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Where is Subscription Commerce Headed? Three SubSummit Data Points You Need to Know

Where is Subscription Commerce Headed? Three SubSummit Data Points You Need to Know

by Paul Chambers

10 months ago

I treat data like a friend. A nagging, know-it-all friend who won’t stop telling me “I told you so” when I don’t listen. Still, it’s a friend who has my best interest at heart, no matter how annoyed, frustrated, or stubborn I am toward it. 

At this year’s SubSummit, I (re-) introduced that friend to the entire subscription commerce community, and the stories it told… You just had to be there. 

If you weren’t, though, here are the three most surprising revelations we learned at the world’s largest event dedicated to subscriptions, memberships, and recurring revenue

100% of Best-Performing Subscription Brands Do This

Whenever you see 100% on a screen, you better pay attention, which is exactly what I did when Karen Webster of and Brian Bogosian of took the stage. 

Their internal data shows that every single top-30 subscription brand offers two key perks within their offering: 

  • The Pause Feature
  • Subscription Tiers

Pause features allow customers to temporarily suspend their subscriptions, providing convenience and flexibility. Meanwhile, subscription tiers enable businesses to cater to diverse customer preferences by offering differentiated levels of service or product options. Both options will play a major role in extending your customer lifetime value, according to Bogosian.

60% Of Consumers Live in Uncertainty in the Subscription Commerce Space

Earlier this year, our team asked hundreds of customers if they knew how much they spent on subscriptions. A majority said “no,” which means a couple of things: 

  1. There is a small chance your customer is aware of how much they spend with your brand each month
  2. You are not at the top of some of your subscribers’ minds due to the number of subscription services they are juggling
  3. If your customers aren’t aware of how much your services cost, how likely are they to know all the perks you offer?

You could drop your churn rate by simply educating your community on everything you are providing them with,” noted our Director of Marketing Jennifer Cline.

By proactively addressing this gap, companies can strengthen customer relationships and optimize the overall subscription commerce experience.

By the way, if you want more consumer data, check out the 2023 Subscription Commerce Industry Outlook Annual Report. It’s free. 

27% Lift in Sales Through A/B Testing 

Have you met data’s best friend, A/B testing? You two should really get to know each other, because the opportunities it provides are quite simply astonishing. 

A big debate in 2023 is around the word “subscription” or “subscribe". Some say it intimidates customers, others say it’s just part of every consumer’s life now. And data says the answer resides somewhere in the middle. 

For example, John Roman and the BattlBox team tested using the word “join” instead of “subscribe” on their pages because they “kept hearing that people do not like the word subscribe.”

The results proved otherwise.

John Roman BattlBox A/B Test

However, the Obvi team also conducted a similar experiment, this time switching the phrase “Subscribe & Save” with “Autoship.” That test boosted Obvi’s sales by nearly 30%. “They still save money for autoship," said Ronak Shah, Obvi CEO, ”but we're not bringing them in with the mindset of saving because then they're always going to want to save. That's at least one piece that's been very helpful for us.”

What’s Next for Subscription Commerce?

Something that stuck with me at the beginning of SubSummit were the words of my business partner and the event’s co-founder, Christopher George. 2023 is the year of retention. 

I will go one step further: The subscription commerce industry is entering the retention era, and you need to be prepared. 

For the first time, acquisition is not the key to success. Your profits will rely on your ability to provide access, value and convenience simultaneously while nurturing lifelong relationships with subscribers. 

If you can do that, well chances are you will be invited to speak at SubSummit 2024. Regardless, join the waitlist so you can be a part of the world’s largest conference dedicated to subscriptions, memberships and recurring revenue!


An entrepreneur since fifth grade, Paul Chambers is the Co-Founder of SubSummit, the premier event for subscriptions, memberships, and recurring revenue brands. Paul has extensive expertise in the subscription commerce economy, dating back more than two decades, and has been recognized by national and international publications and media outlets.


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