//Wednesday d. 25.03.20

Consumers Across the World Are in Agreement: We Would Rather Subscribe Than Own!

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Written by Morten Suhr Hansen

The “battle” against the traditional transactional- and ownership-based model has been underway for quite a while. An extensive and international study across countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia confirms that the subscription economy has seriously stuck. More than 13,000 respondents in 12 different countries have responded to the survey, which shows which products and services that consumers would rather subscribe to than own.

Consumers expect to subscribe to more products and services in the future

The international survey was carried out by the US-based software company, Zuora. The survey shows, among others, that the proportion of household subscriptions has grown significantly over the past five years. In fact, 74 percent of the respondents believe that they will subscribe to even more products and services in the future, rather than owning them. In addition, 68 percent of respondents agree that a person’s status is not determined by how much he or she owns. The survey also indicates that 57 percent wish that they owned fewer things than they currently do. This is largely due to their desire of avoiding the burdens of ownership and gaining more flexibility.

Interestingly, it is in the Asian countries such as China, Japan and Singapore that the interest in subscribing is the highest. In reality, it is only in the two countries, France and New Zealand, that less than half of all consumers, wish they could get more subscriptions and less ownership.

The survey sheds light upon which reasons consumers find subscription-based products and services desirable. At the top of the list of benefits is convenience, followed by the opportunity of saving money and trying new and/or different things. Interestingly, 20 percent of consumers state that sustainability is their reason for subscribing rather than owning products and services.

The demand for non-traditional subscription products will increase

The survey also provides insight into which types of products and services that consumers are interested in subscribing to in the future. Highest on the list are classic subscription services, such as music, movies and television. However, other and more non-traditional products follow suit. For instance, 26 percent of all respondents would like to subscribe to groceries and 19 percent would like to subscribe to meal box solutions with food plans, recipes and ingredients. In some countries, such as Denmark, meal box solutions have experienced great growth over the past five years. However, there is still great potential for these solutions in other markets.

Other types of products that are in demand as subscriptions are cars, beauty or healthcare products and even Smart Home solutions, that provide access for consumers to monitor and remotely control their home via an app.

Not a day goes by without us discovering new and clever products and services that one can subscribe to – both in Denmark and internationally. And there is no indication that this development will slow down any time soon.  In fact, a study from Zuora shows that there is still plenty of uncultivated land and that the future will carry even more subscription services and products.

Get access to the survey here.