Marthin Steyn, Technical Lead


The switch from ownership to usership

Society on the move


The rise of subscription models

There is a switch from ownership to usership that is realized through subscription commerce and does not stop at films or books. rb2 has a lot of experience with the development of subscription models and in this blog we share our insights.

Subscription commerce is hot. More and more consumers are opting for the convenience of a subscription model when it comes to purchasing commonly used goods and services. This is an interesting opportunity for companies to tap into new customer groups and to develop new revenue models. And, by extension, of course generate more revenue. For example, the revenue of companies with a subscription type rose almost five times faster in the past year than companies without a subscription type.

The high level of internet acceptance makes ownership versus usership increasingly accessible. First this switch was made with online services:

  • From (one-off) buying a program (Photoshop) to a (monthly) membership: Adobe Creative Cloud;
  • Hard drive to cloud service Dropbox;
  • From the purchase of CDs to Spotify;
  • From the purchase of DVDs to online streaming services such as Netflix.

And now the circle is complete: from the purchase of a personal care product to a personal care product as a subscription.

The benefits of usership:

  • Lowering threshold, no (pre) investment;
  • Adjustable during the duration of the collaboration;
  • Can be canceled in the meantime;
  • Optimal use of the product;
  • Less harmful to the environment;
  • More insight into customer satisfaction through insight into usage data.

You can offer every product as a subscription service

Electronics manufacturer Philips has recently expanded the current e-commerce website with various forms of subscription for the Lumea and Sonicare products. The new subscription module, technically implemented by rb2, offers consumers the option of paying off a Lumea IPL hair removal device in installments. The reception of Sonicare toothbrush attachments can also be arranged via this new module.

In addition to being extremely suitable for frequently used goods, this concept is also suitable for products that you do not use regularly. Proof of this is provided by Husqvarna, who uses the Husqvarna Battery Box concept to show how, as a long-established manufacturer, you can successfully apply subscription commerce.

The Battery Box makes Husqvarna's on battery-powered garden tools available to customers who have limited space or who do not want to purchase the tool due to their limited use. Customers can easily rent and pay for products via an app and collect the rented product in a nearby Battery Box. Potential buyers are also given the opportunity to try the product in advance.

Subscription commerce is all about putting customers first

Although many companies always say they put the customer first, subscription commerce is more important than ever. You look at how the product is used in daily life. The old economy put the product at the center and the new economy put the consumer at the center.

Many companies are focused on selling a product and do everything they can to achieve this, but then the customer journey ends. The Subscription Economy is about service after the time of purchase. The focus is on building a customer relationship, customer satisfaction and continuous collection of feedback in order to improve the service.

Subscription commerce at Bookchoice and Philips

rb2 has a lot of experience with the development of subscription models. For example, we have done this for online book giant Bookchoice with their wildly popular book-as-subscription model. In addition, rb2 has also done this for Philips by expanding the e-commerce website with various forms of subscription for personal care products. Read more here about how we technically realize subscription models.

Download our white paper about subscription models

Do you wonder if subscription models can be part of your business strategy? Discover it in our white paper Subscription Services. Explore the different types, benefits, technical challenges and receive tips!

Do you want to know more about Marthin?

Do you want to get started with the cloud-native within your organization after reading this blog or whitepaper? Or do you have questions about the discussed topics? Then contact us:

Marthin Steyn
Technical Lead

+31 (0) 299 200 800

Marco van den Bergh

Technical Lead

Or check out other cases or blogs below in which had a prominent role: