Guest article

Subscription box surge: actionable lessons for beauty packaging players to learn from their success

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Subscription box surge: actionable lessons to learn from their success

Related tags Customer Customer service

In this guest article, a leading label producing firm active in the cosmetics industry gives an expert perspective on beauty box packaging trends.

Here, Luminer​ gives some of its key insights from a recent survey into crucial packaging trends, specific to the beauty and personal care industry.

What’s the buzz around beauty boxes?

In the past several years, subscription boxes​ have become increasingly popular across several industries, and among the most popular are beauty boxes and cosmetic/beauty product subscription services.

In fact, from 2014 to 2017, subscription websites have grown their traffic by 800%, totaling around 37 million people. Numbers like that speak volumes about doing something right (more than one something, in this case).

There are a few tactics these companies use to push their products, intrigue consumers, and ensure they return as curious as they started.

We’re living in a time of delivery everything. Aspects of subscription box success should be taken into account and used to reimagine beauty business moving forward.

Let’s look at four key success points that subscription beauty boxes are implementing.

1. Personality:

Because many subscription beauty services don’t have physical stores, they lack face-to-face interaction with customers.

In this, they succeed at creating a presence in social media, in the voice of their product labels, the attitude of their website, the push notifications in their mobile apps, etc.

If a store--online or brick-and-mortar--doesn’t have a well honed voice, they’ve already lost customers.

2. “Omg I got a present!” Theory:

This isn’t an academic theory, but applies aptly to the way human beings respond to receiving presents, packages, gifts, etc. Fully grown adults still get that surge of giddiness when a new box shows up. It’s exciting.

These companies allow tailoring of desired products and product types, but they’re usually packed with little surprises.

These surprises are very little cost to the company, completely free for the customer, and guide the customer with what they already have to other products. Give away something for free, curiosity goes a long way.

3. Easy Tech:

At this point, the majority of companies in existence have websites and/or mobile apps. The difference is the user experience of their sites/apps.

Subscription boxes are relatively new and have adopted a bare bones, effective technical methodology. You can go on Birchbox or Ipsy and have a subscription or a risk free, unpaid trial in under five minutes.

It’s the first thing presented, you don’t have to look for it. In under ten minutes total, their service, product, and sign up is done.

You can let it automatically drop on your doorstep indefinitely if you wanted. Taking legwork (literal stores) and poorly designed websites out of the equation streamlines the product delivery process.

4. Customer Service:

In tandem with easy, accessible tech and not having physical stores, customer service assumes a different guise. Many subscriptions have access to 24 hour chat messaging, phone lines, social media, exclusive in-app access, email, etc.

The aforementioned point on personality grooms this. A brand voice you’re comfortable with clicks with the customer service voice. One brand, one voice, very little misunderstanding.

Paying attention

Your beauty business is yours, it’s different, it’s special. However, lessons should be taken where they can be and, at the moment, subscription boxes are doing devastatingly well.

They may not have written the playbook, but they’ve certainly updated it and those are some edits to which we should pay serious attention.

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