Box subscription services are the perfect example of how Big Data is changing the consumer experience. Customers who use these services receive a package of hand-selected items, usually based on their personal tastes and feedback, delivered right to their door. Whether they're signed up for a box of snacks, crafts, beauty items or even toys for the kids, subscribers are able to discover new products they're sure to love. Here are 11 unique box subscription services that are using data analytics to improve the customer experience.
You may have dozens of bookmarks of delicious recipes saved in your browser, but how often do you really have the time to buy the ingredients and make them? Blue Apron delivers everything you need to make gourmet meals at home every week. When you sign up for this service, you'll get a weekly delivery of pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards for three chef-created meals. Pressed for time? Don't worry: Every Blue Apron recipe takes 30 minutes or less to prepare. Cost: $10 per person, per meal [Learn more about Blue Apron on BusinessNewsDaily]
If you love do-it-yourself crafts, you'll love Darby Smart, a service that delivers DIY projects-in-a-box, based on the latest fashion and home trends. Each kit comes with all the materials you need to create homemade jewelry, purses and other accessories and home goods, along with easy-to-follow instructions. Once you start making a few Darby Smart projects, you might just get an idea for a great handmade business. Cost: Varies by craft kit
From the Lab
High-end cosmetic companies often receive their skin care and beauty product formulas from overseas research facilities. These formulas frequently take several years to make it to the U.S. retail market, meaning that consumers who purchase the latest top-of-the-line items are actually a bit behind the times. True to its name, From the Lab gives its members direct access to beauty products straight from the laboratories, up to 18 months before they're available in stores and at 80 percent off retail price. Cost: $29.95 per month
Time and budget constraints often prevent people from going on vacation as often as they'd like. But with Hammock Pack, you don't even have to leave home to take a quick "doorstep getaway." Each month, the company chooses a theme or a specific destination, and puts together a box of snacks and home goods from local vendors to make you feel as though you were really there. Cost: $25 per month
Have crafty kids? Kiwi Crate sends kid-friendly projects, like tissue tie-dye bags, shadow puppets and kaleidoscopes. For an extra $9.99, the company provides extra materials so siblings don't have to fight over who gets to make the project. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or purchase single crates by theme. Cost: $16.95 per month or $19.95 per box
Loot Crate is the perfect box for video-game and comic-book lovers. Each month, you'll receive six to eight handpicked products based on popular games, comics and TV shows. Keychains, T-shirts, figurines, wall decorations and candy are just a few of the types of items you'll find in your monthly crate. Cost: $13.37 per month, plus shipping
The Mr. Collection
Many clothing box subscription services are geared toward women, but The Mr. Collection knows that men want to be fashion-forward, too. This company allows subscribers to fill out a style profile and receive hand-selected clothes and/or accessories that they can either rent for as long as they like, or purchase at 40 percent off retail prices. Once you return your Mr. Collection rentals, you'll get a brand-new selection so you can do it all again. Cost: Varies by subscription
PopSugar Must Have
PopSugar — a media network covering fashion, beauty, celebrities and other lifestyle topics — is constantly trying out and reviewing products. With PopSugar's Must Have box subscription service, editor-in-chief Lisa Sugar selects some of those products to send to subscribers each month. You'll get snacks, home goods, accessories, beauty products and more when you sign up. Cost: $39.95 per month
Ready-to-cook meals have been available since the introduction of frozen TV dinners in the 1950s, but even today, many of them are chock-full of preservatives and other artificial ingredients. Sous Kitchen has taken an old concept and, quite literally, given it a fresh new spin. Founded in 2005, this meal delivery service provides vacuum-sealed, ready-to-cook frozen dinners made with all-natural ingredients for busy families who want meals that are healthy and easy to prepare. While the company currently only delivers to seven Western states, it has plans to expand its delivery area in the near future. Cost: $5-6 per serving, per meal
Have you ever wished you could have your own personal stylist? Stitch Fix combines the convenience of e-commerce with the personal touch of in-store retail shopping by sending you five handpicked pieces of clothing and accessories based on your answers to a lifestyle and fashion preference questionnaire. After you try on your items, you keep and purchase what you love and send back what you don't. You can also provide feedback so that your next Fix is even better than the last. Cost: $20 per box, plus the cost of items [Learn more about Stitch Fix on BusinessNewsDaily]
Discovering healthy, natural products has never been easier with UrthBox. This brand-new service, launched in November 2013, ships boxes filled with snacks, food items, beverages and personal-care products. UrthBox offers gluten-free, vegan and low-calorie options for its box subscriptions. Cost: $18 per month.
Update: As of August 14, 2014, From the Lab’s products are also available to the public through its online store.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily on Dec. 13, 2013. Updated on August 14, 2014.