blog vdaysubbox

By Stephanie Crets

These days, you can get just about anything in a monthly subscription box. From cosmetics to wine to razors to dog treats and gluten-free snacks, there’s likely a company out there to fit your subscription niche. What’s even better - for retailers - is that they seem to be catching on, especially when a holiday hits. According to a study by Recurly, there was an 83 percent jump in sales for subscription retailers on Cyber Monday 2015 compared to the previous year. And odds are, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, those numbers will keep climbing.

I love the idea of a guaranteed monthly present in the mail, and I’ve tried a few subscription boxes such as LootCrate, a monthly mystery box filled with an assortment of items from various pop culture franchises, and Glossybox, a monthly assortment of five make-up products. I discovered a few new favorite brands thanks to Glossybox – something called “Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer” was obviously meant for me. And I got some exclusively awesome nerdy items from LootCrat, such as my official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lanyard replica.


The idea and creativity behind subscription boxes are great, and some - like the Dollar Shave Club - can even save you a trip to the grocery store to buy new razors. I’m always on the lookout for a new one to try, especially one that will be tailored specifically to me. Glossybox would send me a monthly questionnaire to rate the quality of the product and its relevancy to me personally. The more personal the boxes get, the more special they are to receive. And Valentine’s Day is all about making someone feel special (or feeling special because you gave someone an awesome gift – like a subscription box!).

RM spoke to Associate Marketing Manager Maeve Ricaurte at Rocksbox and CMO Frederick Felman at Recurly for their insight on the subscription box popularity spike.

Why do you think more people are choosing to purchase subscription boxes?

Felman: Discovery and convenience are two factors driving the growing popularity of subscription boxes.  For example, you may stumble upon your favorite specialty mustard or decide that a piece of jewelry that you may not have purchased becomes your favorite accessory. I use a razor subscription service because I love the convenience of something I use every single day arriving at my doorstep, streamlining the purchasing process.

Do subscriptions for these boxes jump during holidays? Like Valentine’s Day?

Felman: Yes. We measured the effect of sales and promotions around Cyber Monday 2015 and found that there were actually three times more coupon redemptions – really illustrating how merchants benefited from their promotional coupons.

Why does a subscription box make a good gift?

Felman: You can surprise and delight your loved one multiple times - providing a gift over the span of several months. The gift of a subscription box also provides the gift of expert curation, providing information behind each product in the box, demonstrating the thoughtfulness and expertise that goes behind creating these boxes.

Is it hard to keep up the creativity of the box month-to-month?

Ricaurte: Given the combination of art and science it takes to select each three-piece set, achieving "creativity" in each box is relatively simple. Rocksbox stylists will use your profile to hand-pick designer jewelry for you from our collection, and we partner with the very best designers to ensure we send you pieces you will love to wear. Our jewelry inventory is constantly evolving to reflect the seasons, our members’ tastes and the latest trends. 

What kind of tips can you give retailers to make their boxes better every month?

Ricaurte: Mind your members and pay attention to what they have to say. Member feedback is key for Rocksbox, and we're confident that this holds true across different subscription box models.

What are some of the most popular boxes? What about for Valentine’s Day?

Ricaurte: Our monthly Rocksbox membership is, by far, the most popular option. As for our ribbon-wrapped Stack Shop boxes, which are trending this Valentine's Day, it depends entirely on the personal style of the member or gift recipient. 

Do you anticipate subscription boxes continuing to increase in popularity?

Ricaurte: Absolutely! From our perspective, from fashion to cosmetics to bedding, the simple subscription box model is only growing in potential and scope. Furthermore, like any other model, subscription commerce will evolve based on customers feedback and behavior. Rocksbox is looking to become the destination for consumers to discover and purchase jewelry effortlessly without ever accumulating a jewelry junk drawer.

Felman: Absolutely. We’re seeing a number of different types of boxes – from food to apparel to everyday consumer goods, as well as specialty items – coming to the market to meet consumer demand. The idea behind discovering a new product or experiencing it for a while versus committing to buying it outright is an appealing concept. The subscription boxes that do the best are the ones that understand their customer base, engage with them to get feedback and provide a curated experience that delights time and time again.

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