Subscription Commerce

From 2020’s droves of new subscribers, a group of particularly valuable customers emerged in 2021.

In 2020, new subscribers flocked to the subscription market at unprecedented rates, leading to dramatic year-over-year growth across verticals. In 2021, subscriptions became more than something new to try—they became a reliable part of consumers’ daily lives.

Across all merchants, MRR increased by roughly 89% year-over-year.

Humans crave experiences that repeat—especially in uncertain times.

Over the past year, both merchants and consumers have found immense stability in subscriptions. While new challenges continued to emerge in the ecommerce market in 2021, merchants of all sizes and verticals saw their subscribers spend more and stay on longer, increasing average order value, customer lifetime value, and monthly recurring revenue.

The merchants with the highest GMV used SMS, email marketing, and sales & conversion integrations at vastly higher rates.

We found that the higher a merchant’s gross merchandise value was, the more integrations they tended to use. What’s more, the types of integrations they chose typically allowed them to personalize the customer experience to fit the needs and preferences of their unique subscriber base.

In 2021, more than 75% of merchants with more than $5 million in annual GMV utilized SMS integrations.
Across all cohorts, subscribers made 28 million one-time purchases in 2021.

Larger merchants saw the greatest usage of one-time purchase options.

Flexible purchase options—particularly one-time purchase options—once again proved to be invaluable in 2021. We found that the higher a merchant’s GMV was, the higher their subscribers’ usage of one-time purchases tended to be.