The facts, trends, and numbers are evident. The subscription industry is growing day by day. Whether you’re looking for ways to discover new organic snacks, or spoil your pet, or get a clean shave, subscription boxes are disrupting nearly every consumer product category and are a major contributor to shifting the e-commerce landscape.
- The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% percent a year over the past five years, with the largest retailers generating more than $2.6B in sales in 2016, up from $57.0M in 2011.
- E-commerce subscribers are most likely to be 25 to 44 years old, to have incomes from $50,000 to $100,000, and live in urban environments in the Northeastern U.S.
- 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis, frequently through monthly boxes.
- Amazon Subscribe & Save, Dollar Shave Club, Ipsy, Blue Apron and Birchbox are the five most popular subscription sites in 2018.
These and many other insights are from an in-depth survey McKinsey & Company completed to better understand the dynamics of the subscription e-commerce market and its major trends. The results of the survey, Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers is a fascinating glimpse into the current state of the subscription economy.
The latest industry to take hold of this curious trend, the automotive community. Traditionally, options for vehicle ownership were either lease or own. But in a growing number of metropolitan markets there is a third option emerging: car subscriptions.
Marketing and positioning of these car subscription options from brands such as Ford, Porsche, Cadillac, and now Volvo appear to be targeting urban living tech-savvy Millennials who are non-committal towards car ownership, live and enjoy a subscription model lifestyle (Netflix, Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club) and are willing to pay for the trade-offs of flexibility and options.
For example, the Porsche Passport lets you choose among eight car models (including the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman S) for $2,000 per month or choose from 22 different Porsche models for a $3,000 subscription. With Porsche Passport, you can switch cars as often as you choose. Cadillac’s subscription service, which comes in at $1,800 per month, lets you swap between cars as often as 18 times per year.
It is still too early to determine adoption of this latest subscription fad. Auto makers have a major hurdle regarding availability as they look to move beyond the main metro markets. It will be one of many trends in the automotive industry to keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.
Now is the best time to take a real close look at your customers. What are their lives like, who are in their circles, what can you learn from their environment? There is no better way to discover and capture nuances than with video ethnography. It can be like bringing your entire operation into the home to learn about the wants, needs, and drivers of an array of people. The result being impactful insights straight from the source, your customers with the added benefit of being about to relive their interviews and broadcast a highlight reel through out your organization.
In addition to the raw video, craft videos can be edited for easily digestible run times. Couple these reels with top notch motion graphics and enhanced audio and you have a presentation that is informative, entertaining and memorable.
ADVANTAGES OF VIDEO ETHNOGRAPHY
Video Ethnography is a powerful complement to written analysis. Written content attempts to represent a thought or event with authenticity but is limited by the author’s subjectivity, consciously or not. Video also functions to highlight affect, leveraging the portrayal of emotions to accentuate ideas.
WHY USE VIDEO ETHNOGRAPHY?
Society has prepared us for consuming messages quickly and receiving information more passively, in ever-more dynamic and compelling formats. It’s just a fact that people gravitate toward moving imagery.
A few years back, we featured The Mindset List for the Class of 2015 and thought it would be fun to revisit that list and see what treasures The Mindset List for the Class of 2021 hold.
For those of you with children entering into college this list might not be much of a surprise. But, for those of us that don’t, and think we are still “in-the-know” with the younger generation, it becomes clear very quickly why the list is unofficially named the Make Me Feel Old List…
The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2021
- They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials — enter next year, on cue, Generation Z!
- eHarmony has always offered an algorithm for happiness.
- They have largely grown up in a floppy-less world.
- There have always been emojis to cheer us up.
- It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.
- They were never able to use a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat.
- Donald Trump has always been a political figure, as a Democrat, an Independent, and a Republican.
- Amazon has always invited consumers to follow the arrow from A to Z.
- In their lifetimes, Blackberry has gone from being a wild fruit to a communications device to a wild fruit again.
- They have always been searching for Pokemon.
- Dora the Explorer and her pet monkey Boots helped to set them on the course of discovery.
- By the time they entered school, laptops were outselling desktops.
- Whatever the subject, there’s always been a blog for it.
- A movie scene longer than two minutes has always seemed like an eternity.
- Ketchup has always come in green.
- They have only seen a Checker Cab in a museum.
- Men have always shared a romantic smooch on television.
- As toddlers, they may have taught their grandparents how to Skype.
- There has always been a Monster in their corner when looking for a job.
- Wikipedia has steadily gained acceptance by their teachers.
- Justin Timberlake has always been a solo act.
- Barbie and American Girl have always been sisters at Mattel.
- Family Guy is the successor to the Father Knows Best they never knew.
- Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.
- They are the first generation for whom a “phone” has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.
Copyright© 2017 Beloit College
Mindset List is a registered trademark
Check out the entire list here.
I’ve noticed a recent trend in the checkout line. Often, the cashier will ask me if I care to “round-up” my purchase to the next highest dollar, donating those extra cents to whatever worthy nonprofit cause is on their docket.
I donate about half the time, based on either the last time I donated, how far from a dollar I rounded up last time, how near the next dollar is this time, or the cause at hand. Overall, I think I’m a fairly decent round-up donor. Recently though I’ve become aware of a new service that might veer a few of those round-ups my way.
A company called Acorns acts in the same manner except the rounding up goes to my personal Acorns account, where it is automatically invested, and regularly re-balances, in an ETF investment portfolio of my choosing (i.e., conservative-to-aggressive in investment style), developed by an Nobel Prize-winning economist and backed by investment market leaders including Vanguard and Blackrock. In addition, Acorns, through it’s “Found Money” offering, has partnered with an array of businesses who will automatically invest in your account when you make purchases with them. All of this done from one or all of your credit cards. All for about a dollar a month; free to college students with a valid .edu email account. Amazing.
Acorns’ mantra is “anyone can grow wealth.” While micro-investing had, up to now, been focused on developing countries, Acorns is the first to use smartphone-based app technology to make micro-investing easy for today’s Millennials, who according to today’s popular press, are skittish of investing in stocks and bonds. Acorns appears to be playing an important role in alleviating fears and misconceptions of investing, as well as prerequisite saving, for today’s young adults.
What’s most amazing about Acorns is not necessarily the amount of money one will save using the investing app, i.e. it’s literally spare change that one invests―instead, Acorns helps people, day by day, learn the good habits of becoming a saver, and not a spendthrift, over time. It develops good saving and investing habits. This is an invaluable lesson, especially for younger people who may find investing daunting or challenging given their current limited means.
As people further use the app, they may be more likely to take advantage of other services Acorns offers, such as its “One Time” or “Recurring,” where people can add any amount of money to their portfolio in either a lump sum or regularly, respectively. They can even receive a bonus to their portfolio when they refer friends and family to Acorns, thereby becoming stewards of the brand.
The most valuable tool to successful investing is the “time value” of money (TVM)―that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future; a dollar invested today will earn, over time, interest and capital gains that increase its worth. Almost as important is understanding, at a young age, the principles set forth in TVM, for the earlier one learns to be a regular saver cum investor, the more one reaps over time.
As we all know, money begets money, and the route to becoming a millionaire is thinking and behaving like one today, even if it’s with the thirty-five cents left over from an afternoon coffee purchase. Understanding this, Acorns also now offers “Acorn Later,” a retirement-oriented IRA account. Anyone can now save for their future, anytime.
Millionaires aren’t ‘hatched’ and most don’t inherit their dough; they learn how to earn. And from acorns…
Every once in a while, we like to share what we’ve been up to, including how our research engagements have helped our clients achieve their business goals and some of the lessons learned. This study highlights W5’s role in assisting an appliance company in empathizing with their consumers through Personas research.
A leading home appliance distributor sought a better understanding of the marketplace to identify the perceptions, attitudes, motivations and unmet needs of category consumers. Ultimately, the client intended to use the research to inform both product and category innovation, and to improve the related retail experience.
W5 recommended developing behavior and motivation-based consumer personas following extensive in-depth qualitative research. Persona research was conducted in the form of hour-long in-home interviews with a diverse representative selection of appliance consumers. In preparation for the interview sessions, each respondent completed a comprehensive diary exercise exploring the emotional, functional and social aspects of recent appliance use to help stimulate thoughtful category engagement.
Based on this extensive in-context research, W5 developed and presented consumer personas to the client, each with unique lifestyles, product usage behaviors, product research and purchase behaviors, and category opportunities. Personas embodied the in-depth research findings as a memorable, accessible tool that operational units across the organization could use to anticipate consumer needs and desires, based on an empathetic understanding of their conscious and unconscious behaviors.