Reprinted from CrainsNewYork.com
Updated: July 12, 2012 12:53 p.m.
Nekisia Davis, founder of Early Bird Foods in Brooklyn, recently took a marketing gamble. Foodzie, a San Francisco firm that sells monthly subscriptions for its boxes of small-batch, artisanal food, wanted to include a bag of Early Bird’s olive oil-tinged granola in one of its March shipments. While Ms. Davis found the idea of 2,800 potential new customers alluring, the deal did come at a cost. The size of Foodzie’s one-time order was more than double what Early Bird typically fills in a week, but Foodzie would pay about 20% less than what Ms. Davis charges other stores that carry her goods. “It’s about exposing 2,800 people to Early Bird who haven’t heard of us before,” she said.
In the end, the deal seemed to pay off. Early Bird has seen a roughly 30% increase in online sales since spring. “I only know this through many, many people telling me they received the box,” said Ms. Davis, whose 3-year-old company pulled in $250,000 in revenue last year. She said she would definitely do a deal like this again. “Foodzie markets to people who buy specialty food already—they’ll buy a $9 bag of granola and not blink—and that’s the customer base I’m looking for.”
Early Bird is one of many small companies in New York City testing the waters of subscription commerce (“subcom” for short), a rapidly growing corner of the $200 billion e-commerce market. According to industry insiders, more than 30 firms like Foodzie operate Web-based deal-of-the-month club models, charging anywhere from $10 to $40 a month for their preselected assortment of goods that target a particular niche. BarkBox, for example, sources high-end dog supplies, Bespoke Post culls men’s luxury lifestyle gear, and Birchbox, a New York startup that helped pioneer the market, sells beauty-product samples.
As the market swells—Birchbox has more than 100,000 paid subscribers, up from 50,000 in 2010—so does a potentially lucrative marketing channel for emerging brands. Cravebox, which was spun off of SheSpeaks, a winner in Crain’s New York Business’ Perfect Pitch competition, peddles lots of household brand names, but 40% of its product partners are small and midsize businesses, said Cravebox CEO Kitty Kolding.
“Target marketing can be a challenging and expensive thing to do, particularly if you [operate] in a small niche,” said Dan Hesse, founder and CEO of Local Offer Network, a daily-deals aggregator based in Chicago. With the boxes, “merchants now have a more effective way than ever to put their products in front of people likely to be interested in them.”
Elizabeth Stein, CEO of the three-employee Purely Elizabeth, an organic, gluten-free food line she founded in 2009, said she’s seen a sharp rise in repeat customers online since her cereal samples were included in an October box from Blissmo, which appeals to shoppers searching for eco-friendly products. “So many people are reluctant to try something new,” said Ms. Stein, whose Manhattan company has revenues of less than $10 million. “But this is about giving them an easy trial, and hopefully then they become loyal customers.”
However, as Ms. Stein and other small business owners can attest, the return on investment of getting into a box can be a little murky. The subcom space is a primordial soup; players’ business plans vary greatly. While Foodzie and BarkBox pay wholesale prices for the merchandise they pick, Blissmo asks partners to provide free samples. And Cravebox, which boasts 200,000 affluent subscribers, charges brands a $5 slotting fee for each box they want to be placed in, which can quickly add up for a small company. Most require partners to pay for shipping to their fulfillment centers, but many box companies will handle marketing extras like company write-ups.
“If you’re going to lose money on the transaction itself, you have to be very careful. Not only are you spending money to produce your product, you’re also paying to get it into the box,” said Utpal Dholakia, a management professor at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, who has been studying the subcom market. “And of course, the biggest hurdle is that there’s no guarantee that the consumer is ever going to buy anything from you ever again.”
Correction: SheSpeaks is no longer the parent company of Cravebox. That fact was misstated in an earlier version of this article, published July 12, 2012.
Foodzie is now Joyus Tasting Box
Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120711/SMALLBIZ/120709929#ixzz27RWwZkXT
How can I help you? If you could put anything in the whole world in your box that would show up at your door what would it be?
If a genie showed up and said,
“Hello, I am your Magic Genie. I will grant you three wishes. I will put these 3 wishes in your box.
This is not a complete list and subject to changes and additions at any time.)
Beauty box, healthy and self esteem combo that launched in June. Has full size products.
Everything you could want in a box.
$17 a month
Get in while you can. Limited special edition boxes available. Will also have themes and more.
After signing up you can either buy a membership or get a free one. The free one comes with samples and you can earn your way to a better membership option by completing tasks and doing product reviews.
Free and Paid options (Paid gets a box monthly)
Earn free boxes for referring your friends and doing product reviews.
When you subscribe to TeetheMe, a monthly box of 4 to 5 products for your child aged newborn to 3 years old, will be stork- delivered straight to your door in the signature TeetheMe Box. “We know how busy you are as a new parent. At TeetheMe, we take the guesswork out of the seemingly endless amount of baby products on the market and only send you the most innovative, practical and unique products available. The items in each box are hand picked by savvy moms and are based upon the child’s age.”
$26 a month
Baby and toddler products suited for your childs age.
Good and Lovely
Every month we deliver a hand-picked selection just for you, what we call the “LovelyBox”! You will receive a sampling of four great items like fine chocolate, soothing tea, aromatherapy, and products designed specifically to treat PMS or cramping for that “time of month” tampons not included. You can personalize your subscription with optional items as well.
Delivered on the date you choose (your monthly gift)
Always includes chocolate
Looking for hot beauty products samples Check out Birchbox. They have new products for you to try. Receive deluxe samples from top brands for $10/month. Complete your Profile to get products picked especially for you. They give extras too.
$10 a month
Earn Rewards if you buy full sizes in the Birch Shop
Customized Beauty Boxes after you complete profile
Each month we hand-pick trendsetting new nail colors, cult faves and cutting-edge beauty products that are just right for you. Commitment shy? If you want to cancel you must call them to do so. So they can talk you out of it or try.
For just $19.99 a month, receive at least $40 worth of hand-picked Julep products in an exclusive gift-able Julep Maven Box.
There are many specials to try Julep box for 1 Cent.
Originally only in the UK, GlossyBox just launched in the US in April 2012. Each month they curate a box of 5 luxury travel-sized beauty products for you to lather, blend, soak, spray, buff, and groom with. Indulge and experience luxury at its finest.
5 Travel Sized luxury beauty products
Soon to be Mens version
When the boxes come out you can see whats in them, if you like or want to try something in them you buy the box for $15. Elite members get full sized products. They ask that you review the product on their site.
No monthly Subscription
5-6 items in each box
$10 a month
4-5 beauty products
Goodebox is a members only service providing trial sized healthy, eco-sensitive, innovative & effective beauty and personal care products, along with occasional samples of natural & organic health and wellness products.
6-7 Trial Sized products
Eco Friendly Beauty Products
Earth Friendly Boxes
Earth Friendly Products
membership is $15 a month
Wide range of products like beauty, home and food
Earth Friendly. Healthy snacks, cleaning products, drinks, teas, detergent or soaps all natural samples. Coupons
Wide Range of products
Every month you’ll get to select from a set of curated, limited-quantity box options. Trust us to choose for you? We’ll auto-select the box we think you’ll like most. Don’t like the options that month? Skip the month or send to a friend.
Skin & Beauty, Food, Household
You get to try lots of vitamins, energy drinks, bars and other health-oriented items before you buy them.
I loved the Night Food Bars. Got me right to sleep. I bought two boxes. Bought one got one free.
You can get buy items on their website. Be careful that you check with a doctor if you try something new.
Jewelry pick of your choice from what they have. OK costume jewelry.
Lingerie one a month. Intimint is the newest of the mints. Brooke Burke Charvet from Dancing With The Stars is the and is the Creative Director.
You get a credit of $19.95 per month. They pick items for you each month. Some of the items are more than one credit or about $40 or $60.
You can skip a month. They try to upsell you or get you to spend more than the $19.95 per month..
Thin Mint – Here you spend $19.95 a month and get a box of chocolate covered mint cookies and the money is donated to the girl scouts. (OK, I made this one up. ) It does come in a box, but ask the girl scouts when they are in front of your local supermarket begging with their moms and don’t eat the whole box or you won’t fit into the Intimints.
Olsen Twins are the picture child(ren) of this box. Marie Kate and Ashley. They design the t-shirts. You may get to pick a dress, skirt or shorts too. Could be more than $29.95. You get one per month of your choice.
Little Black Bag
They give you a quiz when you sign up and tell you your style.
They show you a bag, but this is not a bag you get. It’s just representative of your taste.
Then you go to their gallery and pick one accessory, which could be a bag (not leather or high quality)
or jewelry or another accessory. This is your only pick. Then the stylist picks out two additional items for you.
What I didn’t like was if you pick a more expensive bag or first item, you get cheaper items from the stylist. (They don’t want to give you
more than $100 of products.)
After that you can swap with other members in their program.
It’s $49.95 a month.
I must say I played around with this site, but never felt satisfied that what they were giving was worth it.
So I never placed an order. If you have tried Little Black Bag, let me know what you think.
This is probably the most expensive of the boxes.
Sunglasses – One pair every month – not sure what they are worth.
$9 a month
Birch Box also has a new Men’s program! It’s the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase.
$20 a month
All Men’s products
Earn Rewards if you buy full sizes in the Birch Shop
His kit is a new and exciting subscription service designed for guys. We deliver premium samples conventionally to your doorsteps.
Every month we will send you a deluxe box with hand-selected products especially tailored for guys. Get to try new products in the convenience of your home without the hassle of the traditional shopping.
From shaving needs to underwear, fragrances to socks, we got it all.
Grooming, Fragrance, to Underwear
Health & Fitness
Indulge in $50 worth of expert-curated health, wellness, and fitness products, delivered right to your door. You’ll get healthy food and drinks, workouts and apparel, skincare products, supplements, and more!
$18 a month or less
Health, Lifestyle, Fitness
$10 a month
Cravebox often has special themed boxes by subject like cleaning or barbecue. Waiting list
They often have twitter contests to get a box.
Three options, Suave (Men), Beauty (Women), or a Fit (Fitness) Box
$10 a month.
We hand-select our favorite artisan discoveries and deliver to you once a month for $29.95. Ground shipping is free for our Tasting Club Members. Each month, we’ll present three Tasting Box themes. Pick the right box for you, or keep it a surprise and we’ll ship you our Signature Tasting Box.
$29.95 a month
You’ll get to pick a them each month from 3
Get 8+ curated gourmet bites per month
Earn points good for free products
Member-only access to discounts
Every purchase supports food banks
$10 + $2 shipping per month ($12/month)
BestFriendBox is a subscription box for your dog or kit tie. All natural, healthy good-for your pet treats. Join to receive a monthly delivery of high-quality natural treats, toys, and gear for your four-legged friend.
$45 a month. Discounts available. Well worth it. 10% goes to animal shelters.
Pick between Dogs or Cats
Treat your canine companion to a monthly delivery of high quality, hand-selected goodies and essentials. All while helping dogs in need. You choose between small, medium or large dogs.
My dog didn’t care for the doggie slushie. He’d rather have a juice pop. There were some treats and dog food he liked. Cute towel. They donate a percentage to help shelter dogs.
$25 a month
I have a very funny kitty, Supercat. He likes to fetch and comes when I call him.
I didn’t like how my hair was looking one day so I decided to let him review my Conscious Box.
He had a good time, but got very jealous. He wanted to be beautiful too.
He started using my lipstick and eyeliner and soon he looked like Adam Lambert.
Well here he is. THis is part 1.
We are putting the final touches on our July Monthly Box. There is none like it anywhere. A combination Beauty Box and Eco Conscious Green Box and always an extra surprise. It is going to be the hottest subscription box to explode on Youtube. Which lucky bloggers will be the first to get theirs? Will it be you?
Are you a beauty junkie? Do you sleepwalk to Sephora? Is your bag stuffed with Mascara, 3 kinds of lip gloss and a Hello Kitty Eye liner? OK, maybe you’re not a cat person. Just the same do you get every Lancome promotion just because it’s free? Well with a $35 purchase. Let us know. Which cosmetics do you Benefit from? Is it Benefit?
Is your style Urban Decay, because you are a chic hipster?
Of course every fashionista has to fit into those designer jeans. You run around all day and need a little nourishment to get you through. A healthy snack is quick and easy. A bag of Plentil tasty chips could be coming your way or maybe a little Trail mix sans chocolate.
You always have a big bottle of water on you to make sure you don’t get dehydrated. Potassium is always positive.
Boxmonthly will give you a surprise in your step and something to talk about. We did create myhairtalking.com after all.
boxmonthly.com is moving to WordPress. I hope to bring a new updated site with many more features for fans to talk all about your favorite box services.
We will be posting blogs, reviews, articles and keep you updated on the latest deals, news and monthly boxes.
I would like to know what you subscribe to now. Have you tried Birchbox, a beauty box, which has great cosmetics, hair and skin products for only $10 a month?
Do you like green, organic foods and products like Conscience Box or Eco-Emi?
Are your pets your family? Maybe you want To surprise your doggy or Nutty Kitty with Best Friends Box.