There’s a Subscription for That!

Camila Consumer, Influencer & Celebrity

Subscription post cover photo
Illustration by Laurent Hrybyk

Innovative Companies Are Offering Consumers A New Way To Shop

It is 2019 and people are overwhelmingly busy. When the weekend finally comes around, the idea of spending it at a busy shopping mall or grocery store just feels so wrong… especially when that new Netflix series is calling your name and your couch is giving you heart eyes. Well, there is good news for the binge watchers and introverts alike, you no longer really need to leave your house to do any shopping (like for anything). There are mail order subscriptions for pretty much everything nowadays, from meal plans, to clothing, to toothbrushes, and even bottles of specially selected wine… the only person you may have to interact with this weekend is your neighborhood mailman. 

How People Just Wanting To Stay Home Became One Of The Biggest Market Opportunities Of Our Generation

Over the past few years, staying in has become the new going out. In such a hectic and overwhelming world, Millennials and younger generations are seeking forms of escapism from the mental and emotional overstimulation that they encounter on a daily basis. How did we get to this point? Well, there are many factors that have contributed to this trend that has been given the name “cocooning”. 

It all began after the 2008 economic recession, when people ate more home cooked meals and stayed in on the weekends in order to save money wherever they could cut costs. This lead to “nesting”… in other words, one’s home became the space where they spent a big chunk of their time. This developed into a new generational mindset, people just like being able to checkout and retreat into the comfort of their homes. There was a boom in the home goods market, people began investing in their homes, having more people over rather than just going out to bars and restaurants all of the time, and the feeling of “fomo” was something people started to let go of. 

As people became more and more comfortable staying home, going out to run errands seemed like more of a chore than ever before. Companies quickly began to develop ways to bring goods to the consumer, knowing that being able to stay home was now a huge incentive for shoppers. It has turned into a major market trend that many different industries are jumping on board with. The concept of having a subscription takes it a step further than just a “click to order” customer experience. Most boxes are personalized and tailored to the customer… and all they have to do is fill out a few questions from their phones or computers. It is simple, reliable, and even has an element of excitement for the consumer. What is clear, is that this trend is successful and bringing about a bunch of startups that seem to be growing rapidly. 

Subscription Services That Are Taking Off

Top Beauty firm
quip
billie
Fashion Trend

Care/Of:

Care/Of is a personalized vitamin subscription service. You might already be aware of this brand due to it’s great social media marketing on Instagram and Twitter, along with their amazing top influencer marketing campaigns. This company is really killing it when it comes to its attention to detail. The personalization quiz on their website only takes about 5 minutes to complete, but really asks the questions that matter when it comes to what consumers are looking for when it comes to their vitamin consumption and overall health goals. One of our very own AMP3 PR team members had only good things to say about her nearly year long experience with Care/Of, stating that she felt the vitamins that she was taking were really beneficial to her own personal needs. The price of each pack varies based on the vitamins that each individual will need, but the average monthly price is about $50 a month for a daily pack of vitamins. It’s a great deal considering you don’t have to go up to your local health store and be overwhelmed by every type of vitamin out there. With Care/Of, you get the facts, the personal touch, the quick answers, and the option to change things up if you want to tweak your box. 

Quip:

Quip is an emerging electric toothbrush company that focuses providing customers with a well designed, sleek, and low priced electric toothbrush that is recommended by the American Dental Association. The company was actually founded by a New York City dentist who would often tell his patients to “buy an electric toothbrush, even if it is just the cheapest one available” in order for them to stop brushing too harshly. After really thinking about the issues that he saw with most of his patients, and looking at the product that was available to them… he made the connection: a better toothbrush needs to be available… and so he created Quip. The first thing that people may notice about Quip is its very simple and sleek design. Most electric toothbrushes look like versions of toy robots, but Quip is sophisticated, light weight, and comes with a wall or mirror mount rather than a super long and pesky charging cord. Quip offers a variety of subscription packs, with their most popular being the starter pack which includes one toothbrush, a wall mount, and toothpaste for $40. Each month after the first, customers just have to pay $10 to get a new head, battery, and tooth paste delivered to their door. This will really change how people brush their teeth. 

Billie:

Billie is a razor company made for females by females. It is breaking the glass ceiling by refusing to take male enforced stereotypes and approaches when it comes to women and the process of hair removal. Billie is mainly focused on providing women with fairly priced razors… what is surprising is that most women aren’t even aware that they are overpaying for their razors because of something called the “Pink Tax”. Many companies create pink or “feminized” lines of products for women that are usually a bit more expensive for no real good reason. Billie said this is not fair to women at all. They have developed a line of razors that are very high in quality, made in America, and that are priced at a very affordable rate. They even took it one step forward by donating 1% of all of their sales to charities focused on helping women around the world. Shoppers can select from a variety of subscription options, from monthly to bi monthly deliveries depending on how often each shopper shaves. Customers can select the color of the razor they want as well. There is also an option to add some extra goods to the box of razors, such as shaving cream or other shower accessories. The website is very easy to understand, but what makes it most appealing is that it is clearly made with women in mind… and that is a huge game changer. 

FabFitFun:

FabFitFun is a fun subscription for anyone who loves the season’s newest fashion and beauty trends, but may not always have the time to read up on them or go out and shop for them on their own time. What this company does is selects the must have items of each season and throws them all in a box to be delivered to your door. Each season is very well thought out and curated, even giving the customer a few options about certain items (because everyone’s taste is a little bit unique). An annual subscription will cost $180 and include four different boxes (plus a few bonus editor’s pick boxes). Each box is beautifully decorated according to the current season. This subscription can offer customers a truly whimsical experience. Every season they can look forward to getting a new box of goodies with all sorts of groundbreaking products that they can test out and fall in love with. FabFitFun also gives emerging beauty and lifestyle companies a big platform to share their new products to a large group of consumers. It is often difficult for newer brands to find their way into people’s homes, but when they get a chance to partake in an exciting unboxing experience such as this one, customers often will make a re purchase, allowing new brands to become successful. I think that every stay at home fashionista would love getting a box like this every season. 

winc
owlcrate
Beauty Product
test tube

Winc:

Winc is a monthly wine subscription service that saves anyone a trip from their local liquor store. That’s right, no more trying to ask your local wannabe “wine connoisseur” about which bottle of $15 wine is acceptable to bring to your friend’s dinner party. With Winc, you can just take a 2 minute flavor profile quiz, budget preference, and get four bottles of wine selected especially for you, delivered right to your front door. They have a wide selection of great wines, sturdy packaging, and a simple business model that seems to be really working for them. What really makes Winc a better business is their openness when it comes to reviewing their products. They encourage customers to provide them with feedback about which wines really worked for them so that they can constantly improve with their selection of wines for you. It is so exciting when you find a bottle of wine that you love… and if you don’t love it, Winc will replace it with a bottle that you do love. 

OwlCrate:

OwlCrate is every YA novel reader’s dream come true! OwlCrate has some very avid readers that go through hundreds of different manuscripts of upcoming adult novels and narrow it down to 3-5 novels that they think are remarkable. Each OwlCrate box comes with one brand new hardcover YA novel, and around 3-5 paperback books along with some small surprise goodies. Shoppers can select how frequently they want to receive a box, whether it is every month, every three months, or twice a year. Each box is $29.99, which is a great deal considering you get hours worth of some amazing reading and some super cute book merch as well. OwlCrate is also a great gift for any bookworm that you may know, and they make gifting easy with their gift box option (so it looks extra special). What makes OwlCrate even more lovable is the fact that it is a small business run by a couple that is obsessed with sharing their love of YA novels with readers of all ages and backgrounds. Customers can tell that each box is made with a lot of thought and care, as well as excellent attention to detail. 

Vellabox:

Vellabox is a subscription service for scented candle enthusiasts. This feels like something that every homebody needs…. a well curated scented candle provider that delivers, I am sold. Vellabox offers its customers three different box sizes, including one to two new candles and a special treat every month. The lowest priced box is just $10, and the most expensive box is priced at $30. Each box guarantees a certain amount of burning time for each candle, and features a unique scent and artisan every month. This is the perfect subscription service for any candle lover who enjoys discovering new candle brands and scents that they can enjoy at home. The packaging is top notch, as each candle comes in a lovely draw string bag. We can’t think of a better way to come home after a long day of work than seeing a new candle and a special treat on your doorway every month. Vellabox has been growing as influencers love the product, and the social media campaigns are proving to be very successful. If you don’t believe me, check out their customer testimonials… people are loving this service. 

TestTube:

TestTube by New Beauty is an exciting bi-monthly subscription for those shoppers that cannot wait to try the latest beauty products. TestTube offers subscribers a $150 valued luxury sampling experience for only $29.99 a month (talk about a deal). This tube is filled with groundbreaking new beauty products that have been hand selected by the industry’s top beauty editors. Each TestTube also comes with a small booklet full of deals and promotions for new beauty products, so if you happen to fall in love with one of the products, you have a great coupon to help you out on your repeat purchase. The TestTube is still a fairly new service, but it has already caught the attention of major media outlets such as BuzzFeed and Forbes. What really makes this subscription stand out from other beauty boxes is the editorial element. Because each tube comes with new product and a unique magazine, customers can really be immersed in the world of beauty. Just because people like to stay home doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy exploring new things and products, so this box offers the perfect balance. 

How Will Subscription Services Change The Market Place In The Long Run?

I think it is safe to say that this “I’d rather stay at home” bug isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. More and more, brick and mortar operations are starting to feel like a thing of the past. People love things that are quick, easy, reliable, and more importantly, that they don’t have to constantly remind themselves about. It is interesting to see how subscription business are emerging and really resonating with consumers. A few years ago, many people would have thought that businesses like this wouldn’t allow for the best business to customer relationship, but instead the customers of many subscription services have built a real sense of loyalty with these brands. Maybe it is the startup mentality, the personalization aspect, the helpfulness, or the convenience element, that is really clicking with consumers. It is clear that people are talking about these companies a lot, so something is really working.  I don’t think that this will mark the end of in person shopping, but I think it will continue to spread into many new marketplaces. 

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