Even with the continued growth of retail subscriptions and the overall subscription economy, it is still hard even for us to obtain any concrete data on the overall subscription space. There are a few subscription focused retailers like Stitch Fix and Blue Apron who are now public and have to report key metrics and financial. There are also a lot of lager companies like Unilever, Gap, Under Armour and others who have subscriptions but the subscription business is just a part of a larger organization that they don't break out their subscription business in way that is particularly helpful. There are also thousands of smaller subscription based retailers who it is very challenging to gain much valuable insights on.
That is what we were so happy to see the recent "Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers" article and report from McKinsey & Company. They surveyed thousands of shoppers to understand and quantify subscription commerce trends for start ups, larger retailers and consumer brand manufacturers.
Great info for anyone looking for research on the overall subscription e-commerce market. Read the full article and see the trends, charts, data and more here. Some of our favorite nuggets of info on the subscription e-commerce retail space are below.
- The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years. The largest such retailers generated more than $2.6 billion in sales in 2016, up from a mere $57.0 million in 2011.
- The median number of subscriptions an active subscriber holds is two, but nearly 35 percent have three or more.
- Male shoppers are more likely than women to have three or more active subscriptions—42 percent versus 28 percent, respectively—suggesting that men particularly value automated purchasing and the ability to limit store trips
- Curation services, with 55 percent of total subscriptions, are by far the most popular, suggesting a strong desire for personalized services. Replenishment accounts for 32 percent of subscriptions and access subscriptions for 13 percent
- To continue subscribing, consumers (particularly curation and access subscribers) expect personalized subscriptions to become more tailored over time: 28 percent of both groups said that a personalized experience was the most important reason for continuing to subscribe.
- More than one-third of consumers who sign up for a subscription service cancel in less than three months, and over half cancel within six.