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Why subscriptions make sense for people, not just businesses
by Canvas • May 11, 2018

We’ve all been hearing a lot of buzz about the subscription economy, and — if you happen to work in tech — you probably know a lot about it. The subscription economy is widely touted as a great business model mainly because it provides a consistent revenue stream. What’s missing from this discussion is how and why a subscription model can actually be incredibly beneficial for the consumer. According to Forbes, the subscription market has grown over 100% percent a year over the past five years. A closer look into how subscriptions can be good for the consumer might reveal why this trend is on the rise.

Subscriptions Offer Peace of Mind

Subscriptions let us relax as they usually require very little work and typically only require some basic information to begin. Online sign up, check out, and scheduled delivery are just some benefits that a good subscription can offer to deliver peace of mind. Most subscriptions include some assortment of benefits which in turn makes them more valuable than if you were to just own the product as is. A recent Edmunds article, What Are Car Subscription Services?, explains that car subscriptions, usually come paired with perks like insurance. For example, Canvas offers car subscriptions with insurance, roadside assistance, and warranties which allow customers to rest assured knowing they have everything taken care of for them.

Subscriptions are attractive because they deliver peace of mind by providing easy access, without a trip to the store or lengthy phone calls. Many of us dread negotiating or providing personal information over the phone and hate the idea of small talk. Not to mention — so much time is lost making calls. Most of us would rather solve small daily communication needs with a quick texts or emails. When you have a car subscription complete with perks like insurance you can save yourself the potentially dozens of phone calls required to make a decision when shopping for insurance.

Harvard Business Review, while examining time wasted on work phone calls, referenced a 2014 Gallup poll confirming text messages now outrank phone calls as the most popular form of communication among Millennials. Thankfully, good subscription models utilize technology, so you don’t have to stress over unnecessary chit chat that can often be redundant.

Another burden we get to dodge by adopting subscriptions, is the burden of carrying around an asset (likely one decreasing in value) and worrying about recovering costs from it when we’re over it. If you subscribe to your furniture rather than owning it, for example, you won’t need to worry about successfully posting and selling it on Craigslist when you inevitably decide to move. Similarly, with a car subscription you don’t have to worry about finding someone to take over your lease or getting top dollar out of your car when you don’t need it anymore, want another, or your financial circumstances change.

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Subscriptions can reduce the level of stress consumers feel when faced with the idea of potential financial hardships. Surprises are usually easier to navigate with subscriptions as they allow the subscriber to quickly abandon the service should they need to with minimal repercussions.

Many subscription models design their platforms as both easy and affordable so that those wanting to switch things up, or cancel any portion of their service can — without hassle. With the emergence of so many subscription models, consumers have clearly demonstrated they’re ready for new ways to get their hands on what they need — without leaving them stuck with one option forever.

Subscriptions are financially savvy

It was once widely assumed that things should be bought, not only to be used, but also to be held as an investment. But — have you ever thought about the cash you could pocket without having to worry about storing, insuring, and maintaining your possessions when you’re not using them? It’s so nice to have things — when we need them. When we don’t need them, they can become a nuisance and a responsibility. Even if those assets are not serving us, we continue to serve them for some reason. Some people like to hang onto things for years and years (or drive their car into the ground). Others like to change to the shiniest new version whenever it’s available. People consume products differently so why not have a system that supports that? People’s needs will vary and they should be able to pay accordingly. All of these things can be subscribed to instead, therefore allowing consumers the freedom and variety they desire.

Sometimes having things when we don’t need them is a waste of resources. When we subscribe to what we’d otherwise own, we can reduce what we need covered on renters insurance, for instance. The California Department of Insurance lists some of the commonly covered items found in a typical renters policy. Electronics, clothes, furniture, sports equipment, appliances, and other items such as collectables, are among the property they state as most commonly covered. All of these things, even arguably collectables, can be subscribed to instead. Case in point — a growing trend has become art collections monthly. You can subscribe to art made by local aspiring artists to renown artists. Should you decide you’d like to subscribe to a priceless piece above your sofa, you don’t have to fret about insuring it. These services could potentially save us mula on our monthly insurance costs.

The idea of renting a fully furnished apartment is more common than you might realize. So — look at it this way, it’s like subscribing to all of it — à la carte. When you subscribe, you’re requesting what you need and getting it temporarily (similarly to renting), except with valuable perks like insurance (and other built-in protections). This way you’re able to say see ya later to wasting money on extra services to help safeguard or maintain your assets. When you subscribe to a sofa you don’t have to worry about the fact that cleanings can range, on average, between $75-$225 dollars per item and should be conducted every 6-months. You can subscribe to your couch for 6 months and afterwards switch it for another. Cash in that upholstery cleaning money for something cooler, or better yet — easily ditch the moving expenses (or sore back) when you move to your next place.

We can invest and budget more effectively when we have subscriptions that offer more predictability. Consider car subscriptions which include routine maintenance. This feature means subscribers don’t have to worry about their budgets accounting for pop up expenses like oil changes (or worse — replacement parts). Having some of these fringe costs covered can make all the difference in a carefully-designed budget. Subscriptions become increasingly relevant when discussing investments that tend to lose value rapidly. Seems pointless to treat these items as investments. Technology is constantly changing, and items such as cars, appliances, and electronics, are obsolete almost as soon as they are released. Technology moves so fast it seems like the minute we have our gadgets mastered, we’re discovering the release of a newer model with the upgrades we want more. Take cell phones for example, according to DeCluttr, many cell phones decrease in value 72% or more within the first 12 months of owning them.

Technology works to provide us with the next best thing — be it in trends or safety. Just like the technology fueling a subscription’s efficiency, subscriptions are not stagnant, they’re forever evolving so that you get the most up-to-date products. Remember CD’s? Now, they’re practically antiquated; no one wants deal with carrying a bulky discman around while on their daily jog. Instead, we whip out our phones and access our favorite playlist or ad-free Pandora subscription.

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Good Subscriptions are Convenient & Personalized

Just like we can curate and personalize our playlists from the comfort of our home or office, we can now subscribe to just about anything, and conveniently, from the palm of our hand. Canvas allows you to sign up, make your personalized selections, check out, and schedule your delivery all online. For the subscription economy, delivery is a cornerstone, and probably the most convenient, common feature of subscriptions. Nothing is simpler than a product when and where you need it.

Subscriptions are easy. We can avoid wasting time in showrooms, or car lots, and get exactly what we need delivered to us while we tackle our other to do items. When subscriptions are personalized, they’re even more beneficial because they are optimized for convenience. Personalized subscriptions allow some to properly plan meals for the month with a predictable grocery delivery schedule for example. Others efficiently plan for their month’s commute with a car subscription (whose options can include tailor-made mileage packages). With subscriptions you only pay for what you use whether its mileage or toilet paper.

It requires very little effort to maintain a subscription, this convenience is what makes subscriptions so awesome. When your subscriptions come with perks that eliminate the need to chase and employ other services, you don’t need to bother with later finding a good upholstery repair service, or a maintenance technician, should everyday wear start to take a toll on your ottoman or mustang — super easy.

Incorporating more personalized subscriptions into our lives can be a multiple benefit yielding tactic. Great subscriptions don’t just deliver goods and services, they’re personalized to deliver exactly what we need, when we need it. With the ability to modify prices and options unique to our needs, our routines are streamlined making our other errands more convenient to achieve. Some subscriptions allow you to adjust the cadence of your deliveries, and the size of your order, months or weeks your plans change. If you’re going on vacation or planning for out of town visitors, your household consumption and transportation needs will likely shift and require an adaptable subscription model.

Forbes reported in *Millennials, Stop Apologizing For Job-Hopping *that 45% of employees intend on staying with their employer for less than two years which could mean that more people are making shorter term plans. Subscriptions then, by design, make short-term planning more convenient. You don’t need to plan for the next 3 or 5 years, you can simply plan for the next year. This way the universe doesn’t feel as if it’s shattered when plans change as they often do.

Subscriptions are good for consumers who are financially strategic, crave options that are convenient (adapting with them), and want to streamline their routine. Subscriptions also provide us with a unique opportunity to redefine and assess the value of owning something, whether it’s an object or an experience.

Eager to start incorporating more subscriptions into your life? Ready to try a car subscription? If you’re ready for a savvy alternative for getting around conveniently, you can start with Canvas.

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