2024 Trends in Subscription Boxes
As we journey into 2024, the landscape of subscription boxes continues to evolve, reflecting changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. From subscription boxes convenience to the personalized experiences that having a longer term relationship allows, subscription boxes are set to embrace new trends that will redefine how consumers interact with products and brands. In this blog post, we delve into the emerging trends shaping the subscription box industry in 2024. But first, let’s look at the state of subscription boxes, by the numbers.
2023 Ecommerce By The Numbers
According to Forbes, ecommerce growth is showing no signs of slowing in 2023 (all below numbers are estimates)
- Ecommerce sales are growing 10.4% in 2023
- Global ecommerce is expected to total 6.3 trillion in 2023, with 8.1 trillion expected by 2026
- 20.8% of all retail purchases happen online, with 24% expected by 2026
- The top reason people abandon their cart is due to extra costs like shipping, taxes, fees, etc.
- 91% of people make online purchases using a smartphone
According to imarc, the subscription box market is worth approximately 32.9 billion in 2023, growing at 14% annually and expected to top 105.4 billion in 2032!
To help you capture a share of this rapidly growing market, check out some of the top trends for 2024 subscription boxes below.
Personalization at its Peak
Most shoppers prefer brands that provide a personalized experience. After all, who wants to continuously be recommended products that they already own, or have no interest in? The trend of personalization has matured significantly. In 2024, it’s not just about curating products based on general preferences but creating a box that feels uniquely tailored for each individual. Leveraging AI and machine learning, subscription services now offer unprecedented customization, from personalized product selections to customized packaging, ensuring every box resonates personally with its recipient.
To further personalize the experience, consider asking subscribers for more data in exchange for discounts, special offers, etc. You can do this via surveys, questionnaires, interactive content, and progressive profiling on forms. If you’re up front and honest about why you’re asking for the data, chances are, your subscribers will share it!
Sustainability: A Core Focus
Environmental consciousness has moved from a niche concern to a mainstream demand. Subscription boxes in 2024 will need to be increasingly eco-friendly, featuring sustainable products, biodegradable or reusable packaging, and carbon-neutral shipping options. Companies are also embracing ethical sourcing, ensuring that products are not only good for the consumers but also for the planet. Consumers take this into consideration when deciding which companies to do business with.
The integration of technology in subscription boxes is more profound than ever. Augmented reality (AR) experiences, QR codes leading to exclusive digital content, and smart packaging that interacts with devices are becoming commonplace. These tech elements enhance the unboxing experience, making it more interactive and engaging. It also encourages social sharing on social media networks like TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.
The Rise of Niche Subscriptions
In 2024, we will continue to see a surge in niche subscription boxes catering to specific hobbies, lifestyles, and interests. From DIY electronics and wellness-focused products to subscription services for pet wellness and plant care, the market is diversifying to cater to increasingly specific consumer interests.
Flexible Subscription Models
Flexibility is key in 2024. Consumers now prefer subscription services that offer the ability to pause, skip, or customize delivery frequency. This flexibility empowers customers to control their subscription experience fully, leading to higher satisfaction and retention rates. You could even consider dynamic price points for subscriptions; reward your best customers with discounts and incentives, or vip benefits.
Community and Personal Touches
Subscription boxes are no longer just about the products; they’re about the experience and community. Brands are creating exclusive online communities for their subscribers, offering a space to connect, share experiences, and provide feedback. This sense of belonging and community adds a new layer of value to the subscription experience. Be sure to add a human touch to each subscription box; it will be noticed by your customers, especially in this age of AI and automation!
Health and Wellness Focus
The ongoing emphasis on health and wellness continues to influence subscription boxes. Curated selections of health supplements, fitness products, and mental wellness tools are more popular than ever, responding to a consumer base increasingly focused on holistic well-being. These all work extremely well in a subscription box as they will typically need to be reordered at regular intervals.
Speedy delivery and free shipping
Nobody likes waiting a week or more for their order, and many customers are demanding same-day (or two-day) shipping on many items. 2024 should be the year where you optimize your fulfillment and delivery to get your subscription box into your customers hands as soon as possible. Nobody will be upset if their items come too quickly!
Outstanding customer service and AI-powered chatbots
Chatbots continue to get more advanced, powered by AI and machine learning. If you’re not already leveraging this technology, 2024 is a great way to incorporate it as customers become more familiar with resolving their most basic problems (order fulfillment, cancellations, pausing subscriptions, etc.) via chatbots. However, be sure to still have a way for your customers to get in touch with a human, whether it be via chat (such as the chatbot transferring to a human support specialist), or via email or phone.
You can even leverage the AI powered chatbots to help you upsell your subscribers with additional personalized recommendations, or help them find exactly what they’re searching for on the site without needing to browse through all of your product options.
Provide more payment options
There’s no shortage of payment options for customers to use in 2024. One of the reasons many people love subscriptions is that they only need to submit their payment information once, and don’t need to worry about the hassle again! They can expect their card or payment method to be charged for the same amount, on the same cadence.
If you only accept one form of payment (such as a standard credit card), consider branching out into additional payment options. Many customers will have their favorite tool to use, whether it’s Paypal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or many of the other options available. In addition, buy now pay later is continuing to grow in popularity, you may want to consider offering a service like Klarna or Afterpay to your subscribers.
Build self service into all of your most common customer requests
Most people search for a self-service option before deciding whether to contact support. Every part of your process should be self-servable, including changing contact information, payment information, pausing/rescheduling deliveries, or even canceling. This will cut down on support requests and will lead to a better customer experience.
Security, data privacy, and transparency
Consumers are becoming more aware of their data privacy rights, and it’s vital for companies to be transparent with their customers about what data they collect, and how they use it. Good data privacy practices not only builds trust with your customers, but it can also prevent issues in the event of a data breach, such as with stolen passwords or credit card information. Being transparent about your data practices, and allowing customers to select what data they want to share or not share, will be vital in 2024.
Make 2024 your best year yet
The subscription box industry in 2024 is going to be one for the record books. Be sure to take advantage of the trends listed in this post, and be sure to leverage Upscribe subscriptions for all of your Shopify store’s subscription needs! Contact us today to request a demo of our platform.