Most of us are shopping addicts. The first thing people think about spending weekends or when they get a pay check is how they can escape to that mall and be part of the shopping frenzy. Fibre2Fashion.com checks out the subscription box.
Although most of us enjoy shopping for clothes and trying them on, there are those who remain shopping challenged, are restricted by schedules or are economically restrained.
That's when someone comes knocking on the door with a subscription box. Subscription box services are marketing solutions used by retail companies, mostly ecommerce businesses, giving people with different backgrounds an access to a wider range of products. The overall global market size of subscription box services is still unknown due to minimal data available and the growing stage of the industry.
What's this service?
While this delivery service system is still at a nascent stage in India, the idea has picked up in the United States of America and other parts of the world. So, how does this really work?
Top-notch brands and ecommerce companies cater to niche markets by offering curated new clothes and other retail products to customers, depending on their personal preferences. There is also an element of surprise attached with the box. Some companies provide pre-assembled hampers instead of asking customers to select their own products, eliminating decision fatigue in the process.
The reason this box service is catching up is because shipments are sent each month to customers, or as per the policies employed by individual retail companies. This provides customers the thrill of opening the package, just like on any special occasion. Generally, prices of each packaged box range from US$ 10 to US$ 100, which roughly translates to Rs 645 to Rs 6,450.
Darby Smart, a US-based online subscription box company, offers do-it-yourself (DIY) kits assembled by a huge community of designers, giving an option of mixing latest fashion with home trends on fingertips. Customers have to go through a string of instructions provided under the DIY project, which gives them their own sense of personal fashion style. According to Fortune, Darby Smart has 2,000 designers and attracts 100,000 unique monthly visitors. Some other online companies that are part of the $ 29 billion craft supplies industry are Whimsy box, For the Makers and Brit + Co.
Threat to tradition department stores
While boxed subscription services don't pose a major threat to traditional retailers, the solution could be seen as a viable option offered by departmental stores. "This [box service] is definitely supplemental, not a replacement for [traditional retail]," says Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research (RSR). "[As a retailer] why go to the hassle of having someone schedule time and take up prime shopping hours, when you could just deliver it to their house and let them try things on at their leisure?" she added.