Selling directly to consumers is far from a new business model, but the pandemic has rapidly boosted subscription rates for direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailers. A new study published in collaboration with PYMNTS and sticky.io shows subscriptions as a whole have grown more popular since the pandemic’s onset, with more “subscription curious” consumers spending time browsing online options, testing products and signing up for free subscription trials.
The 2021 Subscription Commerce Conversion Index takes a deep dive into why customers subscribe and explores consumers’ motivations for skipping third-party retailers and buying directly from brands.
According to the index, among the 23 million Americans who have at least one retail subscription that allows them to purchase products directly from manufacturers, 80% do so because they want more variety, higher quality items, enjoyment and fun or because ordering directly is the only way to access the product.
To exceed customer expectations, D2C subscription service providers must go beyond simply offering convenience and ease of use — although those are essential elements to customer retention. To really engage and entice customers, subscription providers must deliver on their customers’ demands for unique, personalized and enjoyable subscription experiences.
The index also dives into the differences between “must have” and “nice to have” subscriptions. Consumers are especially eager to use “must have” subscriptions to automatically make essential purchases. According to the index, “80% of surveyed consumers who have health and wellness subscriptions have one for convenience.” Moreover, 84% have pet supply subscriptions and 82% have household supply subscriptions for the same convenience factor.
Survey results found consumers are less likely to use subscriptions to automatically make purchases for nice-to-have items, such as beauty and alcohol products. “77% of consumers use subscriptions to automatically make beauty purchases, for example — still a majority, but less than the share that does so for more essential products,” according to index findings.
The index uncovers many other interesting insights and key ecommerce platform features that convert “subscription curious” consumers into long-term customers. The 21-page report also covers:
· Common friction points during subscription sign-up
· How to retain customers after initial sign-up
· Habits of top-performing subscription merchants
· Subscription features customers expect in 2021
· The low-down on effective promotions