Subscribe Instead of Buying – the Subscription Economy 1×1

It has been on the rise for years, especially with digital products: the subscription model. But what does the subscription economy offer customers – and what does it offer the company?

t3n 03/16/2022, 09:05 am • 3 min Reading Time • Display

Subscription economy describes the trend towards renting instead of owning. More and more customers are giving up the value of owning to subscribe instead. Companies are also increasingly switching to a subscription model. You can often subscribe to a lot more than you think because the subscription economy doesn’t just include software licenses.

Subscription? Subscription!

Wenn man nur kreativ genug ist, kann alles ein Abo sein, denn Subscription-Modelle können viele verschiedene Formen annehmen – von Software-as-a-Service bis hin zum Essens-Abo. Doch natürlich gibt es Unterschiede in den Details. Bei einem monatlichen Carepaket mit einer Weinauswahl besitzt du die Weine auch. Bei SaaS oder Sharing-Modellen ist das anders: Hier mietest du dir die Leistung für die Vertragslaufzeit an. Je nachdem, wie das Modell aufgebaut ist, haben Kund*innen andere Erwartungen und Unternehmen andere Verpflichtungen.

Care packages on subscription. The picture shows different care packages with items for the bathroom, such as soap, brush, etc.
Auch Carepackages und Hygieneartikel gibt es mittlerweile im Abo-Modell. (Foto:Savanevich Viktar/Shutterstock)

Why Customers Prefer to Subscribe Instead of Buy

When comparing a subscription to a purchase, you can make a long list of pros and cons. Subscription resale is made more difficult if what is purchased is not already tied to the user via an account. Prices can also increase for products that are used for a longer period of time. Nevertheless, the subscription economy is more popular than ever.

Streaming services are overtaking DVD and Blu-ray purchases, and even Microsoft Office is now available as a subscription model. Because the advantages for customers outweigh the disadvantages. The video streaming example alone shows: For a low price per month you usually get a seemingly endless selection of films, series and video content, while Blu-Ray is only one film. In terms of selection, the subscription beats almost every purchase offer.

Subscribing also offers flexibility: If you don’t like the product or you just don’t use it anymore, you can easily cancel it – so you only pay for the product as long as you use it. Insecure buyers in particular are more likely to take out a subscription. If you don’t use it that long, you’ll only pay a fraction of the price you would have paid when you bought it. This makes it easier to cope with a bad buy financially. In addition, entering the subscription economy brings opportunities for innovation.

Wer damals beispielsweise für über 1.000 Euro eine Adobe-CS6-Lizenz gekauft hat, nutzt immer noch dieselbe Photoshop-Version ohne neue Features. Doch mit einem Abonnement der Creative Cloud bekommen Kund*innen in jedem Jahr die neusten Features dank regelmäßigen Updates. Die wiederkehrende Zahlung bei den Modellen motiviert die Unternehmen, regelmäßige Updates und Services zu liefern, um die Abbestellung zu vermeiden – eine Garantie, die es beim Einmal Kauf nicht gibt.

Companies Also Benefit

Of course, the subscription economy also offers companies many opportunities – from planning to marketing. Especially startups give subscription models the necessary planning security. Instead of speculating how many will buy the product in a month, your business can count on regular monthly income.

If you market cleverly, you can even upsell: Ten euros per month is much easier for customers to spend than 120 euros all at once, and not just because the ten euros look like less. The buying pain with smaller payments over a longer period of time is significantly less than a large sum once.

The endowment effect also plays a role here, in which people value things more if they own them. Discounts and trial months in particular make subscription models more attractive. Customers can see the service for themselves and test it first, then take out a subscription at the regular price.

A psychological trick: when users first test the product, this is already recorded as ownership in their minds. The effect of loss aversion motivates people to subscribe. Unfortunately, the implementation is not as easy as with a simple purchase. The more complex the subscription options become, the more complex and confusing the billing becomes.

Properly Managing the Subscription Economy

Zahlungserinnerungen, monatliche Abhebungen und verschiedene Bezahlmethoden – wenn du selbst ein Stück vom Abo-Kuchen abhaben möchtest, stehst du vor einigen Hürden. Doch wie gelingt Unternehmen eine konkrete und einfache Abo-Abrechnung? Mit dem passenden Subscription-Billing-Anbieter kannst du deine Verträge, Produkte und Add-ons ganz einfach verwalten. Zum Beispiel bietet nexnet mit dem Subscription-Billing der die optimale Verwaltung von Abo-Produkten und automatisiert den Zahlungsablauf und die Rechnungsstellung. Dabei bietet die für die Kund*innen eine Fülle an Zahlungsmethoden an – von der klassischen Überweisung bis hin zu Paypal. Auch schnelle Preisanpassungen sind ganz einfach mit dem Subscription-Billing von möglich. Zusätzlich zeigt dir die Plattform alle Daten immer auf einen Blick in der eigenen Kundenumgebung an.



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