Why Subscribe Rather Than Own?

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CPG & FMCG | Customer-Centric | Digital | Industries | Media & Entertainment | Spending Trends | Video

Zuora Benefits of Product Service Subscriptions Apr2021Close to 8 in 10 (78% of) adults in various markets across the globe currently have at least one subscription service, while three-quarters say they will subscribe to more services and own less physical “stuff” in the future. What is driving consumers to subscribe instead of own? Here’s what Zuora found out from a Q4 2020 survey [download page].

The percentage of adults who subscribe to a product or service has grown since 2018, when 71% of respondents said they had a subscription service. The US is a little above the international average, with 82% of adults having a subscription service (up from 79% in 2018).

The increase in subscription services can be seen in areas such as grocery delivery (30% in 2020 vs 26% in 2018), music services (33% vs. 29%) and SVOD (53% vs. 46%). These increases were no doubt helped along by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Convenience influences the way people do many things including shopping and banking. It’s also one of the top reasons consumers subscribe to products or services instead of owning them, with 42% of the more than 13,000 adults surveyed saying as much. This is up from 41% who said convenience was a benefit to subscribing to a product or service back in 2018.

A little more than one-third also said they thought it was more beneficial to subscribe due to cost savings (35%). The same percentage felt that subscribing provided more variety than owning, up from 32% who felt the same in 2018.

Another possible benefit is the connection subscribers feel to the companies they deal with. Comparing direct-to-consumer subscription companies to companies where consumers make a one-off purchase, about two-thirds (64%) say they feel more connected to the subscription service company.

Some 7 in 10 (72%) also say they prefer to pay for how much they use a product or service, as opposed to paying a flat fee. Not only that, but three-quarters (76%) express that they feel good about the impact they have on the environment by subscribing to a product or service instead of owning it.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a Q4 2020 survey of 13,626 adults across Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spani, the UK and the US.

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