Beauty sample subscriptions gain momentum, threaten traditional businesses

Subscription services in the form of monthly boxes are garnering a lot of attention in the consumer market, as people prefer paying smaller recurring payments for a variety of products instead one lump sum for something they may or may not enjoy.

While a number of subscription boxes are gaining momentum, the services regarding makeup are specifically experiencing success, as they allow consumers to try out different lip glosses, moisturizers, eye serums and other cosmetics without making an expensive commitment to any one product. Liz Corry, a Pittsburgh resident who blogs about varying beauty sample subscription services, is one of these appreciative advocates, according to a report by The New York Times.

Corry said she spends roughly $200 each month on multiple subscription services, such as Birchbox and GlossyBox, because she simply couldn’t get enough and felt the desire to test out nearly every available item, the news source said.

“When I realized [Birchbox has] variations they send out every month, I was jealous about the samples other people were getting,” Corry told The New York Times. “So I signed up for my second subscription with them.”

By providing customers with alluring samples, companies can deploy a unique marketing ploy to attract and retain customers who like their products. The subscription business model takes this a step further, as it enables companies to generate recurring revenue by selling sample items to clients who will likely turn into loyal customers.

“We feel attached to the small miniature element of [our subscription service],” said Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox, according to The New York Times. “You get to engage and interact with the product without committing and it’s really delightful.”

The success of beauty sample subscription services is also threatening to traditional brick-and-mortar shops, as many companies don’t like the idea of having to compete with businesses that only sell samples, the news source said. For this reason, the subscription commerce market will likely continue gaining momentum, especially if larger firms are forced to play along against their will.

As this happens, it will become more critical that decision-makers take advantage of an advanced subscription management and billing platform that provides real-time feedback regarding subscriber activity. By using these tools, companies can learn more about client behavior and make changes to their products or billing plans that may enhance customer satisfaction.

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The Forrester Wave: Subscription Billing Platforms, Q4 2015

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