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Subscription Economy: from the product to the press

How consumer habits change when the world changes

There is a phenomenon that is changing consumers’ purchasing habits. It is the subscription economy, the subscription-based economic model.

Subscription is not an absolute novelty. We all know the success of Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime. The news is that, in a scenario characterised by social and economic uncertainties, subscription has proven to be a resilient model capable of growing and monetising.

What we have learnt over these two years is that it is critical to build direct customer relationships, differentiate offerings, and understand consumer expectations. The stakes are high: more and more people will choose a subscription service in the future, moving from products to experiences.

Figures in Italy

According to research conducted by the French fintech company SlimPay 2020, 74% of Italians say they have subscribed at least once, compared to 85% of the European average.

The average number of subscriptions per consumer in Italy is 2.2, behind Germany (3), Spain (4.3) and France (5.4).

If, on the one hand, the data show the delay of our country, on the other hand they reveal that there are still ample margins of growth for companies that operate in the subscription economy or that will want to do so in the future.

What do consumers want?

Zuora and Deloitte conducted an online survey of 6,002 UK, US and Italian consumers. The survey shows that the key factor for users is value. When we talk about value, we are not referring only to price but to a mix of flexibility, customisation and convenience.

  • Flexibility

For those interviewed, the ease of cancelling a subscription (48%) or simply suspending it (34%) influences the purchase decision.

All this reveals that the fear of being bound or losing control is a reason for abandonment.

  • Customisation

The opportunity to have more experiences (34%) and unique experiences (32%) are important factors in the customer experience.

In a subscription service, consumers have higher expectations than the individual purchase.

  • Convenience

For 72% of those interviewed, the most important factor in convincing them to subscribe is cost savings.

It may seem obvious, but it is good to remember that the subscription must be cheaper than the traditional purchase.

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