Street Survey 018: Would you subscribe for deliveries direct from brands?

By Summit | Friday 6th September 2013

Don’t Forget, Subscribe

Many of us return home with our weekly shopping only to find we’ve forgotten to buy some items – usually the boring ones like dishwasher tablets or kitchen towels.

A solution to this annoying occurrence might be to set up a subscription with the manufacturer, and have those most-frequently forgotten products mailed directly to our homes.

Sounds unusual? Well, we did that with our milk and newspapers for decades, and now we do it with contact lenses and coffee, among other products.

But what are the parameters of this kind of arrangement and what kind of products would suit this business model?

Subscription Business Model

The subscription business model has lots of benefits. Just think back to the days of milk and newspaper deliveries: we signed up, usually through a newsagent, and then everyday we got our pinta and Financial Times (or whatever newspaper!) delivered to our doorstep.

We settled up our bill each weekend or once a month, and so the process continued. We could stop and start whenever we wanted – if we had holidays, for example.

Some years back disposable contact lenses became available through the post on a subscription model and now lots of other products are similarly available, including wine, socks and coffee.

We subscribe to these items by signing up for a delivery at a frequency that suits us, and pay by standing order or direct debit.

Summit Street Survey

So, in this week’s Summit Street Survey we put this question to the shopper: which items do you most frequently forget in your weekly shopping and which would you subscribe to for regular delivery?

This was a fun survey to do, because most people know this situation – returning home, putting the shopping bags on the table, unpacking and then realising they’ve forgotten – again! – to buy the kitchen towels. People love sharing those stories!

It seemed to be mostly so-called ‘boring’ household items such as washing powder, tin foil, soap and toiletries that were most commonly forgotten.

Some people mentioned bananas and spice and herb refills, too.

However, when it came to answering the question about signing up to a subscription, then opinion became more diverse.

Some said, Yes, I’d do that because it would help me, others just said No, it would make me become lazy or even boring!

One shopper already subscribes through Amazon for her electric toothbrush brush-replacements.

So, which items do you most often forget during your weekly shop and would you sign up for a subscription?