UK: 81% of households get subscription boxes

UK: 81% of households get subscription boxes

Households in the United Kingdom are increasingly using subscription boxes. In 2020, 65 percent received these parcels, while last year this number rose up to 81 percent. The strong growth means that the subscription box market was worth 473.1 million euros in 2021.

These data come from research into subscription services in the UK from Whistl, a logistics company.  The strong increase in subscriptions means that the market is expected to surpass 2.16 billion euros in 2025, due to an expected annual growth rate of 23 percent.

‘Households spent €742.7 per year on subscriptions.’

Households in the UK spent 742.7 euros per year on subscriptions in 2021 with an average spend per month of 62.3 euros. According to the research, shoppers stayed signed up for an average of 9 months. This duration is a strong growth from the average of 5.6 months in 2017.

Food category most popular

The majority of shoppers sign up for subscription boxes in the food category (52 percent). This is followed by shaving products (24 percent), clothing (22 percent), perfume and cosmetics (18 percent) and pets (14 percent).

‘Consumers want access to exclusive content.’

Access to exclusive content is the biggest driver for consumers to sign up for subscription boxes (57 percent). Time saving (55 percent) and good value (54 percent) follow closely behind. Other reasons are the fact that the box brings highly tailored products (52 percent), that it helps to keep finances organized (50 percent). And of course, consumers also find the subscription box convenient (40 percent).

Retailers started subscription services

“Advancements in technology, exposure to social media and, in more recent years, the pandemic and lockdowns have together fuelled the massive growth in the range of subscription services resulting in a surge of boxes landing on our doorsteps”, said Melanie Darvall, Director Marketing Communications at Whistl.

The popularity of subscriptions amongst consumers was also noticed by retailers within the UK. At least 36 percent of retailers that had not previously provided any subscription services planned to launch a range of it in time for the holiday season last year.



Pleuni writes all types of news and background articles for Ecommerce News, where she has been working since 2019.

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