Consumers use subscriptions to access products

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The factors driving consumers’ use of subscription services have changed over the course of 2021. Today, the majority of consumers use retail subscriptions to access high-quality products that they can’t find anywhere else, according to the subscription commerce conversion index, a PYMNTS and Sticky Collaboration .io based on a survey of 2,424 consumers.

Get the report: Subscription Commerce Conversion Index: The Exclusive Access Effect Edition

This is a notable change from the first three quarters of 2021, in which more subscribers reported using retail subscriptions primarily for convenience.

Today, 12% of consumers say their main reason for using retail subscriptions is exclusive access, while 10% say it’s because subscriptions are more convenient than in-store purchases.

Consumers also use subscription services because they are a way to add fun and amusement, they are the only way to access the product, and they save time.

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The highest factor varies by generation. While the bulk of Gen Xers, bridge millennials, and millennials use retail subscriptions for that exclusive access, Gen Zers use them to save time, and baby boomers and seniors use a subscription service because it allows them to buy the products they need without having to remember to shop regularly for them.

Feature offerings from subscription service providers have also changed over time. The share of merchants offering free shipping, warranty or refund policies, pause features, and buy buttons has increased for four consecutive quarters.

Today, six of 15 key features that have been shown to improve subscribers’ user experience are now offered by more merchants than PYMNTS has ever measured before.

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However, many merchants are still struggling to keep up with the rest of the pack. Features help top vendors differentiate themselves from lesser performers, including product ratings and reviews, quick add-to-cart features, plan options, warranty or refund policies, and password restrictions. past.

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