ETEC523 | A3

Our Subscribed Lives

FORECASTING THE FUTURE OF MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTIONS THROUGH A MOBILE LENS

by Aimee Chung

This site is broken into 4 sections, each looking at various aspects of how monthly subscriptions have traditionally been seen, how the market has changed due to the widespread mobile phone and mobile app usage, consumer benefits of new markets for subscriptions and some future possibilities that this could take us. This content is presented as 4 supporting podcasts, with supporting visuals, content, and resource links. 

RATIONALE

My topic for assignment 3, A Subscribed Life, came from my observations across social media, websites, and magazines that talked about how consumers could start ordering a wider assortment of ordered or curated products and have them delivered right to our door.  It seems like more of consumers’ lives are built around monthly subscriptions that allow us to better afford the basics but also sample some of the small luxuries in life. I wanted to explore this topic further and look into how or where a subscription based lifestyle could take us, as well as looking at some factors of why this type of marketing approach is rapidly growing. 

 

We live in a world where there’s increasingly more subscription based services, and this new method of marketing and purchasing by the consumer changes their perception of how they would view money because they see it presented in much smaller increments (a few dollars a month looks better than a lump sum), so psychologically, it doesn’t seem like a lot when it’s spread out over many months.

 

We also exist in a time and culture in the western world where we are able and willing to pay for services that save us time and provide us with greater more convenience, even if it’s at a small price. These subscriptions, whether they are of staple groceries or fancier items that we wish to try samples of each month, is not only promoted a lot on social media, but is also spreading because of strong consumer reviews, growing number of apps that allow consumers to shop on the go, and because of our growing need of always being connected and interacting with our smart phones.

CONSUMER BENEFITS TO MONTHLY
SUBSCRIBED BOXES 
& SERVICES 

Convenience

  • Saves Time

  • Faster Delivery 

  • Affordable monthly fees instead of large lump sum payment

Customized

  • Monthly packages are curated to subscribers preferences and likes

  • Increases subscriber brand loyalty awareness

Environmental

  • Items sent in a box have less packaging than they would in stores

  • Focus is on eco-friendly, sustainable products

Healthier

  • Food deliveries tend to contain healthier ingredients/recipes than food already cooked and delivered

 

OUR CURRENT SUBSCRIBED LIFE

Subscribed Life Part 1.mp3Aimee Chung
00:00 / 10:42

ESSENTIAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

  • Cell Phone  

  • Cable TV

  • Gas, electricity, Water

  • Home and car insurance

  • House cleaning or gardening services

  • Home mortgages

  • Car Payments

  • Banking fees/online banking

  • MSP - Medical premiums/ health insurance

  • Transit passes

  • Gym memberships

  • Membership or club fees for other associations

  • Music instrument rentals

  • Equipment rentals

  • Storage locker rentals

  • Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions

ENTERTAINMENT SUBSCRIPTIONS

Since 1997, we've seen a rise in subscription based entertainment, where the consumer is able to select anything they wish to watch on the device that they choose. They can do this because they know their viewership will be in the tens if not hundreds of millions subscribers around the world and as well as having fast, affordable internet at our fingertips. This has completely changed the way we consume content, rather than buying physical DVDs or Music CDs in store. 

  • Netflix

  • Hulu

  • Prime Video

  • Disney Plus +

  • YouTube TV

  • Spotify

  • Apple Music

  • Tidal

  • Amazon Music Unlimited

 

DEVELOPING MARKETS FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscribed Life Part 2.mp3Aimee Chung
00:00 / 06:28

We also can try out new products in our lives by subscribing to items that we might want to try out. Here are some popular box subscriptions, delivered right to your door! 

 

  • PETS:  Barkbox - dog treats and toys - https://www.barkbox.com/ Subscriptions start at $25 for items worth up to $40. This is a curation type of subscription that will surprise the subscriber each month with different unique products especially picked out for their dog. Users love the idea of getting personalized or curated products and services and research shows they are willing to pay for the variety each month.

  • FOOD DELIVERY:  Good Food https://www.makegoodfood.ca/ or HelloFresh http://www.hellofresh.ca are providing subscribers with prepped food and ingredients shipped to your door ready to cook at home along with the tasty recipes on how best to prepare

  • BEAUTY PRODUCTS:  BirchBox https://www.birchbox.com/ is a beauty and grooming products subscription box starting at $15/month. This is a curation type of subscription based on user preferences and skin type.

  • SHAVING SUPPLIES: DollarShaveClub https://ca.dollarshaveclub.com/ is one of the most popular subscription services to date providing replenishment type of subscription

  • CLOTHING: JustFab https://www.justfab.ca/how-justfab-works.htm is an example of an exclusive access subscription, where signing up will gain the subscriber access to certain promotions and discounts of clothing.  It makes subscribers feel they are unique and privileged to have this access (at a price)

  • TOYS & COLLECTIBLES:  Funko POP In a Box https://www.popinabox.ca/ The subscriptions can start at a single Pop figure delivered each month all the way to 12 a month, with no repeats. This is a curation type of subscription as the subscriber will no know exactly what they will be getting, but it’s going to be something that they have filled out a detailed questionnaire about their preferences so there’s a better chance they will like what they receive. The user selects their preferences so that a box can be customized.

  • FLOWER DELIVERY: Bears Blooms https://bearsblooms.com/ - various in-season fresh flowers are sent weekly and the customer can arrange it anyway they want.

 

 

You can view a lot more boxes for subscriptions through:
https://www.purewow.com/home/best-subscription-boxes-for-everyone

 

 

TECHNOLOGY BASED

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscribed Life Part 3.mp3Aimee Chung
00:00 / 07:50

There’s many productivity software that needs to be paid for on a monthly and yearly basis. Before in 2015, software could be purchased outright and many people were able to hang onto their old versions for many years before upgrading. Now, most major software companies have gotten smarter and offer the software on a subscription basis.

The ability to subscribe to software for short or long term makes the trial of software applications more affordable, but also more convenient in that much of the software can be run even from a web browser, removing the need to just work off one computer station. It becomes quite possible to run most of your work away from the office, just from the variety of cloud based technology solutions.

 

FUTURE FORECASTING OF SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscribed Life Part 4.mp3Aimee Chung
00:00 / 09:38

Future subscriptions could allow us more access to products and services that we normally wouldn’t have and make it easier and more convenient for us to use those services. People love having options on what they choose. People love to research things on their own, read reviews and pick what’s best for them. Value for money, convenience, current products, strong user reviews all help to build loyalty to a company in increase the likelihood a customer will want to sign up for a continued subscription to product or service.

We will pay for what we get, and having our smart phones on us almost all the time along with all these apps facilitate how we get into more of a “SUBSCRIBED LIFE”.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: DRONES TO HELP WITH OUR SUBSCRIBED BOX DELIVERIES

Once we see drone regulations begin to standardize and safety measures are globally put in place, we'll likely see a rise in drone based deliveries, which will continue to grow the subscription market segment further. The drones appear to get smarter, stronger, faster, and more reliable as technology improves.  Drones could offer an efficient and quick form of delivery, especially to people living in more remote or inaccessible locations. 

Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system.

/ Amazon about their future drone delivery business, Prime Air

 
 

 Subscribed Life | A3 by Aimee Chung

ETEC 523 UBC MET | FALL 2019

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