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Whether it’s entertainment media, apparel, groceries, cosmetics or even dog toys, it seems there’s a subscription service for just about everything nowadays. According to Rob Sutherland, chief revenue officer of Fusebill, a company that offers solutions to automate and manage small and midsize subscription businesses, consumer behavior, particularly among younger people, is changing: The traditional desire to own and accumulate goods — from music to cars to physical documents — is fading. “There is a fundamental shift occurring in the world towards a subscription-based economy. With the growth of mobile, cloud and IoT, we are seeing the beginnings of a move towards ‘everything as a service,'” Sutherland said.

Isabelle Roussin, chief solution expert at SAP Hybris, a provider of e-commerce software and omnichannel solutions, said subscription services have become popular because they give consumers more options, flexibility and personalized experiences. “For example, Netflix, Spotify, BirchBox and Stitch Fix … allow consumers to browse a subsect of products selected just for them and soon they will expect this type of experience from all industries,” Roussin said. “While manufacturing, high-tech and media markets have already started using subscription service models, they will need to build on it to create a personalized customer journey.”

Because of the service-oriented approach of subscription models, companies often see more efficient business planning, improved customer relationships, and enhanced product innovation and creativity, Roussin said. The in-depth data generated from this model also helps businesses set better financial expectations by more accurately predicting revenue, she said. [See Related Story: 4 Recurring Revenue Models to Grow Your E-Commerce Business] “For almost all products and content, subscription-based business models are becoming the standardized go-to market, as recurring revenues make the predictability of the business far less daunting,” Sutherland said.