In 2020, new subscribers flocked to the subscription market at unprecedented rates, leading to dramatic year-over-year growth across verticals. In 2021, subscriptions became more than something new to try—they became a reliable part of consumers’ daily lives.
Over the past year, both merchants and consumers have found immense stability in subscriptions. While new challenges continued to emerge in the ecommerce market in 2021, merchants of all sizes and verticals saw their subscribers spend more and stay on longer, increasing average order value, customer lifetime value, and monthly recurring revenue.
Even as brick-and-mortar stores reopened and many consumers resumed their pre-2020, in-person shopping habits, subscription ecommerce saw continued growth. And though the curve wasn’t as steep as the dramatic increases of the previous year, it was steady and consistent across all verticals and GMV cohorts. These continued behavior changes indicate a lasting market shift toward recurring products and services.
Not only were subscription merchants able to maintain the unprecedented AOV, LTV, and MRR of the previous year —they were also able to build upon those metrics.
Comparing data from 2020 to 2021, they measured growth in each vertical by the following KPIs: overall customers, average subscriber growth for new stores in 2021, AOV, LTV, MRR, and customer retention. What they uncovered: A significant portion of customers who purchased subscriptions for the first time in 2020 exhibited lasting behavior changes in 2021. Subscriptions became more than something new to try—they became a reliable part of consumers’ daily lives.
Comparing data from 2020 to 2021, Recharge measured growth in each vertical by the following KPIs: overall customers, average subscriber growth for new stores in 2021, AOV, LTV, MRR, and customer retention.
Is the subscription economy still growing?
in 2021, thanks to a steady influx of net new subscribers, existing subscription brands grew their overall customer base by an average of 31% across verticals. Every vertical saw increases in overall customer count year-over-year. Leading the pack for the highest levels of growth were (64%), (41%), and (39%). While brands grew their overall customer base at a slightly more modest average of 25%. according to Recharge research.
The question that remains to be told is which extend the subscription economy will continue to grow beyond 2022?