As stay-at-home COVID-19 mandates have forced consumers to be housebound, companies that rely on subscription models to deliver their products and services are reaping the benefits. PYMNTS research shows that nearly three-quarters of the adult population in the United States — or approximately 182 million consumers — subscribed to at least one such subscription service in July 2020, for example, a 9 percent increase from February 2020, and nearly half of these new subscribers are also likely to keep their services after the pandemic recedes.
In response to customer demand, our research shows that merchants across the board are improving services to fight churn by turning new customers into long-term subscribers. Sixty percent of merchants have improved their sign-up processes, reducing the time needed for subscribers to gain access to their services. Merchants have actively reduced the time it takes for consumers to sign up for their services by 17 percent between Q3 2020 and Q4 2020, reaching 127 seconds — the lowest since we began tracking subscription conversion in Q1 2017.
Merchants are also allowing customers to customize their subscription plans to further satisfy customers and reduce friction, with 52 percent of merchants now allowing subscribers to make changes to their plans and three-quarters offering plan options. This compares to 48 percent and 73 percent of merchants, respectively, that provided such features in Q3 2020.
For The Subscription Commerce Conversion Index: Adding Value With Subscription Features, in collaboration with Recurly, PYMNTS examines the online subscription processes of 190 subscription service providers in 10 industries to understand which of 47 different site features have the biggest impact on users’ overall subscription onboarding experiences. The analysis is also cross-referenced with our survey of a census-balanced panel of 2,130 U.S. consumers to understand the share that currently use subscription services, which types of services they use, the likelihood that they might cancel those services and how having the ability to pause their subscriptions might affect their decisions about whether to do so.
These are only some of the findings from our research. To learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting the subscription industry and what companies can do to keep their subscription bases, download the report.