15 Important Subscription Box Statistics to Consider 

May 11, 2021
Emmanuel Cohen

The subscription box industry was just breaking into the consumer market twelve years ago. The market now generates approximately $15 billion. Given the high level of practicality and customizable boxes that manufacturers offer, it's easy to see why consumers are drawn to these types of products.

According to subscription box statistics, the growth of these types of services was not only welcome but also expected, considering that there isn't much we can't buy online and have delivered to our door.

Even though women account for more than 60% of all customers, it's surprising that men have a higher number of active subscriptions. This fact alone provides valuable information into the types of efforts brands should concentrate on, especially when demographic factors of consumers are taken into account.

So if you're thinking of building a custom subscription box offer, it’s important to know the direction the industry is going, and what patterns and data have we seen thus far.

Below are essentials facts for your guide:

1. The subscription box industry revenue grew from $57.0 million in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016

The subscription box industry has been exploding in recent years. Over the last half-decade, it has grown at a rate of more than 100% every year. Retailers only made $57.0 million in 2011, a year after the subscription model was formally launched. However, five years later, sales had increased to $2.6 billion. Businesses have introduced several new categories to customers as a result of venture capital investments, ranging from household items to entertainment products.

2. In 2019, the subscription box market has totaled over $10 billion

According to a McKinsey study, the subscription box market revenue in 2019 was estimated to reach $10 billion, excluding Amazon Prime, which would significantly increase that figure. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the subscription box sector has grown tremendously, owing to the fact that the majority of the revenue-generating firms are new to the industry.

The fact that the average consumer has two memberships, with over 30% of active consumers having three or more, demonstrates the addictive nature of this type of service.

3. Subscription box industry statistics show that the market generates around $15 billion

According to subscription box sales estimates, the total subscription box market is currently valued at $15 billion. The most popular online subscription firms made 30% less money in 2017 than they did a year before when they made $7.5 billion.

4. Subscription box market analysis shows that 32% of all subscription boxes are replenishment-based

Replenishment subscription accounted for 32% of all subscription boxes in 2018. Curated service brands typically offer their consumers to buy high-end product samples or even full-size products at a discounted price. 

Birchbox, one of the most well-known subscription box companies, sells five samples of high-end items for $10. These kinds of services appeal to a younger demographic that values their spare time and money.

5. More than 60% of subscription box consumers are women, but men have a higher number of active subscriptions

According to subscription box industry research, women dominate the consumer side of the equation, with over 60% of customers being women and only 42% being men. Despite this, male subscription box statistics suggest that males are more likely than women to pay for three or more services.

Men seem to enjoy the convenience of recurring product delivery, according to this data, so subscription-based brands should consider catering more of their services to them.

6. Niche products dominate 20% of the overall US subscription commerce market size

Throughout 2020, niche products dominated the subscription box sector. Meal kits, coffee, location-specific snacks, tea, and other specialized products make for roughly 20% of the entire market in the United States. Hobby-related subscription boxes, which are in extremely high demand, account for about 15% of the market.

It's no surprise that niche products geared specifically towards women are popular. What is surprising, however, is that smaller items like period kits, lingerie, and related items have a larger market share than fashion and clothes. Given the success of niche items compared to general-type products, this trend will continue to grow.

7. Global expansion is imminent, considering that 90% of brands have had international sales following the subscription box trend

According to a Royal Mail survey, the subscription box business is anticipated to grow beyond national borders. According to current data, nearly 90% of UK-based subscription businesses had a portion of their revenues sent internationally in 2019.

This is an important statistic for the US market because it suggests a strong trend that several American brands have already noticed. Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, and Harry's are just a few of the companies that have successfully entered the UK market. And this is good news for all brands regardless of their location, they can expand beyond borders

8. 31% of millennials are on board with the retail subscription box trend

Millennials who aren't currently utilizing any services stated they plan to subscribe to a recurring service during the next six months, compared to only 8% of boomers who are paying for a retail subscription.

According to a study conducted by First Insight, various variables influence millennials' purchasing decisions, including flexibility, convenience, customization, and, most importantly, brand values that must fit with their own. The subscription-based model seeks to achieve all of these goals at the same time.

9. 45% of replenishment subscriptions are at least one year long, subscription box industry analysis shows

Even while customers are fast to terminate a service that does not meet their expectations, subscription box statistics show that once they find a service they like, they will continue with it for a long time.

Surprisingly, this is especially true for replenishment services, where 45 percent of customers have signed up for at least a 12-month membership. This proportion reduces to 35% for access and curation services.

10. Subscription box statistics reveal that majority of subscribers are between 25 to 44 years old

Consumers that subscribe to recurring monthly services are typically 25 to 44 years old and dwell in urban regions. Their earnings range from $50,000 to $100,000 annually. It's easy to see how the most popular monthly subscription boxes, such as HelloFresh's popular meal kits or Ipsy's individualized beauty goods, may attract these customers.

11. According to subscription box statistics, big brands are jumping on the subscription box bandwagon

The amount of money invested in subscription box venture capital funds in the United States fell to $318 million in 2018, the lowest level since 2014. However, the tides have turned, and funding for 2019 has increased dramatically, reaching $426 million. This is a third more than the year before. And the all-time best performance for subscription business came with COVID-19 as people needed to stay home and receive deliveries at home.

As a result of the industry's success, several large brands have begun to develop subscription-based products. Nike's subscription program for children's sneakers is a wonderful illustration. This is a fascinating trend that has the potential to change the financial environment, given that established giants do not require venture capital backing.

12. 15% of US online consumers have subscribed to a service in a single year

Even though subscriptions to streaming media services are not new, consumer products are increasingly catching up.  According to subscription box membership statistics, 15% of surveyed customers are subscribed to a consumer product or service in 2018 and the figures have been on the rise to date.

13. Top subscription box brands offer either sampling or replenishment of finished products

The most popular subscription box brands, according to research, offer new product samples or replenishment of products that have already been received and used.

Out of 285 online shoppers that are considered active subscribers, Clutch found that 29% of them gave their vote to Dollar Shave Club and 21% to Ipsy when it comes to the question of top subscription brands. Blue Apron and BarkBox both got 17% of the vote, while HelloFresh comes in next with 16%.

14. A personalized experience is imperative to 28% of access and curation subscribers

Customers expect to receive personalized items after subscribing to a service, particularly access and curation subscription services. This is not simply a preference, but also a must, according to subscription box statistics. 28% of subscribers to these two types of services say they want a personalized experience and great value for their money if the companies want to keep their subscription.

It is no surprise that subscription services that do not meet this need are rapidly canceled. This delivers a clear message to their target customers' brands about their preferences, not just in the moment, but throughout their journey.

15. Subscription churn is up to 40% for all types of services

Customer retention has proven to be a major issue. Despite the subscribe box effect and efforts to provide a personalized experience for their customers, subscription box businesses face high churn. According to the McKinsey report, the percentage across the industry is around 40%.

Customers choosing to stay longer has been a particularly difficult problem for services that supply perishable products, such as meal kits. Within the first six months of subscribing to a service, the percentage of canceled subscriptions might reach 70%.


The subscription box business model has been around for over a decade, with the first shipments arriving at the doorsteps of customers who love the convenience and cost-saving that subscription promises. Since then, the number of enterprises relying on recurring revenue has exploded. There are numerous financial advantages to this arrangement, both for the supplier and for the consumer.

So whether you're looking at adding subscription to your existing product or looking at scaling your subscription business, now is the best time to join the subscription bandwagon. If you need help with getting started or have questions, you can write me at success@trychargezen.com or reach out to the Chargezen support team.

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