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Some consumers express scepticism over growing trend for subscriptions

10 November 2015 - 09:40 by Graham Miller

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Subscription shopping services are on the increase, echoing the popularity of pay-monthly services in other parts of the market. They offer customers the option to receive regular deliveries of particular products while paying a flat rate each month. But a new study from Worldpay has found that 39 per cent of consumers are not convinced of the benefits of this model.

Committing to a subscription over a protracted period has generated scepticism among a sizeable minority of shoppers for a number of reasons. Almost a third of the 7,000 respondents to the survey said that they do not believe this type of offer will deliver value for money in the long term.

A quarter of those questioned said that they were worried about the security of subscription services, instead preferring to make one-off purchases online.

Fifty eight per cent said that they like the pay as you go approach to retail because it gives them greater control over their spending, while 34 per cent of subscription service users said that they had ended their contract within the first six months of committing to it.

Today it is possible to procure a subscription service for everything from fashion items and sportswear to food and other consumables. And the variety of websites which let customers arrange subscriptions via safe shopping online and provide direct home delivery is impressive.

The question over the value for money offered by subscription retail services is certainly relevant, especially for those who sign up and then find that they are not making use of the products they receive. But with most services offering a degree of scalability, there is the option to tailor packages to meet usage levels of individual customers, rather than being overburdened.