We are a globe filled with online shoppers. And the UK is the world’s third biggest e-commerce market and the world’s second biggest online grocery ordering market. This evolution in shopping behavior has increased the trust and confidence in online ordering and experimentation, giving rise to a new breed of online services: subscriptions. Today, more than a quarter of UK shoppers are signed up to a subscription box, spending more on them than ever before (from £18.49 in 2016 to £56 in 2017), and this is having an impact on their expectations of brands and services.
The subscription e-commerce market has exploded over the past five years, with an increasing number of platforms changing the way we buy and try categories—from razors, wine and whisky, to beauty and groceries. What does this mean for brands trying to keep up with these changing expectations and behaviors?
Research by McKinsey shows that people are subscribing to different offers for different reasons. There is the classic replenishing service that is changing the way we stock up on things. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save or Dollar Shave Club are prime examples of sending out regular stock-ups of a specific product, removing the need to browse and consider different brands, saving us time and money.