More consumers are signing on for subscriptions—at least for certain merchandise categories. 32% of consumers say they have signed up for an alcohol, food or cosmetics product subscription, up from 15% in 2019, according to a survey of 2,000 consumers conducted at the end of March 2021 by marketing software vendor Emarsys.

Indeed, sales took off during COVID-19 for Australia-based Beer Cartel, a craft beer subscription retailer, says Richard Kelsey, director and co-founder for the merchant. Consumers wanted beer, they wanted it on a regular basis and they couldn’t (or didn’t want to) leave the house.

“Last year, we had 35,000 sales online, up from 20,000 the year before—a 75% increase,” he says. “2020 was a huge year for online growth, driven in part by COVID and [consumers’] desire to purchase beer online.”

Beer Cartel launched in 2009 as a…

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