The subscription box industry has been growing rapidly since its creation about a decade ago and is set to be worth £1 billion by 2022. With the massive stimulation of eCommerce due to Coronavirus, it’s no wonder that a convenient yet exciting shopping experience for consumers in the form of subscription services has flourished at such an accelerated rate.
As more retailers make the strategic switch to digital-first, we can expect to see a continued rise in the already growing subscription box sector, benefiting both consumers and retailers.
So why are subscription services so popular?
Cost and convenience
To start, they often save the consumer money. Subscription services can help consumers budget their money and buy in bulk in advance, as well as sometimes providing free or discounted gifts in the subscription boxes.
Additionally, the consumers save time by not going to brick and mortar stores to replenish the goods they need.
Subscription boxes are financially viable for not only consumers but also the retailers. They provide sustained revenue and take away the issue of seasonality of products with automated monthly payments.
Retailers can accurately predict what their monthly income will look like and make educated business decisions based on the numbers. This makes subscription services a stable industry to enter from a retailer’s perspective with the ability to scale with confidence.
Successful subscription services provide the consumer with a fun shopping experience, something which physical stores are increasingly lacking.
For example, some beauty and cosmetics subscription boxes curate the products they send to their customers each month, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue in the product.
Receiving a box in the mail with new products you have never seen before, creates a gift experience for the consumer. This keeps consumers happy and excited about their monthly box and works as a great retention tool for retailers.
Retailers can also enhance the experience by designing their subscription boxes with fun and attractive packaging that is on-brand. Thus providing built-in marketing as many people like to unbox and photograph the fun products they receive to share on social media platforms such as Youtube and Instagram.
In our current Covid-19 world, a box full of surprise gifts on our doorstep can be just the fun shopping experience we need on a monotonous day at home.
Personalisation of goods and niche products are becoming increasingly popular in the retail sector. Consumers expect higher levels of engagement with the brands they interact with for their desires and needs in a product.
Because many consumers buy subscription boxes based on their interests and hobbies, the products they receive are often quite personal and niches, such as a type of grooming product, some forms of athleisure, or indulgent snacks. Successful subscription boxes make the consumer feel cared for by giving them what they want.
Lockdown drove the popularity of subscriptions boxes considerably, the meal kit service Gousto announced 1000 new jobs after doubling the number of meals delivered in a month in June, from 2.5 million in January 2020 to 5 million meals in June and counting!
Gousto recently became the UK’s latest tech “unicorn” after achieving a valuation of over $1 billion.
Now is a great time to offer subscription boxes.
Right now, another perk of subscription boxes is their ability to provide goods for consumers during Covid-19. Already set up to do contactless delivery and ship around the world, subscription boxes are a safe and reliable way to shop.
The market opportunity for subscriptions is enormous, shifts in consumer behaviour are driving long term transformation.
With another lockdown happening now might be the perfect time to hop on the trend and offer a subscription box service. Especially with shoppers looking for convenient and thoughtful alternatives for Christmas gifts this year that don’t require a trip to the high street!
Carina Massana Marketing Intern, Scurri