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Why subscription boxes are winners in a pandemic

by maria
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By Rachel Wood, founder of Rare Birds Book Club

Subscriptions are on the rise and cropping up in every industry; consumers like the flexibility
and convenience of the subscription model and increasingly seek them out for everything from
music and streaming services to regular deliveries of items they want and need like meals,
beauty products and books.

Subscriptions proved they are resilient even in the face of a global pandemic – subscription
businesses were able to grow and ensure they had a steady, predictable revenue stream even
when things were changing quickly.

Whether you’re looking to pivot your business to a new selling model or considering launching a
brand new subscription box of your own, here’s just a few of the reasons subscription boxes
were able to beat the odds and go from strength to strength last year.

A sense of convenience
Subscription services are incredibly convenient for consumers, and during a global pandemic
many sought out convenience more than ever. Customers enjoy the convenience of getting
something they need or want delivered directly to them at regular intervals by signing up for a
subscription. In turn, as a business you provide tangible value by replenishing an item for a
customer just as they are running out of it, saving them the hassle of remembering to purchase
it again.

Flexibility
Subscription services are able to offer customers a flexibility that traditional selling models can’t,
allowing them to spread the cost of a service through regular payments or budget in advance by
paying a fixed price with a monthly fee. Most subscriptions also allow customers to pause or
cancel their subscriptions at any time, giving customers the peace of mind that if their
circumstances change so can their subscription.

Plenty of variety
Subscription boxes offer novelty and variety as standard – each month a customer receives a
new selection, often tailored exactly to their tastes. In a year where most people were rarely
leaving the house, the value placed on variety only grew as customers relied on their
subscription boxes to introduce them to new and exciting products and ideas to keep them
entertained while stuck at home.
Curation

Expert curation is a key part of why customers seek out subscription services. Plenty of choices
often translates to overwhelm for a consumer; they don’t have the time or the energy to sift
through hundreds of options to find the best wine or figure out which book they should read next
month. Subscription boxes do all the leg work for them, curating a short, succinct list of options
for customers to try.

Predictable growth
A recurring revenue model also meant subscription businesses were resilient in the face of
change – this business model allows you to plan ahead and keep a steady income stream
coming in by simply serving your existing customers. Business owners at the helm of a
subscription box are able to see forward and predict exactly what they’ll need, which means less
money tied up in stock that can’t be sold or money wasted on products that have no hope of
selling when the world has turned upside down.

The opportunity for great gifting
While people had no choice but to remain apart from friends and loved ones last year,
subscription boxes helped bridge the gap by offering meaningful and thoughtful gifting options.
While faced with the reality of spending months at home indoors during the first pandemic,
customers rushed to purchase subscription gifts which meant a regular supply of uplifting treats
and goodies arrived to their loved ones while they had to remain physically absent.

Simple retention
Subscription boxes have a retention strategy built into the very fabric of the business. Because
customers are already buying at regular intervals, subscription boxes didn’t need to spend on
expensive remarketing campaigns trying to draw existing customers back in. While other
businesses had to spend money trying to warm their audiences back up, subscription boxes
could stay one step ahead, focusing on growth instead.

Good customer relationships
Subscription businesses are in regular contact with their customer, which helps build
relationships and foster customer loyalty in the times independent businesses need it most.
Monthly deliveries mean subscription businesses continually engage with customers and hear
their feedback, making it easy to pivot their products to offer their communities the things they
want and need most throughout the year. This is particularly vital during a pandemic, when
almost everyone had their plans completely upended.

About Rare Birds Book Club:
Rare Birds is a book club founded on a simple principle: books should be fun to read. This bold
new book club centred upon contemporary women’s fiction, selects only the very best pacey,  interesting stories with gripping plotlines, amazing heroines, happyish endings, and – when theoccasion calls for it – totally smouldering love interests.
About Rachel Wood:
Rachel Wood studied Philosophy at university and then went on to get a Master’s in Creative
Writing. She has spent the last nine years working as a copywriter, first inside a big glamorous
marketing agency and then as a freelancer in her pyjamas (also very glamorous).

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