Subscription Boxes Are A Growing Retail Trend

Subscription boxes are no longer a trend. There are boxes for all tastes and interests featuring food, beauty, and hobbies.

Subscription boxes are no longer a trend. There are boxes for all tastes and interests featuring food, beauty, and hobbies. Photo: Marie Anakee | FlickrCC.

Just imagine all of your favorite items delivered to your home in a convenient box every month. It’s not a fantasy! You’re now able to do a quick Internet search and find a company that will deliver the items you love—dog treats, Japanese junk food, or exclusive beauty products.

Healthy snacks make a popular gift and one with a strong client base. This is made clear by Naturebox, a subscription box company that features wholesome foods as their core product. They report growth of 50% to 100% every month.

This type of growth has attracted the attention of many leaders in the financial community. Anton Levy, Managing Director of General Atlantic, sits on the Board of Directors of Gilt Groupe, a company that offers a wide range of special offers on subscription beauty boxes.

One of the storied successes in the subscription box business is Birchbox, which was reported to have a value of $485 million in April 2014. It then increased its venture funding by $60 million. Clearly this retail strategy has a future, especially given that Birchbox has 800,000 subscribers.

There are two types of subscription boxes: convenience and discovery. Convenience is the perfect choice for shoppers who favor a specific product or range of products from a manufacturer. By subscribing to Naturebox the consumer is guaranteed a steady supply of chocolate-covered-chipotle-cashews or something equally strange and satisfying.

Discovery boxes add a bit of a twist, and that’s where you’ll find Birchbox. Each delivery includes a range of products, and you may not like all of them. However, the element of mystery is a powerful motivator and keeps consumers subscribing.

Jamie Mishell, a loyal Birchbox subscriber, described her experience of Birchbox in a Forbes article:

Do I personally LOVE every item? No. But, the point is getting a little surprise/pick me up each month, trying new things, and discovering new products you love that you may have otherwise never heard of. How rad is it that you can try small versions of things before you buy a full size version and decides it’s not for you?

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