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Subscription boxes are popular and well-loved among shoppers because they allow an element of surprise while giving shoppers control and choice. Subscription business models can apply to most industries, with the most popular ones being makeup, food, clothes, coffee and even wine. This flexibility means that many eCommerce businesses can offer this type of model alongside regular sales of their products.

Let’s take a quick look at the psychology of shopping online. You get a hit of dopamine when you buy something online. You get a second hit when your item arrives and you open it. A surprise box gives you yet another hit. 

We also want to mention the paradox of choice, where consumers get overwhelmed when too many options are presented to them. A subscription box takes away this paralyzing condition and allows shoppers to choose the category but not necessarily the individual items.

It’s no wonder subscription boxes are so popular! For stores, subscription boxes create a predictable revenue stream and build strong customer relationships. There are different subscription boxes businesses can offer.

1. Retail boxes

This model gives the customer complete control over what comes in their box and when it is delivered. Meal kits usually follow this model, allowing customers to skip weeks when boxes aren’t needed and giving them a choice of meals that must be pre-selected by a certain date. One of our clients, Farmivore, offers customizable farm boxes and local veggie deliveries. This build-a-box model allows their customers to choose seasonal produce and have it delivered on a weekly basis.

2. Mixed boxes

This type of subscription box gives shoppers 1 or 2 pre-selected items but the rest are a surprise. This is a great choice for consumer goods like makeup or wine, where the surprise items are chosen by the store based on the customer’s preferences. This element of surprise is important for building a relationship with your customer – if you get it right, it shows you understand the customer’s tastes and preferences. A flexible return or exchange option alleviates any customer concerns if the retailer doesn’t get it quite right with the customer.

3. Mystery boxes

The ultimate surprise box. Mystery boxes allow the shopper to choose the category but that’s it. The store curates an assortment of products. A fun way to get more customer data and insights is to incorporate a quiz that gives the store a better idea of the customer’s preferences. This is a great opportunity to cross-sell, as mystery boxes can include different types of items from several categories in your store.

How Westmount Solutions can help

Subscription boxes depend on several factors, including delivery dates (especially for time-sensitive products like food) and changing customer choices, which affect fulfillment. Westmount Solutions can create custom subscription solutions for eCommerce businesses that will allow them to grow their customer base and have seamless shipping and delivery processes. If your store wants to offer subscriptions, there’s no better time to do it!  In 2021 ​the subscription box industry had an increase of 890 % in the past 5 years. If you’re thinking of offering subscription boxes, get in touch to explore your options.

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Tatiana Dudin

Tatiana is passionate writer with over 10 years of experience writing for the tech industry.