Refund Features Keep Subscription Shoppers From Canceling

Understanding subscriber preferences is the lifeblood of subscription commerce — even more so in a digital economy. Subscription businesses that ignore this do so at their peril: Our research finds that 25% of retail subscribers who prefer to shop online at will for retail items would cancel their subscriptions if pause or skip features were removed.31%: Share of retail subscriber who still prefer to shop in-store

PYMNTS Intelligence’s latest decision guide maps a framework for understanding and retaining subscribers and driving growth. This decision guide explores the preferences of three types of retail subscribers. One key area is to offer subscribers the transparency and flexibility to control their subscription plans.

These are just a few of the insights explored in The Retail Subscription Features That Make Top-Performing Merchants,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and collaboration. This decision guide focuses on the intersection of evolving subscriber preferences and the best practices of top-performing providers. It draws on insights from a survey of 2,011 consumers conducted from Sept. 5 to Sept. 21 and a research study of 188 retail subscription merchants conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 12.

Other findings from the decision guide include:18%: Share of in-store shoppers citing production selection as key to their shopping preference

Subscriber preferences must be at the core of subscription firms’ retention strategies.

Today’s subscribers exhibit a host of preferences for their subscription experiences. Scheduled delivery shoppers show a high sensitivity to the availability of payment options. For example, they are 2.9 percentage points more likely to cancel if they do not have buy now, pay later (BNPL) options.

Top-performing subscription merchants stand out with superior customer support and flexible subscription management.

Top-performing subscription merchants excel in customer support and subscription flexibility. Sixty-seven percent offer live help and 100% offer features to pause or skip, significantly higher rates than their bottom-performing counterparts. These features are crucial to addressing subscribers’ expectations for support and control over their subscription experiences.25%: Share of online at-will shoppers likely to cancel a subscription if pause and skip features were discontinued

Control over product selection drives in-store shopping preferences, a process top-performers are addressing.

A sense of control significantly influences subscription commerce decisions: 18% of subscribers who still prefer to shop in-store cite maintaining control over product selection as a key reason they still shop in-store. Ninety-seven percent of top-performing merchants address this by offering detailed product information online, driving conversions and maintaining loyalty through transparent, accurate product descriptions.

Retail subscribers’ preferences for subscriptions experiences are evolving, with many expecting seamless payments processing and demanding some measure of control over their subscription plans.

Download the report to learn more about how retail subscription merchants can increase both conversion and retention by offering flexible plan options and other key features.