ShopTalk | Subscription services, all boxed up
Subscription boxes have taken consumers by storm. From cosmetics and pet supplies to clothing and meal kits, subscription models can be built to suit a variety of personal tastes and preferences. They also bridge the gap between the convenience of online ordering and the gratification of physical products. Add to that the convenience of front-door delivery and the surprise factor, and it’s easy to understand why subscription services are so popular.
In a previous ShopTalk survey, 79% of respondents reported an active subscription to a product or service. However, service subscriptions (online video, newspapers/magazines, gym memberships, etc.) were far more popular with respondents being twice as likely to subscribe to a service versus a product. This edition of ShopTalk takes a deeper dive into product subscriptions, who’s using them, and what types of product subscriptions are most popular.
Vantiv and Socratic Technologies conducted a survey of 500 consumers to learn more. Here are the results.
One in four consumers subscribes to a product
28% of total survey respondents are members of a product-based subscription service.
Product subscriptions are most popular among younger consumers
55% of Millennials and 32% of Gen Xers are members of a product-based subscription service.
Why do consumers sign up for product subscriptions in the first place?
The most common reason for signing up is “Just for fun” at 45%. This is followed by:
- Saving money – 43%
- Saving time – 38%
- Receiving a coupon/discount – 37%
- Curiosity – 35%
- It was a gift – 29%
Subscriptions that deliver cosmetics and beauty/grooming products are most popular among consumers
11% of respondents receive subscription boxes that offer makeup, razors, and/or other health and beauty aids. Snack boxes are a close second at 10% and clothing boxes come in third at 8%.
Men are slightly more likely to participate in product-based subscriptions
29% of men report having memberships compared to 27% of women.
Millennials are the generation most likely to recommend subscriptions to others
The youngest generation polled in the survey is most likely to recommend product subscriptions to other people – 40% of Millennials said they would do so, compared to only 4% of Retirees. Men are also more likely to make recommendations at 20% versus 16% of women.
Over one-quarter of respondents plan to subscribe to something over the next year
Millennials are most interested in future subscriptions at 57%.
There are some common themes for why respondents are NOT interested in product subscriptions
Here’s a sampling by category:
Clothing/accessories – shoppers want to try on items before they buy them
“I like trying things on and feeling them before I buy.” (Gen X)
Snacks/food – prefer to buy in-store
“I don't normally eat snacks, and if I do I get them at the grocery store.” (Retiree)
Meal kits – overall lack of interest
“I prepare my meals from recipes or from memory.” (Baby Boomer)
Wine subscriptions tend to last the longest
Wine subscriptions last the longest at 1.5 years. This is followed by clothing/accessories (1.4 years) and cosmetics/grooming (1.3 years).
Price sensitivity can lead to cancelled subscriptions
Price is the most common reason why people cancel their product subscriptions, with 47% of respondents citing this as their chief reason. Of those who cancelled, more than half (56%) replaced it with another subscription.
Interested in more statistics? Find more topics here.
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