People are looking for subscriptions for everything — whether it’s films or groceries or luxury clothing.
And the good news is, brands and eCommerce retailers are catering to consumer demands through innovative subscriptions.
Come 2024, the subscription economy is set to evolve, innovate, and touch new heights. We collected some exciting and promising statistics, trends, and predictions for eCommerce subscriptions for 2024.
General eCommerce statistics and predictions (2024)
Before we get into trends and predictions for subscription businesses, learning a bit about what the overall eCommerce market and trends are going to be in 2024 can give us a basic idea of what’s going on and what to expect. The overall eCommerce trends also impact subscription-based business models as these are also a part of the eCommerce market.
- The worldwide retail sales in 2024 are forecast at $31.1 trillion, 4.9% more than in 2023
- Mobile sales could exceed $600 billion in 2024
- B2B eCommerce sales will be more than $2.3 trillion in 2024
- Mobile sales is expected to make up 70% of retail eCommerce sales by 2024
- Social media will be an important sales channel for eCommerce brands
Subscription predictions, trends, and numbers for 2024
In the past year, the subscriptions business market grew by 65%. Subscription brands have been enhancing their offerings and features to meet consumer demands, bringing more convenience, ease, and satisfaction for customers.
In this section, we put together trends, patterns, and predictions that can help guide your Shopify subscription business in 2024.
In the age of overload of brand choices in the eCommerce subscriptions market, what makes customers stick to brands?
One thing that does is personalized experiences. 77% of consumers prefer brands that provide personalized experience. Brands that understand subscribers better and offer relevant recommendations, valuable content, and value-add, are able to improve subscriber loyalty.
Here are some ways to create personalized subscription experiences:
- Ask subscribers to fill in questionnaires, ask specific questions
- Collect subscriber behavior pattern data
- Segment subscribers and share personalized product recommendations
- Create offers and deals based on subscribers’ preference
- Introduce new products based on individual customer interests
2. Increased use of data
Data is the most valuable resource for eCommerce businesses. It will have a heightened use and impact for subscription marketing, owing to the long-term and regular purchase nature of subscription models. Data will enable subscription businesses to forecast demand and ensure their product and service supply aligns with demand.
3. Subscription use via mobile will grow
The number of mobile users and the usage of mobile for eCommerce will keep increasing, including subscriptions. According to statistics, mobile sales are going to exceed $600 billion by 2024.
That’s because consumers like the convenience and ease of managing subscriptions over mobile phones, on the go, especially for items such as groceries and consumables that are recurring purchases.
How to leverage your mobile capabilities:
- Choose a subscriptions app that supports your mobile requirements
- Enhance the mobile-friendliness of your subscription experience
- Optimize your different channels for mobile
4. More tech and tools integrations
Subscription models are transforming rapidly with new and advanced features and functionalities.
Therefore, subscription businesses will require more advanced technical capabilities, such as integrations, recurring billing platforms, or subscription management tools to support the growing needs of the business. In short, efficient subscriptions apps that can scale to keep up with growing businesses.
5. Omnichannel subscription experience
Another trend for eCommerce subscription businesses will be to look to expand to new geographies and new channels. Omnichannel experiences will play a key role in helping eCommerce businesses expand.
For instance, meet customers on different platforms, allow customers to transact via different platforms, and integrate different channels to provide customers a seamless experience. Omnichannel will become a must-have for subscription businesses as customers’ expectations grow from their favorite subscription brands.
6. Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a bigger role
AI can help you gather data on customer behavior and purchase patterns from your subscriptions platform. Through data, you can create a more efficient flow for your subscriptions, and personalize the experience for different subscriber segments.
For example, here’s how AI can help:
- To provide personalized recommendations
- To improve search results for subscribers
- Automate various aspects of the subscription experience
7. Predictive analytics to prevent stockouts
46% of consumers easily leave a brand to buy from brands that have the products they want. This means brands are doing whatever it takes to ensure they are well stocked to meet consumer demand.
That’s where predictive analytics comes in. Predictive analytics uses various kinds of data, such as market trends, seasonal demand, internal data, social listening, etc. to predict demand for subscription businesses.
8. More payment options
Newer payment options are being introduced in the market, especially digital and online methods. Customers prefer different payment methods and if their preferred payment platform isn’t available, they may not want to buy from you.
- Provide various payment methods to increase sales
- Automate payment related tasks, such as reminders, dunning management, etc.
- Buy now pay later is another option gaining preference
9. Preference for self service
Customers are savvy with digitization, automation, and using apps and tools. And hence, they increasingly prefer apps and tools that they can control themselves. For example, rather than reaching out to the customer support to pause or change a subscription delivery date, they would prefer to make these changes themselves via the app. Hence, subscription businesses must continue to enhance the self-service features in their apps and improve the control they provide to customers.
10. Same-day delivery preference
An increasing number of customers now prefer same-day delivery. According to studies by Statista, the global same-day delivery market size has been on the rise and not likely to slow down. See the graph:
eCommerce subscription businesses must build systems and processes that enable same-day delivery. This will ensure subscriber satisfaction and success of their subscription business. Same-day delivery cycles especially work well for subscriptions of food and beverage, wellness items, medicine, and groceries, among other essential products.
11. Forward deployment centers
Forward deployment centers involve having various hubs and warehouses in the distribution system. This strategy brings speed and agility and ensures customers’ needs for fast delivery or same-day delivery are fulfilled in a cost-efficient way.
This distribution and delivery system is particularly useful for subscription businesses as it can help eCommerce stores to cater to a larger geographic region and more subscribers.
An increasing number of consumers are giving more importance to sustainable choices while they make purchases from eCommerce stores. For example, more than 60% of consumers consider sustainable packaging and environmental impact of their deliveries before making purchases.
For conscious brands with sustainability targets, it is imperative to incorporate sustainable practices in their subscription models as they often involve recurring deliveries, some as frequent as daily or multiple times a week.
13. Customer data usage transparency
Customers are wary of how brands use their data. And so, it’s becoming critical for brands to be transparent about how they are using customers’ data.
For example, if a subscriptions business asks subscribers to fill a form to understand their preferences, they must inform customers how their information would be used.
14. Fraud protection and security
With an increase in eCommerce and online frauds, it’s essential for subscription businesses to ensure customers’ transactions are protected and secure.
That is why it’s essential for subscription businesses to integrate efficient fraud prevention software for their Shopify subscription apps that can identify scammers in real-time. For example, figure whether cards are stolen, if shipping and billing addresses differ, and if IP addresses are not consistent.
The use of chatbots to improve interactions with customers will keep evolving. Chatbots will be powered by generative AI to help customers more accurately.
In addition, chatbots will be used to answer subscriber queries as well as offer recommendations for new products, for sharing promotional messages, etc. Chatbots will help take subscription experience to a higher level and drive long-term loyalty.
16. Adding a human touch
As the automation of technical tasks like coding, research, and data management continues to advance, the significance of harnessing soft skills for those aspects that demand a human touch grows ever more essential.
In 2024, businesses will invest more in cultivating and nurturing skills and qualities such as emotional intelligence, communication, problem-solving, and strategic thinking at an increased rate.
17. Social media for promotion
Social media will continue to be a helpful promotional platform as well as a platform to create more customer engagement.
In addition, subscription brands will add product search tools to attract new customers. Brands will invest more in creating content such as videos, influencer marketing, user generated content, etc.
18. Loyalty and rewards programs
Loyalty and rewards programs will continue to be factors that attract customers, especially subscribers. As subscribers engage in recurring purchases, receiving reward points can bring more and continued satisfaction to them.
Hence, for subscription businesses, combining reward points with subscriptions could mean greater customer retention and loyalty.
19. Customer experience (CX) over low pricing
As businesses enter 2024, customers are not hesitant to pay more in exchange for exceptional experiences. Rather than offering low pricing, many subscription businesses will look at offering enhanced, seamless, and more gratifying customer experiences. Thus, businesses will focus more on creating CX strategies over prioritizing pricing strategies.
20. Dynamic pricing subscriptions
In 2024, subscription businesses will create new ways to offer flexible or dynamic price points for subscriptions.
For example, for customers who purchase less and require less, subscription businesses could reduce prices and ensure a win-win situation for both. Meanwhile, the most dedicated subscribers could be offered exclusive VIP benefits. Thus, subscription businesses will continue to evolve and cater to individual needs.
How should you prepare for your eCommerce subscription in 2024?
The subscription economy is going to evolve and grow rapidly in the coming year. eCommerce brands are going to follow the latest trends to cater to consumer demands. And so must you.
Adopt strategies and trends from the above list for your Shopify subscription business. To support your subscription business, ensure you have the right subscriptions app incorporated into your business.