Are subscriptions an untapped gifting opportunity for retailers?
Nearly one-third of consumers have interest in receiving a subscription as a gift, while 44 percent are somewhat to very likely to give a subscription as gift, according to a study from Magid.
The most popular subscription received as a gift, according to the research, was kids/baby food, with 48 percent of those receiving a gift receiving one in this category; followed in the top-five by kids/baby non-food, 40 percent; clothing/fashion, 36 percent; health/nutrition, 35 percent; and home, 34 percent.
About 30 percent on average of respondents who received subscriptions as gifts got subscriptions for beverages, beauty/grooming, meal kits, food and pets. About 20 percent received subscription gifts, on average, for music, fitness, streaming content and warehouse clubs.
The survey excluded magazines to focus on contemporary forms.
Asked what type of subscriptions they were at least somewhat likely to gift, 28 percent cited music and streaming content. That was followed by beauty/grooming and warehouse clubs, both at 25 percent; and food, 24 percent. No category scored less than 18 percent as a potential gift idea.
Overall, the survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers found healthy attitudes toward subscriptions:
- The average household has 3.7 subscriptions with the intent to renew at 85 percent;
- The intent to enroll in a new subscription category was particularly high in food, beauty/grooming, pets, clothing/fashion, beverage, meal kits and home categories.
Target, Walmart, Sephora and Macy’s are among traditional retailers offering boxes, but a seemingly endless variety are available from standalone players led by Stitch Fix, Blue Apron, Birchbox and Dollar Shave Club. Many offered Black Friday deals. For gifting, theme boxes can to tailored to the interests of the recipient.
Amazon has created a subscription box section on its site that features boxes across four categories: Beauty & Lifestyle, Food & Drinks, Pets and Toys & Kids. Of the 31 boxes offered, the most popular based on reviews were STEM Club Toy, Funko Marvel Collector Corps and Allure Beauty.
Walgreens is testing 11 Birchbox in-store shops selling full-sized, premium beauty products, subscriptions to monthly samples and a personalized “Build Your Own Birchbox” offering.
- Subscriptions: the gifts that keep on giving – Magid
- Subscription & Discovery Boxes – Amazon.com
- Will the Birchbox/Walgreens pilot deliver beautiful results? – RetailWire
- These 7 traditional retailers are cashing in on the subscription box craze – CNBC
- Loot Crate Will Sell Subscriptions Through Amazon – Retail TouchPoints
- Subscription Retailers’ Expansion Strategy? Holiday Gift-Giving – Retail TouchPoints
- Are subscription services viable for independent retailers? – Retail Dive
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see subscriptions growing in popularity as a holiday gift idea in the years ahead? Is the bigger opportunity for traditional retailers developing their own subscriptions or partnering with existing players around holiday-selling time?