New consumer study reveals top subscription services and how “super subscriber” shoppers select Internet, cable, mobile phone, streaming, grocery and other services
Shopper research: @BHEngagement reveals best motivators for top #subscription-based services Tweet
“In the age of sophisticated and engrained deal-finding behaviors, shoppers have identified intelligent ways to not only save on subscription services, but leverage new kinds of subscription services to reduce the cost of older product and service options,” said Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing with Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company. “Our research revealed the top incentives for motivating consumers to try or move to certain subscription services.”
The survey, conducted in March 2015, questioned 1,757 US consumers that Blackhawk Engagement Solutions believe are representative of the country’s demographics. Key findings include:
- Most subscribed services: 89% of Americans subscribe to Internet service, followed by 83% who subscribe to cell phone plans. While 74% have a cable subscription, basic cable (36%) is about to eclipse premium cable (38%), which could be due to migration to streaming/on demand services. More than half of consumers (52%) subscribe to streaming TV or movie content. And recurring grocery/consumer goods delivery subscriptions are just beginning to take off, but are already in the double digits, with 16% of Americans using these services.
- Prepaid cards, paid termination fees top motivators for Internet subscribing: When looking for a new Internet service provider, most shoppers (59%) will select a provider that offers a prepaid card incentive versus monthly discounts or other incentives like a free tablet. And for shoppers interested in switching Internet service providers before their contracts have expired, a top motivator to do so is when the new provider pays the termination fee charged by the old provider (64%).
- “Triple-play” bundle shoppers’ path to purchase can be disrupted: Consumers shopping for a triple-play subscription (phone, TV, Internet) take 3–6 days on average to make their decision and shop 1–2 competitors. Their path to purchase most frequently involves searching providers’ websites, then turning to Google, then going in-store or calling and finally checking with Amazon before buying. Shoppers report that this routine can be disrupted by a dynamically placed rebate adding more value than the best in-market instant discounts.
- Online and digital delivery of movies skyrockets in popularity: More than half of consumers (57%) prefer online/digital delivery of movies versus 29% that rent movies from a store or kiosk and 15% that rent or buy online through a retailer. In consideration of a $14.99 per month video streaming service, consumers overwhelmingly report that a free month of service would be the best motivator for trial. Finally, younger shoppers and shoppers with higher incomes have a higher propensity to use online/digital video content.
- Big opportunity for cable to promote on-demand value packages for basic cable subscribers. The report shows that basic cable subscribers are growing and paying monthly fees for streaming while also consuming on-demand product. (Versus paying for a premium cable package.) This reveals a good opportunity for cable providers: bundle paid on-demand offerings, versus selling individually, to take back share from streaming services.
- Top music streaming services: Half of consumers report using Pandora for streaming music services, followed by iTunes (35%), Spotify (18%), SiriusXM (16%) and others. A prepaid card is also the most favored incentive for signing up for services in this category, with 60% of shoppers selecting a $10 prepaid card reward as the best motivator for purchase.
- Grocery and consumer goods delivery a burgeoning subscription category: 16% of consumers now report using these subscriptions. Customer profiles of shoppers who use these services are provided in the report and include average spend in-store, age and income. The top incentive for trying grocery delivery services is free shipping (82% of shoppers prefer this option), which can be earned through a post-purchase validated reward.
The complete “Super Subscribers,” shopper study can be downloaded in its entirety here. Blackhawk Engagement Solutions will also host a free webinar to discuss these research findings from 12-1PM CDT on Wednesday, June 17, more info here.
About Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
Blackhawk Engagement Solutions is a leading global provider of customized incentive and engagement solutions for consumer promotions and recognition, employee rewards and indirect sales channel management programs. Blackhawk Engagement Solutions is a strategic partner with many of the world's leading brands and a thought leader that provides game-changing engagement solutions. Through innovative products, services and technology, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions inspires actions that impact results. For more information, please visit: www.bhengagement.com.
Blackhawk Engagement Solutions is a division of Blackhawk Network, headquartered in Lewisville, Texas
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK and HAWKB) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.