Segments of the Subscription Commerce Economy

The subscription commerce economy consists of six segments: Subscription Box, Membership, Media and Streaming, Subscribe and Save, Digital and Software as a Service (SaaS). Here’s what makes each model unique:

Subscription Box

From replenishment to discovery and delight, subscription boxes are a medium for consumers to be introduced to and engaged with a recurring delivery of niche products as part of a marketing strategy and a method of product distribution. Subscription boxes are used by subscription-based ecommerce businesses which follow a subscription business model.

Subscribe and Save

Subscribe and Save businesses give customers both a one-time purchase option, and the option to “subscribe” to a specific product, receiving it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even semi-annually, in a specified quantity. Usually, the subscription feature comes with a discount per product, so consumers are incentivised to subscribe.


The membership business model invites individuals to pay a recurring fee to access the value an organization creates. It provides the design for different membership levels, revenue sources, marketing activities, events and conferences, and finances.


Media and Streaming

The original subscription service is the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively. This includes digital broadcast subscriptions, print subscriptions, and audio and video streaming subscription services.


Digital subscription businesses provide access to products and technology from a computer or device. Digital businesses use technology to create new value in business models, customer experiences and the internal capabilities that support its core operations. The term includes both digital-only brands and traditional players that are transforming their businesses with digital technologies.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service is a method of software licensing and delivery model in which software is accessed online via a subscription, rather than bought and installed on individual computers.