Deep Dive 16 minutes Premium

Subscription Commerce: A Box for Everything and Everyone

Executive Summary

  • Recent years have seen a proliferation of online subscription box service companies that focus on a large variety of products such as food, apparel, cosmetics, toys, etc.
  • Subscription box services consist of replenishment boxes for regular, frequently used products or curated items that allow subscribers to try new products tailored to their personal tastes.
  • The boom in the subscription model poses at least some competitive threat to conventional retailers and product manufacturers, who have been responding by launching their own subscription services or acquiring subscription startups.
  • There looks to be room in the market for only a few subscription box services per category, as consumers cannot have an infinite number of subscriptions. Some of the largest and most established online subscription services are not profitable, putting into question the longer-term validity of this business model.

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