Higher value items to drive subscription growth, says Barclaycard

Non-traditional sign-up products and services from retailers that are not usually associated with subscriptions are likely to drive the next phase of growth in the subscription economy.

According to data from Barclaycard Payments, which processes £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK, retailers that sell higher value items are likely to fuel the next wave of the subscription economy.

The figures show that DIY & home improvement - 76 per cent; homeware & furniture - 73 per cent; department stores - 73 per cent; and technology businesses - 69 per cent, all plan to launch new subscription offerings, beating the industry average of 61 per cent.

“Our data indicates higher-value products such as furniture and technology are where new growth is coming from, rather than more traditional areas like entertainment and meal kits,” said Harshna Cayley, head of online payments, Barclaycard Payments. “Although phone subscriptions have been around for many years, more recently we’ve seen packages for wearable devices, coffee machines, bicycles and even robotic vacuums all start to take off.

“Businesses who diversify by tapping into how consumers want to pay for, and renew, more expensive items will be best placed to thrive as the subscription economy evolves.”

Barclaycard said that 68 per cent of businesses that currently offer subscriptions are also planning on expanding their portfolios before the end of 2022.

Of businesses which do not currently offer subscriptions, many report plans to invest in new offerings, with technology companies - 50 per cent; department stores - 49 per cent per cent; and homeware & furniture retailers - 41 per cent per cent, all planning to launch at least one new sign-up product or service within the next year.

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