Nearly 1 in 5 Retail Subscribers Prefer to Shop in-Store

In recent years, retail subscription platforms have introduced enhanced features like the ability to pause the subscription with no cost or free shipping to help their digital users manage their subscriptions.

Nevertheless, many of their clients have been tempted to cancel their retail product subscriptions because of inflation pressures.

Although around 42% of retail subscribers reported fewer visits to physical stores due to their subscriptions, 18% still prefer to shop in-store despite the subscriptions they retain, according to the PYMNT Intelligence study “The Retail Subscription Features That Make Top-Performing Merchants.” The study examined the relationship between loyal customers and merchant revenues and the best practices to expand this group of consumers.

It found that subscription platforms should offer a seamless shopping experience by providing enhanced features that prevent their customers from canceling and shopping only in the brick-and-mortar channel.

Consumers who prefer to shop in-store despite having retail subscriptions said they want to explore available items more easily and control product selection as much as possible. These subscribers would be more inclined to cancel their scheduled delivery or auto-fill subscription if they found inaccurate or misleading ratings and product reviews, per the study. In other words, if they can’t find what they demand on their subscription platform, why not go back to the store?

The same applies if orders are canceled because items are incorrectly listed as in stock, or because they are not able to provide feedback about the products and services they test. In those cases, digital subscriptions no longer make sense to them. The study found that these subscribers are as much as six times more likely than others to cite product selection and easier browsing as the driving reasons for their shopping preferences.

Nearly 1 in 5 Retail Subscribers Prefer to Shop in-Store

A separate PYMNTS Intelligence study, “The Replenish Economy: A Household Supply Deep Dive,” found that 4% of subscribers satisfy their shopping needs completely through subscriptions for relevant categories and have fully eliminated their visits to stores.

The study, which examined retail subscriptions’ impact on consumer shopping habits, found that the key challenge for merchants trying to retain customers is creating flexible and engaging online subscriptions. Providing selected features that enhance the shopping experience contributes to fostering loyalty among existing customers. These key features are free shipping, the ability to cancel any time at no cost, and the possibility to change subscription frequency.

Tackling all these features and providing a seamless payment experience may help merchants retain their customers. For now, however, 35% of subscribers see no change in their in-store shopping habits.

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