Four years ago, we launched Prime, an innovative subscription model for the travel industry and the first of its kind. Subscription services had started to grow rapidly in other sectors, and Prime tapped into this societal shift. Households are increasingly likely to have several video streaming subscriptions, alongside subscriptions for food boxes, wine or beauty boxes. Today, the average American spends $47 each month on video streaming services alone.
Before the launch of Prime, subscription e-commerce just did not exist in travel, and now Prime has topped one million subscribers. The programs rapid expansion across the world, and this major milestone, highlights the huge demand from travellers, a demand that is set to continue as the world re-opens to international travel.
We understood early on that subscription services appeal to consumers and the reasons why. These reasons are fundamental to our business model and have enabled Prime to be the success it is today.
First is the value subscription services offer. Most people sign-up [for] a subscription as it gives them a lower cost. Prime, for example, now incorporates a huge range of discounted hotel stays and preferential flight rates, saving customers $305 on average per holiday when booking flights and accommodation combined. Second, subscriptions provide that perfect blend between certainty and surprise. We are constantly bombarded with adverts and marketing, often making choices overwhelming. The subscription model can take this pressure to choose away, while still broadening our exposure to different foods, wine, TV shows or destinations.
The third appeal is how the subscription model taps into the increased consumer preference for personalisation. For food boxes, this is a company’s ability to learn a customer’s eating habits and preferences. The tech will then use these learnings to present menu cards that reflect previous selections and dietary requirements. In the travel space this is knowing the type of holidays a customer prefers, city breaks or beach holidays, presenting flight options that align with previous choices and hotel options that cater for customers’ lifestyle preferences.
The ability to gain insight into consumer preferences and anticipate needs significantly improves the overall retail experience. This is a particular strength of subscription models, which allow customers to build a closer relationship with a brand that goes beyond the transactional. This personalisation in turn supports the final appeal of a subscription, convenience. Subscriptions are convenient as they give access to a product or service that will always be of the same consistently high standard.
The benefits of a subscription service work together to create loyalty and a lasting relationship. Just four years after the launch of Prime in France, we have topped one million subscribers and are seeing consistent increases in our subscription rates across all markets where the service is available. Reaching one million subscribers is a major milestone and this achievement reflects how this innovative product has been designed to meet changing consumer preferences. As we begin to emerge from global travel restrictions, there is huge pent-up demand for travel with people looking to reconnect with family and friends. As people start to travel again, we know they will be seeking choice, convenience and value above all else which makes the subscription model perfectly poised to capture this demand