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05/16/2022

Consumers overwhelmingly favor one retail membership program

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Retail membership programs have become quite popular.

A substantial portion of U.S. households all belong to the same retail membership offering.

According to new Retail Membership Tracker data from Numerator, more than six in 10 (62%) U.S. households subscribe to at least one retail membership. Over half of U.S. households (53.6%) subscribe to the leading program Amazon Prime – 6.6 times more than runner-up Walmart+(8.1% of U.S. households).

Numerator data also shows that of households subscribing to at least one retail membership plan, 80% belong to one program, 13.8% subscribe to two programs, 3.7% subscribe to three, and 2.5% subscribe to four or more. In addition, data indicates that multi-program subscribers are more likely to be affluent, ethnically diverse, and values-driven. They are also more likely to be Black or Hispanic / Latino, from larger households, buy on impulse, and are more aware of the corporate values behind the products they buy.

Numerator also analyzed some specific findings relating to the Amazon Prime, Walmart+, and Shipt Everyday membership offerings:

  • 78% of Prime members do not subscribe to other retail membership programs, substantially higher than the exclusivity rates of Shipt Everyday (28% of members) or Walmart+ (24% of members). 
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Walmart+ subscribers also have Amazon Prime, while 53% of Shipt Everyday members also have Prime. 
  • Eight in 10 Prime members intend to renew, compared to 49% of Shipt subscribers and 48% of Walmart+ subscribers. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Prime members indicate high satisfaction levels, followed by Shipt Everyday (55%) and Walmart+ (46%). 
  • Shipt members are significantly more likely to cite same-day delivery as a key benefit to membership, while Prime members are most likely to consider expedited shipping as a key benefit. 
  • While all three of these programs capture higher amounts of trips, spending, and share among their subscribers compared to all shoppers, Shipt Everyday outperforms its baseline metrics by a factor of 2x. Shipt captures 10.1% of its subscribers’ share, compared 4.3% of its total shoppers’ share.   
  • Meanwhile, Walmart+ captures the highest purchase frequency, buy rate, and share of wallet from subscribers out of all programs tracked – capturing 18.5% of its subscribers’ share vs. 14.6% of its total shoppers’ share.

Survey: Free, two-day shipping are retail table stakes
Another recent survey reveals that standard shipping windows of three to five days are no longer enough to satisfy consumers’ high expectations. Seventy-six percent of surveyed consumers expect free two-day shipping with a minimum purchase of only $40, according to a study from Fabric. What’s more, 61% of surveyed consumers expect free next-day shipping, and 52% expect free same-day shipping (both with a minimum purchase of $40.)

As to why consumers have such high expectations, the report said it’s because eight out of the 10 biggest retailers in the U.S. offer free two-day shipping, which represents 71% of retail sales of the top 65 retailers (non-grocery). Also, 40% of the top 10 retailers offer free next-day delivery, a proposition that’s nearly impossible for all other players, according to Fabric.

“Changes in consumer behavior are accelerating,” said Eric Belcher, CEO, Numerator. “Forward-looking retailers are anticipating and tracking those changes.”

Visit the Numerator Retail Membership Tracker here.