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UK consumers rush to embrace online shopping subscriptions

23 July 2015 - 10:14 by Mike Price

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Subscription services are becoming increasingly common in the UK, with the Telegraph reporting on a 40 per cent rise in the use of pay monthly e-commerce services, that deliver a range of products to households on a regular basis.

Many boutique retailers have been able to emerge thanks to the popularity of safe shopping online, with customers able to order everything from coffee and cakes to footwear and fashion. And the study from NotOnTheHighStreet.com proves that the subscription approach to e-commerce is taking the nation by storm.

These smaller retailers are experiencing differing levels of growth, with some of the biggest success stories reporting that sales have almost doubled in the past quarter.

Although in many cases, the subscription side of a retailer’s business represents the minority of sales, in some instances up to a fifth of all products shipped can be sent out to regular subscribers via shopping online.

Consumable items are particularly well suited to the subscription model, because rather than people filling their houses with objects they can, instead, get snacks and drinks popped through the letterbox, so that they can enjoy them and then look forward to the next delivery.

Report spokesperson, James Ransome, also said that there is evidence of subscribers taking advantage of their regularly scheduled deliveries so that they always have a great last minute gift available to give to a friend or family member, rather than having to rush out to the shops and buy something in a hurry.

The fact that subscription shopping is helping to support small businesses and generate an entire new ecosystem within the retail sector in the UK is intriguing, and yet more evidence of the power for good that e-commerce has become over the past few years.