Subscription boxes are gifts that keep on giving. It's so simple and so irresistible: enter your credit card information and, for a small regular fee, a package filled with fun new goodies arrives on your doorstep every month.
There's no denying that the subscription box business model is incredibly popular. There are thousands of services to choose from that offer a wide range of products. But with every new trend comes a new way to spend money. So it's important for savvy consumers to make sure they're spending wisely.
We asked financial and consumer experts about the appeal of subscription box services. We sought to understand why these products are so addictive and what you can do to make sure you don't spend more than you should on these goodies.
The growing popularity of subscription boxes
Subscription boxes have really taken off in recent years. From meal kit delivery services to boxes filled with clothing based on your style preferences, the subscription trend has proven extremely popular with consumers and extremely lucrative for the companies that sell them.
"If we just look around, we can see that consumers value convenience and time and are willing to pay for it. This is evidenced by the explosion of services that eliminate the daily hassles of our lives - we can now have our groceries delivered, our meals planned and delivered (we don't even have to pick out the ingredients), we can have complete outfits delivered without having to pick out our clothes or even browse a website," said Veronica L. Thomas, associate professor of marketing at Towson University and an expert in consumer psychology.
How do these services attract consumers?
Mr. Fetouaki Naaman explains that there are three reasons why people like subscription services:
Convenience: "There are items that you need all the time - dog food, razors, vitamins, etc. - that are not always available. It's just easier to have them sent automatically. It's easier to have them sent automatically. This is the most popular reason people buy subscription boxes. They like variety and don't want to do the work to find it. Instead, they want someone to do that work for them. They then choose what they want to keep.
Special access: "Some people like to have the 'preferred' route. They are willing to pay up front to get special rewards."
"We live in an age where convenience is everything. So much of what we do has been and is being digitized. As consumers, we like the idea of pushing a button and receiving what we need two days (or less!) later," she said.
Another reason? People like to receive mail.
"People appreciate gifts because of the surprise and anticipation. Receiving a subscription box each month is like receiving a gift - except you're paying for it."