Leading Subscription Services Allow Consumers to Come and Go


When it comes to gaining and maintaining customers in the competitive retail subscriptions space, PYMNTS Intelligence reveals, offering the ability for consumers to pause and resume service as they please may be key.

By the Numbers

PYMNTS Intelligence’s study “Decision Guide: How Retail Subscription Merchants Can Win and Retain High LTV Customers,” created in collaboration with sticky.io, examines how subscription merchants’ features and offerings affects their performance.

chart, subscription features offered by merchants

The results reveal that the highest-performing subscription companies make it easy for consumers to come and go, while lower-performing merchants offer less flexibility. Specifically, 100% of top performers present consumers with the ability to pause service, while only 23% of bottom performers do the same.

The Data in Action

In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster,  Alex Brown, CEO of sustainable cleaning supplies subscription firm Truly Free, noted that among his first moves was giving subscribers the ability to cancel themselves right from the membership portal, and this change went a long way towards overall performance.

“We had less cancellation requests, more saves and less customer service time,” Brown said. “That’s given us the latitude to take a little bit of the pressure off of them, and I think it’s caused more of them to come back in the future too.”

Indeed, right now, as consumers’ financial pressures continue, demand for easier cancellation is high, with many cutting back on goods and services that they might otherwise spring for (and may perhaps return to when some of these challenges let up).

“The bar continues to get higher. People’s budgets are getting squeezed. People aren’t spending money frivolously. If they don’t get value, if they don’t get flexibility, if they don’t get incentives to continue, they’ll drop off,” sticky.io CEO Brian Bogosian told Webster during a conversation for the J.P. Morgan Payments Series: Global Innovators in Payments.