Brits spending £552 a year on subscription services

The Coronavirus lockdown has created a ‘subscription society’, according to Barclaycard data, with Brits spending an average of £552 annually on sign-up services.

Research from Barclaycard Payments, found that two thirds (65 per cent) of UK homes are signed up to regular subscription services, with an average of seven contracts per household.

An increase in demand for home entertainment and direct-to-door delivery services during the lockdown period has driven spending on digital and subscription services up by 39.4 per cent year-on-year in July, with the market now worth £323 million.

The steady rise in popularity has led over a fifth (22 per cent) of UK retailers to develop a subscription service or product during lockdown, adding to the 28 per cent who already offered these services beforehand.

During April, spend on digital content and subscription services increased by 50.2 per cent year-on-year, showing Brits relied on this model during the extended time spent at home.

One in ten retailers launched their first sign-up service during lockdown, with a fifth looking to develop their subscription offering as restrictions eased. Three quarters of retailers believe subscription services offer a more reliable and predictable source of income than a one-time charge model.

In addition, 87 per cent stated that subscription services allow their business to keep up with competitors, as other brands launch similar products, while 82 per cent agreed that subscription services allow them to build customer relationships through increased contact.

Individually, Brits spend an average of £46 per month on subscriptions (£552 per year). Men top the list of super subscribers, spending an average of £57 each month (£684 a year), compared to £35 (£420 a year) for women.

Retail consultant Mary Portas explained: “Subscriptions were already a vital tool for UK retailers prior to the pandemic, helping businesses to remain nimble and transport their product or experience direct to their customers’ homes.

“We should remind ourselves that businesses in the UK have always been recognisable by their ingenuity and ability to pinpoint their customers’ needs," she continued, addng: "Now, with many pivoting towards the subscription economy, we have further proof retailers are willing to try new things to find untapped revenue streams.”

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