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Subscription-Based Shopping Increases Post-Pandemic

Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 11:04 by David Aiken

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One of the additional side-effects of the COVID-19 crisis is that more Brits are signing up to subscription-based services to carry out safe shopping online consistently rather than having to order items on the fly, according to Retail Gazette.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, many people across the country were unable to get access to essential goods, with shortages creating consternation and panic in many areas. This partly explains why subscription services have gained traction, since knowing that you have consistent, reliable access to everything from groceries to toilet rolls and alcohol is something that immediately eases the fears associated with a second spike in cases and subsequent return to national lockdown.

Retailers have been quick to cotton on to the demand for subscription boxes, with a number of companies, including Majestic Wine, choosing to create their own versions of this type of service in response to coronavirus and the challenges it brought about.

Industry insiders believe that it is not just subscription services that send out physical items to consumers that have helped to spark this trend but also the rise of pay-monthly content streaming platforms like Netflix. Consumers are now entirely comfortable with the idea of paying cash month after month, so long as the quality is of a decent level.

This is also an undeniably convenient alternative to traditional approaches to retail, both for consumers and for the companies that supply them. The peaks and troughs in demand of the past could effectively be eliminated if everyone migrated to a subscription-based approach to retail across the board.

While such an eventuality is unlikely, it seems that the pandemic has cemented the concept of subscription boxes as a popular option both in the UK and elsewhere, which should hopefully create more competition in this space.