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Why we’re all going subscription mad

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The new iPhone just came out and, of course, it comes with a big price tag.  And while many people may ignore it because they’re upgrading their phone or have it on contract, there’s something surprising lurking under the surface.

Forbes has reported that if you were an Apple user and decided to subscribe to all its add-on services (like Apple Music, TV, iCloud etc) it would cost the average person £82. That’s $100 a month solely for services you subscribe to, without even thinking about AppleCare.

Whether you’re already signed up to one (or two or three) subscription service or are the kind of person who orders off Amazon a lot, you’ll often get little ads slipped in with your online order to sign up to a subscription service, and there’s a good reason for it; we’re all going subscription mad. 

The subscription market in the UK is currently booming as anyone can get anything from a new razor to craft beer to cake delivered through the post-box every month. So why are these boxes so popular right now and why do people like them so much? Well, I’ve tried to find out.

Photo by MealPro on Unsplash

We now want quality over quantity

How do you like your coffee first thing in the morning?  If you’re one of the thousands of people who use UK based Pact Coffee for a monthly delivery, you’ll want it as fresh as possible. Consumers prefer to have a better quality product when it requires minimal effort, so the idea of having a £7 bag of coffee delivered right to you that lasts a month, overpaying £4 every morning for a just ok latte on the way into work or paying £5 for a tin of “premium” instant from the supermarket, highlights that we want quality over quantity.

 

We can have a budget

As much as people love a bargain, we also enjoy keeping tabs on spending habits. And with a subscription service keeping an exact amount every week/month/quarter, it can help you maintain a clear budget in mind, especially when it’s an item you’d never think you have to budget for.

Case in point, what’s your annual underwear budget? If you used a service like American based MeUndies, you could get a fresh pair of underwear or socks delivered every month. It turns an essential piece of clothing into a treat all of a sudden; something you’ll never get staring at the sock section in Primark.

 

We love a freebie

You’ll probably have heard of the term freemium when hearing stories about video games like Fortnite that are free, but cost money when you want all the added extras. This is a bit of a stumbling block for some subscription services like Netflix and even airlines when they push you towards paying extra to choose a nice seat.

Direct marketing company Acwyre work with subscription companies to help improve their customer reach and have identified that offering freemium services work when you want “to reduce the customer acquisition cost [and] creates a natural lead nurturing process”.

It’s one of the reasons why we prefer subscription services as it provides the path of least resistance.

 

We want things to be as easy as possible

Subscription boxes are the exact opposite of an IKEA box; there are no instructions, and you don’t end up hours later with cardboard all over the room. Convenience trumps everything else when it comes to subscription services, and the simple idea of essential items like coffee or even food for your dinner coming straight to the door with no fuss works wonders.

As long as your subscription doesn’t see you coming home to a slip from the postman and drive out of town to the sorting office, it’s ease is what people like about it. 

 

We love being in control

If you google “Beer 52” you’ll find another subscription service that offers beer. In amongst the results you might see some negative reviews and articles about them, and all for one simple reason: you have to phone to cancel your subscription.

Having to talk to someone over the phone rather than cancelling with a few clicks takes away from the control you have over the product, and it’s something consumers hate. Companies like this may try and get you to stay with them by offering discounts, but even at that, when you don’t have full control over your subscription, you’re not going to like the product.

 

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