Why are subscription boxes so popular?

Twenty years ago, the only subscriptions available were magazines or club memberships. These days, however, there’s a subscription for everything from vegetables and meal plans to beauty products and candles. What has caused this boom in popularity and more importantly, how long will the trend continue?

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The Covid-19 effect

Whilst it’s trendy to blame Covid-19 for everything, many commentators have drawn a link between the rise of subscription boxes and the pandemic. According to a recent report, more than half of those who were asked why they signed up for a subscription box during lockdown said they did so to treat themselves in the face of the pandemic

The ease and growth of online shopping

The popularity of the subscription box should not be viewed in a vacuum for it is itself part of a much bigger online retail trend. In the UK, 80% of the population now takes advantage of online shopping in one way or another and the online market makes up 30% of all retail. Although subscription models did exist before the internet, the ease of signing up and managing your account online has helped fuel growth in this sector.

Diversity

The sheer choice of subscription boxes is another reason for growth. These days you can sign up and subscribe to receive anything, from a monthly scent to a box of makeup or craft beer.

As well as subscription boxes, do-it-yourself kits have also increased in both popularity and diversity. You can now make your own chocolate or cheese, or even start a new skill with crochet kits like those available at sites such as www.woolcouturecompany.com/collections/crochet-kits. Forecasters expect the subscription box trend to continue and according to a recent Royal Mail report, the industry will be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.

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The subscription box used to be something of a niche sector but it has grown to become a very popular and successful retail model. With ever-greater choices and algorithms that can help companies create personalised boxes filled with items their consumers really want, there’s no reason this market won’t continue to boom.

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