Retail Subscribers Like to Stick With What’s Familiar

subscription commerce, subscriptions, retail

When consumers with retail subscriptions subscribe to new services, PYMNTS Intelligence reveals, they are more likely to stick with what they know than to branch out to new kinds of subscriptions.

By the Numbers

The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Impact of Subscription Models on Consumer Choice,” created in collaboration with, which is based on a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. adults, found that “retail subscribers gravitate more toward additional subscriptions of the same type than branching out across types.”

For instance, among those with VIP subscriptions poised to add more subscriptions to their roster, 61% favor other VIP subscriptions. 

Plus, 37% those with surprise box subscriptions who are very or extremely likely to add more subscriptions would be likely to add another surprise box subscription, while on average, only 17% said they were likely to add subscriptions across types.

Plus, 47% of those with discount refill subscriptions who planned to add more subscriptions said they would be likely to subscribe to another discount refill program, while their cross-subscription-category average was only 22%. 

subscription commerce, consumer preferences

The Data in Context

Overall, competition for new subscribers is only growing more intense, as Allison Vigil, president of Rocksbox, a monthly subscription service that rents jewelry to customers with an option to buy, told PYMNTS in an interview for the “Subscription Commerce Tracker®,” created in collaboration with Vindicia

“Customer acquisition has just continued to get more and more competitive over time,” Vigil said. “As that acquisition has gotten more challenging, it’s become even more important to retain the customers that we’re working so hard to find.”

Overall, subscription commerce is growing significantly.

“Broadly, on an industry level, subscription commerce is going to have to continue to proliferate,” Michael Broukhim, co-founder and co-CEO of lifestyle membership FabFitFun, told PYMNTS in an interview last year, “such that even describing it as a category loses some meaning any more than you’ll talk about retail or stores as a category within retail because stores are so many different manifestations of an experience you can create.”