Doorstep Deliveries: The Future of Ecommerce

Sinead Stroud
Brand Strategy Manager
delivery boxes

With the global pandemic causing a shift in consumer purchasing behaviours, we’ve seen the humble subscription box rocket in popularity in 2020. From local and national lockdowns causing restrictions on shopping to non-essential shops being forced to close, people across the UK have been signing up to at least one subscription box per month. It is now reported that 1 in 4 Brits (27.4%) are signed up to a subscription box in the UK.  

Due to the increased demand for subscription boxes including grocery boxes and beauty boxes, more and more businesses are launching their own subscription box models to generate more revenue and capitalise on the $15 billion market. For example, monthly beauty subscription service Glossybox currently has a revenue of around $34 million, demonstrating the sheer potential of this service.  

If you’re thinking of making the switch to subscription boxes or considering adding this service onto your existing business offerings, keep on reading to find out more about the impact subscription boxes can have on your business.  

The stats speak for themselves 

Subscription boxes are revolutionising the way in which we shop in the 21st century and will no doubt continue to be popular into 2021 and beyond. With their ability to introduce consumers to new products and ultimately increase the ease of shopping, subscription boxes are answering the needs of the modern consumer. 

For example, a recent study conducted by CouponFollow highlighted that out of 1000 shoppers surveyed, one in five had purchased a subscription box during the COVID-19 crisis. The survey also showed the most popular subscriptions were HelloFresh (21%), BarkBox (20%), Blue Apron (19%), and Dollar Shave Club (18%). 

With this in mind, it is predicted that as many as 75% of direct-to-consumer brands will have a subscription-based offering. 

subscription box model infographic

The advantages of subscription box models for businesses 

With almost half of UK online shoppers now subscribed to some kind of subscription delivery service, an increase of 34% from last year, there is a plethora of advantages of subscription boxes for businesses. 

You can create a subscription box model for a good price

You can begin your subscription box model for an acceptable cost. There is no need to always pay for stock up-front and if you already have an ecommerce site, subscription boxes work on the same way with customers making recurring payments to your website at no extra cost to yourself. Subscription boxes are also what we refer to as a “sticky” offering which means money is regularly coming into the business.  

A great way to test the waters

If you’re looking to introduce new products or venture into a new market, subscription boxes can be an innovative way to launch products to customers who may be unsure of your brand. 

Predictable revenues

Subscription boxes can turn one-off purchases into monthly reoccurring revenues with a subscription ecommerce model. Another advantage of this is that customers only need to go through the checkout process once, but their payments still come through every month.  

Manageable stock control

If stock control is not correctly managed by a business, it can cause a business melt-down in just a matter of days. With subscription boxes, you can easily predict the volume of orders you’ll need to fill and send out in any given period. This can also be a fantastic way for businesses to reduce their wastage. 

Better retention rates

Retention rates play a huge role in the success of a business. Subscription box models offer businesses with increased opportunity to keep a hold of their customers and retain their services for longer. If you can keep cancellation rates to a minimum, this makes for a higher LTV (lifetime value) of a customer.  

Your business will be automated

In the modern age, it's important to have an automated business in order to survive. Subscription boxes open the door for automation as once your customer makes their first purchase, whether they choose to pay in full or make monthly payments, all you have to do is send the box out and make sure it’s delivered on time. 

With the ease of implementation and added business benefits of subscription models, starting a subscription box offering for your customers can increase both your revenues as well as your business-consumer relationships.  

The history of subscription boxes 

Some of the first subscription box models appeared on the scene back in 2010, with OG beauty box provider Birchbox leading the way of this subscription phenomenon. The original subscription box format was specifically catered to beauty product fanatics, offering customers samples of a wide range of products. 

The subscription box model was launched into the limelight when Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club, another well-known entity in this space. 

The biggest appeal of these boxes is that they offered customers an exciting way to discover new products that they might not have heard about otherwise, combined with the ease of having the products delivered right to their doorstep. 

Another notable point is the likes of Spotify and Netflix. Whilst they are not boxes, these monthly subscriptions eased the public into paying monthly for a service. Therefore, when monthly subscription boxes were introduced to the scene, the concept was not unfamiliar to consumers. 

The most popular subscription boxes 

Businesses of all sectors can take advantage of this new market and develop their own unique subscription services. For example, businesses operating in the beauty, food, and even the horticulture industry has had success with this new business venture, demonstrating that many industries can capitalise on this evolving sector.  

  • Bloombox Club – this potted plant subscription service is ideal for people with green fingers 

  • Bloom & Wild – this subscription box service is perfect for those who like to liven up their home with fresh bouquets of flowers 

  • Wild Deodorant – this subscription box works towards offering people with an environmentally friendly way to use deodorant, by proving you with one reusable case and sending you refills every month 

  • Hotel Chocolat – with a new box every 4 weeks, subscribers can enjoy a curation of hand-picked chocolates that varies each month 

  • Mindful Chef – this do-it-yourself food delivery service provides recipes and ingredient every month with options for one, two or four person bundles. The special offering of this box is that all ingredients are gluten-free. 

  • Readr Book Subscription – one of the best ways to practice mindfulness is with a good book, and this subscription box caters to exactly that, with a new fiction book delivered every month. 

  • Skin + Me – this subscription box offers customised skincare products that are specifically tailored to your skin type. Your products are determined by a questionnaire that you fill out online.  

  • Baker Boxx – this box has been a particular triumph in 2020 due to the huge amount of home baking. Baker Boxx delivers recipients a unique box each month.  

  • Craftiosity – for the fans of arts and crafts, this box delivers an exciting array of craft supplies directly to your door. This has been a saviour box for those who needed something to keep themselves entertained with during lockdowns.  

  • Estrid – this monthly shaving subscription for women has been all over Instagram lately. The brand works to promote self-care and body confidence, with a particular focus on celebrating body hair. Within the monthly subscription, you get a razor handle to start with, then refill blades, shaving cream, body lotion and body oil wash.  

Clearly, there is room for all kinds of businesses to develop their own subscription box model. Whether you operate in the food and drink industry, the beauty sector or even gardening, there’s plenty of possibilities to adapt your products to be packaged and delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis. 

Are subscription boxes the way forward for your business? 

If you’re looking to capitalise on this ever-growing trend and increase your business offerings, then subscription models may be the perfect choice to excel your businesses growth.  
 
The team at Champions can work closely with your business to help you create subscription boxes that are both on-brand and perfectly catered to your customers wants and needs. Get in touch with us today for more information. 

Sinead Stroud
Brand Strategy Manager