Subscription based businesses now trending in eCommerce

Did you know as per research conducted by McKinsey & Company, 15% of online customers have signed up for one or more subscription services? If that’s true then the projected number of online shoppers was 2.14 billion by 2021. That’s a huge number and undoubtedly assures that eCommerce subscription models are trending and will be growing at an exponentially high rate by 2022.

Most leading brands today are harnessing the limitless potential of subscription eCommerce trends giving shoppers the flexibility they deserve and granting merchants with the business sustainability they always desired. 

If that excites you, read this blog to understand how subscription commerce works, different types of models, the reasons behind its growing trend, and how you can start your own subscription business with help of the super-powers of Adobe Commerce. 

What is a Subscription-based model in eCommerce?

The subscription eCommerce model is a business model that authorises customers to subscribe to any products or services which they need regularly for a monthly or yearly or a pre-defined period. This model increases your customer’s lifetime value extensively.

Types of Subscription Commerce Business Models 

· Replenishment Subscriptions:

Service-based subscription is the most popular business model used by giant brands, where a user can subscribe for a product or service they need on a regular recurring basis. Typical products that are offered in this kind of subscription include dairy products, toiletries, beauty and personal care and food or groceries.

This eCommerce model harnesses value-based pricing, giving users the facility to pay only for what they need along with flexible pricing plans and extra value-added benefits.

Examples: Amazon, Mailchimp,,, and Statista. 

· Subscription Box:

Subscription boxes are product-based subscriptions where customers can subscribe to receive curated products they love and prefer the most, annual and monthly.

Examples: Stitch Fix, Birchbox, and Loot Crate.

· Digital Content Subscription:

With the increasing usage of the internet worldwide, several brands have started offering the most trending digital content subscription streaming services. It allows subscribers to access exclusive online content and privileges assigned only to them.

 Examples: Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime 

· Media Subscription

It offers exclusive content to users in the form of an online course or virtual classes where users are charged on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. 

Example: Udemy is the best example of a media subscription service that offers online training courses on almost everything.

Other common Subscription examples:

1. ‘Uber Ride Pass’ is a subscription plan to help riders save money on their ride.

2. ‘Zomato Gold’ offers special privileges such as free meals, free delivery, and exclusive discounts to its Gold customers.

Nissan Switch offered by Nissan is a flexible subscription service that allows drivers free trials to take a different car every day with a subscription cost as low as $699 per month. Other giants like Porsche, Volvo, Hyundai, and Mercedes Benz, are already offering vehicle subscription services. 

3.Travel Club’ Subscription is a traveling subscription service offering travel passes to its customers with personalised experiences.  Example: Inspirato

Reasons why the subscription business is trending among leading brands

1.Higher Customer Retention

Subscription business models are on the rise in the eCommerce space to basically retain customers and consequently increase your sales ratio by up-selling or cross-selling other relevant products. Higher customer retention increases business stability and loyal customers.

2.Better Business Prediction:

Running a subscription service can improve your ability to forecast future sales and revenues. This predictability that the subscription ecommerce market size provides is an important reason behind its growing adoption. It eliminates the uncertainty about restocking your inventory as you now can know exactly which items need to be refilled, in what quantity, and how frequently.

Additionally, when you know the number of subscribers, you can well predict your total turnover. 

3.More engagement opportunities

Having subscribed customers to your ongoing services also means you’ll have many more opportunities to engage with them throughout their subscription period.

4.Stronger customer relationship management

Once your customers get locked into a subscription, you won’t have to worry much about keeping them on board throughout their subscription period given that you offer personalised products and continue to provide value to them.

5.Subscriptions Are the Future of eCommerce business:

Global subscription e Commerce is now the new normal with eCommerce evolving rapidly. From entertainment to health and beauty and daily use products, customers have started taking on curation subscriptions in their daily lives. 

How to Start Your Subscription Business model with Adobe Commerce?

Whether you run a traditional eCommerce business or you’ve just started an eCommerce store, there are a few basics for getting a subscription service and subscription billing up and running.

Install and configure a reliable subscription extension as per your needs with Adobe Commerce, and you will be able to start selling your products on a recurring basis. The extension can help you:

·  Add subscription options to your wide-ranging product catalog

·  Collect payment from the customer automatically

·  Generate advanced subscription report

Steps for Starting a Subscription-based Business model

1: Find A Specific Niche that helps you deliver curated customer experiences since most people value specialized products more rather than generalised stuff. 

2: Try to differentiate yourself from other businesses in the same industry by offering curated products, surprising customers with personalised gifts and adding value to their lives.

3: Customers expect fast delivery. Procure Products and get the inventory ready before starting the promotional campaigns so that you don’t disappoint your customers with an “Out of Stock” sign when they are about to checkout.

Key considerations and valuable tips to follow while creating an eCommerce subscription service

·      Ensure your subscription-related products and services are of top-notch quality and value. 

·      Determine how you can add value to your customer’s overall experience throughout the subscription period.

·      Differentiate your brand by championing a cause that may or may not directly relate to your business.

·      Figure out why exactly your target customer base will choose your brand instead of your competitors.

·      Prove that your service is worth the price point of the charges, and even the most fatigued shoppers will continue to stick around for a longer duration.

·      Ensure your choice of subscription model will generate considerable revenue for your business.

·      Provide good incentives to your potential customers to ensure a given customer will stay on board for a longer-term.

·      Take an omnichannel approach to provide value to your customers and keep engaging them throughout their subscription period in many ways. 

·      Keep an eye on KPIs and customer data like monthly recurring revenue, customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and qualitative data on your subscribers’ experiences with your brand over time.

·      Finally choosing the right and fully-functional eCommerce platform like Adobe Commerce is vital to your ability to run a subscription service.

 In short, you can create a subscription commerce business with almost any product or service. Just price your subscription plan well to sustainably grow your cash flow and business revenues. 

And to experience the level of success the companies we’ve mentioned above you need to have a strong and strategic approach to this new initiative powered by Adobe commerce and witness your business grow in leaps and bounds.

Rising trend of subscription business model in eCommerce. Mageplaza. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2022, from

How to run & grow an eCommerce subscription service. How to Run & Grow an eCommerce Subscription Service | Core dna. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2022, from


Minal Jain
Minal Jain
Senior Content Writer