Never in the history of consumerism have we had the opportunity to subscribe to so many and such a wide variety of products and services. Delivered to our door each month we can have anything from meals to hygiene products to sex toys, and that doesn’t portray the full spectrum of choices.
Subscription services have been around for many years. Remember BMG or Columbia House for your cassette tape and cd needs? Subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, Clark Griswold’s personal favorite, the “Jelly of the Month Club”, and numerous other products have been delivered to delighted consumer’s doorsteps.
United Subscriptionization Of American
The subscription business model has been growing at an eye-popping rate of 200% a year since 2001. At last check, over two thousand subscription services were vying for consumer dollars.
App grocery shopping is very popular using Blue Apron and HelloFresh, keep your significant other happy with grooming products from Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, take care of your beauty needs with Ipsy and Birchbox, and get your fashion delivered monthly from Stitch Fix and Trunk Club.
Other subscription services include zombie survival gear, sports themed merchandise, various themed boxes, and automobiles.
The Appeal of Subscription Services
Who doesn’t get excited when they know a package is headed their way? Each day we check the mail box or front porch for the glorious cardboard box until the day we hold it our hands. Imagine being able to have this feeling 12+ times a year and knowing that what is coming is a product you want. Sign me up!
People have the common household items they forget to buy and don’t realize it until the item is needed. Set up a subscription service for dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, or plastic storage bags and you can be pleasantly surprised when they show up month after month.
Subscription services make life easier and it feels like you are getting more done because you are. Don’t like cleaning the residence? Subscribe to a cleaning service and determine how often and when it is cleaned. Liked Batman since you were a kid, but haven’t bought a figure, comic, or other Dark Knight apparel? Subscribe to a DC Batman box and be surprised by the Caped Crusader items you get, including a chance at a limited edition vintage Batman suit. Score!
Will the Bubble Burst? Probably, but Until It Does Take Advantage
With the rapid growth of the subscription industry, market saturation is happening and shows no sign of slowing. With little to no barriers of entry, companies are taking advantage of this and offering subscription services with little upfront cost.
MoviePass is offering a $9.95 a month cinema subscription service. The $9.95 allows the consumer to see one movie a day. After lowering its price from $50 a month, MoviePass has gone from 20,000 subscribers to an estimated 6 million by the end of 2018.
Theater owners and studio executives are worried, but Eric Wold, an analyst at B. Riley FBR Inc. who covers the cinema industry isn’t, “If MoviePass is helping to drive incremental theater visits at full-ticket price, I don’t see any reason it would be negative.”
Winc is taking the stress out of walking through hundreds of bottles of wine trying to figure out the cheapest without being too cheap. Take a quick quiz so Winc can get to know you and then choose from red or white in the varieties Winc recommends based on the quiz.
Free delivery if you choose 4 bottles per month, but the standard 3 bottle a month service is $39 plus $9 flat shipping and tax. Someone 21+ must be at the point of delivery to sign for it and check to see if the state you reside in allows alcohol delivery as 11 don’t.
With so many niche markets that have had success with subscription boxes, what will the next success be?
Wouldn’t it be great for parents to pay a flat monthly fee to American Girl and be able to exchange dolls, outfits, and accessories instead of paying hundreds for a doll that gets played with for a little while, then thrown in a corner. Simply unpack, play, then pack back up and ship back to the company and await the newest plastic creation.
Expensive jewelry is a luxury most cannot afford without going into needless debt. Pay a flat monthly fee and be able to own a luxurious diamond for a month, or two, or three…whatever. After finished, send it back or go to a retail location and pick up the next piece to wow friends or colleagues.
The possibilities and ways companies can go with this is vast and wide. We are raising the next wave of subscription consumers as a poll shows kids ages 12-16 love the idea.
That reminds me, I need to go check to see if my packages have arrived yet.