Once upon a time, subscriptions used to be limited to newspapers and magazines. Now you can’t get through a day without seeing or hearing about a different type of recurring delivery. In this day and age, virtually anything you can think of that one can possibly purchase or use can be automatically renewed. We have everything we need at our literal and proverbial doorstep.
Though subscriptions are nothing new, they have boomed in recent years, starting with wine-of-the-month clubs in the consumer space, and SaaS (software as a service) led by Salesforce in the B2B space.
Cut to more recent examples of recurring sales strategy: Birchbox, the leading provider of curated cosmetics boxes, is a pioneer for recurring revenue in retail sales and has been valued at $484 million; and where it once stood alone, it is now competing with dozens of businesses with similar offerings (the likes of Ipsy and FabFitFun).
Even United Airlines has now incorporated a subscription billing service for frequent fliers, with a fixed monthly fee for privileges, such as checked baggage and extra legroom. And never one to shy away from a trend, Apple even started permitting subscription sales across all categories in the app store.
Types of Subscription Models