Nearly a quarter of British consumers say they plan to sign up for more subscription services, with six in 10 claiming they are more loyal to brands they subscribe to.
A survey of more than 2,000 British consumers by Recurly has also revealed that 93% spend up to £150 a month on subscriptions, and are now more willing to spend time and money on in-person shopping (40%), in-person entertainment (36%) and travel abroad (34%).
Streaming video subscriptions are the most purchased, bought by 69% of consumers, with 42% signing up to retail subscriptions and 22% to food services. More than four in 10 (45%) said they tend to spend more money with brands and businesses they subscribe to.
Less cancel culture and more sign-ups despite inflation concerns
Nine in 10 of those surveyed said they are concerned by rising inflation in the UK, and 28% plan to cancel some of their subscriptions. But almost half said they will keep their current subscriptions and a quarter said they would sign up to more services.
The appetite for subscriptions appears to be growing, with a third of consumers stating they have more subscriptions than in 2020/21. The survey found increased subscriptions for streaming video (62%), retail (26%) and health and fitness services (18%). But streaming video and health and fitness – along with streaming audio – topped the list of most cancellations this year.
Oscar Wall, EMEA General Manager at Recurly, said: “As people return to in-person experiences, they are carrying their love of subscriptions with them. Streaming services, traditional retailers and in-person businesses are looking to retain and scale in 2022. With fears of the impact of inflation, it’s important for businesses to anticipate consumers’ subscription behaviours – our research suggests that subscriptions drive recurring revenue, loyalty, and growth as consumers establish their new spending habits and behaviours.”
Brands should offer exclusive content and services
More than a third (36%) of those surveyed by Recurly said that having exclusive access to content or services is a main reason for signing up for a subscription service.
Millennial and Gen-Z consumers were particularly driven to sign up to get exclusivity, whether in products, content, services or perks and discounts, with an average 40% of these consumers prioritising it as their primary reason for subscribing.
To achieve sign-ups to subscriptions, it's important to make signing on and cancelling easy, according to the research. More than half of consumers (56%) said they signed up due to an easy set up, and the ability to easily change or cancel a subscription.
The same proportion said that promotions like free trials and product samples encouraged them to subscribe to services, while half did so so they could earn loyalty points or get perks and discounts. Price increases were the main reason people gave for cancelling a subscription (72%), but 47% said they would do so if a competitor had a better offer.