Tag Archives: subscription services

Subscription Boxes are Booming


It’s fun to get a package in the mail. There’s the excitement of opening the box and enjoying the contents. If you like getting monthly surprises and treats in the mail, then subscription boxes are just the ticket. And, they can make a fun and unexpected gift for others, too.

There is a wide variety of subscriptions for consumers: Doomsday prepping supplies, treats for dogs, treats for pet rabbits, Japanese snacks, food, meal components, personal care items, razors, make-up, athletic gear, books, technology and more. Think of a category – there is most likely already a company offering monthly treat boxes. Subscriptions range from the low end (Dollar Shave Club, BirchBox) to higher priced subscriptions such as Adidas’ athletic apparel ‘Avenue A’ subscription at $150/quarter. And, there are also subscriptions aimed at business offices as well as individual consumers.

While not all subscription companies earn large revenues, and face many problems with retaining both subscribers and suppliers, some companies are doing quite well. Company BlueApron, a three-year old company that mails recipes and ingredients to subscribers, estimates that it delivers three million meals per month. The company recently raised $135 million in funding, giving it a $2 billion valuation.

That’s a lot of boxes!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who gets monthly subscription boxes, what kind, and why?
  2. Next, bring up several companies that offer these boxes:

Purple Carrot: https://thepurplecarrot.com/

BattlBox: http://www.battlbox.com/

Bunny Box: https://getbunnybox.com/

JapanCrate: https://japancrate.com/

Blue Apron: https://www.blueapron.com/

Nature Box: https://naturebox.com/

Club W: https://clubw.com/

Bark Box: https://www.barkbox.com/

Faith Box: http://faithbox.com/

Owl Crate: http://www.owlcrate.com/

BirchBox: https://www.birchbox.com/

Plated: https://www.plated.com/

TheFeed: https://thefeed.com/

Loot Crate: https://www.lootcrate.com/

Avenue A: https://www.adidasavenuea.com/

  1. Discuss the benefits and problems with the subscription model.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine one of the current subscriptions and analyze the target market and product mix.
  3. Have each student team design a new subscription company that could be sold to college students.

Source: New York Times, Washington Post, other news sources

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Amazon Rules Holiday Online Shopping


It seems there is no stopping Amazon; the company continues to expand and capture more shares of the retail market every year. According to a recent study, Amazon accounted for 51 cents of every additional $1 spent online by Americans. And, of the roughly $94 billion growth in all retail sales, Amazon accounted for $22 billion for nearly a quarter of all online sales.

In just this holiday shopping season, Amazon shipped 200 million more items through its Prime subscription service (as compared to the same period last year). Prime now covers an estimated 25% of all U.S. households. Prime goes beyond free two-day shipping and now includes music and video streaming, original content, and unconventional promotion such as July’s Prime Day.

Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market in the U.S. jumped from 22% last year to 26% in 2015. Of all retail purchases in the U.S. (excluding cars, gas, and food/beverage stores), Amazon accounts for 4%.

Where are you shopping?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where did they shop this holiday season? How much did they spend online vs. in stores?
  2. Show Amazon’s Prime offerings: amazon.com
  3. Divide students into teams and have team review the services offered via Prime.
  4. Next, have each team select another retailer. How can the retailer compete with Amazon? What additional services might be offered? How can the retailer differentiate from Amazon?

Source: New York Times, other news sources

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