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Subscriptions “going through a real growth period”, brand new podcast highlights


Internet Retailing’s brand new podcast series looking at the subscription economy has launched with a special episode recorded live at the inaugural SubX World conference, held in London this May.

Produced in association with Avalara, the limited series will discuss how retailers are turning to the subscription business model – in which consumers pay or commit in advance to receive something.

Across the episodes, the panel will analyse how primarily-subscription businesses have entered and influenced the digital-direct-to-consumer sector; how consumer engagement in pre-paid models has opened new innovations; and how to avoid “churn”.

The first episode, featuring Avalara’s Sacha Wilson, Smol’s Neil Campbell and Chargebee’s Tarmo van der Goot, brought together speakers and sponsors of the SubX World conference, and can be listened to in full here.

In it Neil Campbell, chief growth officer at sustainable cleaning subscription firm Smol, explained how subscription growth during the pandemic has changed D2C retail.

“It is going through a real growth period at the minute. Post pandemic people are at home a lot more. They’re just much more likely to be in for a delivery, especially for a bulky delivery. Coupled with that, there’s just an increasing consumer acceptance of subscriptions.

“Back in the day everyone kind of bulked at the idea – ‘why am I paying for Spotify when I’ve got all these MP3s that I’ve bought?’ But actually, it has really become part of people’s lives with the likes of Netflix and Spotify, the digital side.”

He went on to highlight the switch from specialist subscription services to consumers ordering everyday items for a monthly fee has been driven by shipping becoming more “competitive”.

The ability to secure recurring revenue was another element of the subscription economy discussed in this special launch episode.

“It helps businesses forecast better, plan that their inventory management a lot more effectively if they know what’s coming or what they’re expecting – less surprises” noted Sacha Wilson, senior director, EMEA sales, SaaS solutions, Avalara.

“Something that’s overlooked sometimes is company valuation. We see this in the software world. If you’ve got an annual recurring revenue stream that helps increase your stock market price it can help you with financing if you’re looking at acquisitions, mergers. There’s that part of it, which can help retailers bolster up that part of their business as well.”

Future episodes in the series will look at the rental market, refillable offerings, and the idea that subscription services are more than just a product in a box – they build a community of loyal customers.

Listen now to the first episode of the Internet Retailing Subscription podcast, in association with Avalara, to hear:

  • How can retailers can limit subscription fatigue
  • What critical data points are needed to achieve success
  • Which elements are key to making subscriptions work that simply won’t change in the future?

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