Thought Leadership

Relationship Commerce

Year in review: How 2020 changed subscriptions forever

Let’s face it — 2020 wasn’t anyone’s favorite year. The pandemic and subsequent quarantine forced brands to toss their marketing and sales plans out the window and start over from scratch. It also sent consumers scrambling to figure out how to get their favorite products, without having to risk their health. It was challenging for everyone.

But there is a silver lining. Both brands and consumers discovered the advantages subscriptions offer. For brands, subscriptions opened up reliable, recurring revenue streams in a time when consumers were keeping their wallets closed tight. As for consumers, they were able to get the items they loved delivered right to their doorsteps, without having to suit up in face masks and gloves. It was truly a win-win.

And yet, the question remains: How well did subscriptions do in 2020? We crunched the numbers and can definitively say that subscriptions had a transformational year. Subscription enrollment jumped 48% in 2020, compared to 2019. And subscribers spiked 27%, compared to the same time period. Just as impressive, subscriber retention rates remained stable, meaning that not only were more shoppers purchasing subscriptions, they were sticking with them.

With these data points, we can confidently report that subscriptions aren’t a passing fad. In fact, the sky’s the limit for subscriptions. 2020 likely permanently changed consumer buying behavior in favor of subscriptions over less convenient buying methods like trudging to brick-and-mortar stores.

For more subscription insights and never-before-seen data, check out the infographic below. We explore the top performing industries for subscriptions, as well as highlight ways top brands can differentiate their subscription offerings in a crowded market.

Year in Review: How 2020 Changed Subscriptions Forever

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