Editor’s note: Jeremy King is CEO of consumer research platform Attest.
In 2020, subscription services became the cornerstone of America's booming e-commerce industry.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers appreciated subscription services, and having items – both necessary and luxury – delivered to their doors became a part of our everyday lives. More time at home meant more time for hobbies and passions too … another boon for subscription services. Indeed, 26% of U.S. consumers ages 18-40 purchased a new subscription during the pandemic.
As we get closer to 2022, subscriptions are gradually becoming less popular among American consumers. In 2021, 41% of Americans say they have an active product subscription, compared to 47% of consumers in 2020. And just 18% have multiple subscriptions, compared to 21% last year. There has been a decline in the number of consumers actively looking for a new product subscription, down from 18% in 2020 to 14% today.
While these numbers might make for grim reading for U.S. subscription brands, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the year ahead. There is still untapped potential in the subscriptions market, specifically with Millennial consumers who are willing to experiment with these kinds of services.
The most common subscription category for U.S. consumers in 2021 is food and drink, as it was in 2020, with 37.4% signed up to at least one subscription. Personal care, health and fitness came a close second, with 35.7% of Americans having a subscription in this category.
Up from fifth place in 2020 to third in 2021 was pet product subscriptions as consumers show their willingness to pamper their furry friends, many of whom were acquired during the pandemic. Older consumers are driving this growth in pet product subscriptions, with 35% of Americans ages 55-66 having one, compared to 32.5% overall.
Toiletries and cosm...