Happiness in a Box: The Rise of the Subscription Service
I hear people say it often: the world seems to keep moving faster. People’s patience is shorter and so is their time. Place the blame where you will, but time seems to slip away faster each day. This pace has carried over into our shopping habits – who has time to actually visit a store these days? Between work, exercise, and taking care of family, it seems like there isn’t an extra minute to pick up the things that we need to clothe and feed said family, and even less time to pick up a luxury item or two to treat ourselves.
That’s why shopping continues to revolve around convenience more and more. Take Google Shopping Express for example, which allows customers to shop online for same day delivery. It’s a well-known fact that the market responds to consumer needs; with the need for convenience taking priority, the market has responded with a crop of new subscription service businesses. Right now, there is little data on this burgeoning industry, but by some estimates there are 400 to 600 kinds of box services in the United States.
So how does it work?
When you sign up for a subscription service, you usually only need to fill in some basic information, or a slightly more detailed profile so that they can tailor the products that they send you to your specific preferences. Most companies send out goods once a month – for example, if you subscribe to Ipsy, a popular makeup box, you get a new makeup bag filled with products fit to your preferences waiting on your door-step every month.
I’m a big fan of the subscription service for a few reasons. First, the user experience on all of the sites I’ve used has been simple, intuitive, and flawless. Their clean designs aim to be as functional as possible, and easy to navigate if you want to make changes to the order you receive monthly.
Second, many of these services actually save you money; since they are able to partner with brands and buy products in bulk, you get to try out a variety of new products at an inexpensive monthly price. I’ve had Ipsy bags easily worth 3x the price I pay for the subscription.
Third, they make life easier. The convenience factor is huge – I find myself stopping at the store less and I feel like I’m getting a present that I bought myself without ever leaving the house.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, every box is a surprise that I find myself giddily awaiting each month.
Some winning subscription services
I know we can all likely relate to unhealthy snacking, especially if you work in an office there always seems to be an abundance of chips and sweets. Say no to the junk food and order a Graze box instead. Each month you’ll receive healthy, natural, and portion controlled treats (and you’ll be supporting the small businesses that Graze partner with) – so many wins it’s hard to keep track.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be easier. You select one of our their three choices of razors, pay one low monthly fee, and you get them sent right to your door. Their service eliminates the common problem of keeping blades past their prime, and overpaying for the newest name-brand razors. And their hilarious marketing is a cut above the rest of the industry.
For the dog lovers among you, BarkBox is a fun way to treat your pet. Their goal is to delight your doggy with their monthly boxes that contain all-natural treats and other pup products that you won’t find at the typical big-box pet store. It’s a fun and simple way to get the best toys and treats that will help keep your pup happy and healthy.
The rise of the subscription service means that now there’s a box for everyone. If you’re not a puppy lover, makeup junkie, foodie, or someone who shaves, I promise there’s still a subscription service out there that will make your life easier and more fun-filled. While Xactly’s products don’t come in a box, they’re still subscription services with a similar bottom line as the boxed products above; to put the customer’s needs above all else by creating a simple to use product that delights our clients and makes their lives easier.