Sub boxes are growing increasingly in popularity and have a loyal clientele…
Don’t we all love surprises? Or anything that has a touch of mystery to it? How about receiving a package where you don’t know the exact nature of the its contents? Well, subscription boxes, which are quite the rage now online, are delightful surprise-filled packages that customers who subscribe to them are quite hooked on.
The concept of subscription boxes, according to Forbes, goes back to 2010 with the launch of Birchbox, a monthly beauty sample subscription service where customers would get four to five samples of beauty products. For those unfamiliar with exactly what a subscription box is – well, it’s a curated package with an assortment of products based around a theme that could range from clothes to beauty products to food hampers to electronics to books…and so much more. Most subscription boxes are kept as a surprise, so you don’t know what you will get each month. However, some do allow you to personalize or customize your box.
Did you know that in the US alone, there are over 5.7 million subscription box shoppers? Today, the subscription box concept has caught on like wildfire and more and more e-commerce sites are offering them. It’s a great way to introduce new products or brands, create excitement and anticipation in a customer and also build up a long-term relationship with the consumer. You even have the concept of ‘unboxing’ – the process of opening the subscription box. Social media influencers take videos of the unboxing process and have scores of people following them; the followers wait with breathless anticipation for the unboxing process!
The first time I ordered a subscription box with beauty products was quite thrilling, I must say! I was waiting with bated breath and pounced on my box and unpacked it right away to see what was inside. The products came in a pretty box and had quite an interesting assortment. I liked almost all the products save one. There were established brands and a couple of new ones. Plus, overall, there was this sense of satisfaction because somewhere I felt I had got value for money.
Jameson Morris, Founder of Organic Soul and Conscious Box, says, “The satisfaction consumers get from a subscription box is often not directly associated with the actual products inside. It’s the culmination of the products, the experience and unique value propositions that make subscription boxes distinct from other consumer goods.”
So why have sub boxes become so popular? Apart from the thrill of getting a box of goodies every month, there’s the anticipation and the experience of unboxing. But that apart, one of the main reasons for the enduring appeal and growing popularity of subscription boxes is that they cater to specific needs and niche markets. So you could be someone who wants chemical-free beauty products or men’s grooming products or sci-fi books. There are sub boxes that cater to these particular requirements and more.
Pricing too plays a role in the popularity of subscription boxes. Many offer value for money. You can get boxes that are very affordably priced to premium ones that create a hole in your pocket. It all depends on your interests or needs and the amount you are willing to spend. But most likely, sub boxes offer you an appealing range of products in that niche that, if you paid for them individually, would cost you a heck of a lot more. Very often, free samples of products are bunged in to the sub boxes. This is a win-win situation for the manufacturer and for the buyer. The manufacturer gets to target his or her consumer fairly precisely and they get to sample the product. For the consumer, well, he or she gets a free new product.
With subscription boxes, you also sometimes get products that cannot be bought in the market. Consumers feel very good about receiving something exclusive.
For retailers and sellers, sub boxes are a valuable source of collecting data, understanding the consumer and catering to his or her needs. If they are able to create subscription boxes that excite and delight consumers, they build a loyal clientele, which in turn, boosts their business and their profits.
As an entrepreneur, subscription boxes is one business model that you could explore. It depends on the product or range of products you are offering. You could either curate your own subscription boxes or tie up with sellers who are offering sub boxes in your product niche. To conclude, I quote Jameson Morris again, “Running your own subscription box business can be an incredibly rewarding experience. There’s nothing better than generating recurring income from something you love and care about. It’s also easier than ever before to create a lucrative subscription business – the tools are available, consumers are more open to the concept and a wealth of educational resources finally exist.”