Box subscription services are the perfect example of how big data has changed the consumer experience. Customers can subscribe to a specific service to receive niche products that are hand-picked and curated specifically for them, based on their profiles, interests and past purchases. Whether they're signed up for a box of snacks, books or beauty items, subscribers discover new products they're sure to love.
Here are 12 unique box subscription services that are using data analytics to improve the customer experience.
FabFitFun offers seasonal boxes to their subscribers four times a year. The items are handpicked fashion products that match the current season, like scarves in autumn and sunglasses for summer. The value of a typical box is over $200, and items are often from well-known brands. Consumers get to discover various products across the board through their subscription with FabFitFun. Cost: $49.99 for seasonal
With Birchbox, customers are provided with monthly beauty products tailored to their preferences. After subscribing, they can personalize their boxes so they receive the products they want (i.e. red lipsticks, hair supplies, etc.). If subscribers like a specific product, they can go back to the website and purchase the item in full. Consumers can also purchase boxes as gifts for friends and family. Cost: $10 per month
Who doesn't love a good YA book? With an OwlCrate subscription, readers get one hardcover YA book and three to five other keepsakes, like goodies from authors, every month. Each box follows a playful theme (e.g. "Something Wicked This Way Comes") and is perfect for any bookworm out there. Cost: $29.99 per month
Coffee addicts will love MistoBox, a subscription service that sends customers 12-ounce bags of coffee. Subscribers can customize their orders to try their favorite roasts and blends. The service matches their preferences with a specific expert and coffee curator to ensure a personalized experience. Cost: Varies by subscription
Blue Apron delivers necessities to make gourmet meals at home every week. When customers sign up for this service, they get a weekly delivery of pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards for a pre-set number of chef-created meals. Blue Apron offers a two-person plan (two servings per meal) and a family plan (four servings per meal). Cost: $9.99 per serving for two-person; $8.99 per serving for family plan. [Learn more about Blue Apron on BusinessNewsDaily]
From the Lab
High-end cosmetic companies often receive their skincare and beauty product formulas from overseas research facilities. These formulas 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 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. Their products are also available to the public through its online store. Cost: $19.95 per month
Time and budget constraints often prevent people from going on vacation as often as they'd like. But with Hammock Pack's "surprise pack," consumers 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. They also offer gift boxes of various prices for special occasions, or packs that subscribers can create themselves. If customers are satisfied with a specific item, they can purchase it on the site. Cost: Varies by subscription and packs
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. Customers can sign up for a monthly subscription or purchase single crates by theme. Cost: $16.95 per month or $19.95 per box
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 they return their Mr. Collection rentals, they'll get a brand-new selection so they 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. They'll get snacks, home goods, accessories, beauty products and more. Cost: $39.95 per month
Stitch Fix combines the convenience of ecommerce with the personal touch of in-store retail shopping by sending subscribers five handpicked pieces of clothing and accessories based on their answers to a lifestyle and fashion preference questionnaire. After trying on the items, consumers can keep and purchase what they love and send back what they don't. They can also provide feedback so that their 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: Varies by subscription
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon.