98% of Brits cancel product subscription in first year

August 10, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

Nowadays, subscription commerce is very hot. However, most brands are having problems with retaining their customers. Research shows that a staggering 98% of consumers in the United Kingdom cancel their product subscription services within the first year.

Subscription e-commerce is a market that has grown significantly over the last couple of years. What started with subscription services such as Dollar Shave Club or HelloFresh is now a billion euros industry. In Europe alone, there are hundreds of thousands of companies that sell products through a subscription model.

1 in 50 kept their subscription services for more than one year

Only one in fifty UK shoppers have kept their subscriptions services for more than a year. Ultimately, this means that 98% cancel their services within the first twelve months of subscribing. The average consumer in the United Kingdom even cancels their subscriptions in less than half a year. An average of 5.3 months.

When it comes to differences in ages, shoppers over the age of 55 seem to be the most loyal. They are the most likely age group to maintain a subscription for more than a year.

Reason for canceling subscriptions

The fact that many consumers cancel their subscriptions, could have something to do with the COVID-19 outbreak. During the pandemic, many consumers started signing up for these kinds of services, because stores were closes. They still needed to have certain products. However, stores are opening up again, which means that consumers won’t necessarily need all subscriptions services anymore.

52% of UK consumers either have or are planning to commit to a monthly subscriptions for products. But at the same time, 38% think subscriptions services are too expensive, or bad value for money. Lastly, 18% canceled the subscription when the free trial ran out.

Lacks personalization

Subscriptions services have proven to be a very popular way of shopping throughout the lockdowns of the past year. However, it is clear that brands need to do more to keep shoppers engaged as things open up again. Consumers ­– particularly younger generations – will not continue paying for a subscription that is not serving their needs.

Commons reasons to cancel a product subscription are high costs and a lack of personalization.

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