read the entire Subscription Commerce Conversion Index courtesy of sticky.io and PYMNTS.com