The subscription box is a spin on the subscription business model that, generally, has subscribers receive a box filled with specific items on a monthly basis. These items are tailored to various niches that these businesses decide to target. The first subscription box, Birchbox, began life in 2010 sending subscribers cosmetics such as perfumes and make-up. This business went on to be valued at $485 million in only four years.
Naturally, more and more subscription boxes sprung to action, targeting more niche markets that had not been catered to. Some popular examples include Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron, Five Four Club, and numerous other businesses that honed in on a target market and capitalized on the potential. The appeal of the subscription box is that any person with an idea can create a business catered directly to the consumer. Sarah Michelle Gellar, an actress known for roles such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, co-founded Foodstirs, a subscription box service aimed at the bakers of the world.
As spoken by Mrs. Gellar herself, businesses do have to be wary of shipping and getting their product to their consumers. A late delivery is undoubtedly high on the list of ways to alienate a consumer with this type of product.
I chose to dive into this rising business model by opting to try out LootCrate. Being that I like video games and various “geek culture” aspects, LootCrate made perfect sense to try out the business model for myself. My first LootCrate arrived on the first day of the estimated arrival dates (2/20-2/28), so delivery was fast and without issues. The box had a design befitting the theme of the month (each month has a unique theme, February’s being the dead), and the items were fitting and interesting. Below are some pictures of what my first LootCrate contained. Overall, I am pleased with the contents and will stay a faithful LootCrate subscriber. I also intend to try out other services, such as a clothing based service.
Subscription box services are still in the infancy of their lives, having began life a mere six years ago. However, if there is a market to be found and a good product to be delivered, subscription boxes have a long life ahead.
Slade, H., (2014, June 2). The Pitch That Launched Birchbox, The $485M ‘Stuff In A Box’ Business. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/hollieslade/2014/06/02/the-pitch-that-launched-birchbox-the-485m-stuff-in-a-box-business/#243990fb339b