Grab a coffee and take a moment to read what’s going on in the fascinating world of subscriptions. In this edition, we dive deeper into the acquisition and retention challenges companies face in the minds of recession–and how to face them.

Additionally, we check on the record-breaking BJ’s Wholesale Club renewal rates, Amazon Go’s store close, Spotify’s new features, and the Apple Music Classical app launch.

Half of subscription companies say they face challenges attracting customers

The State Of Subscription Business: Best Practices And Business Performance Drivers”–a collaborative study from PYMTNS and FlexPay–reported that 59% of companies consider the economic downturn a relevant challenge in the year ahead. 

Notably, subscription companies are far more concerned about their ability to reach new consumers (48%) than to hold onto the loyalty of those already subscribed (37%). Learn more on PYMTNS.

How does a media organization succeed in 2023? One word: Retention

A subscriber saved is worth more than a subscriber earned, especially during an economic downturn. Besides rising costs, people unsubscribe because they are no longer engaged with the brand. In fact, 67% of consumers cancel subscriptions because they’re no longer of use.

Media organizations should carefully examine the subscriber experience to ensure they are equipping audiences with means to build habits, create a personal touch, and find value throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Read more on Poynter.

Amid challenging economic times, subscription businesses must set up to meet consumers’ needs and expectations. The State of Subscriptions report provides you with the acquisition, growth, churn, and payments insights to design a compelling growth strategy.

Subscription businesses get serious about innovating

The freewheeling sign-ups of the lockdown era are now the good old days, as subscription brands have to be smarter to acquire and retain customers. Companies are revisiting every aspect of their businesses–from packaging to delivery and bundling to how payments are processed. 

Subscription merchants should approach cost-cutting clients who want powerful reasons to keep subscribing through personalization, bundles, upsells, and cross-sells. Additionally, relying on smart dunning to analyze the best date and time to retry declined payments and achieve a successful outcome. Learn more on PYMNTS.

Driving loyalty in retail: BJ’s Wholesale reaches 90% subscriber renewal rate

BJ’s Wholesale Club customers are renewing their memberships at record levels. That figure puts the chain in the same neighborhood as Costco, which last year said it had a 92% renewal rate.

Research by PYMNTS has shown that mass merchants use subscriptions because they work for consumers while also helping their bottom line: Amazon Prime members spent 113% more monthly than non-Prime members while shopping online. And at Costco and Sam’s Club, members spend 101% and 109% more in-store than nonmembers. Read more on PYMTNS.

Amazon to close eight of its Go stores in the U.S.

Amazon is permanently closing eight convenience stores, highlighting its ongoing challenge in building its physical retail footprint. Despite these closures, the retailer will continue to open new Amazon Go stores and is working closely with all affected employees to identify new roles within the organization. Learn more on Retail Dive.

Spotify revamps its app with new features 

The audio streaming company introduced a new app design to make it more lively and interactive. The redesign includes vertically scrolling feeds, a new “Smart Shuffle” for playlist recommendations, podcast autoplay, and more exciting features for both users and subscribers. Read more on TechCrunch.

Apple is launching a new classical music streaming service

The new Apple Music Classical app will offer subscribers access to over five million classical music tracks, including new releases in high-quality audio, curated playlists, exclusive albums, and other features like composer bios and deep dives on key works. The release date will be March 28 for iOS devices running iOS 15.4 or newer. Learn more on TechCrunch.

Join Recurly at these exciting events

Live demo: How to navigate subscription revenue recognition. Learn how Recurly automates ASC-606 and IFRS-15 compliance with its revenue recognition engine, built to handle your most complex subscription contracts and pricing configurations. Save your spot.

On-demand: The 2023 State of Subscriptions webinar. Set your team up for success with insights from more than 2,200 global brands. Learn the upcoming industry trends and consumer demands. Watch now.

From the Recurly blog

Recurly is Google News Publisher. Follow Subscriptions Digest to get our latest content before anyone else!