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Tech Providers Add ‘Buy Button’ Features to Win Subscription Merchants’ Spending

eCommerce buy now button

With subscription companies seeking more frictionless ways to drive conversion, tech giants are looking to capture the opportunity, offering one-click solutions and other quicker, easier options.

Digital payments company PayPal, for example, announced a range of products and services Thursday (Jan. 25), including the addition of “subscribe” buttons to Venmo business profiles.

“We’re adding a ‘subscribe’ button wherever you appear in the feed,” PayPal President and CEO Alex Chriss said in a video accompanying the announcement. “Now every time a customer pays you, they’re also giving you a chance to gain subscribers because their friends, neighbors, and the local community will see you.”

Meanwhile, Amazon has been looking to drive subscriptions through its own marketplace. As of October, the eCommerce giant has been testing a “Buy Again” button that could serve as on-ramp to a wider embrace of subscriptions, such as the company’s widely popular Subscribe & Save option.

Certainly, the presence of buttons that enable quick conversion can go a long way, and subscription merchants are taking note. The study “The Replenish Economy: A Household Supply Deep Dive,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and sticky.io collaboration, which drew from a survey of 188 subscription commerce providers, found that, as of September, 60% of merchants offered buy buttons, and that share was on the rise from quarter to quarter.

Plus, PYMNTS Intelligence’s study, “2022 Buy Button: Accelerating Checkout Optimization,” which drew from a survey of more than 800 eCommerce retailers across 17 industry segments, found that completing online checkouts with a buy button takes 46% less time than when not using one.

In fact, tech companies are not just developing “subscribe” buttons as products to sell to other businesses — many are integrating them into their own platforms. Meta, for example, has been more prominently displaying the Subscribe button for Instagram creators looking to monetize their followings, according to a November announcement. Plus, for creators on Facebook, the social media giant said it was adding new ways for followers to subscribe, such as through Reels and Stories on Facebook.

“Consumers can choose from multiple ‘buy button’ or wallet options each time they visit a merchant checkout page,” PYMNTS’ Karen Webster observed in a December feature. “What used to look like a jumbled-up Nascar page a few years back is more organized today, and not as off-putting or confusing.”

Indeed, easy enrollment features are correlated with subscription merchants’ performance. For example, the December installment of the Decision Guide report, “The Retail Subscription Features That Make Top-Performing Merchants,” another PYMNTS Intelligence and sticky.io collaboration, found that 80% of top-performing retail subscription merchants offer social media sign-up capabilities. In contrast, only 7% of bottom performers do the same.

The addition of buy buttons and subscribe buttons by tech providers is enabling subscription merchants to drive conversion more easily. These buttons not only save time for customers but also provide opportunities for businesses to gain subscribers and improve their performance. With the increasing integration of buy buttons into various platforms, the subscription commerce landscape is becoming more competitive and more user-friendly.