Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Marketing >> Article

With the overseas subscription box business growing exponentially, is India ready?

17-February-2017
Font Size   16
With the overseas subscription box business growing exponentially, is India ready?

The age-old concept of ‘sample before you buy’ has manifested into the subscription box business model, an idea that is extremely popular globally, but is slowly finding acceptance in India. A study by Hitwise, which measures behaviour across desktop, tablet, and smartphone devices, providing marketers with a sampling of online behaviour, showed that in the US, visits to subscription box sites had grown 3,000 per cent from January 2013-2016, with 21.4 million visits in January 2016.

Additionally, Subscription Commerce Insider points out that an average subscriber in the US has seven or more different types of subscriptions, with 12 more subscriptions on his/her wishlist for future purchases.

In 2016, L’Oréal Paris created L’Or Box, a Red Carpet box that hid a ticket to the Festival de Cannes (L’Oréal Paris being the festival’s official cosmetics brand) for one lucky recipient. The box contained samples of beauty products by L’Oréal.

Sisley Paris also offers a monthly subscription box containing a curated selection of five Sisley product samples. The box is available to Sisley Club Gold and Platinum members, with each month’s box following a theme like ‘At-Home Spa’ or ‘D-Tox’. “I have to admit I still love receiving surprise gifts in the mail, and the Evening Ritual sample package from Sisley met all my expectations. I love that each month follows a theme too. So excited to try this out and looking forward to next month's package,” shared a customer in her review of the box.

“The success of innovative subscription brands, particularly among younger age groups, has disrupted some industries and has challenged established business models,” observed Warc Toolkit 2017, earlier this month, as one of the key trends in how brands are going the direct-to-consumer way.

The India perspective

Basil Varghese, co-founder, MyGiftBoxCo, which calls itself the premium subscription box market place in India, echoes the above observation. “The younger generation is for the subscription boxes. We estimate that about 10-15 per cent of consumers will find subscription boxes interesting and would love to try one of them,” he said.

My Gift Box Co, conceptualised by George V, launched its full version in April 2016, offering 30+ subscription boxes every month. They offer curated boxes from mainline brands such as Park Avenue, Gillete, Biotique, United Colors of Benetton, AXE, Loreal, Maybelline New York, VLCC, Lakme, Revlon, Colorbar, etc. in addition to brands that are yet to make it big in India.

My Gift Box Co has registered a growth ranging between 10-15 per cent new subscribers each month. “This, however, does not mean that the growth in the number of boxes is the same because we have customers who have opted for three-month and six-month subscription plans and they are included as one customer and not as six boxes,” clarified Varghese.

A niche market

According to competitive intelligence and ecommerce marketing platform, Connexity, the typical subscription box client is the 25-39 year old female with above-average education and income, who predominantly lives in multicultural urban neighbourhoods in big cities, and who is active and health-conscious. And while it may seem that women are the primary audience, there’s room for men, children, grandparents, and even pets.

For example, MyGiftBoxCo offers Adam Box and Homme Box for men, Grand Care Box for grandparents, and an assortment of other boxes such as Yoga Box, Organic Box, Ayurveda Box, India Box, World Box, Youth Box, Book Box, etc. In the wider market, there’s Paper Planes, a monthly magazine subscription service available all across India; Wag Box, a subscription service catered to dogs; The Nibble Box, India’s first online snack subscription service; The Revolver Club, India’s only vinyl subscription service, to name a few. For tea connoisseurs, there’s Tea Box and for pregnant women or mothers of new-borns, there’s Happiness in a Box.

While ‘niche’ may be the name of the game, it is evident that several avenues are opening up in India to welcome the subscription box business model.

Tags

Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.

Exchange4media interacted with Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head (Fashion) , IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd on seamless brands integrations planned for Lakme Fashion Week, walking tall despite blazing trails like GST, demonetization and being a part of the larger cultural space

Their strategy to educate the consumers to make well informed decisions at all stages has worked out well.

Bobby Pawar, MD, CCO - South Asia, Publicis India, talks about his idea of chilling out

Launches third phase of TVC campaign ‘Think it. Done’

Based in Mumbai, Usha has nearly two decades of experience in the Indian media and entertainment sector and will serve as a strategic advisor to H+K’s diverse portfolio of clients with a special empha...

Report based on media channel data in 96 countries and detailed findings from the world‘s key ad markets, which between them account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global advertising tra...