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Brits are forking out a fortune every year on subscription services.
The UK is a nation of ‘Super Subscribers’ as we spend an average of £620 per year on subscriptions – up 12% from the £552 12 months ago.
A poll of 2,000 adults found digital and ‘deliver to door’ is now such an integral part of Brits’ daily lives that eight in 10 UK households are signed up to at least one subscription service – up 16% year-on-year.
Entertainment platforms, such as music and film streaming services, remain the firm favourite (46%), with food or meal boxes (16%), technology (14%) and beauty/grooming services (12%) following in popularity.
As a result, the ‘subscription economy’ is now worth an estimated £395m; an increase of 23% in the last 12 months alone, according to the research from Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions.
While increasingly profitable for retailers, shoppers are making savings too as nearly half (48%) of those signed up to subscriptions claim to save money as a result, averaging £290 per year.
The savings are also felt elsewhere, with 45% claiming their subscriptions discourage them from buying products unnecessarily.
Marc Pettican, president of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Whether it’s entertainment, meal boxes, beauty products, or even musical instruments, subscriptions have become a consumer staple in British life.
“While lockdown certainly provided a catalyst for their growth, our data shows the popularity of digital and direct-to-door sign-up services is here to stay.
“The convenience, personal touch and value for money subscriptions provide means they have longevity, especially as we adjust to life and new routines as result of the pandemic.
“As the subscription economy continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how the range of sign-up products and services retailers offer in this way expands too.”
Subscriptions Brits show most interest in
- Entertainment platforms
- Food/meal boxes
- Beauty or grooming
- Restaurant meal kits
The study also explored some of the more novel offerings Brits are signing-up to, which include deliveries of cheese (8%), musical instruments (8%) and underwear (7%).
Although nearly half (45%) relied on the convenience of subscriptions during lockdown, the trend looks to be here to stay with 40% planning to sign-up to more services even though restrictions have eased.
Half (50%) find subscriptions actually help them to keep their finances organised, and 55% value the time saved thanks to regular deliveries.
Four in 10 (43%) would buy a loved-one a subscription service for Christmas or a birthday, with 36% already planning to utilise them as part of their gift shopping going forward.
Marc Pettican added: “Despite accelerating during lockdown, the convenience and value for money that subscriptions offer gives them longevity, and we expect to see Brits continuing to increasingly bespoke offerings, such as cheese or gourmet restaurant meal kits, in the future.”
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