Friday, January 18, 2013

The First Post and Subscription Boxes

Hello! This is my first post and, as always when embarking on something new, I am excited about the journey, only this time there isn’t necessarily an end in sight. I know one thing though – I will remain true to myself and hopefully, in sharing my honest opinions, I will bring you some useful information on interesting products and services.

Today, I will start my “memoirs” on the subscription-based eCommerce business phenomenon or, as it is most commonly referred to in review blogs, subscription boxes. Just a side note - in the investment and industry analysis space, the space is often referred to as 'subscription {e}Commerce' or simply 'sub com'.

Subscription boxes – beauty, fashion, home, baby & kids, arts & craft, food, Eco / health, lifestyle – to name some of the most popular categories out there, might be the new trend or obsession that has taken the market over the last couple of years. As many of you probably already know, most of the subscriptions are monthly but some are delivered quarterly, and many of the monthly ones give you the option to skip a month. The way it works is the following – you pay a set amount of subscription fee per month (there are a number of subscription plans where typically 3-, 6- and 12-month plans give you a discount over a month-to-month plan) and get a number of curated goodies based on the type of box.

The subscription-based model could be described as a “modern age” deal-of-the-month club, however I’d say it is much more than that. While the deal element is definitely present in most of the subscriptions (as you typically get more in value compared to what you have paid for as a subscription fee), something else also characterizes today's sub com model – and would probably distinguish the truly successful subscription companies going forward. It is the fact that many of the subscription-based businesses market to a highly targeted customer base that is interested in a specific niche and willing to try new, small, independent quality brands or probe high-quality luxury brands before they commit to buying them. Thus, these target customers are not only interested in getting a good deal on the goodies they value, but also on finding products and services that are new, cool, and of high quality; products and services that they can then – hopefully for the subscription companies and the marketing companies alike – go back and buy repeatedly.

Over the past year or so, I have been following this monthly subscription box phenomenon with great interest that had led me to subscribing to a few “boxes” myself. I will be exploring these one at a time. The latest and, to date, the most exciting box I am subscribed to is PopSugar Must Have Box. All of the opinions expressed here are my own and, what I might find exciting, may be plain boring for others - even if so, hopefully it would still be informative.

Do you subscribe to any boxes? If so, what are your favorite ones? What do you think distinguishes those from your less favorite ones? With so many sub boxes offered on the market today, how did you choose the ones to subscribe to?


Disclosure: There is a referral link in my post. I will get referral points if you click and sign up for the PopSugar’s Must Have Box through my link.

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