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Sep 18, 2018 / Richard Hall

Online subscription opportunity

I’ve just been in China again for 2 weeks. Online sales there are booming and I had my first experience of having payment by cash refused.

In the United States, online sales are expected to account for 20% of the grocery total by 2025, upwards of $100 billion.

Online subscriptions were just $57 million in 2011, but rocketed to $2.6 billion in 2016, according to McKinsey.

Numerous beverage companies are already taking advantage:

• Soylent meal replacement drinks started in 2013 with an exclusively e-commerce model, combining Amazon, direct to consumer and subscriptions from an early stage.

• Sudden Coffee backs up its subscription service with discounts and newsletters encouraging free trials.

• Hint water has prioritised direct to consumer subscriptions to have greater customer knowledge.

• Others such as Dirty Lemon functional drinks use SMS text messaging.

Apparently, three key success criteria are ensuring security and transparency to build trust. And one commentator has identified the biggest problem as being … stockpiling.

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