The surge in retail subscription commerce that emerged after the pandemic’s onset is still gaining momentum. Consumers have come to appreciate the ease, convenience and exclusive access to higher-quality products that subscriptions provide.
The number of subscriptions used has increased for four consecutive quarters, according to the Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, a PYMNTS and sticky.io survey of 2,424 U.S. consumers. The average subscriber now has five retail subscriptions on average — twice as many as in the first quarter of 2021.
Consumers now are spending less on each subscription, but more overall on all their subscriptions. The average subscriber now spends $37.73 per month on each individual retail subscription, working out to an average expenditure of $187.32. In the first quarter, they spent an average of $42.75 on each of their 2.5 retail subscription services for a monthly total of $106.86.
What’s more, 35% say they will keep their retail subscriptions unchanged, and 51% say they’ll add subscriptions. Only 14% of subscribers say they plan to cut back.
That’s substantially more consumers planning to keep or add subscriptions than in the third quarter. That quarter had seen some signs of belt-tightening, with 19% of subscribers saying they planned to cut back.
Consumers use retail subscriptions most commonly to get access to higher-quality items than they could get from other sources. Twelve percent of the consumers surveyed said that’s their primary reason for using retail subscriptions.
Other key factors include that retail subscriptions are more convenient than shopping in a store, they are a way to add enjoyment and fun, and they were the only way to access the product.