Primed for success: Four in ten Brits are members of a paid subscription/delivery pass scheme

October 13, 2020

With the delayed 2020 Amazon Prime Day finally here, latest research from Mintel reveals the meteoric rise of the delivery pass* as, today, four in ten Brits (39%) have signed up for these subscriptions, including Amazon Prime, up from three in ten (31%) in 2018.

And it seems no one loves a delivery pass more than Brits aged 25-34, over half (54%) of whom have signed up to such a scheme. While the popularity of these passes peaks among the young, almost a quarter (23%) of over-65s are members too.

Amazon Prime continues to be the absolute leader among the UK paid subscription schemes: three in ten (31%) Brits are now members, up from 23% in 2018. In fact, today, Amazon Prime accounts for nearly eight in 10 (79%) consumers who have any kind of paid subscription.

The most popular benefits attracting consumers to paid subscriptions are still the ones related to delivery, with 62% of subscription members choosing free/extra delivery options; meanwhile, 49% favour better delivery times/slots. Free returns are the third most important option (43%), increasing in popularity by 11 percentage points since 2018 (32%). In fact, it is now considerably more relevant than personalised offers (23%) and exclusive products (23%).

Armando Falcao, Mintel Retail Research Analyst, said: 

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers are facing unprecedented challenges and customer loyalty has become more important than ever before. While a considerable number of new paid subscriptions have emerged, Amazon Prime continues to gain popularity. It is essential that the other players look at the online giant’s scheme as a benchmark and understand how they can incorporate some of its competitive advantages into their own offerings. 

“Consumers are increasingly expecting products and services to be delivered to them quickly, wherever they are. In fact, same day delivery is one of Amazon’s main competitive advantages over other online rivals, and while its competitors offer a same-day service, this is usually an extra add-on. For Amazon Prime, the attraction goes beyond fast delivery service; it is access to a vast digital library of streaming entertainment, including Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Reading, that has allowed it to excel.”

*Mintel defines a paid subscription model as “a service which is offered by a retailer only to consumers who are willing to pay a periodic fee to join and offers a premium level of rewards and services that would otherwise be unavailable, or cost extra, as part of a typical free loyalty scheme, including free or expanded delivery options and other services and exclusive offers.”

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