The rise of Subscription Services

In recent years the Subscription Service model has exploded, with a whopping 9 out of 10 people admitting to subscribing to at least one regular service each month. The offering is vast, we can now sign up to almost anything as a subscription, from your weekly food shop, monthly beauty products, meal kits, dog food, plants, the list goes on!

As consumers, our buying habits have fundamentally changed – we have an increasing desire for immediacy and regularity, this alongside advances in technology for ordering and logistics, has meant the world has shifted towards a subscription based model.

As more people now opt to subscribe, as opposed to visit a physical outlet, there is a real opportunity for forward-thinking businesses who choose to take advantage of this shift. A focus on delivering exceptional customer service each and every week/month to keep customers happy and renewing their subscriptions has changed the dynamic, moving away from transactional product pushes towards building successful customer relationships.

The benefits to business are clear – recurring, repeatable, predictable revenues from monthly payments and contracts, plus options for referrals through ‘Social Proof’. For consumers, this gives greater flexibility of options, helpful ‘reminders’, and more flexible financing capabilities.

 

The Milkman was the entrepreneur of delivery boxes!

If you think back, the subscription model started out with the good old fashioned Milkman (or to be politically correct a Milk-person, did anyone have a milk woman?). He/she not only delivered your milk to your door, but also upsold to other household items such as bread or juice. The milkman was effectively operating as an early day Subscription Service. You would pay ahead of time every week or at the end of the month, and the milkman would regularly deliver it to your door, tailored to your individual needs.  Then there was Eismann (frozen goods), organic fruit and veg (Able and Cole, Riverford), until the recent explosion of just about everything and anything!

 

Setting Your Business Apart

Here at February we believe this rise makes the appearance and awareness of less physical aspects of a brand ever more important. As well as stellar design that really catches the eye, consistent branding and communication play ever-growing key roles in interacting and building a long-lasting relationship with subscribers. When working with brands, we consider the market place that it operates in, whether physical or visual, helping to achieve results through correct application, whether on a strategic or design level.

 

The Future of Subscription Models

Stanford University predicts that this growth will continue. Reports found that the market has grown by more than 100% a year, increasing from $57 million in sales in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016.

The first question on everyone’s mind of course is ‘will the bubble burst?’. Zuora emphasises that the subscription model will continue to grow and prosper, although ‘Modern businesses need new technology to support subscription models’.

 

Our Take On Subscription Models

 At February, we welcome the ever-growing Subscription Model (Hello Fresh, Able & Cole and Tails being heavily used by the team in the studio) and are pleased to be working with our clients creating captivating designs, consistent branding and relationship-building communications to further their success.

 

Sources:

https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/08/the-great-subscription-shift-is-this-the-end-of-ownership/

https://www.essentialretail.com/analysis/rise-of-subscription-boxes/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2018/05/30/the-subscription-box-industry-is-getting-more-crowded-than-ever/#354d4e143a39

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/why-every-business-will-soon-be-subscription-business

https://www.zuora.com/2018/10/24/4-predictions-for-the-future-of-the-subscription-economy/