Shopping, in the traditional sense, involves a buyer and a seller.
A potential buyer learns about a product, usually from exposure
to branded marketing, and if it’s compelling enough to buy, they do so via a store or website.
Following the purchase, the buyer’s role shifts to that of a consumer (or user, if you prefer).
If as a consumer, they are happy with the product, they might buy it again, or perhaps buy it for someone else; if not, they will try an alternative.
Data analysts are busy running spreadsheets and formulas, attempting to dive deeper into this spectrum of consumer behaviour, hoping to understand how to get buyers to make repeat purchases—and allow businesses to reap higher profits without constantly spending money to acquire new customers.
As brands claw at one another in an attempt to gain more market share, a new mode of commerce is on the rise, one largely driven by direct-to-customer brands generating repeat purchases via subscriptions.
In recent years, the number of such businesses has grown significantly, from hundreds to thousands worldwide, prompting progressive retail thought leaders to proclaim that we have fully entered into a subscription economy.