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03/11/2020 | Subscription boxes, handling and fulfilment

Subscription boxes - the way forward!

The popularity of online shopping has rapidly risen over the last couple of months, so has the demand for subscription boxes. According to the Royal Mail Group, in 2019 more than 1 in 4 Brits (27.4%) were subscribed to at least one subscription box service1. Due to lockdown this has since seen a spike, as customers have been limited by the temporary closure of brick and mortar retail stores. 

Interest in food and drink subscription boxes has spiked in particular. This was due to the vulnerable having to shield and stay home whilst others tried to reduce the amount of times they visit their local supermarket. To stay ahead of demand Hello Fresh, Mindful Chef and Gousto all announced that they were creating new jobs throughout lockdown and were needing to rapidly expand their workforce2+3. Demand for HelloFresh subscription boxes was so high, it was announced that they were planning on expanding their workforce by 50%3.

Increases in other subscription box sectors have also been seen. Beauty and wellness boxes such as Birchbox noticed an increase compared to pre-covid levels4. This rise has been noticed by other brands, such as Clarins who have announced that they are going to start offering subscription boxes in France from October 2020 with the view to continually expand this across Europe5. Furthermore, it’s been predicted that the subscription box market is forecasted to reach £1 billion by 20226.

Why are subscription boxes so popular?

Subscription boxes are becoming very popular, everyone loves a surprise! They are perfect for treating yourself and also gifting others. For a large proportion of subscription boxes customers don’t get to choose all the items, resulting in a surprise every time. A great example is the Craft Gin Club which delivers a new full sized bottle of gin, mixers, snacks & magazine every month7. Who doesn’t love the idea of a little monthly surprise? 

Subscription boxes also offer a reliable service. This is the key driver for the rise in food and drink and also personal care subscription boxes. Having an easy to set up, dependable home delivery means customers never have to remember to pick items up when instore. Several examples are: Brushbox - which delivers a new toothbrush every two months, Function of Beauty - delivers customised shampoo and conditioner, Nuud  - delivers aluminium-free deodorant and the Dollar Shave Club – which delivers shaving and grooming kits 8&9.

How setting up a subscription box can help your brand? 

Subscription boxes can create great publicity. They can create genuine excitement and fantastic social media/ online awareness. Equally, subscription box reveals have also become available due to the demand on YouTube.

They are also great at increasing loyalty and customer retention. Once a subscription is set the majority repeat regularly (such as weekly, bi-monthly and monthly). This delivers ongoing purchases and regularly repeating customer orders typically for a minimum period of 12 months. 

How we can help

At MRM our service provides an end to end service for brands and publishers wanting to fulfil subscription boxes to consumers / subscribers. 

From receiving stock and checking, through to collating your subscription box(es) and despatching to customers - all you need to do is decide what goes into each box! We make subscription boxes easy and stress-free.  

  1. Email us your brief/ dimensions of items that you would like the subscription box to contain and any specifications (i.e. environmentally free packaging or leaflet design).
  2. We will provide a quote:    
    -   We will choose suitable packaging (box size, belly bands, stickers, inside packaging (i.e. shredded paper, shredded tissue or woodwool)
    -   Provide data layout of customer records
    -   Provide delivery options
  3. Confirm your quote, dates and send us your customer details/items and sit back and relax. Whilst we collate, create and despatch straight to your consumers’ doors. 

We can even provide a microsite which can be imbedded into your current website allowing customers to sign up, see their account, take orders and provide payment processing options which can be fed directly into our fulfilment system for packing & despatch. We also can offer a fully personalised solution allowing customers to mix and match items in each box – including bespoke personalised items!  

Get in touch with Helen at MRM on 01858 414 767 or send an email/brief to Helen.Stride@mrm.co.uk 

1 https://www.royalmailgroup.com

2 https://www.thedrum.com

3 https://www.bbc.co.uk

4 https://www.glossy.co

5 https://www.happi.com

6 https://www.retailtimes.co.uk

7 https://www.craftginclub.co.uk

8 https://www.thegrocer.co.uk

9 https://uk.dollarshaveclub.com


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